"Subterfuge" by Julia Buckley

1. Sofia sees herself as an agent for change. Do you think she is exceptional or that there are many Sofias in small towns? Do you think that her mother or her friend really needed her help, or would they have found their own way out eventually?

2. What do you think of the concept of patriarchy as a way of explaining the social realities of Rockland?

3. Do you think that any of the men in the story are helping Sofia? What do you think the motivations for their behavior are, conscious and unconscious?

4. What is your reaction to Sofia considering prostitution as a possible way out? Would you feel differently if Sofia used sex to get what she wanted without asking direct payment for it?

5. What do you think of the ending of “Subterfuge?” Does it seem realistic or even possible to you? If not, are you able to accept it as a fable or parable? If you are dissatisfied with or skeptical about the ending, how would you have ended it?