A book extra for Reader’s Guide: The Good Wife
- Adultery is viewed from many different angles in The Good Wife. How do Meg, Jack, Sarah, and Boone each handle it? Differences? Similarities? What if you were the one who was cheated on? Could you move past it and forgive? Boone compared it to forgiving a child for doing something bad. Do you think it is the same?
- Sarah’s husband, Boone, is a professional baseball player. Sarah worries non-stop about the groupies throwing themselves at him. Professional athletes are often stereotyped as being womanizers. Do you think this is a fair judgment? How do you think most spouses handle it?
- With the loss of her mother and the stress of her marriage, Sarah seems to be unraveling. She uses wine to numb the pain and as a coping mechanism for her insecurities. If you were Sarah’s family member or friend, how would you react to her behavior? What advice would you give her?
- Sarah is furious when she learns that Boone knew of their friend Jeff Neeley’s infidelity and didn’t tell her. Do you think he kept it a secret because she would overreact, or for some other reason? How do you think he viewed the indiscretions? Was she right to expect that he tell her?
- Sarah feels that she gave up who she was to become Boone’s wife and mother to their kids. Do you think it’s important to keep a part of yourself for you? Will Sarah be happy now that she’s decided to do something just for herself? Have you ever given up something important to you for someone else? Did you resent it?
- Jack’s car accident, which took his life, happened shortly after an argument with Meg. If you were Meg, would you blame yourself for Jack’s accident?
- Meg’s affair ended nine months ago, but she’s still punished at home. Is this fair? When she decided to stay and make her marriage work, do you think that Jack should have forgiven her? How did you feel when you learned Jack had been unfaithful too?
- Sarah doesn’t report finding JJ having sex in his bedroom or the smell of marijuana, nor does she stop him. As Meg’s sister, do you think she should have? Did she do the right thing, and how do you think she’d react if the tables were turned?
Brennan family dynamic:
- Brianna chooses to not tell her family what is wrong with her. Do you think that Brianna is being selfish? Would you want a family member to tell you if they were seriously ill?
- Sarah judged Jude without really knowing him. Have you judged or been judged only by outward appearances? How did it make you feel? Were you right about the person or did you changed your mind after getting to know them?
- When Marilyn dies, only Brianna is present. Do think that it was OK for Sarah to be so upset with her sister for not giving her the chance to say goodbye? What did you think about how each family member dealt with Marilyn’s passing in a different way? She was the glue that held the family together. Is it fair to put so much pressure on one person?
- Brennan makes hurtful and inappropriate comments about the death of Sarah’s mother, mentioning worms in her grave. He goes on to upset Meg’s children by bluntly describing Jack’s death. We don’t see Sarah correct him or somehow trying to make amends. Why do you think she allows the behavior? Do you think that Sarah’s parenting of Brennan is indicative of her general inclination to indulge bad behavior in men?
The Summer sisters:
- In the Summer family, Lauren has suffered the devastating loss of her only son Blake. Her way of coping was to escape from her family and home and throw herself into a job. Have you ever thrown yourself into something so that you don’t have to think about what you are trying to escape from?
- Lauren has built up some pretty tough walls so that she can’t be hurt, and then Chris comes along. He is determined to make her his girl. Have you ever been pursued by someone who just wouldn’t take no for an answer? How did you feel? Flattered? Annoyed?
- The waitresses at the diner called Boone and Chris “Spartacus and Thor.” Do you think those names fit? What sorts of images did those names conjure up? Have you ever given total strangers nicknames like that?