Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bookies-- Discussion Questions to p. 238

We'll discuss these tomorrow-- feel free to begin formulating your thoughts about any/all here, so the participating teachers can respond!

1. How does Zusak use the literary device of foreshadowing to pull the reader into the story? Any examples that struck you from this page assignment?

2. Guilt is another recurring theme in the novel. Hans Hubermann’s life was spared in France during World War I, and Erik Vandenburg’s life was taken. Why does Hans feel guilty about Erik's death? Guilt is a powerful emotion that may cause a person to become unhappy and despondent. Discuss how Hans channels his guilt into helping others. Explain Max Vandenburg’s thought, “Living was living. The price was guilt and shame.” (p. 208) Why does he feel guilt and shame?

3. How is the use of Mein Kampf in this story ironic? Look at the description on p. 159 for a quick reference!

4. On p. 189, Death addresses how much he "likes" Max's "stupid gallantry". What insight do we gain into Death's personality? Into Max's?

5. Review p. 198-199. This is a pivotal moment between Leisel and her foster parents. What has happened?

6. "Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day. That was the business of hiding a Jew" (p. 211).What does this comparison mean to you?

7. "The Standover Man"-- How much do you love this gift from Max to Leisel? :)

See you tomorrow during 8th grade lunch!
Mrs. P


Srta. Bahrenburg said...

“Living was living. The price was guilt and shame.” (p. 208) Why does he feel guilt and shame?

He’s glad to be alive, but feels guilt for deserting his family. He left his family knowing they would likely die, yet he was spared because somebody felt they owed a debt to his father.

How is the use of Mein Kampf in this story ironic?
I loved the way Mein Kampf was used to smuggle the key to Max. Then when he used the pages to create the Standover Man… That described his struggle which is the meaning of Mein Kampf…

Rae said...

Hey! I'm loving the book so far! Here's what I got:

1. Zusak uses a lot of foreshadowing, especially when Death is talking. Page 222 really got me wondering, "what's he gonna give her? what's he gonna give her?" I loved the end result. I'll look for more forshadowing later.

2. I think Hans feels guilty because he lived and Erik didn't. Plus, Hans could have signed Erik up for the handwriting duty, but he didn't. I think he is grateful that his friend did that for him. He might feel guilty that he didn't do it for Erik.
I think he channels his guilt by helping raise foster kids especially. But I also think he does it by doing little things, such as repainting the Jewish shopkeepers door, or things like that. Maybe he feels less guilty that about being alive if he's living in a way that benefits other people and he's not hurting anyone. He's also not just living, not hurting people or not helping others, you know?

"Living was living. The price was guilt and shame." Erik feels guilty
because he knows it's not fair for him to ask them for 1) Food. 2) Living place 3) Possibly their lives. He feels guilty for asking that, and that they said yes. He probably feels a little shame that he can't do these things for himself like he used to.

3. I thought the use of Mein Kampf was very ironic. It was this book meant to be all "poor pitiful Hitler," and maybe persuade people to the Nazi party. And then it used to help smuggle a key to a Jew. And it also helps the Jew by being a part of his disguise in a way. People probably saw him reading it and thought (maybe sub consciously) that 'oh he's reading Mein Kampf. He's not a Jew'.

4. What we learn about Death is that he's amused by people being so scared of him. He thinks its funny people are so scared and worried about him. We learn about Max that he loves life, and won't go without a fight. He doesn't want to die a death that 'isn't noble' or 'a quiet death'. He doesn't want to be the 'oh he died' kind of death. He wants the 'he died fighting for his life/country/etc.' He wants his death to be as good of a fight as the rest of his life.

5. I think a big leap of faith happens here. They are 1) hiding a Jew. 2) They are trusting a ten year old girl to keep it a secret. They are trusting someone that isn't their own child to protect this secret, and if anyone finds out about this they could be taken away. Huge leap of faith.

