Topics for Discussion

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1. Characterize Mattie. How does she grow and change during the story? What characteristics enable her to survive her illness and traumas?

2. Describe Luanda, Mattie's mother. What makes this character important? Why? What events in Lucinda's past contribute to making her the adult she is?

3. Characterize Eliza. What role does she play in developing Mattie's character?

4. Characterize Mattie's grandfather. How did he support Mattie? Why is his character essential in Mattie's maturation?

5. Mattie befriends Nathaniel Benson. Describe Nathaniel's importance. How is the relationship between Matti and Nathaniel different from comparable ones in the early twenty-first century?

6. List the attitudes of the Federalist Era in Philadelphia in 1793. What kinds of heroic acts, and by whom, helped the people overcome their fears?

7. What important part did Nell play as Mattie's companion?

8. Compare and contrast life in Philadelphia before and after the fever of 1793. What positive changes arose from this experience?

9. Animals frequently play a significant part in our lives. What role does Mattie's cat, Silas, play in the story? What does he contribute to the story?

10. List the literary techniques that Anderson employs in Fever 1793. How do they contribute to the novel's effectiveness?

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