Montreal Dickens Fellowship Study Questions: “Nicholas Nickleby”
Westmount Public Library
November 4, 2014 1:00-3:00
Chapters 17 - 24
- Dickens often uses “Show don’t Tell” when describing his characters. Their personalities are often revealed in the description of their clothing. Miss Knags personality is revealed in her speech. (Hem) Comment.
- In my edition, Miss Knag talks about her late brother who used to live with her. Is this another brother? What do you make of Mortimer Knag? Is he meant to satirize the reading/book industry?
- Comment on the theatricality of the scene in Mrs. Mantellini’s showroom with the old gentleman and his gold-digging fiancée. It could have been written for a sit-com! Discuss.
- Do you think uncle Ralph has a conscience? Why is he so uncomfortable at dinner? Is it because Kate reminds him of his brother?
- “ Unhand Me Sir!!!” Kate screams to Sir Mulberry Hawk. It could not be more melodramatic if he had tied her to a railway track! Comment.
- What do you make of Ralph’s “Money Morality” (Those that owe money for whatever reason must suffer the consequences)?
- Is Miss La Creevy a realistic character? Do you know anyone like her?
- Why does Miss La Creevy lock up the tea?
- Why does Nicholas leave his mother and sister to be supported by Uncle Ralph?
- Compare and contrast the relationship between Mrs. and Mrs. Mantellini, Mr. and Mrs. Wittiterly and Mr. and Mrs. Crummle.
- Dickens loved the theatre. Do you think Crummles’ theater troupe was an accurate representation of theatre in his day? (What about today?) Do you think his actors and actresses were drawn from real life?
- Dickens takes advantage of every word and scene to make a point and/or lampoon something. What do you think of Mr. Curdle as an art patron and critic?
- Do you think Nicholas’s success in the theatre was projection and wishful thinking on Dickens’s part?