Study Guide

Shiver Suffering

By Maggie Stiefvater


Changing into a werewolf sounds pretty awesome. You get to run around in the woods all day. Eat whatever you want. Not wear pants. Pee on everything. It would be like living in an episode of Wild Kingdom.

Sounds awesome, huh? Well, unfortunately there's a lot of pain that comes with it. You know how there's always an animal on one of these shows that gets eaten? That might be a better alternative than morphing into a werewolf. Not only is it painful, but for some, it's an intensely lonely existence. The humans in Shiver are suffering too, so it's almost just like trading a half-dozen of one kind of suffering for six of another.

Questions About Suffering

  1. Does Sam see more suffering as a human or as wolf? In what form does he personally feel more suffering?
  2. Do you think being a werewolf is worth all the pain?
  3. How do Grace and Isabel's human suffering compare with Sam and Jack's wolf suffering? Which life would you prefer to lead?

Chew on This

The suffering of losing Grace forever is the worst thing Sam can possibly imagine, and he will do anything—even risk death—to avoid it.

Shelby likes being a wolf because it frees her mind of her human suffering. In this way—in her transforming to forget her human troubles—transforming is almost like an addiction for her.