The Good Soldier
Study Questions and Essay Topics
Is Dowell a reliable narrator? How does his narration affect the reader's understanding of the events?
How does adultery function in the The Good Soldier? How does it undermine or reaffirm traditional values?
Can Dowell's dilemma be described as that of the modern man? Why or why not?
Suggested Essay Topics
Examine Dowell's perception of religion in The Good Soldier. How does he use it to explain or excuse accountability?
What does it mean in the novel to "have a heart"? Discuss Ford's metaphor and why certain characters feign their condition.
What rhetorical and narrative techniques does Ford employ in his novel? How do they affect the novel's overall narration?
Compare and contrast Florence and Leonora. How do the two women approach power in their marriages? How does Dowell's opinion of them differ?
What does it mean to be "normal" in the novel? Does Dowell consider the state of normality to be positive or negative? Why?
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