Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas"

Discussion Questions

1.) Discuss Laura.  Why is she there?  What is she doing there?  What about her past?  What about her future?  Is she basically a good person, or is she actually more similar to Braggioni?

2.) How is Braggioni important to this story?  What does he represent?  Why is he singing to Laura?

3.) How much time passes in the “dramatic present” of this story?  How and why might this be important?

4.) What specific passages do you consider “significant” in discussing this story?  Think especially about all the religious imagery and language.

5.) What “messages” or “themes” can be found in this story?  (Look especially at the ending.)

6.) How might this story be considered a “parable”?  (A parable is meant to offer explanations; to teach a lesson; to bring understanding to a complex subject.)  What is explained or taught in this story?  Of what does the reader gain a better understanding?

7.) How does this story compare with the other “modernist” stories we’ve read?  How are these “modern” stories different from the earlier stories we’ve read?  Which one(s) of these “modern” stories have you enjoyed reading the most, and why?

8.) Do you “like” this story?  Why or why not?  If not, do you at least “appreciate” this story?  What can this story, written in 1929, “do” for us today?