Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sister's Keeper - Themes

What is Sister's Keeper really about?

The biography of Jodi Picoult (in Twenty-first-century American Novelists, by J. Elizabeth Clark, accessed through Lit Resource Center) says ""Her novels probe the key idea of what it means to love someone."

Basically, the novel is about love. However, there's a lot else going on...

What limits, if any, should there be on parents making decisions for their children?

What factors do you consider when you're deciding how much charity to give/do? (Such as giving money to a homeless person or donating a kidney to a friend or relative?)

Should children be able to be emancipated from their parents?

Is "genetic engineering" ethical in children?

How far would/should you go to save your child's life? (This goes back to the old conundrum of "Your two children are unconscious on the railroad track and there's a speeding train approaching. You have time to save only one. Which do you choose?")

How equal is partnership in marriage? (This really varies from marriage to marriage, but just consider Sara and Brian's marriage for this one...) Is it OK for one parent to make more decisions on specific topics? How do parents decide when they have different opinions? Who's "right"? Who "wins"?

What is the definition of a "good parent"? Who's the "better" parent in this book? Sara or Brian?

Is it ethical to make a decision for another person in their best interest? Was it good or bad of Campbell to have left Julia without explaining?

How do you treat your entire family fairly when one member is desperately ill? Does it matter if the illness is short or if it lasts for years?

Should everyone be punished for the decisions they make? (Jesse, Sara) Should "looking the other way" ever be OK?

What other questions have I forgotten?

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