As you are hopefully flipping the final pages of your independent reading novels, here are some topics for consideration (and debate):
East of Eden: One word–timshel. Why is it so important to Adam? To Cal? To Steinbeck? And where do your own beliefs fit in with this idea?
Grapes of Wrath: The leadership of the family has shifted from the old to the young–two “transformed” characters in particular are of utmost importance by the end of the novel: Tom Joad, and Rose of Sharon. Especially Rose of Sharon. When? Why? How? Enquiring minds want to know…
The Pearl: The Pearl could have bought Kino his dreams, but instead cost him almost everything. Has he changed? For better or worse? What would you have done in his position? Or better yet, what would you have told Kino if you had been in Juana’s position?
The Red Pony: This is a story about growing up, so by the time we reach the end, there is only one question–Is Jody Tifflin still a “boy?” What has he learned about life and old age, and death?