1. Chapter 13 introduces a family whose daughter is a factory girl. Harriett has left her family to provide for herself on her own instead of contributing her earnings to the rest of the family. How does the novel represent Harriet’s decision to leave? Should she have stayed and helped her family in their time of need? Does she have a duty to stay, and if she does, how much of a duty does she have and why? How long is she obligated to help them?

2. In the final scene of Book 4 Egremont proposes to Sybil. What does her response suggest about the power Sybil holds in the novel? Is this a reflection of her strength or her weakness?

3. At the end of the final chapter, the narrator states: “And thus I conclude the last page of a work which though its form be light and unpretending, would yet aspire to suggest to its readers some considerations of a very opposite character” (420). What are the “considerations of a very opposite character?” How does this passage fit into the rest of the novel?


Disraeli, Benjamin. Sybil. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.

Benjamin Disraeli

Last modified 6 May 2009