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Themes

In <em>The Witches</em>, we see two examples of a family: our narrator and his grandma, and Bruno Jenkins and his parents. What we learn from this book is that having a mom and a dad, the typical nuclear family, isn't always the best setup. Bruno is pretty much ignored by his parents, as opposed to our narrator, whose grandma is very attentive and always concerned about him. Then, when both boys get turned into mice, Grandmamma is super-understanding, while Mr and Mrs Jenkins kind of go nuts. What defines a family is unconditional love. Loving someone even though they're a mouse is certainly unconditional.

Questions About Family

  1. What do you think about the fact that the narrator barely mentions his mom and dad throughout the story?
  2. How would the narrator's adventures been different if he had a brother or sister?
  3. Why does Grandmamma let her grandson do such dangerous things?
  4. Why is Grandmamma so willing to accept the narrator even though he's a mouse?
  5. How did you feel about the narrator's reaction to learning that he only will live for nine more years? Would you react the same way as he did if you were in his position?

Chew on This

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

It's great that our narrator loves his grandma, but he really should have some friends his own age. Family can't provide everything.

Grandmamma should have gone to greater lengths to protect her grandson.

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