Ideas for Reports and Papers

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1. Explore the situation of the Jews in Italy during World War II. Compare their plight to that of the Jewish people in other parts of Europe at the time.

2. Research the word ghetto and define its use throughout history.

3. Much of the novel's action takes place in the Ukraine. What was the importance of that geographical area during World War II?

4. Who were the "partisans" in World War II? Were they unique to Italy?

5. Research the role of the gondolier in Venetian history from its beginnings to the present day.

6. Discuss the symbolism of the stones mentioned throughout the novel.

7. Consider the structure of the novel. Why is it so successful?

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