Study Guide

Lucy: A Novel Marriage

By Jamaica Kincaid

Marriage

Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like. . .uh, wait a minute. These two things actually don't seem to go together at all in Lucy. Sure, Mariah and Lewis might appear to be a lovey-dovey couple. But Lucy is quick to alert us to the ginormous cracks in their relationship long before we see for ourselves the train wreck that their marriage eventually becomes. On top of that, Lucy's own recollections of her parents' loveless marriage don't exactly inspire us to have great confidence in matrimony. But, lucky for us dedicated students, we can probably learn just as much if not more from crappy marriages as we can from happy ones.

Questions About Marriage

  1. Lewis and Mariah have a somewhat "traditional" marriage in which Lewis has a high-powered career and Mariah pretty much stays home with the kids (whom Lucy helps to watch). How do you think this arrangement affects their relationship?
  2. Lucy gives us the inside scoop on Lewis's and Mariah's crumbling marriage. How accurate are her assessments?
  3. The fact that Lewis cheated on Mariah is obviously a big factor in their break-up. But what responsibility do you think Mariah might hold in the marriage's dissolution?
  4. How has the relationship between Lucy's parents influenced her views on marriage?

Chew on This

Marriage brings out the worst in people in Lucy.

If Lucy ever decided to tie the knot, she'd probably have a way more successful marriage than any of the other characters in this novel.

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