- They ate dinner and she had blood all over her lip, napkin and plate.
- After dinner they went to the hospital.
- He concludes by recalling the walks how from the school and how although it may have been cold, it was a
1) What do the violent recounts in this memoir have in common? Does Mamet write about them in a
predictable or logical order? What is the effect of saving the rake incident for last?
- By saving this incident, it seems as though he is going through the same violent path as his father and
2) What is so important about the glass table?
3) What are the ways in which Mamet’s mother and stepfather exert their control over Mamet and his sister?
- Blaming their children for breaking the table, forcing the daughter to eat and when she did not comply
she was not allowed to perform in her play, forcing the children to tell the truth and when they did not
their mother refused to take them to the hospital, the daughter was beaten…
4) Does Mamet seem destined to repeat the cycle of violent? If not, how can you tell that he has been broken
- He feels guilt and remorse, whereas his father or grandfather do no (or their feelings are not talked
5) The rake incident is clearly important, but it is surrounded by silence. Why do you think it is so significant?
What does Mamet realize about himself during the silence?
- He may realize that he himself is becoming violent just as his father and grandfather are and his
silence may notion this fact of realization OR/AND the silence may notion he deep remorse.
6) At a few points, he points out that he learned about certain incidents when he was much older, or that he
didn’t fully understand their meaning until he was older. Is it only possible to interpret youth and adolescence
from an adult perspective? Are there any specific factors that would inhibit young people from understanding
the meanings of their lives as they occur?
7) Is it possible to feel anything except for pity for David and his sister? How does the author manipulate your
- Mamet frames his work so that the reader feels pity by portraying their parents as controlling and
violent and so the reader may feel pity towards the children’s helplessness.
From Fierce Attachments Vivian Gornick
Vivian Gornick – Fierce Attachments
Describes Vivian’s experience growing up in New York apartment building in the 1940s