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Of Love and Dust (Gaines) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Of Love and Dust:

1. Describe the character of Marcus. What do you find admirable in him...as well as troubling? Does he ever show remorse for his actions? Does he gain in stature as the story progresses...or the opposite?

2. What are conditions like on the Herbert plantation? How do you explain BonBon, the overseer's treatment of Marcus? In what way is Marcus's presence there a threat?

3. Discuss BonBon's statement: "Me and you—what is we? We little people.... They make us do what they want us to do, and they don't tell us nothing. We don't have nothing to say 'bout it, do we?" How does Marcus respond to that sense of powerlessness?

4. Why might Gaines have chosen Jim to narrate the story? What do you think of him?

5. Was the ending of this book inevitable—a working out of fate as in Greek tragedy? Is Marcus a tragic hero, punished by the gods of Olympus because of his hubris, his insistence on challenging the powers that be?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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