I am only halfway through the book and, while enjoying the read, am finding myself caught up on working my way through the math problems. Anyone else have that problem?
What observations do you have regarding the style of writing? The characters?
The following questions I have taken from the back of the book while making a few very subtle changes to them- note I am not posting all of them as I really have no inclination toward rushing headlong to reveal the ending before we get there.
1. The characters in The Housekeeper and the Professor are nameless (Root is only a nickname). What does it mean when an author chooses not to name the people in her book? How does that change your relationship to them as a reader?
4. The Professor tells the Housekeeper: “Math has proven the existence of God because it is absolute and without contradiction; but the devil ust exist as well, because we cannot prove it.” Does this paradox apply to anything else?
5. The Housekeeper’s father abandoned her mother before she was born; and then the Housekeeper herself suffered the same fate when pregnant with Root. In a book where all of the families are broken (including the Professor’s). what do you think Ogawa is saying about how families are composed?
7. The sum of all numbers between 1 and 10 is not difficult to figure out, but the Professor insists that Root find the answer in a particular way. Ultimately Root and the Housekeeper come to the answer together. Is there a thematic importance to their method of solving the problem? Generally, how does Ogawa use math to illustrate a whole worldview?
Okay- that should get us started! When this blog posts I’ll comment on one or two of the questions in the comment section and will do my best to keep up with our online discourse through out the week! By posting questions and discussions in such a way they will always be available so you can go back, read through it and contribute!