How is Paule Marshall’s great theme, the search for identity, shown in her work?
Are Marshall’s characters always aware of their history? Does learning more about their history necessarily affect her characters?
Compare any one of Marshall’s West Indian characters with a corresponding African American character. Do you notice any significant differences between them?
How does Marshall transcend traditional stereotypes in her characters? Does she ever use stereotypes? If so, what effect do they produce?
Discuss the role of the ancestor figure in Marshall’s work. Is one always present?
Does Marshall’s frequent use of West Indian dialect or fragments of other languages (French, for example) add to or detract from her story?