The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Topics for Discussion

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A number of the short stories discuss relationships that men and women have to their fathers. Compare and contrast the paternal relationships in "Lawns" and "Minor Heroism."

Violence plays an important role in several stories. Discuss the role of violence in "The Darling" and "A Romantic Weekend."

Dogs appear as major characters in two stories, "Daddy Garbage" and "Dog Heaven." How are the dogs used in each story and what do they symbolize for the protagonists?

Two stories, "The First Day," and "Rules of the Game," illustrate young children moving away from their parents' culture. How are the two visions of this experience similar and different?

Both "The Things They Carried" and "A White Horse" are set in foreign countries. How do the authors use these countries to illustrate aspects of their protagonists and to what effect?

Blizzards play an important role in both "Emergency" and "Wickedness...

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This section contains 193 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Study Guide
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