Portrait of the Walrus by a Young Artist
About the book:
Q. Frances wants to become an artist like her famous sculptor father, despite her mother’s claims that “art took everything (they) had.” Why do you think she wants to be like her father, in spite of the fact that he was both a genius and a madman?
Q. Despite the fame and fortune that art brought to their lives, Frances’s mother, Arlene, marries the Kingpin and wants to live a simple middle-class life. Why does Frances reject the idea of a middle-class existence?
Q. Frances begins to deteriorate after her mother marries the Kingpin and moves the family to Florida. How does the move contribute to her feelings of grief about her father and her inability to find her muse?
Q. At the end of the novel, Frances says that she didn’t choose art, but that “art chose me.” Do you think that artistic inclination is an inborn trait, or is it something we choose? How do you think the novel answers this question?