Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Life, Consciousness, and Existence

By Ray Bradbury

Life, Consciousness, and Existence

At the heart of <em>Dandelion Wine</em> is Douglas's realization that he's alive. Unfortunately for our sweet little emo narrator, he comes to this realization during a summer when a bunch of people die, which fast tracks his awareness of his own mortality as well. Doug isn't the only character caught up in the business of living and dying, though, and Bradbury explores what makes a good life—and even a good death—throughout the book. 

Questions About Life, Consciousness, and Existence

  1. How does Doug's realization that he's alive feed his obsession with the Happiness Machine?
  2. How do old people and young people view life differently? 
  3. Is it better to realize you're alive, like Doug, or to remain blissfully ignorant, like Tom? 
  4. Can we ever really feel all there is to feel, even if we can't experience everything there is to experience?

Chew on This

How might Doug have lived his life more fully if Dandelion Wine were set in the present day?

Did people live more fulfilling lives when they had to talk to each other face-to-face, rather than online? Or do we live more fully now that we can talk to almost anyone, anywhere, anytime?

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