The Literature and Language Book Club will meet from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, June 21 in 3N-6 at the Harold Washington Library Center to discuss The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
Here are some of the discussion questions from the publisher's website to consider as you read:
- The novel opens with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” How is this sentiment explored in The Night Circus? Who in the novel is a dreamer? And what is his or her punishment for being so?
- The novel frequently changes narrative perspective. How does this transition shape your reading of the novel and your connection to the characters and the circus? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story from varied perspectives?
- The narrative also follows a non-linear sequence—shifting at times from present to past. How effective was this method in regards to revealing conflict in the novel?
- There are a number of allusions to Shakespeare throughout the text: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and As You Like It. Explain these references—how does each play reveal itself in the novel?
- What role does time play in the novel? From Friedrick Thiessen’s clock to the delayed aging of the circus developers to the birth of the twins—is time manipulated or fated at the circus?