Study Guide

A Monster Calls Versions of Reality

By Patrick Ness

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Versions of Reality

Conor's a dude with some seriously scary nightmares, not to mention way too many (two too many, to be exact) monsters for one person to handle. Somehow, though, the kiddo manages to flit between the monsters' realities and his own reality and he takes us with him when he goes. Throughout A Monster Calls, the real world and the monster world inform each other. We can understand what goes down in monster land because we understand what's going on in Conor's life and vice versa.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. What makes Harry start bullying Conor at the same time Conor starts having the nightmare? How do you think those two events are connected? And does this reveal anything about Harry?
  2. What is the monster trying to tell Conor by leaving pieces of itself on his floor?
  3. Which of the monster's three stories is more relevant to Conor's situation, and why?
  4. You knew this was coming: is the yew tree monster real?

Chew on This

Conor subconsciously summons the monster because he needs somebody to be honest with him, just like he needs to be honest with himself.

The remnants of the monster that come back to the real world with Conor after its visits are similar to the ectoplasm that supposedly covers psychics after séances. In other words, they're total, irrefutable proof that the monster is real.

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