Hey everyone! There’s a lot of spoilers in this so if you haven’t read the book and you don’t want to know what happens then don’t read on! I’ve taken these questions from the back of the book and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in so here we go…
Also, if you haven’t read them yet, you can read my review of Wool here, my reading group questions for it here, and my review of Shift here.
Before we begin I wanted to say that at the start of the book I struggled to distinguish between Troy and Donald and that made it quite difficult to get into for a little while, but as it turns out they were the same guy! I didn’t want to put that in my book review because of the massive spoiler that it is, but I can put it here!
Thurman truly believes that he is doing what is right for his country by building the silos and forcing people inside them. do you agree with him based on the information of the possible threat to his country? or is acting on anything but a certainty of a threat too much of a risk?
I think he’s just afraid to die. There’s no other way to put it really, he’s willing to do anything to survive, and he’s terrified that the attack will come from someone else before he can protect himself and his daughter. I think if I was in his position though, I would probably have done the same, or maybe not the exact same thing, but I would have built the silos and told as many people as possible about the threat. I wouldn’t have destroyed the world though!
Mick is obviously aware of the last-minute switch between himself and donald when they go down into the silo just before the rally. of their two roles, Donald’s is the more powerful, with much more responsibility, leading to him living for hundreds of years, but he is envious of mick’s relatively normal life in a silo with helen. whose position would you rather be in?
I’m not really sure. I think Donald has the advantage of knowing what happened and everything, but I’m not sure whether I would want to because then I would have to deal with what I’d done to the world. Because if I was in Silo 1 I would have been involved in that. And also, if I were Mick I would be able to have a normal, happy life, rather than the misery that Donald had.
the members of silo one are given medication that causes them to forget traumatic events. if you were offered this medication freely, would you take it? or would you want to remember the truth about your past?
It all depends on what I’d done. I think that if I had done the things that Donald had done without really knowing what it was that I was doing then I would want to forget that. Because sometimes it’s better to just move on from things that you did in the past and forgive yourself, but with something like that I wouldn’t be able to, so it would be good to be able to just forget that it had ever happened.
donald discovers that anna is the reason he is in silo one, and not with helen in a different silo, and is furious. do you think she put him there for purely selfish reasons? or do you think she thought he would be the best man for the job? in either case, do you believe she had the right to make that decision for him?
I think, if Anna was honest with herself then she would admit that she did it for selfish reasons, but I think that the reason that she likes Donald so much is because he is the sort of person that will do the right thing without really considering the alternative, more selfish reasons. So it’s kind of both, although I don’t think that she had the right to make that decision for him. She knew that he loved Helen and she did it anyway, because she’s selfish and wanted him to be with her. It turned out ok in the end because Donald really was the person that they all needed in Silo 1, but there are so many ‘what ifs’ about what his life could have been if she hadn’t done what she did.
the crow is seen as a threat to the stability of the silo for generating a feeling of dissatisfaction among her pupils. do you agree she is a threat? would this feeling of there being something more out there be realised without her help? consider the other silos. does there always have to be a ‘crow’ figure for an uprising?
Yes she’s definitely a threat, and it’s intentional too, she wants to bring the silo down, she wants to punish them for locking them all up below ground. I think that the feeling of there being something more out there would have been realised even without her or another figure like her, because it happens repeatedly with every generation. In Silo 18 they have rebellions every twenty years or so and it can’t always be due to one person spreading malcontent. In the latest revolution for example, Jules doesn’t spread malcontent about being in the silos, the people of Mechanical rise up against the silo because of their grief.
Mission is willing to go to any lengths to help rodny as soon as he believes he is in danger. would you agree that ultimately it is his own bravery at trying to save his friend that causes his reset? are you happy that Mission can now start a new life, forgetting the troubles of his past? or do you feel angry that such a decision was made for him without his knowledge?
I think that perhaps his reset would have happened anyway, although maybe not so soon, even had he not been so brave in trying to help Rodny. I wasn’t angry so much as incredibly sad that the decision was made for him like that. And I’m not entirely sure why they wiped everything, just because Cam died doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have just wiped his memory of that, rather than his memory of Cam altogether. Although I suppose they wanted to wipe out his memories of the Crow and his school days with her. But they didn’t need to! It just made me very sad.
How did you feel when Thurman ‘sheperds’ donald back in from the outside? were you happy that he saved his life? or were you behind donald, wanting him to die a free man?
Neither really, I was too busy freaking out that Thurman was outside without a suit on! I mean honestly, I kept re-reading that paragraph trying to understand.
donald realises it was anna who swapped him and thurman for the start of his third shift. did you always suspect it was her? was there anyone else who thought that donald would be better than thurman in that role? do you agree that donald is the best man for the job?
Yeah I think that it was pretty obvious, the tension was whether Donald would be clear-headed enough to realise it before he did something stupid. Which he wasn’t. I think Victor wanted him in charge, but at that point he was already dead so really there was no one else that would have swapped them. I do agree that Donald was the best man for the job, given the alternatives, but he wasn’t prepared for it, and he didn’t know how to deal with the situation that he found himself in.
jimmy’s father leaves safety behind to go in search of his wife, resulting in both their deaths, and jimmy being alone. do you think he should have stayed to be with jimmy? could he have ever lived with the knowledge that he didn’t try to save his wife?
Perhaps he should have stayed with his son, but I really don’t think that he would have been able to live with himself knowing that he didn’t even try to find her. And it would probably would have evolved into a division between him and Jimmy, he might even blame Jimmy for his wife dying because the only reason that she put herself in danger was to go and get Jimmy from school.
donald wakes up his sister, Charlotte, because he needs her help, and as soon as she is with him, he feels happier. would you wake your loved ones if you were in donald’s position? or would you want to protect them from the horrors of their new existence?
I would want to protect them, but I’m also quite selfish, so I’d probably wake them up!
jimmy ceases to be solo and reclaims his identity when he meets another living thing in his silo- a cat. what gives you your identity? is it something deep within yourself or is it about the people surrounding you? consider yourself at Jimmy’s age. does this change how you would feel?
I think that a person’s identity is something internal that isn’t really affected by other people too much, but I think that at the age of sixteen we are all a bit too concerned with what other people think of us. And because he’s so young Jimmy is quite insecure about his own identity, he’s not really sure who he is yet and so when everybody else dies he can’t see who he is reflected in them. He can’t see their reactions to him and so he’s not sure who he is.
when juliette comes into contact with donald at the end of shift, she threatens him, as she sees him as a keeper of lies and secrets, and the reason for the state of her world. was this how you felt towards those in authority as you read wool? has your opinion changed since hearing donald’s side of the story? why?
Definitely! I totally felt the same as Jules did when I was reading Wool, but now I know better. I mean, she’s right if she’s only thinking of Thurman and the people in charge that actually knew what was happening before it happened, but it’s not like she can just go and take down the whole of Silo 1 without hurting innocent people. There are all the women and children that have been frozen for hundreds of years for one thing, they haven’t done ANYTHING wrong, and then there’s people like Donald and his sister who may have helped, but didn’t have a clue what was really going on and what they were doing. She can’t blame them for that, especially since Donald is trying to help. I mean, I can understand why she finds it so difficult to trust him, especially with the technology that warps his voice, but I can understand both sides now because we have seen more detail from both sides of the story.