Arm of the Starfish Readers Guide

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THE ARM OF THE STARFISH Readers Guide: Debate

  • Compare and contrast Cutter and O’Keefe’s interpretation of regeneration.
  • Compare and contrast Kali’s perspective on sentimentality to Joshua’s.
  • The Kiss! Kali kisses Adam and he feels as though the moment makes him a man. Do you see this as an initiation into adulthood? How does romance play a role in growth?
  • Adam remembers a Math teacher explaining that even something like Mathematics – which is intended to have formulas and clear answers- is not as straightforward as it seems. “Right and wrong, good and evil, aren’t always clear and simple for us; we have to interpret and decide; we have to commit ourselves, just as we do with this equation.” Do you agree? What happens if we have to make a decision with limited information?
  • Dr. O’Keefe, Joshua, and Cutter all tell Adam that he has to make up his own mind. Is this the difference between childhood and adulthood?
  • Dr. O’Keefe reveals the starfish and lizards with mutations to Adam. What moral issues are brought up during this conversation?
  • What are your thoughts on the living conditions of the villagers? Are Dr. O’Keefe’s experiments on Temis ethical? Is he doing the villagers a service? What contradictions does this bring up for the character?
  • The metaphor of the fall of the sparrow has its origins in the Christian Gospel (Matthew 10:29), and has been referenced by many writers, including Shakespeare in Hamlet. Are the religious and spiritual themes and characters central to the story, or a distraction?

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L’Engle’s Arm of the Starfish Readers Guide by Crosswicks, Ltd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.