Study Guide

The Corrections Politics

By Jonathan Franzen


So you want to rage against the machine? Tired of being just another brick in the wall? You want to stand up for your right… to party? If you're seeking a book that gets to the heart of our current political climate, then look no further than The Corrections.

This thing might as well have been written by Nostradamus because it predicts the political issues that came to dominate the decade following its publication, like government surveillance and the influence of the financial industry. It was written before the financial bailout, before Edward Snowden, and before Occupy—yet it predicted all of these issues. Plus, it's pretty darn funny—how many political novels can you say that about?

Questions About Politics

  1. Do you agree with Billy Passafaro's political agenda? Why or why not?
  2. What real world issues are spoofed by Gitanas's "Democracy for Profit" scam?
  3. How do generational issues play into political affiliations?
  4. How does the modern interconnected economy change the way that politics operate?

Chew on This

The Corrections argues that growing political influence of the financial industry makes it difficult for struggling nations to move up in the world.

In The Corrections, we see how political affiliations move from generation to generation—the young act in relation to the old, often taking their beliefs to new extremes.