Study Guide

The Golem and the Jinni Freedom and Confinement

By Helene Wecker

Freedom and Confinement

If we were to think of confining settings for a novel, we could dream up a few. A tiny apartment, say, or a room full of coffins. We would not pick New York City. But the Big Apple is a big prison for the Jinni in The Golem and the Jinni, because he is used to the freedom of the desert. Meanwhile, the Golem wishes she could be confined, because she longs for another master to call her own (or to call her his own, as the case may be). With such different views of freedom, how will these two ever get along?

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. How do the Golem's and the Jinni's views on servitude differ? Be specific, please.
  2. Is the Golem truly comfortable with a master? Or does she learn to appreciate her freedom? Use the text to support your claim.
  3. Even though the Jinni is no longer confined to the flask, is he free? What does freedom mean to him?
  4. Which non-supernatural characters in the book experience feelings of confinement?

Chew on This

The Golem has the most complicated relationship with freedom. Although she was made to be bound to a master, she likes having free will—or at least, she likes not hurting people. Her happiness depends on her master.

The Jinni learns that there are different degrees of freedom. While he may never be as free as he was in the Syrian Desert, he can still appreciate many things life has to offer.