Answer two of the following three questions below (short paragraph responses to each will result in full credit for this assignment). Be sure to put the number of the questions you're answering before your response:
1. Why might Harper write an historical novel that begins in the middle of the Civil War in 1892? Why revisit that history nearly 30 years later? How does Harper produce a sense of history?
2. What’s the effect of waiting until Chapter 5 to introduce the novel’s eponymous character? How is Iola Leroy described? Why does she fascinate the men who encounter her?
3. Does this novel exhibit any of the characteristics associated with US literary realism? Is there anything about this novel that reminds you of the fiction of James?