Study Guide

Life After Life Fate and Free Will

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Fate and Free Will

Some things are inevitable, like death, taxes, and kitten memes, but does that mean that they're fate? Are we all just fated to die? Or can we change that? And how self-centered must you be if you think it's your responsibility to change the world? All of these questions are at play in Life After Life, and they're complicated by the fact that Ursula is being reborn over and over again, she does have past lives that influence her decisions, and sometimes she's capable of changing the future. But how much of it all is really under her control?

Questions About Fate and Free Will

  1. Does Ursula have a predetermined fate? How can you tell? Use specific examples.
  2. Or does Ursula's fate change from life to life? What affects it?
  3. Whether Ursula has a predetermined fate, does she ever believe she does? How does this affect her behavior? If she does, why does believe it, and if she doesn't, then why not?
  4. Does Ursula have free will to act on her memories of past lives or not?

Chew on This

Ursula has free will to stop whatever she wants. By killing Hitler, she probably even stops World War II.

There are some things that Ursula cannot stop. Even after killing Hitler, she is reborn into a world where WWII will happen over and over again.

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