Saturday, November 20, 2010

TL ~ second set of DQs

For our second set of discussion questions about The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, I want to start with a quote from page 35, early in the book.  It's a bit long, but I was fascinated by the cave Harrison Shepherd found below the water line.
Mexican underwater cave (click to enlarge)
Today the cave was gone.  Saturday last, it was there.  Searching the whole rock face below the cliff did not turn it up.  Then the tide came higher and waves crashed too hard to keep looking.  How could a tunnel open in the rock, then close again?  The tide must have been much higher today, and put it too far below the surface to find.  Leandro says the tides are complicated and the rocks on that side are dangerous, to stay over here in the shallow reef.  He wasn't pleased to hear about the cave.  He already knew about it, it is called something alreaedy, la lacuna.  So, not a true discovery.

Laguna?  The lagoon?

No, lacuna.  He said it means a different thing from lagoon.  Not a cave exactly but an opening, like a mouth, that swallows things.  He opened his mouth to show.  It goes into the belly of the world.  He says Isla Pixol is full of them.
8.  Frida tells Harrison, "The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know" (p. 218).  Years later, he writes to her, saying, "Frida, you always said the most important thing about any person is what you don't know.  Likewise, then, the most important part of any story is the missing piece" (p. 277).  How does this relate to the book's title?

9.  Did you like the format, using journals and letters?

10.  What did you think of Violet Brown, who worked for Harrison?

11.  Were you surprised by the way statements were twisted during the McCarthy trials?

12.  How did Harrison Shepherd change over the course of the novel?


Bonnie Jacobs said...

I found a photo of an underwater cave in Mexico and have used it in this set of questions. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Shirley said...

Thanks for the nifty photo of the underwater cave.

Unfortunately, I'm drawing a blank on the questions. I thought the use of the letters and journals was an interesting way to present the story.

The parts about the McCarthy hearings was the most fascinating of the book. Amazing that he was able to twist information and ruin the lives of so many people. A scary time.