Study Guide

M.C. Higgins, the Great Man and the Natural World

By Virginia Hamilton

Man and the Natural World

In M.C. Higgins, the Great, man works with nature, not against it. In general in this book, man and nature together create some beautiful harmony. Man-made machines, however, from the world outside of Sarah's Mountain aren't so great. In fact, the main conflict in the book is all about how men and their machines from the outside world, greedy for coal, disrupt the local balance and harmony between the Appalachians and the people who live in the Appalachians. Without these guys who see nature as something to be taken, we'd have no story.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How does M.C.'s relationship with nature influence his identity?
  2. Why are several of the characters shown to have an almost magical relationship with nature?Ā 
  3. How do the Killburns approach nature differently than M.C. and his family? Are there any similarities?
  4. Are the female characters in the book equally tight with nature? Why or why not?

Chew on This

In this book, guys are more likely to have a closer link to nature since they work with nature more.

Women in this book are just as tight with nature, just in a different way.

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