We briefly discussed the World State’s practice of using chemicals to guarantee a disease- and pain-free life that is cut off at the age of 60. The idea intrigues me, especially since I have lived a life filled with multiple medications, tests, painful procedures, and surgeries. But, seeing as I am only 23 years away from 60…well, that’s scary to think about.
Explain if you would prefer the World State’s method of a “perfect” life over a natural one, one that allows for a potentially longer life but also includes the threat of disease, illness, and pain. Provide your reasoning for your choice.
Considering what we know of a utopian and dystopian society, in what ways does this society fit the definition of each? In other words, how has the World State attempted to create a utopia and in what ways have they failed?
Compare Manor Farm at the beginning of the story under Jones’s rule with Manor Farm in the last chapter. What changes have taken place, and what has remained the same? Which scenario, in your opinion, is the better for the animals and why?
Imagine that Snowball had been given the opportunity to lead Animal Farm. Do you think things would have ended differently for the animals? Would his leadership style have proven to be more beneficial to the running of the farm as a whole? Or would things have likely turned out the same? Be thoughtful in your response and offer support for your reasoning.
Out of all the characters who die, which one affects you the most and why? Please be thoughtful in your response.
Liesel witnesses Hans give bread to a passing Jew and then being whipped for it. She later helps Rudy leave bread out for the passing Jews. What do you think of Rudy and Liesel’s decision to do this, knowing what could happen? Is it brave or stupid or both? Explain thoroughly.
We have seen from the beginning that Death is often confused by humans and their nature and wonders if humans are “worth it.” In Part Three, for example, Death says of Rudy, “In years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer—proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water” (164). Do you agree with his belief that there is goodness and evil in every person? Explain why you feel that way and provide an example from either your life or society.
In The Book Thief, we see several instances of guilt having a powerful impact on the characters. Choose one moment where we see guilt affect a character and discuss its significance. Then go further and explain why guilt can have such power over us.
Early in the book, Death introduces us to what is arguably the most important theme when he says, “When [Liesel] came to write her story, she would wonder when the books and the words started to mean not just something, but everything.” Here, Death is speaking about Liesel’s recognition that books, but more specifically words, have power. There have been many instances in the world that would support this theme. But do you agree? Do words have power? Why do you feel this way?
Discuss the changes you see in Janie once she begins her relationship with Tea Cake. Consider things like her attitude, her outlook on life, her behavior. What do you think are the causes of these changes in her?