Ideas for Reports and Papers
1. How are the historical, social, and economic references in the book significant to its plot development?
2. Compare Queenie's perceptions of her father before and after his homecoming.
3. In the book, external conflicts are apparent. Describe the internal conflicts that might exist in Queenie Peavy, Little Mother, Cravey Mason, Persimmon Gibbs, Mrs. Peavy, Mr. Peavy, Mr. Hanley, and Judge Lewis.
4. After it is discovered that Little Mother suffers from malnutrition, the Mullinses accept government assistance to help feed the family. Research and report on national programs to assist the poor with food, supplies, or jobs during the Great Depression. You may find it helpful to focus your report on one specific program.
5. Queenie has a good singing voice and enjoys singing for Dover and Avis. List the songs that she sings during the course of the novel. See if you can find sheet music for any of these songs at a library or music store, and learn to play or sing the song yourself. You may wish to perform for some of your classmates, just as Queenie does. Whether or not you are able to find sheet music, research and report on popular songs of the Depression era. Do most of these songs teach certain lessons or stress certain themes? What are they?