Questions for City of Ghosts etc


Ok so honestly, these questions are ones I thought of in regard to Stacia Kane’s City of Ghosts, but they could probably apply to a number of texts…

Read the text and consider:

How are the protagonist’s choices constrained? What about the other characters?

What messages are attached to religion in the City of Ghosts? How are they communicated? What media? (tattoos???)

How does death occure? Through what means? Does the story end there? How does the character ‘develop’ after death? Do they?

How is fear inscribed into this world? Of what is Chess afraid? How is it described?

In what conditions does Chess live? What does this communicate to us about Chess’s world? about her? how does it drive the story that unfolds?

What kinds of characters are there? Is it a wide range? 

How is sex part of the story? To what purpose? Death? Friendship? Love? Loyalty?

Who meets violent ends? To what purpose? How does their death aid the story?

What constitutes ‘loss’ in the story? How do characters experience loss?

What does belief look like in City of Ghosts? What underpins these beliefs (specific dispositions – loyalty? Love? Etc) how important are these beliefs to the narrative?

Is there such a thing as an ‘unhealthy’ approach to spirituality/relationships? What is this in this text? How does it help the story progress?

Is it ok to doubt?

What is the protagonist like?

Are there ‘surprising’ characters? Predictable ones? Stereotypes? What purpose do they serve?

Who provides comfort in the novels? What roles are otherwise ascribed to these characters (like Terrible…)? 

Do the dead play agentic roles?

How does this narrative begin?

Does anyone have ‘inside information’?

What use is ‘information’ in the novels? Is literacy important? What kind(s) of literacy?

Do the characters know everything they need to know? How do they uncover the information they don’t have? What skills/dispositions are required for such problem-solving?

What provides the characters with social relevance? How does this connect them with the setting?

Are there any ‘one-dimensional’ characters? To what purpose?

How is healing/health represented in this text?

Who is discriminated against? Persecuted?

What has been eliminated from this world?

What manner of social divides exist in this world?

Are there gendered or cultural expectations in this text?

Is the protagonist’s community isolated/or set in the context of other communities? What kind of world does this create? How does this influence the story being told?

How is home envisaged? Is it safe? Connected/isolated/calm? Is it described (why?)?

What does Chess’s ‘sense of self’ rely on?

Is there uncertainty in the narrative? For whom?

What character traits are valued in this text? (submissiveness, obedience, …)

What is ‘the conflict’ in this narrative? How does it form? How is it resolved?


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