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A Discussion Guide

Catherine, Called Birdy

General themes: Rebellion, Acceptance

Questions for Discussion

• Are there parts of Catherine's medieval world that you find shocking or surprising? Why do you think the author chose to include this information?

• Does Catherine always tell the truth in her journal? How can you tell?

• What kinds of assumptions does Catherine make about people? Her suitors? Her family? The Jews? Perkin? Aelis and George? Does she ever discover that her early assumptions about people were wrong?

• How does Catherine feel about her father? Why? In what ways is she similar to him?

• Why does Catherine finally decide that it is useless to run away? Whose advice helps her to realize this?

• Why, at the end of the story, is Catherine satisfied with her arranged marriage? Is this a realistic conclusion for a story about a young woman of the Middle Ages?

• Compare Catherine's early diary entries with her later ones. How does she change?

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