Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Violence

By An Na

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A Step From Heaven is all about being literal, especially when it comes to violence. This book is definitely not for people who can only handle metaphorical violence. Characters (females, especially) get slapped, beaten, and yelled at as An Na goes deep into the makeup of a classic, patriarchal household where the dad is all about keeping order through his strong hand. The book isn't completely depressing though; it's also about how a family learns to break free of that violence and flourish. In other words, the book may be painful to read, but there's a definite payoff at the end.

Questions About Violence

  1. Why does Uhmma have such a hard time leaving Apa even though he's clearly dangerous?
  2. How does Apa's violence affect the way the children develop?
  3. Why is Young Ju's call to the police a courageous act?
  4. Where do you think Apa got his violent ways from?

Chew on This

The only way to deal with violence is through violence.

The best way to fight back against violence is to not use violence.

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