A Canticle for Leibowitz

by Walter M. Miller Jr.

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Questions and Answers: Part 1 (Fiat Homo), Chapters 4-5

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Study Questions
1. Why is Arkos upset about the discovery of the shelter?

2. Why do the abbey’s novices keep watch?

3. What examples does Francis give of the pilgrim’s extraordinariness?

4. Why did Francis join the abbey?

5. Why does the Church need scribes and secretaries?

Answers
1. Arkos is upset about the discovery of the shelter because he’s worried that the discovery will hurt the chances for canonizing Leibowitz by giving rise to exaggerated stories about Leibowitz.

2. The abbey’s novices keep watch because of the danger that heathens from the surrounding countryside will invade and destroy the abbey.

3. Francis gives as examples of the pilgrim’s extraordinariness his ability to read and spit straight. Although everyone at the abbey is literate, literacy is extremely uncommon among the broader population.

4. Francis joined the abbey because it was the only career option open to him if he wanted to use the skills he learned at school.

5. The Church needs scribes and secretaries in order to send communications to different branches of the Church, which stretches across the entire continent.

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Questions and Answers: Part 1 (Fiat Homo), Chapters 6-7