We hope you enjoyed the literary round table this evening. All three of our moderators, Maude Hines, Ann Marie Fallon, and Inger Olsen, did a fascinating job of putting The Girl Who Fell From The Sky in its cultural, geographic, and literary context. Let’s give up a warm round of applause for our beautiful hostesses!
For those of you who would like to continue the discussion we began today, please head over to the comment box on this post and leave comments, questions, or general thoughts on the topics we covered–or any other relevant topics you’d like to bring up. Here are some possible questions based off of today’s conversation:
- How do secondary characters create their own stories or add to the stories of other characters? Some examples you might want to take into consideration are characters such as Brick and Roger, who are developed themselves and who help develop other characters through their third-person narration. Additionally, how do characters such as Grandma and Jesse, whose point of view is never taken in the book, contribute to their own characterization and the characterization of others?
- Along the same lines, Durrow chooses to tell the story from some points of views but not from others. Why do you think she chooses the particular narrators she does? For example, why would she choose Laronne, Roger, Brick, and Nella as narrators but not Grandma, Aunt Loretta, Drew, or Jesse?
- The use of words and stories is an important theme throughout the novel. We discussed some of the ambiguity Durrow presents through her clouding of specific events (see Rachel’s description of Anthony and her memory of the day on the roof on page 173.) What do you think this ambiguity adds to the interpretive experience?
- Another concept that we discussed was the performative nature of words. An example of this can be found on page 233, where Rachel suggests that perhaps Jesse’s words are making her skin appear dark. Another example is the recurring theme of narrative validity, which is demonstrated through Rachel’s constant refusal to definitively describe the events of the day on the roof. How do you think Durrow wants readers to approach the power of words after reading this novel?