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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 289

  • Research the Spanish Civil War and how the numerous volunteers from all over the world played a part. Where did they come from, and why did they volunteer for what was often dangerous duty?
  • How does Charles's college life compare to your school experiences? Write an essay in which you consider the similarities and differences.
  • Think about how Sebastian's drinking is described and dealt with in the novel. Are attitudes about drinking different today? How do the Flytes handle Sebastian's drinking problem, and how does this compare to the way similar problems are handled today?
  • If possible, find someone who lived through the Great Depression in the United States or elsewhere. Interview the person to learn what life was like then, and how it was different from life today. If you are unable to interview someone, read first-hand accounts of depression-era people and write an essay describing their way of life during that period.
  • When Sebastian wants to escape his family, he travels to the Middle East and North Africa. When Charles Ryder leaves his wife to paint and draw for two years, he goes to Mexico and Central America. Why do you think each chose the place he did? Where would you go to if you wanted to get away for a while?
  • Think about the transatlantic cruise Charles and Celia take from New York to London. Imagine what it would be like to travel with a group of strangers on a ship that takes days to get to Europe. Write a series of diary entries as if you were Charles or Celia describing the trip and your feelings and experiences. You may want to do some historical research to help you make your entries accurate and detailed.

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