Discussion Questions for "Clay"

Discussion Questions 3/22

1. How old do you imagine Maria to be? No longer young, say 40? Middle-aged, say 50? Elderly, say 65? Offer at least two specific quotes from "Clay" that support your interpretation.

2. What is the significance of the gentleman on the tram?

3. Why do you think that the children in the story don't take the clay from off the table before blindfolding Maria? And what does she mean when she realizes it's wrong?

4. Listen to this 1909 recording of "I Dreamt that I Dwelt in Marble Halls." What is the significance of the verse (see below) that Maria forgets when she accidentally sings the first stanza twice?
I dreamt that suitors sought my hand; 
That knights upon bended knee, 
And with vows no maiden heart could withstand,
They pledg'd their faith to me;
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
Came forth my hand to claim.
But I also dreamt, which charmed me most,
That you lov'd me still the same...