Suggested Essay Topics

1. Discuss how Morrison uses personification when referring to the water and to the moon.

2.The sailor shows his disregard for other people’s property in this reading. Discuss how he violates acceptable behavior.

3. The unnamed sailor will be clever in interacting with other people, as he describes what he will do if he meets someone aboard the Seabird II. How does he show that he is a classic trickster or con man?

Chapter 1
1. Many of man’s attempts to change the wilderness island into a private residential area have had unexpected results. Discuss these contrasting outcomes.

2. Valerian is showing typical signs of aging. What behaviors and attitudes can be tied in to the aging process? How are these contrasted by his wife’s more youthful outlook on life?

3. Describe the relationship between Valerian and Sydney. Find examples of their dialogue and actions that indicate they are actually close friends, although still master and servant.

Chapter 2
1. How do the dreams during sleep and thoughts during waking periods during the night, stripped of performance before others, reveal a person’s real attitudes and personality?

2. How does Valerian’s marriage to Margaret fulfill his desire for control?

3. The experiences Jadine had with the black woman dressed in yellow and with the hats pursuing her are very mysterious. What meaning would you give the dreams?

Chapter 3
1. Why did Jadine’s attitude about her black heritage upset Michael? What did he think she should do?

2. Discuss Valerian’s...

(The entire section is 686 words.)