One True Thing Study Questions

Questions for One True Thing

1. Compare the following two sentences from the beginning of the book:

"Jail is not as bad as you might imagine" (3).

"Free in jail" (5)

2. Define the following: sward (6), hubris (9), detritus (23 & 277), perfidy (64), and fecund.

3. "In the Gulden household the ethos was do it yourself, for everything from Christmas gifts to floor sanding" (22). Apply the meaning of this to the circumstances in the novel, then to the development of character and motivation.

4. "But when I got to the door the glass rolled sideways and fell, shattering into innumerable shards, bright in the sun" (24). Show how this metaphor works in the book. Locate and discuss at least one other working metaphor in the book.

5. "Hospitals are a little like the beach" begins an early chapter. Explain the trope here (58).

6. See the discussion of high school students’ responses to literature, particularly on page 245.

7. How does the plot of Wuthering Heights further our understanding of One True Thing?

8. "It was easier when I believed I was covering for him" (286).

9. "I prescribed Cathy and Heathcliff until her medication kicks in" (288).

10. Examine the use of Dickens, Eliot, and the other authors as a furthering of the texture and depth of significance.