Discussion questions for THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN EYES
In what ways does the Comtesse de Champagne treat Hana like a pet or painting? Or do you think she treats her like a daughter?
Some of the comtesse’s home remedies seem outlandish, but are there any home remedies that you use?
Aaron asks Hana what she is scared of and she says poverty. What are you scared of? How does Hana’s fear of poverty help drive her decision making?
Would you pick kisses or cake? Which flavor?
Hana wants “to be loved, but not cherished. She’d been cherished before, and nothing was more soul-destroying than that.” Do you agree?
Aaron prefers photographs to paintings. “Photography showed only truth in all its tainted and painful glory. It showed death without dignity, remorse without restraint.” Do you agree? Do you prefer photographs or paintings?
Did any of the Victorian mourning practices or superstitions surprise you? How do we mourn similarly today?
Aaron says, “Please don’t trade your freedom for security.” Later, Hana believes that she has “sold her soul for security, her conscience for convenience.” Do you think Hana traded her freedom for security? Even at the end?
After Aaron learns of his illegitimacy, he is upset at how people are treated based on their birth. Something that is out of their control. He remonstrates with Daniel for thinking Prissy is only “a bit of fun.” He says that people won’t call Daniel names, but they will Prissy. Are women or those of lower classes, still treated differently than men or those of higher social classes?
Did the true murderer surprise you? Did you sympathize with their reasons to commit murder?
What twist did you not see coming in the story?
If you read the author’s note, how does Hana’s life compare to the fictional story by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “Two Days in the Life of Piccino?”