Dread Nation (Ireland) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for DREAD NATION … then take off on your own:

1. How would you describe Jane?

2. What about Kate? In what way is she trapped—what is her figurative "imprisonment"? How does she serve as a literary foil for Jane?

3. Jane recognizes that some black people have internalized white racism:

Most of the white folks in the room are nodding and giving praise. I glance around the Negro tables and realize a few of those folks are as well. That makes me sad and scared.

What does Jane mean—how does what she witnesses make her "scared"?

4. Even though slavery has been abolished, white people continue to devise different ways of keeping people of color as slaves—like slavery, just without the title. What are the new forms of not-slavery in Dread Nation?

5. In what way does the book reflect our current society? Consider all the uncomfortable topics that white people would rather ignore and pretend do not exist. From prison systems, to Black Lives Matter, to systemic racism.

6. How are men, particularly white men, portrayed in this novel?

7. What do you think of Miss Preston's School. What are the reasons Jane feels lucky to be sent to that school in particular.

8. Do these words, from Summerland, sound familiar today?

Government pays to send them to those fancy schools while real mean like me are left to fend for ourselves. If it wasn’t for all that money going to educate [slur], we have better weapons to fight the undead, and better training for real men, too.

9. Talk also about the treatment of Native Americans in the novel. Does the novel conform to what you know of American Indians' actual history in the U.S.

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

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