Study Guide

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Old Age

By Helen Simonson

Old Age

These days, with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, RED, and all their sequels, old people are having the hottest time of their lives since Cocoon in 1985. Most movies, TV shows, and books feature main characters who are young and fresh, or at least Botoxed to look young and fresh. Not so in Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Its main characters are over the proverbial hill and not embarrassed about it one bit. They don't let old age stop them from living—and loving—life.

Questions About Old Age

  1. Do the Major and Mrs. Ali have the same view on old age?
  2. Do you think the Major has similar opinions on life now that he did when he was younger? What views have changed as he has aged?
  3. What are the biggest differences between the older characters and the younger characters, like Abdul Wahid or Roger?

Chew on This

As she gets older, Mrs. Ali realizes that she needs to live life for herself, not for her family or her culture. She only has the one life, and time is running out.

The Major is willing to compromise in old age and marry Grace, but she has the same ideals as Mrs. Ali, and she refuses to let him.