“The Informer” and “Uptight” Discussion Questions

  1.  How do Gypo’s and Tank’s failures to uphold community and eventual separation from their social groups echo other works which end with a social or physical death?
  2. Are the displays of grief, seen in the reciting of Gaelic prayers and the group of women singing worship songs after Johnny’s death, connected?  Do they suggest a subtext about religion, seen in Hurston’s writing illustrating the problems and shortcomings of religious institutions?
  3. In Gypo’s drunken behavior and tendency to get into fights, does Ford intend to evoke previous stereotypes of the Irish?  If so, why would he do this as a man of Irish descent himself?
  4. In Johnny’s mention of a passport and Gypo’s wish to leave for America with Katie, how do these works treat the possibility of relocating and creating a new identity in comparison with some of our previous works?
  5. Gypo and Tank both scream, “I forgot something!” multiple times when they realize they have let down and outright harmed their communities.  If this choice is deliberate, which I believe it is, what does this quote say about each man’s struggle with his own failure?