13 Book Club Questions for We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Run a horrifying and creepy book club for Halloween with a classic of the hunted queen Shirley Jackson!

When you know your audience, you can get people to read whatever you want them to read! If your book club members are looking for a fun gathering where you can discuss mysteries, thrillers, and other deep topics like feminism, patriarchy, and deep symbolism, then this is your to-go book!

Merricat and Constance live alone in their old and prominent Blackwood house. All their family is dead, and the mystery of who killed them is still the hot topic of the town. Constance cannot go out. Merricat reluctantly visits the village for supplies, but Merricat will make sure that nobody goes in with her powerful magic, but one day, all her safeguards fail, and someone gets into their life unannounced. Will they open their perfect isolated life to the outside forces? Or will they protect their legacy, heritage, and freedom?

If you have already read this book, you can run this book club without complications and answer all these questions. However, we offer the answers to these book club questions, and they are available in our Ko-Fi account! Click here to know more about the monthly plan and the discussion questions for WE have Always Lived in the Castle!

What to ask about We Have Always Lived in the Castle?

Let’s start get talking!

  1. What is patriarchy?
  2. Understanding what is patriarchy, where can you see patriarchy portrayed in the novel?
  3. Where do you see Charles intentions?
  4. Following the previous question, how detrimental are these opposing actions to the way Constance and Merricat have been living?

Now, let’s get talking!

  1. What were some clues about Merricat’s behavior and personality that show her as derange?
  2. Do you think that Constance is an accomplice of the crime? Or is she just too scare of Merricat to take actions or to “runaway”?
  3. Do you think that Merricat is a witch? What is the relation between being a witch and feminism?
  4. If you have doubts about the previous questions, what role does Jonas play in the novel?

Let’s get technical!

  1. What is Constance’s symbol of female empowerment?
  2. How does Merricat and Constance oppose the patriarchy? What do they value the most? Keep in mind Charles symbols of power vs Constance and Merricat’s
  3. Keeping in mind questions #1 in this list, are Merricat and Constance fixated in the past?
  4. What is the meaning of the moon? Or is it just a child’s game?
  5. How is power transferred in the novel? What is the item that depicts the dynamic of power between Merricat and Charles Blackwood?

These are conversations that people have to have. Let’s be clear and communicate any doubts and broaden our horizons about the diverse spectrum that is sexuality and identity. The more we get to understand these topics, the better this world will be. Educate yourselves and be open to understanding others!

Invite to his book club any friends that you think need help to understand better what is to be out, proud, and queer!

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