Study Guide

Missing May Religion

By Cynthia Rylant

Religion

Religion can often be a touchy subject, but in the world of Missing May it's just another thing that frames the way that the characters think. They all take the idea of God and heaven for granted, which helps them when they think about Aunt May's death—it's comforting to think that Aunt May isn't really gone forever, and that she's in heaven waiting for them. Aunt May's faith transfers to both Uncle Ob and Summer, and they decide to believe in order to keep her memory alive.

Questions About Religion

  1. How do you think religion helps Uncle Ob and Summer deal with their grief? 
  2. What do you think that Summer thinks about heaven and God? Does she actually believe in any of it? 
  3. How does religion shape the way that Aunt May lived out her life? Do you think that it was a good or bad force in her life?

Chew on This

Whether or not Uncle Ob or Summer can prove the existence of a God or afterlife isn't important to the story—what's important in the end is the comfort that they get from believing that Aunt May is still around.

The spiritualist medium isn't the person who has the strongest relationship or connection to Aunt May because she can commune with the dead—it turns out that Uncle Ob and Summer were the ones who she'd communicate with all along, because they're the ones that she loves.

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