Study Guide

Gilead Love

By Marilynne Robinson


All you need is love, folks. In Gilead, John Ames believes in love like he believes in God. They're not the far apart, actually. For Ames, to love another person is to share in God's love—an unconditional love. It's a love that seeks the best for someone else and that gives everything for that person's sake. To love a person is to put that person first, no matter what. Ames wants his son to know what this love is—that's why he's writing him the letter that makes up the whole of the novel.

Questions About Love

  1. What does Lila love about Ames?
  2. Why do we love things that die?
  3. How does Lila most show her love to Ames?
  4. Why is Jack Boughton the most beloved son?

Chew on This

Ames would have been able to love Jack if he had stayed.

Ames would not have been able to love Jack if he had stayed.

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