Where the Lilies Bloom

by Vera Cleaver, Bill Cleaver

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 244

1. At the end of Where the Lilies Bloom, Mary Call has broken two of her promises to Roy Luther. She has taken charity (Kiser's gifts of ham, a cow, a pig, and a radio) and she has let Devola marry Riser. Furthermore, Riser is Mary Call's great enemy, symbolizing everything that is unjust. At the end of the book, Mary Call is, in a sense, Riser's child, because he has become her legal guardian. Does this mean that Mary Call has been beaten? Why do the authors give such a strong role to Riser in the story?

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2. Is it right for Roy Luther to put such a heavy burden on his fourteen-year-old daughter?

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3. If Mary Call did not have her family to think of, she probably would react differently to Roy Luther's death. How does her sense of responsibility affect the choices she makes?

4. Think about Mary Call's attitude about charity: that it demeans people and makes them smaller than they are. Do you agree with her? Why or why not? Is charity always demeaning? What is the difference, if any, between charity and kindness?

5. Have you ever tried to help someone, only to have that person snap at you? Have you ever done this to someone trying to help you? Mary Call's siblings get very angry at her, and at times she thinks of leaving them. What are the differences between Mary Call's fits of anger and those of her brother and sisters?

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