Homework: Answer the below questions fully and thoughtfully in complete sentences.

Mariette Discussion Questions–

1. Was the time in which the novel took place, 1906, incidental or was it essential to the narrative? If it had been written in the present day, would the story have been different? How? Do you think that society was more prone to believe in miracles at the turn-of-the-century than today? Has our desire for the miraculous increased or decreased with time? Why or why not?

2. Hansen meticulously wove into the narrative detail about the natural world surrounding the convent. Why do you think he did this? What effect did it have on the tone of the novel? Are there any other techniques that he used to set the mood of the convent that you found particularly effective?

3. Discuss Mariette’s relationship with her father. Do you think that she replaced him with Jesus because she was devout, or because there was discomfort in her relationship with him? If you sensed discomfort, where do you think it came from?

4. Was her sister, Annie, wrong for remaining so distant from Mariette when she entered the convent? How did her family ties to her sister affect her assimilation into the culture of the convent? Do you think that it was a coincidence that they both chose a religious life?

5. At one point in the novel, during “evening recreation,” Mariette and Sister Genevieve perform a playlet that they have written from the bible. The scene is a romantic exchange between a bride and a bridegroom. How did its performance affect the sisters watching it? Did they find it inappropriate? Did you find it inappropriate? In general, how do the sisters express their sexuality in the convent?

 
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