Study Guide

The Abbess in Cloud Atlas

By David Mitchell

The Abbess

Aiding and Abbessing

It's doubtful that the Abbess in Sonmi's time and the Abbess in Zachry's time are the same person, but it's worth mentioning that someone with the title of Abbess appears in both stories. Sonmi's Abbess lives a natural life in the wilderness and tells Sonmi of the Buddha's teachings. Zachry's Abbess lives a natural life in the wilderness and tells Zachry of Sonmi's teachings. How do the two philosophies differ, and how are they similar?