Rules of Civility by Amor Towles Discussion Questions

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Engaging your high school students in reading 'The Rules of Civility' can be enhanced by meaningful discussion. Use these discussion questions to guide them in analysis of structure, character, and theme.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Rules of Civility is the tale of one woman, Katey Kontent, and four of the people who greatly influence her Manhattan life in 1937 - 1938. Told as an extended flashback, this novel explores complex themes and engages the reader with a colorful cast of characters. This book provides a full plate of friendship and love with a healthy dose of deceit and betrayal. Use these discussion questions with your high school students to help them digest how theme, structure, and characterization work together to create the story. You may want to use these questions to engage in a one-on-one conversation with a single student or provide a list of questions to student teams. Alternatively, you may choose to utilize them as the foundation for a whole group discussion.

  • Notes:
  • These questions are designed to be used after students have read the novel.
  • Underlying themes include sexual relationships among some of the characters; therefore, a few of the questions delve into this topic. Use your discretion when deciding which ones to use with your specific students.

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