Study Guide

A Break With Charity Community

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Community is all the rage in Salem. And in A Break with Charity, community also has a lot to do with religion. You see, in Salem everyone is expected to be a Puritan. So if you want to fit in with the community, you better avoid wearing bright clothing and live a simple and hard-working life like everyone else. But here's the deal: not all the folks in Salem fit into this community. Take Abigail Hobbs—her whole living-in-the-woods lifestyle has a lot of folks peeved. And then there's Sarah Good, who goes all around town begging and the neighbors are getting seriously irked. Now just throw some witch accusations into the mix, and you've got a recipe for upheaval in this community that's not going to end anytime soon.

Questions About Community

  1. How do different communities crop up in Salem? And what ties the community members together?
  2. How does conformity relate to community? How are similarities important in forming communities? What about differences?
  3. Is community in this book always a positive thing, or are there negative elements to being part of a community?
  4. In the end of the book, how does the community turn out? How do the folks come together? Or do you think the community will always have divisions?

Chew on This

Let's get meddlesome: In Salem, meddling in your neighbor's business might be annoying, but ultimately it's for the good of the community.

Let's keep to ourselves: In Salem, folks need to mind their own business for the community to thrive.

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