Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Mark Helprin’s imagination often expands his stories, adding details and episodes seemingly unrelated to the central theme or plot. Do you think they add or detract from the work as a whole?

Helprin is a noted political adviser and commentator. Can his conservative political and social values be seen in his work?

Are Helprin’s frequent uses of light in his stories decorative, symbolic, or both?

Can you find any villains or truly evil characters in Helprin’s work?

Find and discuss some examples of Helprin’s philosophy of finding beauty in all things.