Study Guide

M.C. Higgins, the Great Change

By Virginia Hamilton

Change

Change is everything that comes from outside Sarah's Mountain in M.C. Higgins, the Great. Whether it comes in the form of strip-mining machines or strangers or even a nearby neighboring community, change is something that the Higgins family isn't down with. But not all change is bad. Learning how to tell the difference between good change, necessary change, and bad change is a big part of what M.C., our main mountain dude, needs to learn so that he can figure out what to embrace, what to resist, and what to build a wall against, both figuratively and literally.

Questions About Change

  1. Is the ending of the novel a real change for the Higgins?
  2. Where does change come from in the novel?
  3. How are the two strangers in the novel related to the changes that occur in M.C. and on Sarah's Mountain in general?
  4. Who is better adapted to change in the Appalachians, the Killburns or the Higgins?

Chew on This

The ending isn't actually a true change in the novel since the Higgins don't leave Sarah's Mountain.

Change isn't a good thing in the novel, per say, it's just inevitable.

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