Study Questions and Essay Topics
1. What effect does Old Man Gower have on Naomi?
2. What is the significance of chicks and chickens in the novel?
3. How does Naomi feel about her mother? How are we meant to feel about her?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. What is the effect of Obasan’s structure? How would the novel be different had Kogawa chosen to narrate its events chronologically?
2. Compare and contrast Slocan with Granton. What makes Granton so much more difficult to bear than Slocan?
3. Discuss Uncle’s role in the novel. He is not as important a character as, say, Obasan; why then does Kogawa choose to begin and end the novel by focusing on him?
4. The narrative is interspersed with newspaper clippings and excerpts from official government documents. Why does Kogawa include these in her novel? What is their effect?
5. For whom did Kogawa write Obasan? Is her primary intended audience of a specific age, ethnicity, or nationality? How do you know?
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