Discussion Questions The Sheik CHs 1 – 4

Woman in knickers smoking cigarette and looking at man doing laundry. Underwood and Underwood, c. 1901

Woman in knickers smoking cigarette and looking at man doing laundry. Underwood and Underwood, c. 1901. Library of Congress.

1. “By contrast the girl at his side appeared vividly alive. She was only of medium height and very slender, standing erect with the easy, vigorous carriage of an athletic boy, her small head poised proudly” ( 9).

How does Hull’s description of Diana’s physical appearance play an important role in showing the idea of the “new woman” that began around the time the novel was written? How does this make Diana more relatable to modern readers?

Rudolph Valentino as The Sheik. Life Magazine.

Rudolph Valentino in the film version of The Sheik (1921)


2. “It was the handsomest and cruelest face that she had ever seen. Her gaze was drawn instinctively to his….she shrank back, quivering, dragging the lapels of her riding jacket together over her breast with clutching hands, obeying an impulse that she hardly understood” (44).

How does the imagery used in this scene foreshadow the possibility of a future relationship between the Sheik and Diana even though there was nothing explicitly said?

Group 6 NK

This entry was posted in E. M. Hull, Female Chastity, Gender, Rape, sex, The Meeting, The New Woman, The Sheik, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Discussion Questions The Sheik CHs 1 – 4

  1. Heidi R. says:

    1) Hull’s description of Diana showed the amount of energy and confidence she had for herself. It displays the “new woman” by more independence and power women had. It related to modern readers because they behaved and were the same way as Diana is described in this novel.

    2) Her whole life she has never been faced with a man of more dominance and power than she’d ever seen. The Sheik is the symbol of an alpha-male everybody who was with him obeyed him. This foreshadows the possibility of a future relationship between the Sheik and Diana, because of the impulse she felt when she first saw him, and when he showed dominance over her when he took her against her will.

  2. Dr. M says:

    Hi Heidi–how does Diana’s “boyish” behavior help her relate to readers of today? As modern women, how do we react to her resistance to the expectations her upper-class society placed on her?

  3. Samantha F. says:

    Hull’s description plays an important role because it shows women breaking away from the norm, becoming almost equal to men in society. This began a time of many changes for women including rights, fashion, and feelings towards themselves. This makes her relatable because every single person has that a time where they’ve tried to break free from the norm of society so we as readers can feel what she’s feeling.
    The opposing words show handsome and cruelest hint towards feelings that Diana will later feel. This is also the first man showing domination over her, the first man that has changed her, which is what we look for as readers in a relationship.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s