Paule Marshall makes a point
about the tension existing among the different sections of the Bourne
community. No doubt, the principal forces underlying these tensions are economic
in nature. What are three of those economic factors?
Salted cod is sold in the
local grocery (Delbert’s Shop). Why is the cod salted? Why do people who
have access to fresh fish eat salted fish?
Discuss how the
incident of Lyle and the older white woman
and her dog in the elevator reflected
1)master status, 2)labeling, and 3)
Nature is often personified
throughout the novel. How might it mirror the existing tension on the
Island? What might it symbolize?
How is perception of beauty
as related to skin color affected by former and current European
domination on the island?
What famous incident did
Cuffee Ned execute?
The Protagonist or main
character in a fictional work is the precipitator of action or perhaps the
receiver of it. How does Marshall utilize this concept in the beginning of
The researchers from
Philadelphia Research Institute go to Bourne Island to complete a research
project. Describe how they plan to carry out their research as well as the
strengths and weaknesses of their methodology. Include a discussion of the
potential problems of being a participant observer.
A sense of place is one of
geography’s essential themes. How does the geography of Bournehills make
it the Chosen Place?
Contrast the colonial
government Bourne Island was historically subject to with its present
What do civil servants and
professionals believer is needed to develop Bourne Island? What do the
Bournehills residents believe is needed?
The epigraph "from the
Tiv of West Africa" says "Once a great wrong has been done it
never dies. People speak the words of peace, but their hearts do not
forgive. Generations perform ceremonies of reconciliation, but there is no
end." Is this the book’s theme? If not, what is?