A Curious Romance

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Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

“A Curious Romance” by Mark Twain

What had the narrator of “A Curious Romance,” seen in a Dutch mansion which had an interesting story?

The narrator saw painting of a pale, intellectual young man in a pink coat with a high black collar.

Who was the young man in the painting wearing a pink coat?

The young man in the painting wearing a pink coat was Dr. James Barry.

What had happened every time Dr. James Barry had been reported to headquarters for misbehaving?

He was reported in headquarters several times for his misbehavior and wildness but for some mysterious reason no orders of any kind came back.

What incident does the narrator give to prove that Dr. Barry was an excellent doctor?

Dr. Barry saved the lives of the child and the woman when he was called in the night for on obstetric service where the woman was about to die.

What incident does the narrator give to prove that Dr. Barry was very brave?

He used to fight with swords at the castle and that he killed his man.

What is the surprise ending?

Dr. Barry was found to be woman not man.

Why do you think Dr. James Barry, who was a woman, lived all her life as a man?

Actually Dr. James Barry was a brave woman and wanted to do something for people as discussed in the story. Being a woman it is not easy to do such acts which Dr. James Barry did. So, may be this could the reason that she hide her identity.

A good writer prepares the reader for whatever happens at the end of a story. How had Twain prepared us for the surprise ending? In other words, what hints had he given us about Dr. James Barry being a woman?

The most important hint given in the story about Dr. James Barry being a woman was that it was explained before that there were plenty of pretty girls, but none of them caught him.

What hints are given throughout the story, “A Curious Romance” about Dr. Barry being a woman?

The misbehavior of Dr. Barry was always producing ambiguity in the story about her character of being woman.

What is a “romance?” What characteristics of a romance are found in the story, “A Curious Romance?”

Romance is basically the love someone shows for the other in terms of anything i.e. physically or morally. In this story, the child who was saved by Dr. Barry at that night named after him and placed a picture in his house showing his romance for Dr. Barry

What characteristics of a modern short story are found in this story?

Modern short stories usually have a briefly explanation about the event and summarizes it in a precise way which the story “A Curious Romance” does very beautifully.

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