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Fifty Shades of Grey (James) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. How would you describe this book: as erotica, porn, soft porn, romantic fiction, comedy...or something else?

2. How do you feel about the portrayal of sex, particularly Christian's prediliction for sado-masochism: do you find it overly graphic, refreshingly frank, disturbing, amusing, offensive, arousing?

3. Does this book place women in a degrading light, as some have claimed?

4. Are you surprised that a woman would/could write about submissive-dominant relationships so openly? Does her feminine perspective bring a different view on sexuality than a male writer's might?

5. What about the characters, Anastasia and Christian? Are they fully developed as three-dimensional characters, complete with emotional and psychological complexity—or are they flat and one-dimensional? Are you able to see beyond the sexual encounters to become sympathetically engaged with the two? Do you come to think of them as real people?

6. Why are Ana and Christian drawn to one another in the first place?

7. As more of his character and background are revealed, does your attitude toward Christian change?

8. Is Ana the submissive partner in the relationship, sexual or otherwise? Would you say she's an equal partner...or is she dominated by the older, more powerful Christian?

9. What about Ana's mother? What role does she play in all this? What role should she have played? What about some of the other secondary characters—do you have a favorite?

10. What is the metaphorical significance of the see-saw? How might it suggest the book's resolution?

11. What does the title refer to?

12. Many have described the book as a page turner—did you have trouble putting it down? What do you think explains the run-away success of Fifty Shades, first published as an ebook? What is the audience (aside from you!), and who should, or should not, read the book?

13. What do you think of the author's writing—E L James's frequent use of Adonis to describe Christian, the way Christian continually flashes his gray eyes, or Ana's numerous references to her inner goddess? Does the style engage you, amuse you, put you off, help delineate character...?

14. Do you plan on reading the other two installments of the Fifty Shades Trilogy? Have you read other books similar to Fifty Shades of Grey?

15. Who would you like to see play the lead roles in the film version?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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