1)Discuss how the family obligations experienced by characters in two of the works we've read/viewed are shaped by culture. Are the obligations or responsibilities similar or different to each other and to your own American-influenced understanding of familial obligation?
2) In what ways are the love stories at the center of Anna Karenina and Love in the Time of Cholera alike and different? Feel free to discuss Anna and Vronsky, Anna and Karenin, and/or Levin and Kitty and Florentino and Fermina, or Urbino and Fermina from Love in the Time of Cholera. What do these similarities/differences tell you about the nature of love? Is love a universal constant or something that is shaped by time and place?
3) Describe how A Passage to India, The First Grader, and The Joy Luck Club use relationships to express themes about cultural understanding. Examine a relationship pair ( two people) from each of those three works and discuss how they reflect a major theme or message of the overall work.
4) In what ways are Joyce, Eliot, and Tolstoy's works about the abrupt shift from traditional society to modern life? Are the moods of these works optimistic or pessimistic? Why?