A Death in the Family Topics for Further Study
by James Agee

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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Research various funerary rites of different cultures and report on what each would have to offer the Follet family in a situation like the one presented in the book.

The cabin that Rufus’s Great Great Grandmother and his Great Aunt Sadie live in is back in the woods, away from civilization. Write a narrative describing what you think a day in the lives of these old women might be like.

In the first chapter, Mary Follet refers to the actor Charlie Chaplin as “that horrid little man.” Read a description of Chaplin from one of the film historians who think that he was one of the great geniuses of film comedy; then, watch a Chaplin silent movie from 1915 or before. Stage a debate between a Chaplin supporter and an opponent.

Recall a death in your own family and describe how specific family members behaved; then, explain which members of the Follet or Lynch families you think those people you described were most like, and why.