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Citizen Girl

By Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

Reading Group Guide

    Reading Group Guide
    Citizen Girl
    1) Describe Girl's personality and main characteristics. What is your overall opinion of her? Her character is more fully revealed through her experiences at "My Company" and through her encounters in her social life. How does she react when she discovers the true nature of the initiative she is heading? What is behind her reluctance to speak up and what does this say about her overall character?
    2) What is the significance of the character names? Girl, Guy and Buster are all generic methods of addressing individuals. What does this symbolize in the book?
    3) Do you think Girl's experiences are typical of a recent college graduate? What about her perception of the working world reflects her age and/or inexperience?
    4) Girl's job search leads her to "My Company." What does she find appealing about working there? How much of her desire to work there is influenced by her alternatives? Do you think it would have held the same appeal under different circumstances?
    5) Feminism is a constant theme throughout the novel. Discuss how it is presented through the story, the peripheral characters, and through Girl and her encounters.
    6) What are your initial impressions of Guy and Rex? What are the main aspects of their personalities? Does your perception of these characters change by the end of the novel?
    7) Why does Girl feel it is important to seem complacent, even as her situation and conflict reach higher levels? Do you think Girl's willingness to cooperate in order to salvage her job is justifiable?
    8) Discuss Buster's character. Is he portrayed as different or similar to the other male characters in the novel? What are some of the main conflicts between Buster and Girl?
    9) The novel provides several different female characters. Who are the most extreme characters? Of these extreme characters, which characteristics are most emphasized? What does Girl ultimately learn from these other women? Which female characters provide role models for Girl?
    10) How are men represented in the novel? Do Girl's reactions and relationships with the men in the novel represent realistic examples of the relationships between men and women?
    11) What is the significance of Manley's name? What are the contradictions in her character that both confuse and anger Girl? Compare her character with the men of the novel. What are the similarities and differences?
    12) Girl is consistently trying to balance her feminist values with the overwhelming demands of her employment. Do you think this is a possibility in the type of situation and work environment she consistently finds herself in? What are some of the examples from the book of other female characters compromising or finding a type of balance?

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