Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Abandonment

By Carrie Ryan

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Mary joins the ranks of Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, Harry Potter, and sweet Opal Buloni as those she loves slowly leave her in the dust. By the time she and her pals escape their village (a.k.a. Zombieville), she's been deserted by her mama, pop, lover, and even her very own big brother. That's worthy of a pout or two. But all of these characters teach us something important about abandonment, and Mary is no exception and she finds the will to forgive and move on from her sad, zombie-infested trail of abandonment. Her irony? In the end, she abandons her friends for her dream of the ocean. Um, yeah. Still, the point is, while abandonment packs a heavy punch, it doesn't have to knock you out.

Questions About Abandonment

  1. Which abandonment bothered Mary the most?
  2. Did Travis truly abandon her?
  3. Does Jed's apology and sacrifice make up for his abandonment of Mary?
  4. How would the story change if Mary's mom never got infected?

Chew on This

Mary abandoned her friends in order to save them.

Mary abandoned her friends in order to save herself.

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