Study Help Essay Questions


1. What role does Cat play in the memoir? What key information does she provide? Why does she encourage her husband to take the trip? What statements foreshadow future events? Make a list of the other minor -characters. What important roles do other minor characters play in Three Weeks with My Brother? Be sure to consider how they develop both characters and themes in Three Weeks with My Brother.

2. How do the brothers characterize the women in their lives, specifically their mother, their sister, and their wives? Are these realistic portrayals or romanticized versions of how they want to know and remember these significant individuals?

3. What is the relationship between religion and faith? Which brother is more religious? Why? Which brother has the stronger faith? How do you account for the differences between the two brothers when it comes to their spiritual lives?

4. Identify the different settings in the growing up narrative thread of Three Weeks with My Brother and analyze their significance for developing character and theme.

5. Consider all the stops the brothers took on their trip. Which ones are most significant to the development of their character and to the themes in Three Weeks with My Brother? Which spot most interested you? Why?

6. What impact does the passage of time have on the events and the significance of the events in the memoir? What is the emotional resonance of more contemporary grief, as compared to older ones?

7. What role does the physical journey (the trip around the world) have on the memory journey of the brothers growing up? Could this memoir have been as effective if it were written any other way? What is the relationship between form and theme?

8. Three Weeks with My Brother is clearly a mainstream text, having charted on the New York Times and Publisher's Weekly best sellers list. Yet, the stylistic devices along with the character and thematic development seem to suggest a more literary text. Consider what makes a text literary and compile a list of characteristics. Use this list as the basis to evaluate the literary merit of Three Weeks with My Brother.

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