Waldo Topics for Discussion
by Robert A. Heinlein

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What is arrogance? Is it morally reprehensible?

2. What is the difference between pride and vanity? How can jealousy inspire both covetousness and rejection?

3. Why did Waldo isolate himself in his orbital satellite?

4. Why is Waldo no longer isolated at the end of the story?

5. What is genius? Is it understandable?

6. In what ways is Waldo's awareness of his mental ability a positive factor in his life at the beginning of the story? In what ways is it negative?

7. What is inspiration? Can it be induced or seduced?

8. When Waldo isolates himself, is he being proud, or vain, or jealous? Is this understandable and believable behavior? Is it good for him, or anyone else?

9. When Waldo displays his ability to dance before an admiring audience, is this an acceptable amount of showing off? Or is it not to be expected or tolerated from a grown man?

10. What is motivation? How are people motivated?

11. Explain why the journey Waldo makes to the old farmer can or cannot be considered a supplicant's pilgrimage to a spiritual adept?