Reading Questions for Wench
14. What role does the white woman, Glory, play in the novel? When they first meet her, they are startled by her behavior. "These slaves had been around Northern whites long enough to recognize one who didn't understand the rules." Why doesn't Glory seem to "understand the rules?" How does meeting her influence the slaves, especially Lizzie?
15. Many events happen during Lizzie's visits to Ohio, from the discovery of the abolitionist pamphlet to the trip to Dayton to meeting Glory and Phillip's fiancé. Talk about the significance of each and explain how they shaped Lizzie's outlook about her life and herself. How does she change by the novel's end? What about the other characters?
16. What does freedom mean to you? What does it mean to Lizzie and the other slaves?
17. Lizzie lived a life defined by indignity and degradation. How did she cope and overcome her pain?
18. After Sweet learns that all of her children have died from cholera, she tells her friends that she wants to die. Is death better than a life in chains?
19. Discuss the evils of slavery. How does it degrade the soul of both the enslaved and their masters?
20. Unlike the characters in the story, you, the reader, know that the Civil War will occur in less than a decade. How does the knowledge shape your experience reading the story? Does it give you hope for Lizzie and her children?
21. What did you learn from reading Wench ? What affected you most about the story?
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