Friday, May 14, 2010

House Rules ~ second set of discussion questions

1.  What does a used tea bag have to do with the story?

2.  Theo is the younger brother but he has to take care of Jacob.  How does Theo handle the conflict of his position in the family?  Do you agree that he has it "worse than Jacob"?  This quote is from Theo's section (page 107):
True confession number one:  When I'm walking down the hall in school and I see Jacob at the other end of the corridor, I intentionally divert my path to avoid him.

True confession number two:  Once, when a bunch of kids started making fun of Jacob as he attempted to play kickball -- a hot mess if ever there was one -- I pretended that I didn't know him; I laughed along, too.

True confession number three:  I truly believe that I have it worse than Jacob, because he's oblivious most of the time to the fact that people want nothing to do with him; but I am one hundred percent aware that they're all looking at me and thinking, Oh, that's the bizarre kid's brother.
3.  Emma maintains that she loves both of her sons equally, although she acknowledges that most of her time and attention are taken up by Jacob.  What are your feelings regarding the way Emma treats Theo?  Do you hold her or Jacob accountable for letting Theo go unnoticed and friendless to the point of breaking into other people’s homes?  Why or why not?

4. What does Krazy Glue have to do with the story?

1 comment:

Shirley said...

1. Gratitude again that this isn't a test. I vaguely remember that I think Emma and Theo enjoy tea, but am not sure and am not curious enough to go back to reread this.

2. Although I can appreciate the difficulties that being Jacob's brother has caused Theo, I disagree that he has it "worse than Jacob". It would have been good if Emma had someone who could have helped to ensure that Theo had more individual attention either by giving him the attention he needed or if she had someone who could have helped her more with Jacob's care. However, Theo is "normal", is loved, and is a very bright young man who is well on his way to becoming independent. He has many more options in life than Jacob does.

3. It would be nice if Emma could give more time and attention to Theo, but give her a break. She has a monumental task on her hand trying to meet Jacob's needs. A person can only stretch themself so thin. I don't like to be critical of someone who has tried so hard to be a loving mother. The question makes me realize though that I should be more receptive to the needs of those around me as Emma definitely could have used some helping hands. Perhaps the "blame" of Theo's problems should be shared with the community who did not reach out to help the family.

4. I may have flunked the used tea bag reference, but I do remember the Krazy Glue--it was used as the medium in Jacob's homemade forensics equipment to pick up the fingerprint image.