Under the Dome (King) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
m. Stephen King  says in an interview with his publisher that his inspirations for Under the Dome was "the serious ecological problems that we face.... we all live under the dome." What does he mean, and do you agree or disagree? Also, to what degree might "living under the dome" have wider implications than purely ecological?

m. In that same interview, King says...

In small towns, we think we know everybody else's business. But everybody holds back.... You're only as sick as your secrets, and some of the people in this book are pretty sick, indeed.

Who in particular, in this book's large cast of characters, has secrets...and what are they? Which characters would you say are "pretty sick, indeed"?

m. Finally, King says in the interview that Under the Dome explores one of the great subjects of fiction:

Why do people do what they do under stress? And in that sense you can see any novel is almost like a test tube case where you say, "what happens to ordinary people in extraordinary situations? How do they behave? Do they rise to the occasion or do they not?

Which character(s) in your estimation rise to the occasion, and in what way? Which ones do not? Had you been placed under the dome, how would you fare?

m. In what way is Dale Barbara an unlikely hero? Is he a hero?

m. Describe Jim Rennie, the book's mega-villain. Do you find him credible? Is he overdrawn, or do people like Rennie exist in the real world? Does Rennie get his just deserts...or would you have preferred a different end for him?

m. Where is God throughout this catastrophe? Is that a fair question...or not? What seems to be the underlying religious view of the book?

m. Which incidents do you find most heart-rending?

m. King doesn't address how and why the dome got there until the end. Why does he postpone the issue for so long? What seems to interest him in this book more than the answer to that question?

m. Were your surprised by the origin of the dome...or where you expecting it?

m. The book comes in at over 1,000 pages. Is it too long? Just long enough?

m. What are the moral implications of this book?

(We'll add specific questions if and when they're made available by the publisher.)

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