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Themes

Everyone longs to fit into a community. Except for Chevy Chase. He hates Community. In The Host, you'd think Wanda would have it made. She comes from a species that lives in perfect harmony with one another. Their communities are Leave it to Beaver meets Stepford Wives then Photoshopped into perfection. It's one big conformity love fest. But Wanda wants something different. Something imperfect: human acceptance. Jeb's cave-dwelling community is a love fest of a different kind. They work together to grow food, cook, and clean—but they also bicker, fight, and argue. Now that's a community we can live with.

Questions About Community

  1. In what ways does the alien community differ from Jeb's cave-dwelling community? In what ways is it similar?
  2. Being an alien living among humans, Wanda is an outsider for most of the novel. When does she feel part of the human community? Why do the humans accept her?
  3. At the end of the novel, we see human communities not only exist, but they have also accepted an alien like Wanda. How will this discovery affect the cave dwellers?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The alien species live as an ideal community in perfect harmony, but ideals aren't enough for Wanda. She wants a community that accepts her for who she is, not just because that's how things are done.

It's ironic that the cave dwellers find the souls' society creepy. As their leader, Jeb has imposed a false sense of harmony and communism onto the group, forcing them to behave like the souls do.

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