Study Questions for "The Pirate's True Love," and "Happier Days"

"The Pirate's True Love" [2005] by Seana Graham

  1. How is the Pirate's true love portrayed in the first paragraph?
  2. What is said to be the Pirate's true desire--what he really wanted?
  3. Ultimately, what point is made through the Pirate Women's Auxiliary and their fund-raising activities? How does their success affect their longing for the pirates' return and their response to the pirates upon their return?
  4. How do the women's behaviors differ from those of the pirates, and what comment about gender and romance is implied in the story?
  5. What is the sequence of activities performed by PirateWomen's Auxiliary? They begin with bake sales and charity balls, then move on to other activities. How does the sequence comment on gender and relationships?
  6. What conclusions are drawn by the end of the story? How do the pirates' and their true loves' final states contrast to the descriptions of the opening two paragraphs?

"Happier Days" [2003] by Jan Lars Jensen

  1. Would you consider this story to be slipstream? If so, how? What elements establish it as estranging or weird?
  2. As the characters move from reunion to reunion, the set designs and costumes become more sophisticated. How are the characters' personalities and identities also altered over time?
  3. If you were asked to explain what this story is about, what point it is making, how would you reply? Is Jensen somehow commenting on TV and identity? On responses to aging?