Study Guide

Gilead The Home

By Marilynne Robinson

The Home

John Ames has almost always lived in Gilead. His father, mother, and brother left long ago, but he stayed. For him, Gilead is home, and home can be nowhere else. Ames's home is not wherever he is or where he ends up. It isn't even where he was born. His home is the place he has become attached to throughout his life by the actions he's taken in his life. It's where the story of his life has been situated and set. When Jack Boughton returns to Gilead, it's almost as if he threatens the sanctity of John Ames's home.

Questions About The Home

  1. Why does Jack Boughton return to Gilead?
  2. Why does Ames refuse to relocate?
  3. How does Gilead become a home to Lila?
  4. How would Ames define the word "home"?

Chew on This

Ames could have made a home elsewhere.

Ames could not have made a home elsewhere.

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