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Study Questions

Nation Questions

  1. The wave brings destruction, but it also brings creation. How does the wave destroy (not just literally but figuratively), and how does it help people grow?
  2. Mau wants to change what people believe in—the gods—and replace it with science. Why does he feel the need to do this? Are there times when this comes across as callous or insensitive? Why do people hang on to their beliefs even when beliefs are proven false?
  3. Is Mau actually hearing the voice of the Grandfathers, or is he really just hearing his own thoughts? A little bit of both? What about when Daphne talks to the Grandmothers? How do the Grandfathers and the Grandmothers differ in their methods of communication?
  4. Terry Pratchett's author note says "This book contains some [thinking]. Whether you try it at home is up to you." What's so dangerous about thinking? Why does it frighten people? Do we see characters in this book who seem opposed to thinking?
  5. The book begins with a creation myth. How does it affect your reading of the novel? How might creation stories reflect the culture of their people—think Genesis (the Hebrew Bible, not Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog) or Norse creation myths
  6. Even though he doesn't believe in gods, Mau has conversations with Locaha, the god of death. How is this possible?
  7. This book takes place in a parallel universe (in case you haven't looked at a globe recently, there is no Great Southern Pelagic Ocean). What parallels (pun intended) do you see between the world depicted in Nation and ours?
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