Study Guide

The Monstrumologist Compassion and Forgiveness

By Rick Yancey

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Compassion and Forgiveness

Compassion, and whether or not it's available to any given character, plays a pretty big role in The Monstrumologist. Its absence is something that haunts our main character on a daily basis—he's a twelve-year-old orphan, for Pete's sake, and a little kindness would go a long way. It's not really Dr. Warthrop's thing, though, so it's sorely lacking on the home front for our main dude.

On several occasions the ability to forgive has the power to save someone's life, which is nothing to poo-poo at. And then there's the fact that the people who orchestrated the terrors of the Anthropophagi's residence in New Jerusalem all suffered from a distinct lack of empathy, which makes you wonder if a bit of human compassion could've prevented the whole tragedy to begin with.

Questions About Compassion and Forgiveness

  1. Why is Dr. Warthrop's lack of compassion so important to our story? How does it further characterize Will Henry?
  2. What are some events where forgiveness or compassion plays a major role? Do you notice any similarities or key differences across these events? If so, what does this tell you?
  3. Does it seem like the adults in the story all lack compassion, whereas the kids have it in spades? Are there any characters that are exceptions to this rule? If so, who?

Chew on This

If Erasmus Gray hadn't died, he would have adopted Will Henry and given him the childhood he deserved.

What makes the Anthropophagus a monster is it's lack of compassion or empathy—and therefore some of the major characters are monsters as well.

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