A Canticle for Leibowitz

by Walter M. Miller Jr.

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Questions and Answers: Part 2 (Fiat Lux), Chapters 18-19

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Study Questions
1. How does the text Brother Reader reads describe nuclear weapons?

2. How many monks are needed to make the lamp work, and what do they do?

3. Why is Taddeo upset by the invention of the lamp?

4. Why does Dom Paulo think the officers were drawing the abbey’s fortifications?

5. What does Dom Paulo think Taddeo’s presentation might accomplish?

Answers
1. The text Brother Reader reads describes nuclear weapons as a sun brighter than the sun of heaven.

2. Four monks are needed to make the lamp work. Three work on the treadmill, and a fourth manages the lamp’s arc.

3. Taddeo is upset by the invention of the lamp because he thinks the abbey has kept it hidden from the world for centuries. Taddeo is also jealous of the abbey because of the invention, which surpasses anything he has been able to do thus far.

4. Dom Paulo thinks the officers were drawing the abbey’s fortifications out of their own professional interest, not to make plans for seizing the abbey. However, he remains aware that the officers may have hostile designs on the abbey.

5. Dom Paulo thinks Taddeo’s presentation might reduce tensions between the abbey and Taddeo. By doing this, it might also ease relations between the Church and Hannegan II.

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Questions and Answers: Part 2 (Fiat Lux), Chapter 20