Study Guide

A Mango-Shaped Space Identity

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Chances are, if we asked you who you are, you'd tell us your name. But what about after that? What is it that really makes you, you? Yep, that's a head-scratcher. In A Mango-Shaped Space, Mia is at that stage in life where she's asking herself the same questions. She's not sure who she is or wants to be. Over the course of the book, we see Mia come to terms with who she really is (a synesthete) while not letting it exclusively define her. Along the way, she figures out there's a lot more to her than her colors, and that all these pieces come together to make her special.

Questions About Identity

  1. Does Mia's identity change over the course of the story? If so, in what ways does it change? If not, why not?
  2. Jerry notes that Mia is excited that her condition has a name. Why do you think that is? How does she use this to help define herself? What's in a name in this book?
  3. If you had to name five adjectives to describe Mia, what would they be? (Bonus points if you don't say anything about her synesthesia.) Who does she decide she wants to be at the end of the novel? How does this compare to who she starts out as?

Chew on This

Mia learns that you can't truly be yourself until you accept all of yourself.

Mia learns that her identity is not being a synesthete, even though she embraces that part of her.

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