Topics for Further Study

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• Dinesen sets ‘‘The Ring’’ in a particular locale, rural Denmark, at a particular historical moment, the early nineteenth century. This setting is preindustrial, manorial (if not feudal) in its social arrangements, and highly custom-bound. In other words, it is hard to imagine a more parochial environment. Discuss why the story is universal in its implications despite its parochial setting.

• Analyze and discuss the imagery of the episode in the glade where Lovisa encounters the thief. Pay close attention to Dinesen’s diction and to the way she describes the state of consciousness of her point-of-view character, Lovisa.

• Much has been written about the sexual implications of ‘‘The Ring.’’ What clues in the story might tell us something about the erotic side of Lovisa and Sigismund’s marriage? Do critics overemphasize or underemphasize the sexual element in the story? Explain why you think so.

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