Charles Bukowski Discussion Topics

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What circumstances of his life show Charles Bukowski to be a real, and not just a would-be, outsider? How are these circumstances mirrored in his fiction?

Is honesty the best policy for Bukowski’s characters?

Is Bukowski’s usual protagonist, Henry Chinaski, more characteristically a victim or an instigator of the afflictions he suffers? Defend your choice by specific references to the novels.

Cite instances that show Chinaski developing as an artist in Ham on Rye.

Determine what is meant by the expression “bardic voice.” Refer to passages in Bukowski’s poetry that illustrate a bardic voice and comment on their effectiveness.