Saturday, August 1, 2009

Briar Rose #6

Questions to ponder:
1) Mr. Potocki says, "We were all heroes of the moment" (163). Is Mr. Potocki a hero? What about the priest, trying to tell these terrible histories that the villagers want to forget?
2) Think about how the three different layers of story in this novel fit together: the fairy tale, the story of Becca's life and quest, and Josef Potocki's telling of his story. What does the novel reveal about the power of fairy tales and storyteling?
3) How is Becca like (and unlike) a fairy tale heroine?
4) Why does Gemma tell her unusal version of "Briar Rose" obsessively but not tell about her past directly?

Briar Rose #5

"The old woman opened her eyes. 'I was the princess in the castle in the sleeping woods. And there came a great dark mist and we all fell asleep. But the prince kissed me awake. Only me'" (19). How is Gemma like the princess from the fairy tale? Find a specific example from the novel and discuss it. Consider the similarities from her story to the Holocaust and discuss them as well.