Do all Anti- Transcendentalists dwell on guilt and past sin or do some try to make the world change?
What is the role of non-conformity in these two stories? How does this inspire fear in others? Are the characters who do not conform to society helped or hurt by their non-conformity?
How does Bartleby's character show the AT's unhappiness with the American situation?
Compare and contrast the AT characteristics in "Bartleby" and "The Minister's Black Veil"
Are spiritual truths always seen as ugly/scary or can they be taken another way?
What caused the minister to put on the black veil? How did his wearing this veil change the public's view of him?
Socratic Seminar Questions 3B
How does the author portray AT beliefs in this work?
Compare and contrast "Bartleby" and "The Minister's Black Veil".
How were the characters in these two stories advocating AT beliefs?
What were the themes of these two stories? How were the themes communicated? How are these themes similar and different?
How do these stories and the characters in them relate to the stories written by Transcendentalists?
How do these stories relate to us today?
Socratic Seminar Questions 1A
How do the characters from these two stories relate to each other in significant ways?
Compare and contrast the writing style between Melville and Hawthorne. Concentrate on how the authors' AT beliefs and key ideas connect with their writing style.
How does the isolation of the protagonist affect him as a person? Do you believe that being an outcast can have a positive outcome or is it purely negative?
Which key ideas of AT did the authors concentrate on in each story and how did their AT beliefs affect the stories?
In what ways do each of the stories focus on society's dilemma?
How do the settings affect the characters in the stories?
Do you believe that there was a moral lesson in "Bartleby"? If so, please explain.
In these stories, characters were treated poorly because of their non-conformity. How does this take place today in real life or in contemporary literature? How does the AT in you relate to these events?
Socratic Seminar Questions 2A
What AT ideals are found in "Bartleby" and "The Minister's Black Veil"?
How are the stories, "Bartleby" and "The Minister's Black Veil", alike and different?
Compare and contrast the characters of Bartleby and Reverend Hooper.
Why do you think Bartleby "would prefer not to" and why do you think the boss did not get really angry?
How does the veil reflect others' wrong doings? Do you personally think that you or other people wear a black veil?
How does the setting of "The Minister's Black Veil" affect the story? What if it took place in a big city instead of a small town? What if the stories took place in different time periods?
What makes "The Minister's Black Veil" such a disturbing story and how does Hawthorne create this mood?
What are the functions of the minor characters in each story?
How would these stories be different if they were told from different points of view? From whose point of view would you like the stories to be told?
Socratic Seminar Questions 4A
Why did the AT's dwell on guilt instead of looking for the positive aspects of life?
Who is the protagonist in "Bartleby"?
What are the common AT beliefs in "Bartleby" and "The Minister's Black Veil"? How are these beliefs expressed in the context of the stories?
Why does the mention of death make people uncomfortable even if they are at no risk of suffering the same fate?
How do the settings of these two stories affect the moods and tones?