Study Guide

A Day No Pigs Would Die Death

By Robert Newton Peck

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Death is a constant reality in the world of Rob and his family. As farmers, the Pecks see first-hand how closely death is connected to life: the death of a rabbit allows a hawk and its young to survive, just as every life-sustaining bite of pork or beef starts with the death of a well-cared-for farm animal.

Hard to swallow? Sure. But in A Day No Pigs Would Die, life and death seen as parts of a cycle. Throughout the book, parallels are often drawn between the beginning of life and its ending, so keep your eye out. Although it can be scary and sad, death is ultimately an inescapable part of life itself. Kind of like funny cat videos.

Questions About Death

  1. Do you think Rob's familiarity with death (e.g., his ability to kill the squirrel, his understanding of the food chain at work in the interaction between the hawk and the rabbit) makes his father's death any easier for him?
  2. Why do you think Rob is able to forgive his father for killing Pinky? Do you think you could forgive, given the same situation?
  3. We never really hear Rob and his family discuss death directly, or what they think happens to people after death, although presumably the topic comes up in their church services. What do you imagine their beliefs are like, given the way they approach death in the world around them?

Chew on This

Death, as presented in the book, is not something to be feared. It's just another part of life, a completion of the circle that begins with birth.

Death in the book is the natural conclusion of the violence and brutality of life. Like life, it's scary and horrible, but we have no choice but to accept it.

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