Discussion questions for Looking for Peyton Place
1. Annie Barnes grew up feeling like an outcast. In what ways did this shape her adult life? Do you think it is possible to outgrow self-esteem issues? Discuss Kaitlin DuPuis in this light. Are the self-esteem issues faced by teenagers today the same as they were thirty years ago? How do they differ between boys and girls?
2. How would you describe the relationship between Annie Barnes and Grace Metalious? Do you ever have discussions with people who aren't there?
3. In the Prologue of LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACE,
Annie points out that she is different from Grace. Discuss their differences. Are there other differences that you pick up as the story unfolds? How do these differences affect the choices Annie makes?
4. Would you call Annie Barnes's family dysfunctional? What about the DuPuis family? The Meade family?
5. A major theme in LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACE
is the discrepancy between perception and reality. Specifically, Middle River offers many instances in which physical beauty is a foil for the ugliness that festers beneath. Can you give examples of this? Does this phenomenon apply to people as well? What other discrepancies between perception and reality did you find in this book?
6. Did James Meade have a moral obligation to come forward sooner with his knowledge of the mill's involvement with mercury poisoning? Was he justified in keeping the secret of the mill for a