- The first question is pretty obvious, though the author goes to some at least minor length to discuss it: How is this possible?
- This question may be less obvious: Does the life of an individual, though private and supposedly separate, affect his work? For example, does the mentioned Reverend Billing's private life affect the quality or efficacy or accuracy of his teachings? A common one in my family growing up regarded music. Could someone with such rotten morals produce something I should be listening to? My parents seemed to think that no matter what the song and lyrics, I couldn't listen to anyone who's personal life wasn't beyond reproach. Take a side. Which is right? Consider this quotation: "Billing went to jail [for his various crimes and passions], but no one ever arrested the good things he had released."
- On the contrary, what if your business is itself dirty? Are you yet capable of being, as Faye is described, "highly moral, and easily shocked"?
(Attention: name change #2 for Cathy Ames, now referred to as Kate)
- Cathy (I will call her Kate from here on out, or until she changes it again) never works or serves or even, it seems, moves without an agenda. What is her purpose of taking to Faye's place and behave in such an uncharacteristically kind and serviceable way? The answer might seem obvious--to take over the house--but it's more than that. Ownership--material ownership, that is--isn't something Kate is interested in. There's something deeper going down.
- Steinbeck and I have an apparently different definition of "morality," because again, in this section, he says of Faye, "and her natural morality took hold." Define his usage of the word, at least in this context.
- How would things be different, do you think, if there were no kids involved?
- "She told the best lie of all--the truth." Steinbeck's used this more than once, and the are a variety of reasons behind it's truth. List them.
- Oh, sweet Symbolism: The Nutshell. When I first watched the nutshell incident, I only thought of one degree of symbolism, but there is more. Consider this line in addition: "Only that big? It felt like a house."
- And Faye is SO moral! Instead of a slug of whiskey, she downs a shot of V8!