Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions: Arthur Powers

apowers200x200Contributions by Arthur Powers:

“Venus If You Do”

“Claudio”

“MS”

“In the Death of Winter”

See our interview with Arthur here.

Discussion Questions

  • What should be the relationship between artistic creations and the ideas/ideals the author believes in?
  • How do you feel when a story or poem is obviously pushing a certain message?  Does this feeling differ if you agree or disagree with the message?
  • How can fiction bring someone who may not agree with you toward being more open to your point of view?
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Discussion: “The Death of Me, the Life of Us” by Ellen Gable

egable200x200“The Death of Me, the Life of Us” by Ellen Gable

See our interview with Ellen here.

Discussion Questions

  • Bereavement and grief are natural responses when we lose a close relative or friend.  Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz, and later became a convert to Catholicism, said in his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning, that we could survive any “how” as long as we knew the “why.” That is, if we could somehow find meaning in our suffering we could draw strength from it to continue on and survive. (John Mallon, 1996).  What meaning do you think Sarah, the protagonist from The Death of Me, The Life of Us, eventually draws from the experience of losing her youngest sister?
  • Relationships with others are a valuable part of our life experience.   How did Jack help Sarah to understand that the grief and guilt she latched onto for so many years were preventing her from experiencing life?
  • What did Jack mean when he told Sarah that her mother lost two daughters the day of the accident?
  • Many experts say that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Which stage do you think Sarah remained in until she met Jack?

Discussion: “Hard Choices” by Barbara Hosbach

bhosbach200x200“Hard Choices” by Barbara Hosbach

See our interview with Barbara here.

Discussion Questions

  • What’s the difference between getting what you want and being contented?
  • When have you asked for forgiveness from someone you’ve hurt? What happened?
  • Think about someone who has had a positive influence on you. Given your own experience, what can you do that might help you have the kind of influence you want on others?

Discussion: “Two Kinds of People” by John D. McNichol

jmcnichol200x200“Two Kinds of People” by John D. McNichol

See our interview with John here.

Discussion Questions

  • Sean has seen a lot in his life, so much that he seems unfazed by much that would anger or upset most of us. Is he truly in control of his emotions, or have they shut down as a defense against the darkness he has to see on a regular basis?
  • Sean displays a basic knowledge of the Church’s stance on homosexuality. While he is not Catholic himself, he does not display the bitterness towards the Church that some do on this issue. Why is this?
  • Sean has been told that he must either be a hammer or a nail in life. What does this mean? What would the Catholic response be to such a statement? By the end of the story, is Sean a ‘hammer,’ a ‘nail,’ or something else?

Discussion: “The Walk” by Anne Faye

afaye200x200“The Walk” by Anne Faye

See our interview with Anne here.

Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever experienced infertility or an unexpected pregnancy? What were your emotions? How did you make peace with the situation?
  • Have you ever had a chance meeting that you felt God had orchestrated because it was just what you needed at that moment?
  • This story has an open ending. What do you hope happens to the two primary characters?

Discussion: “Pear Trees” by Dena Hunt

dhunt200x200u“Pear Trees” by Dena Hunt

See our interview with Dena here.

Discussion Questions

  • Is it possible for an ordinary man in a business suit, wearing glasses and reading a newspaper to actually be a knight in shining armor?
  • When he defended the nameless girl, what was he defending?
  • How could that one act change the young woman’s life so dramatically?