The following are some guiding questions that one can ask about great works of literature. Be familiar with the following types of questions and feel free to incorporate some of them in your discussion of literature.
1. What feelings did the work awaken in you?
2. What did you see happening? Paraphrase it: retell the event briefly.
3. What line could you write a response to?
4. What image or images were called to mind?
5. What memory does the work call to mind--of people, places, events, sights, smells, or even, perhaps, feelings or attitudes?
6. What main idea is suggested?
7. Upon what, in the text, did you focus most intently as you read?
8. What is the most important word in the passage or work?
9. What is there in the text that you have the most trouble understanding?
10. What sort of person do you imagine the author of this work to be?
11. Did you respond emotionally or intellectually to this work of literature? Explain.
12. Did you feel involved with or distant from the work? Explain.
13. Does this work call to mind any other literary work--poem, play, film, story? If so, what connections do you see between them?
14. If you were asked to write about your reading of this work, upon what would you focus--some personal association or memory, some aspect or the work itself, about the author, or about some other matter? Explain.
Questions designed by Robert Probst, Georgia State University