Discussion Questions: O’Henry “Life Without Katy and Other Stories” -Girl Wanted -While the Driver Waits -Life without Katy
Girl Wanted: • Is the ending surprising? Why? • Who is Vivien? Heloise? The dark lady? • When O’henry wrote this story it would have been shocking to his readers. Do you know why? (Why does he wait to the end of the story to tell us about Vivien? Why does Mr. Hartley really live in the country.
Girl Wanted:racism… • Is there racism present in your country? How do you know? • Would an interracial marriage be acceptable in your country? • Survey: Who would you rather your son or daughter marry?(choose races/nationalities relevant to your students) Why did you make the choices you did?
Girl wanted: continued… • Your children will be the future of your country. When they control society do you think attitudes towards race will be different? How?
While the Driver Waits • Who’s driver are we led to believe is waiting? Who’s driver is really waiting? • Why would she lie to him about her life? Do you think she really wants to be part of high society?Why?/not?
...Driver Waits: continued… • Why would he lie to her as well? Did he expect her to say she was wealthy?(look at”The girl in grey” lines 13-26) • Do you think she is someone who would love him for who he is?
...Driver Waits: continued. • What do you suppose each of them really wants?(people usually lie for a reason). • Did he know in advance who she really was? How do you know?( look at “a useful job” lines 20-26) What’s his opinion of her now?
…Driver Waits: Short Activity: • Work with a partner to write a short paragraph describing what happens to these two people next. Do you think they’ll meet again? Will she discover the truth? Will they get together?….you decide.
Life Without Katy • Why is John complaining at the beginning of the story? Do you think his life is boring? • If John is so bored with his marriage why does he become so upset when it changes just a little?
Life Without Katy: continued. • (for married people) Do you think his reaction is normal or exaggerated? What would you do if your husband /wife left for a few days? • Are John’s actions at the end of the story surprising? How does the ending make you feel about John? Why do you think he didn’t tell her how much he missed her? • Do you think Katy will ever permanently leave John? Why?/not? Should she?