What is Oakley’s intended audience? What are some features of her style?
What aspects of her education reflect conditions of the time? Was she more or less fortunate than most?
What are some causes of death among those in her circle? (accidents, disease) What seems to be the general level of health and health care?
In what kind of work do Oakley and her family engage in, and under what conditions? What seem features of employer-employee relations?
What are some of the difficulties experienced by Oakley as a young servant?
What are Oakley’s religious preferences, and would these have been common for someone of her social class? What varieties of religion or religious practitioners does she mention? (Wesleyan Methodist, Baptists, Quakers, Anglican)
What purpose(s) does her religion serve for her?
Do you see any relationship between her invalidism and her increased religiosity? (increasingly focuses on religion as her health declines)
What seem to be some of Oakley’s traits of character, based on her account?
What are some aspects of the family dynamics she describes? What circumstances seem to exacerbate conflict?
Under what economic conditions do Oakley’s family live?
What does the loss of Oakley’s inheritance from her uncle reveal about the legal system of the time?
Does Oakley or her family seem cognizant of politics? Of some of the changes which have occurred during the years covered by her narrative?
What do we learn of her courtship and marriage? Does she seem contented with her marital lot?
What do you note about the selectivity of her memories—for example, which details does she especially remember, and why may this be the case? (remembers woman nursing her baby as she passes en route to applying for a new job)
In what festivities and enjoyments do Oakley and her family participate?
Is it significant that Oakley and her husband’s eldest son is named John rather than Samuel? (named after father rather than mother’s father Samuel)
What are features of her account of moving from one area of the north to another?--a great disruption
What are some of your final reflections after finishing this work?