The Grave Topics for Discussion
by Katherine Anne Porter

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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1. What, if anything, indicates to the reader that Miranda is on the brink of discovering her womanhood when she first sets out on the hunting trip with Paul?

2. It appears that Porter shifts the story's point of view as she proceeds with her story. Who do you believe is narrating the rabbit episode?

3. How do you interpret Paul's treatment of Miranda? Do you think Porter intends it to be a commentary on a man's expectations of female subservience or simply as an expression of brotherly love?

4. Miranda has several epiphanies during the course of the story. Can you identify what these epiphanies are?

5. What different meanings do you think Porter wishes to convey by dressing Miranda in boys' clothes?

6. Why do you think Paul's attitude toward Miranda changes once she sees the unborn babies in the rabbit's womb?

7. What does the image of Paul in the bright light holding the dove in his hand signify to you?

8. Do you feel that telling the story in flashback clarifies the meaning Porter wishes to assign to Miranda's experience in the cemetery? Why or why not?

9. Which do you consider to be the predominant theme in the text, the theme of death or the theme of resurrection?

10. Miranda believes that Paul has already been privy to the knowledge she gained on that day in the cemetery. If this is true, what significance does it have. What is the significance of Miranda's awareness of this?