Study Help Essay Questions


1. Compare and contrast Miss Lonelyhearts, Shrike, and Peter Doyle.

2. Compare and contrast Betty, Mary Shrike, and Fay Doyle.

3. Compare and contrast the characters in the main narrative and in the letters.

4. Why is Miss Lonelyhearts unable to resist the advances of Fay Doyle?

5. Discuss sexual disturbances in the various characters.

6. Compare and contrast Miss Lonelyhearts' various dreams, including his daydreams.

7. Discuss the satire of religious values.

8. Compare and contrast examples of sadistic behavior.

9. How do West's physical descriptions contribute to his characterizations?

10. How does the novel interrelate its criticism of nature and of society?

11. Is West's apparent nihilism a major limitation of this novel?

12. Would a contemporary Miss Lonelyhearts face the same kinds of frustrations in replying to his or her correspondents?

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