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Chapter 8 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does the narrator say Milkman includes Guitar in the plan to steal the gold?

2. Why does Milkman suddenly start buying newspapers? What kind of reports is Milkman looking for?

3. As Milkman and Guitar discuss their plan for stealing the gold, what image does Milkman see as he stares “off into the sky for inspiration”?

4. Why is Milkman aware of a falseness in his voice when he talks to Guitar about what he will buy with the gold? Why does he really want the gold?

5. What does Milkman say about the way Pilate’s household tells time?

6. Where does Milkman tell Guitar are the only places Pilate, Reba, and Hagar go together?

7. What smell fills the air on September 19, 1963?

8. How is the lake described at the beginning of the chapter?

9. What does the green sack hanging from Pilate’s ceiling “promise”?

10. What does Guitar see in the moonlight as he and Milkman leave Pilate’s house?

Answers
1. Milkman includes Guitar in his plan to recover the gold because “maybe he wanted to see Guitar warm and joking again, his face open and smiling instead of with the grim reaper look.” Milkman also wants Guitar involved because “he could look forward to both fun and fear.”

2. Milkman buys the newspaper to look for “reports of murders that appeared suspicious, pointless” to determine if they are committed by the Seven Days.

3. As Milkman stares “into the sky for inspiration” he sees a white peacock.

4. Milkman notices a falseness in his voice because he is not really interested in buying things with the gold because he’s always had money. He wants the money in order to be independent from his family and in order to seek new adventures: “New people. New places.”

5. Milkman says that Pilate and her family are “not clock people” and that he doesn’t think Pilate knows “how to tell time except by the sun.”

6. Milkman tells Guitar that the only two places the Pilate household goes to together are funerals and circuses.

7. The smell of ginger fills the air on September 19,1963.

8. The lake is described as “full of mill refuse and the chemical wastes of a plastics manufacturer.”

9. The sack hanging from Pilate’s ceiling “promised everything: the Risen Son and the heart’s lone desire. Complete power, total freedom, and perfect justice.”

10. As Guitar and Milkman leave Pilate’s house, Guitar sees “the figure of a man.”