53 pages 1 hour read

Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 2007

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the bulleted outlines below. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. As a satire, it could be argued that each of the characters in The Uncommon Reader is a stand-in for a larger idea or system.

  • What is the overall critique of the system? (topic sentence)
  • Choose one or two characters and analyze what or who they stand for, using precise evidence to back up your assertions.
  • How do these individuals link with The Duty of the Monarch?

2. Bennett could have chosen several activities to transform Her Majesty’s way of thinking over the course of time.

  • Why does he choose reading? (topic sentence)
  • How does reading specifically alter the Queen’s perspective?
  • How does Bennett’s choice of reading link to The Power of the Written Word?

3. Her Majesty’s character changes over the course of the novella.

Related Titles

By Alan Bennett