Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What merits and what defects of John O’Hara’s fiction can be traced to his journalistic training?

Snobbery is far less often a theme of the American novel than it is of European novel. How do you account for its being a prominent theme in O’Hara’s works?

What characteristic of Gibbsville makes it a microcosm of American society?

Why was the title Appointment in Samarra so important to O’Hara?

What is distinctive about O’Hara’s dialogue in his short stories? What part does it play in O’Hara’s success in that form?

O’Hara’s works are little studied in American colleges. Should they be studied more?