Hello book group and others,
I hope you have had a chance to read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. If not, you can get a free digital copy from Gutenberg.org. Here are some discussion questions. Feel free to discuss in the comments. We also hope to have a virtual book group meeting. If you are interested, please email email@example.com.
- Did you enjoy reading the play? Have you ever seen it performed in person or in a movie? What are the advantages and disadvantages to reading vs. viewing?
- Did the play make you laugh? Was there a particular incident or quote that really amused you?
- Why do both Jack and Algernon feel the need to invent Ernest and Bunbury? What do they gain?
- What does the aristocracy in Earnest value? How different (or not) are our values today than the Victorians?
- Lady Bracknell says, “Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.” Is this statement true? Is it ironic that Lady Bracknell marries into society and quickly becomes its most vigorous defender?
- What’s up with all the food fights? Why are they humorous?
- Why are both Gwendolyn and Cecily so committed to the name Ernest? What does it have to do with their romantic idealizations?
- Do names really matter? Can you think of any examples from your life where a person’s name changed your opinion of them for better or worse?
- What is the importance of the city/country split? What qualities do city-dwellers usually have? How about country folks? Do these stereotypes work in Earnest?
- What do you think of the fight between Gwendolen and Cecily when they believe they are engaged to the same man? How do they say very harsh things within the limits of polite language? Do we still do this?
- Algy spends the play spouting outrageous statements. Do you think he means them or is he just playing the enfant terrible? To what extent is he a stand-in for author Oscar Wilde?
- Both couples are engaged after very little actual interaction. To what extent does each character create an imagined vision of their partner? Given that in the Victorian era matches were often arranged by the families and courting couples given very little scope to spend time together, are these engagements significantly different?
- “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” Do you agree?
- Wilde uses several common literary devices, including mistaken identity, unlikely coincidence and the beloved happy ending. Are we meant to consider these ironically? Or is he simply giving us what we expect?
John Worthing, J.P.
Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D.
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
Miss Prism, Governess
It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Remember, there’s no planet B so we had better protect the one we have. Here are some great resources for celebrating the planet today and every day.
Earth Day has gone digital. View events all day.
This NASA article reminds us of how lucky we are to live on this planet.
Also from NASA, Earth As Art, a breathtaking free e-book of photos.
One of the actions you can take is supporting our bees and other pollinators. The University of Minnesota Extension offers help with making your garden pollinator friendly.
The Green Education Foundation has 10 steps to make the world a better place.
Test your knowledge of environmental issues with these quizzes from earthday.org.
FUN FOR KIDS
Explore the EPA’s Recycle City.
Coloring and activities help kids learn to be an energy star.
Learn about the Amazon the fun way with the Wild Kratts Amazin’ Amazon Adventure game.
UPDATE: It looks like there were a few glitches in the initial release. I apologize if you were marked wrong for a question you got right. It should be fixed now.
It’s our birthday week here at the library. We’re 10!
We would like to be celebrating in person, but it’s more important to keep our neighbors safe. Still, we can have some fun together. How about a TV trivia quiz? We have questions by decade, so there should be something for everyone. Be sure to visit us on Facebook to brag about your score!
TV Trivia: The 1960s
TV Trivia: The 1970s
TV Trivia: The 1980s
TV Trivia: The 1990s
TV Trivia: The 2000s
As you may know, our library has a book group for grownups. We usually meet on the third Wednesday of each month. Since that’s not possible right now, let’s meet online! You don’t have to already be a member to join in.
Since we can’t order copies of the book while libraries are closed, we will read something available online for free. Let’s lighten our mood with the classic comedy The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. You can download a copy for free from Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/844
Get a start reading and we’ll post discussion questions soon. Take care, friends.
Our family matinee is fun for the whole family the third Saturday of every month at 11:00. For no money at all, you can come into the library and watch a G or PG movie on our big screen. We will even throw in some free popcorn! Everyone is welcome, no pre-registration required.
March 21: Frozen II (PG) EVENT CANCELLED
Your favorite characters from Frozen are back! When she hears a mysterious voice calling to her Queen Elsa embarks on a journey to the Enchanted Forest to discover the source of her magical powers and save the kingdom of Arendelle. And, of course she couldn’t undertake the journey without the help of her sister Anna and their friends ice harvester Kristoff, snowman Olaf and reindeer Sven.
April 18: The Princess Diaries (G)
Mia is a regular, somewhat awkward high school student living with her mother in San Francisco when she gets the shocking news that she’s the heir to the throne of the European country of Genovia. Her newly-discovered grandmother Clarisse gives Mia a makeover and etiquette lessons designed to turn her into someone new. Can Mia become a princess while still remaining true to herself?
May 16: Sonic the Hedgehog (PG)
Based on the popular video game character, Sonic is an alien blue hedgehog who can run at supersonic speeds. He comes to Earth to hide out from the bad guys, but when he causes an accident he draws dangerous attention. He must escape Doctor Robotnik with the help of his new friend, Sheriff Tom Wachowski.
Did you know that we show a classic movie on the first Monday of every month? If you’re hanging around the house looking for something fun to do, come on down. We will even have free popcorn!
What: Classic Movie Monday
When: Monday at 1:00 pm
Where: Lonsdale Public Library meeting room
March 2: Harvey
James Stewart stars as Elwood P. Dowd, a mild-mannered man who just happens to have a six-foot tall invisible rabbit as his best friend. (1950, 1 hour and 44 minutes)
April 6: Easter Parade
Fred Astaire and Judy Garland star in this charming musical with music by Irving Berlin. (1948, 1 hour and 43 minutes)
May 4: You Can’t Take It With You
Have a laugh with this Frank Capra classic. A wealthy young man gets engaged to a woman with a decidedly eccentric family. (1938, 2 hours and 6 minutes)
The next book group book is The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland. Our next meeting will be March 18th.
The public book group meets every month on the third Wednesday at 1:00 pm. Everyone is always welcome! (And we have treats.)
Tuesday, February 18
3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 or 7:00
Our escape room is suitable for adults and teens. It’s free and fun for the whole family. It will take about 40 minutes for each session. Please call the library at 507-744-3977 to pre-register for a time slot.
Saturday, February 15
Our family matinee this month is The Addams Family! Bring the whole family to the library for a free movie with a side of free popcorn!
Tuesday, February 11
Join us for an evening of chocolate tasting as part of our adult reading program, Chill Out with a Hot Book. We will do a blind taste test of six different types of milk chocolate. Are expensive brands better than the cheap stuff? Let’s find out! We will also sample some exotic flavors…