*many of these ideas for themes came from helpful commenters at Goodreads.com
(PLEASE NOTE: This resource has been provided to help you become more familiar with the play or develop a similar study guide on your own. The information in this guide has been tailored to fit the Alliance Theater's production of Disgraced: A Play, and may not be wholly accurate or correct to the original text. Studying this guide is not a substitute for reading the play, and it may contain errors or unsupported opinions.)
How did you experience the book? Were you immediately drawn into the story--or did it take you a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, irritate, or frighten you?
Do you find the characters convincing? Are they believable? Compelling? Are they fully developed as complex, emotional human beings--or are they one-dimensional?
Which characters do you particularly admire or dislike? What are their primary characteristics?
What motivates a given character’s actions? Do you think those actions are justified or ethical?
Do any characters grow or change during the course of the novel? If so, in what way?
Who in this book would you most like to meet? What would you ask—or say?
If you could insert yourself as a character in the book, what role would you play? You might be a new character or take the place of an existing one.
Is the plot well-developed? Is it believable? Do you feel manipulated along the way, or do plot events unfold naturally, organically?
Is the story plot or character driven? In other words, do events unfold quickly? Or is more time spent developing characters' inner lives? Does it make a difference to your enjoyment?
Consider the ending. Did you expect it or were you surprised? Was it manipulative? Was it forced? Was it neatly wrapped up--too neatly? Or was the story unresolved, ending on an ambiguous note?
If you could rewrite the ending, would you? In other words, did you find the ending satisfying? Why or why not?
Can you pick out a passage that strikes you as particularly profound or interesting--or perhaps something that sums up the central dilemma of the book?
Does the book remind you of your own life? An event or situation? A person--a friend, family member, boss, co-worker?
If you were to talk with the author, what would you want to know?
Have you read the author’s other books? Can you discern a similarity—in theme, writing style, structure—between them? Or are they completely different?
Do the issues affect your life? How so—directly, on a daily basis, or more generally? Now or sometime in the future?
What kind of language does the author use? Is it objective and dispassionate? Or passionate and earnest? Is it polemical, inflammatory, sarcastic? Does the language help or undercut the author's premise?
Are the book's issues controversial? How so? And who is aligned on which sides of the issues? Where do you fall in that line-up?
Did you learn something new reading this book? Did it broaden your perspective about a difficult personal issue? Or a societal issue? About another culture in another country... or about an ethnic / regional culture in your own country?”
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