The Palace Thief Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'The Palace Thief' is a 1994 short story collection by Ethan Canin about male relationships. This asset provides student discussion questions about these stories.

The Palace Thief

Ethan Canin's The Palace Thief is a compilation of four short stories with male protagonists who struggle with personal relationships. Each protagonist is facing his own midlife (or late in life) crisis as they are feeling unfulfilled in their ordinary existence. The following questions guide student discussion questions for these short stories.

The Accountant

  • Who is Abba Roth? What is Abba's definition of success? Do you think Abba is successful according to his own definition? Compare Abba's idea of success to yours.
  • How is Abba's marriage to Scheherazade characterized? What do Abba and Scheherazade have in common? Would you be happy in a marriage like theirs? Explain your answer.
  • Why is Abba jealous of Eugene Peters'? How accurately do you think Abba is able to assess Eugene's life? What are the challenges with comparing yourself to someone else? What advice would you give Abba?

Batorsag and Szerelem

  • What is the narration style of 'Batorsag and Szerelem'? How does this style impact the relatability of the characters?
  • How do you think the author chose the title of this story? What other titles would be appropriate?
  • Describe the relationship between William and Clive. What prompts William to consider his relationship with his brother? What will you remember about your sibling at the end of his or her life?
  • What adjectives would you use to describe Clive? How is Clive different from the other members of his family?
  • How does Clive's relationship with Eliot impact the family dynamic? How does William react to his elevated status in the family? Why does William respond this way?
  • What happens to Clive? Why do you think the author chose to write this story?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support