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Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Consider Alvina’s life before she met Ciccio. Why do you think she felt the need to follow him? What opportunities would a woman of Alvina’s age and class have had in the nineteenth century?

2. How does Alvina’s life change once she reaches Italy? Is this all due to Ciccio? How is life in Italy different from life in England? What is Lawrence saying about the opportunities and limitations for women in England? In Italy?

3. V. S. Pritchett once wrote of Lawrence, “He is responsible for the fact that no living writer has any idea how to write about sexual love.” What do you think he means by this?

4. Critics say Lawrence’s earlier novels ponder the ideas of identity within the community, while his later novels explore notions of individualism and isolation. Identify isolation. How do you think The Lost Girl fits in with this argument?

5. Scholars believe that the first half of The Lost Girl was written before World War I, while the second half was written after the war. How could this have affected Lawrence’s themes? Consider Alvina’s journeys abroad–could Lawrence’s choice of these settings be a result of his disillusionment with society?

6. In the book’s last scene Alvina tells Ciccio, “We have our fate in our hands.” Is this Lawrence’s theme of the book? Do you think the author himself believed this?

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