Study Guide

Pure Language and Communication

By Julianna Baggott

Language and Communication

Language is tricky under the best of circumstances, but throw in a few radiation bombs and a separated society and language becomes almost impossible. The characters in Pure struggle with vocabulary. What are oysters? What's a briefcase? Why is a pincushion called a pincushion?

In fact, these characters can't even communicate to themselves what they're feeling. This creates an insane level of alienation… both from themselves, and between themselves and others.

Questions About Language and Communication

  1. Why does not remembering a certain word bother some of the characters so much?
  2. If the people inside the Dome had direct and public communication with those outside the Dome, do you think there would be less hostility?
  3. How does Language and Communication connect to the theme of Memory and the Past?
  4. Do any words that characters place a lot of emphasis on (like confetti or chandelier) seem to hold high importance?

Chew on This

Because of their memory loss, characters rely on salvaging certain words from their vocabulary to fit in some of the puzzle pieces of their jigsawed past.

Because those inside the Dome and those outside of the Dome don't have a public way of communicating, the rebellion against the Dome becomes inevitable.