Vinegar Girl (Tyler) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add specific questions when they're made available by the publisher. In the meantime, consider these LitLovers talking points for Vinegar Girl...then take off on your own:

1. Of course, the best place to start is to read Shakespeare's original The Taming of the Shrew and compare it with Anne Tyler's updated version, Vinegar Girl.

2. How do the two Kate's—Anne Tyler's and Shakespeare's—differ in temperament? Both women are sharp-tongued, but what are there nuances which distinguish one from the other? Do you prefer one Kate over the other? If you haven't (yet) read Shakespeare, then just talk about the modern Kate. Do you find her grumpy and unpleasant...or sympathetic? Does your view of her change during the course of the novel?

3. In what way might it be said that the modern-day Kate brings about her own taming?

4. What about the other characters: fathers and eventual husbands? Talk, especially, about the differences between Petruchio and Pytor.

5. Is the arranged marriage in Tyler's version of Taming of the Shrew plausible? Does Tyler pull it off? (Hints of Green Card?)

6. Critics, for years have been divided over the meaning of Shakespeare Kate's speech in which she submits to her husband. Is it done with a wink (ironic) or spoken in earnest? What about Tyler's Kate? How do the emphases of the two final speeches differ?

7.. Finally, of course, which version do you prefer? Does Tyler's have the fireworks and passion of the original? Or does it strive for a different aesthetic?

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

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