8. How are the background characters such as the young lovers and the lady in black at the shore, significant in Edna's story? The young lovers are significant because Edna was always proper. The lady in black is significant because
9. In detail, explain how the flashbacks to Edna's past function. How does her father compare to the other men in her life?
10. How does the view of romantic love develop in the course of the novel? What is the doctor's view of marriage and childbearing?
11. Can you think of an emotional attachment and/or a romantic obsession you have studied in a previous work? How does that incident or character compare with Edna's emotional and romantic relationships?
12. What are the main images and symbols in the novel?
13. Why does Edna get involved with Alcee Arobin?
14. Why do you suppose critics were outraged at this novel in 1899, saying it committed "unutterable crimes against polite society" and should be labeled "poison" to protect "moral babes"?
15. What is your reaction to the end of the novel? Do you agree or disagree with the reasons for Edna's final action?