A Death in the Family
Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics
Is religion a constructive or a destructive force in A Death in the Family?
Why does Agee tell much of the narrative from Rufus's perspective?
Comment on the ending of the novel. How does it tie in to the rest of the story?
Trace the nature imagery that appears throughout A Death in the Family. When and how does Agee use such imagery? With what result?
If you were an editor, where would you place the italicized scenes within the rest of the text? Why?
Comment on Agee's depiction of childhood. Is it accurate? Use examples to support your answer.
How does the setting of the novel shape its themes? Could the story take place anywhere, or is it important that it is set in Tennessee? Explain.
Were Mary and Jay, in your opinion, happily married? Why or why not? What obstacles did they have to surmount?
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