Monday, March 10, 2008

More on First Discussion Questions

6. Hanna believes that "if something can be known, I can't stand not knowing it" (p. 41). Can you understand that feeling? What were you thinking when Hanna implored Ozren to get a second opinion on Alia's condition and he becomes angry, saying, "Not every story has a happy ending" (p. 37)?

Hanna's attitude of wanting to know things that are known is admirable. She is quite the knowledge seeker. I enjoy learning, but am probably less enthusiastic about my quest for knowledge.
I think Ozren is aware that Alia's condition is not treatable yet prefers to behave towards his beloved son as if there is hope.

7. "Bits of butterfly don't generally wind up in books. Moths do, because they come indoors, where books are kept. But butterflies are outdoor creatures" (p. 43). So how did bits of butterfly wing end up in the book?
Aha! I have now read far enough in the book to resolve this mystery.
Generally, I prefer linear books, but I like the way Brooks identifies changes in time/location with her chapter headings.

8. What did you think of Lola's adventures? Did it make sense to you when the young man told Lola, "The only true home for Jews is Eretz Israel" (p. 50)?
Lola lived quite a life!
Given the changes in the acceptance of Jews I thought that the statement was a good forewarning of things to come.

9. What did you think about Stela and Serif Kamal, the Albanian Muslims Lola met?
It was encouraging indeed to know that not everyone shared the hatred of Jews that was prevalent then and now.

10. Why do you think the Nazis were intent on destroying Jewish books? Could something like that happen today? Before you answer, take a look at my Banned Books blog.
By destroying Jewish books, the Nazis wanted to destroy Jewish history. (I had also thought of the reference an earlier posted made to the plan to keep a museum of the culture while destroying the people did seem contradictory.)
With the advent of Internet and greater acceptance of diversity, I think that it is less likely that widescale book burnings would occur.
I briefly scanned the blog on banned books so may have missed the section definining banned books. From my understanding of banned books, this is not nearly as destructive to culture as burned books. In some of the cases, the banning seems to be a matter of how limited funds and time are spent. It becomes a question of who gets to make the decisions on which books are available in libraries and schools.

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