Study Guide

The Corrections Family

By Jonathan Franzen


The Lamberts are the kind of people who would go on Family Feud and just end up fighting among themselves. These seemingly normal suburbanites are struggling to reconnect after years of separation—and it's a lot easier said than done. Over the course of The Corrections, we get up close and personal with all five members of the family, giving us multiple perspectives on the moments that define their lives. Though they may never entirely understand each other, they're able to gain some empathy over the course of the novel.

Questions About Family

  1. How does Alfred express his love for his family?
  2. Why is Chip so surprised by Alfred's affection for him?
  3. In what ways do we see the cycle of family strife repeat across generations?
  4. Compare and contrast Gary's and Alfred's parenting styles.

Chew on This

In The Corrections, we're shown how family dynamics can become cyclical and repeat themselves across generations.

The Corrections uses the extended flashback in Chapter 4 to illustrate how your early family life defines the person you become as an adult.