6. Wow. As to smiling with a slap on the face, I really like that comparison, and I liked it as soon as I read it. It says that no matter what life throws at you right now, or what you're feeling inside, you can't let anybody know. You have to put a smile on and get it done with. Otherwise people will find out your secret, and the consequences dire. So no matter what is happening or what secret you have, you have to disguise it with a smile and say, everything's all right." I LOVED that comparison. It deserved a sticky note.

7. much I loved "The Standover Man," on a rating from 1 to 10, probably somewhere around one million and four, give or take. That was such a thoughtful gift, and homemade makes it even better. It answered some of the questions Leisel had for Max I think and was saying, "yeah I consider you a friend," by the words he wrote in the book, and the added picture of Leisel with Max on the last page. I loved that gift.

However, the Standover Man made me feel sad that he painted himself and his dad like birds, as though they were unhuman. Hmm....lots to ponder....

See you guys tomorrow!

P.s. I also like how on page 223, it says "he calculated he needed 13 pages, so he painted 40." He's not very confident but wants to get it right.

Roshon said...

Yes, I was thinking about Mein Kampf....but I'll talk tomorrow. I would also like to discuss the cover. Although it might seem obvious, its hard to not feel that there might be some deeper meanings in there. ;)


(Sorry if that was a little disorganized....I'm a shock right now.)

Rae said...

Yeah, I've been wondering about the cover, though I think the domino's make sense......

Do you know what's creepy? When I took my post and printed it out, it was a WHOLE page, size ten font no double spacing. I was SURPRISED. (I was printing it out because I would answer the questions and then forget what I said, and then of course I had a brain blank and I couldn't think of an answer

Mrs. P said...

Happy birthday, Analie!!!

I'm so sorry about today, guys-- I was up most of last night (I get bad insomnia) nursing a fairly serious headache (weather change, maybe?), so of course by 5:45 this morning I knew I wasn't going to be in this morning. It was supposed to be in the announcements... did they not tell you it was canceled? Anyway, we can definitely meet on Monday, 8th grade lunch. Conference room again?

Let's discuss pages for next week, though. It seems like the amount we selected last time was a welcomed challenge for you guys. Therefore, we have three options:
1. Read less and stop at Part 6 on page 303 (70ish pages),
2. Read more and stop at Part 7 on page 350, or
3. Split part 6 in half and stop at p. 324.

Have a good weekend, everyone!
Mrs. P

JAD said...

HI! well i dont really want to discoss anything yet but ill say this: the teachers that have read this are right, this book is really good! Ms. pulley just a quick question. Was the book fair student crew meeting also canceld?

Well see you guys on monday! and i say we read like we have been! Bye 8)

Mr. Butler said...

There is lots of foreshadowing, which I love... Here's one ominous example, from page 128:

Referring to Hans: "Did he already fear he'd never see (his son) again? On the other hand, he was also enjoying the ecstasy of an idea, not daring just yet to envision its complications, dangers, and vicious absurdities. For now, the idea was enough. It was indestructible. Transforming it into reality, well, that was something else altogether. For now, though, let's let him enjoy it.

We'll give him seven months.
Then we come for him.
And oh, how we come."


Roshon said...

ajgiovmekjag! Where did you hear about my birthday?! *steams*

I'll admit that I did read ahad by a chapter only because Mr. Udolf wouldn't let me get another book from my locker and we could only read, canceling what I had hoped to do after the test. But I'm rambling. 8th grade lunch on Monday sounds great!


Mr. Butler said...

Hey, this doesn't answer any of the posted questions -- I think Rachael and others have already done a great job of that -- but, I want to say that I've done a lot of catching up this weekend (I'm on page 295 now), and I'm really excited about the ways in which I'm planning to use this book in my class! This week, I plan to read aloud a few passages as mini-lessons on the power of words. Specifically, the beauty of words (pages 248-9) and the brutality of words (p. 254 and also 262). Also, I have found at least a dozen of my students' vocab words in this book, and that's just this weekend! I plan to share those passages with the kids, and celebrate how expanding our vocabulary spices up our everyday reading and writing!

I'll post at whatever pace you all decide, but I'm just psyched that I now feel confident about being able to keep up with you! (Translation: Literally can't put it down.)

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