Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Language is a preoccupation in William H. Gass’s work. How does language help or hinder Professor Kohl in The Tunnel?

How does Gass use names of characters (Omensetter, Kohl, Tott) to develop themes in his fiction?

In Gass’s fiction, it is often difficult to determine exactly what happens. Is this true to life as people experience it?

Gass’s individual characters sometimes hold contradictory views. Does this often happen in real life?

Gass’s work has often been called “experimental.” In what ways can his novels and stories be called experimental?