Study Guide

Hope Was Here Mortality

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In Hope Was Here, when a funeral hearse pulls up in front of the Welcome Stairways diner (courtesy of Mayor Millstone), G.T. walks up to the driver, shakes his hand, and invites him in for breakfast. It's the perfect metaphor for G.T.'s approach to mortality: meet it, greet it, and feed it. G.T. even thanks the driver for the visible reminder of his limited time on earth and how important it is to make that time meaningful.

Fears about G.T. and his eventual death hang heavy over the book, but they don't seem to be a heavy burden on him. He wants to live, sure, but he's battling death by living every day to the fullest. We'd say that G.T. has about the healthiest perspective on things we've ever seen.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Does G.T. act like a man who's dying?
  2. Why are the people of Mulhoney so quick to believe the lie Millstone spreads that G.T.'s only got a few months to live?
  3. What helps Hope cope with the loss of the father she's waited for all her life?

Chew on This

G.T. finds his probably terminal illness liberating, whereas for many people, it would bring their lives to a halt.

Deena's behavior during her visit to the Welcome Stairways diner sends Hope running into the kitchen, nearly "keeled over in grief"—words often reserved to express the way one feels when a loved one dies.

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