Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What are the characteristics of upper-class New York society as Louis Auchincloss depicts it?

How do his characters reveal their total selfishness?

How do the parents in Auchincloss’s novels relate to their children?

How and why are certain marriages promoted in Auchincloss’s novels?

What does Auchincloss suggest makes for an unhappy marriage? A happy one?

How do the women in Auchincloss’s novels gain and keep power?

Which men and women in Auchincloss’s novels do you see as victims?

What evidence is there in Auchincloss’s novels that, although his characters believe themselves to be America’s aristocrats, in reality it is only their money that has made them prominent?