Study Guide

My Sister's Keeper Mortality

By Jodi Picoult

Mortality

Cancer isn't always a death sentence, but sometimes cancer does, in fact, equal death. That's the grim equation the Fitzgerald family faces in My Sister's Keeper. Their daughter Kate is diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia which sounds serious. And Kate's case is. She has to come to terms with facing her own death, and her parents have to face the death of their child. As this book shows us, death is sometimes more difficult for those who live.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Why is it easier for Kate to accept her own death than for Sara to accept Kate's?
  2. Do you think Anna would have agreed with the decision made for her after her death?
  3. How would Anna have felt if she withheld her kidney and Kate did die? Use the text to support your answer.
  4. As a firefighter and paramedic, is it easier for Brian to accept death than for Sara? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Anna's death is the only way to end the novel because it's the only thing that gets the family to snap out of their selfish ways.

Anna's death is random, but it's no more random than cancer, or the car accident that gives Campbell epilepsy. Much as death is certain, when it appears almost always feels random.