Mothers of invention the weasels ripped my flesh

Discussion Questions
1. The title The Invention of Wings was one of the first inspirations that came to Sue Monk Kidd as she began the novel. Why is the title an apt one for Kidd's novel? What are some of the ways that the author uses the imagery and symbolism of birds, wings, and flight?

2. What were the qualities in Handful that you most admired? As you read the novel, could you imagine yourself in her situation? How did Handful continue her relentless pursuit of self and freedom in the face of such a brutal system?

3. After laying aside her aspirations to become a lawyer, Sarah remarks that the Graveyard of Failed Hopes is "an all-female establishment." What makes her say so? What was your experience of reading Kidd's portrayal of women's lives in the nineteenth century?

4. In what ways does Sarah struggle against the dictates of her family, society, and religion? Can you relate to her need to break away from the life she had in order to create a new and unknown life? What sort of risk and courage does this call for?

5. The story of  The Invention of Wings includes a number of physical objects that have a special significance for the characters: Sarah's fleur-de-lis button, Charlotte's story quilt, the rabbit-head cane that Handful receives from Goodis, and the spirit tree. Choose one or more of these objects and discuss their significance in the novel.

6. Were you aware of the role that Sarah and Angelina Grimke played in abolition and women's rights? Have women's achievements in history been lost or overlooked? What do you think it takes to be a reformer today?

7. How would you describe Sarah and Angelina's unusual bond? Do you think either one of them could have accomplished what they did on their own? Have you known women who experienced this sort of relationship as sisters?

8. Some of the staunchest enemies of slavery believed the time had not yet come for women's rights and pressured Sarah and Angelina to desist from the cause, fearing it would split the cause of abolition. How do you think the sisters should have responded to their demand? At the end of the novel, Sarah asks, "Was it ever right to sacrifice one's truth for expedience?"

9. What are some of the examples of Handful's wit and sense of irony, and how do they help her cope with the burdens of slavery?

10. Contrast Handful's relationship with her mother with the relationship between Sarah and the elder Mary Grimke. How are the two younger women formed-and malformed-by their mothers?

11. Kidd portrays an array of male characters in the novel: Sarah's father; Sarah's brother, Thomas; Theodore Weld; Denmark Vesey; Goodis Grimke, Israel Morris, Burke Williams. Some of them are men of their time, some are ahead of their time. Which of these male characters did you find most compelling? What positive and negative roles did they play in Sarah and Handful's evolvement?

12. How has your understanding of slavery been changed by reading The Invention of Wings ? What did you learn about it that you didn't know before?

13. Sarah believed she could not have a vocation and marriage, both. Do you think she made the right decision in turning down Israel's proposal? How does her situation compare with Angelina's marriage to Theodore? In what ways are women today still asking the question of whether they can have it all?

14. How does the spirit tree function in Handful's life? What do you think of the rituals and meanings surrounding it?

15. Had you heard of the Denmark Vesey slave plot before reading this novel? Were you aware of the extent that slaves resisted? Why do you think the myth of the happy, compliant slave endured? What were some of the more inventive or cunning ways that Charlotte, Handful, and other characters rebelled and subverted the system?

16.  The Invention of Wings takes the reader back to the roots of racism in America. How has slavery left its mark on American life? To what extent has the wound been healed? Do you think slavery has been a taboo topic in American life?

17. Are there ways in which Kidd's novel can help us see our own lives differently? How is this story relevant for us today?
( Questions issued by publisher .)

“It’s one of the less pleasant aspects of nature, something humans don’t like to think about. You want to think of nature as warm, cuddly and fuzzy,” he said. “We assume that other species look at offspring the same way we look at offspring… To us it seems as if (infanticide) must be some sick kind of thing, but it isn’t necessarily.”

I came of age in pre-feminist America. In 1963, the same year Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique and reignited the women’s revolution, I sat in a home economics class in high school, hemming skirts and learning how to make a home into a man’s castle. I still recall the list of occupations for women I copied off the blackboard: teacher, nurse, secretary, sales clerk, homemaker… As I recall, there were less than twenty of them. I remember this moment quite well because I harbored a deep and formidable desire to be a writer, and it was nowhere on the roster. When I headed to college, I studied nursing, a noble profession, but it wasn’t my place of belonging. I hadn’t yet figured out how to think and act outside the confines of the world that shaped me. It took eight years after graduating from college for me to break out and pursue writing. Today, that reminds me a little of Sarah, who also had failures of courage and who was sometimes slow to take her leap. Oddly enough, it wasn’t Friedan’s book that shook me. It was Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakeni ng. Edna Pontellier’s agonizing struggle against the limits her culture placed on women nearly leveled me. The lives of Sarah and Angelina Grimke affected me in a similar way. I know the world is radically different now, but I’m a believer that girls and women, and all of us, really, need all the stories of courage and daring we can get.

While real-life mothers valiantly struggle to assimilate the conflicting advice of parenting experts, the mothering instinct in horror films is all too easily perverted by tragedy into a biblical lust for vengeance. Bereavement, whether of husband or child, is a recurring motif that transforms women into vengeful slasher-movie furies. Sometimes they set their sights on the foetus in another woman’s uterus, such as Béatrice Dalle in Inside, slicing up everyone who gets between her and the embryo she has decided will replace the one she lost. Or they inveigle their way into a family, like Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, who gets a job as evil nanny to the woman she blames for her own triple trauma of bereavement, miscarriage and hysterectomy.

Cloudflare Ray ID: 3d483c9be52f8dd1 • Your IP : • Performance & security by Cloudflare

Log in with Facebook
Log in with Google+


Mothers Of Invention The Weasels Ripped My FleshMothers Of Invention The Weasels Ripped My FleshMothers Of Invention The Weasels Ripped My FleshMothers Of Invention The Weasels Ripped My Flesh

lk.curtains-and-drapes.info



Pic 1
Pic 2