Faith and Doubt are big themes in this novel. Pastor Merrill has true faith, yet his life is flawed. John seems to live a charmed life, yet is filled with doubt. What is the message in this juxtaposition?
Why is John’s mother’s dressmaker’s dummy an important symbol? What does that have to say about the Vietnam War?
Why doesn’t the book show us more about Hester? Does this character connect to Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne?
Why doesn’t John’s mother pay attention to the foul ball? What’s the narrator trying to tell us with this important event?
Why does the book describe certain places in such detail (the attic closet, the restroom at the end of the book)? Does the description warn the readers, or just bore them, like it did for me?
What’s up with the armadillo? Why is that object comforting to the boys? What could it symbolize?