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Study Questions

Cloud Atlas Questions

  1. Do you believe that the six main characters are all the same soul reincarnated? What echoes of past lives (their own or others') does each person experience?
  2. All six main characters except Adam Ewing mention a comet birthmark. What significance, if any, do they think their birthmarks have? Do you think Adam Ewing has one he hasn't told us about?
  3. Why did David Mitchell choose to structure the novel in this way? Does it feel like a series of loosely connected novellas or like a complete novel?
  4. Is the Luisa Rey section a work of fiction? (We know this whole thing is fiction, but we mean within the context of the story as a whole. Work with us, here.) If so, does that make Adam Ewing and Robert Frobisher's lives fiction as well?
  5. What do you think precipitated The Fall that occurred between the Sonmi sections and the Zachry sections?
  6. Whose story is your favorite and why? Is it the theme, the characters, the structure, or something else?
  7. Each story has its own perspective. How would each story be different if told from the point of view of another character?
  8. Does the Cloud Atlas film accurately capture the book's themes? How would you do a movie differently?
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