Study Questions and Essay Topics
Bradbury writes several times in Dandelion Wine about the ravine, the middle ground between civilization and untamed nature, with roads leading to both. What can be said about the interaction between these two forces throughout the book? Does Bradbury seem to favor one over the other? Why?
Tom, Douglas, and Grandpa Spaulding seem to represent three different stages of awareness, with Douglas somewhere in the middle and Tom and Grandpa Spaulding at opposite ends. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use the relationships between these three characters and other examples from the book as evidence for your argument.
Before he leaves, John Huff shows Douglas that it is often difficult to remember certain things, even if they are important to us. How do you reconcile this statement with the fact that the entire book stems from Bradbury's recollections of childhood? It may help to take a look at a few of the other ways that memory is used in the book.
Suggested Essay Topics
Although Dandelion Wine is primarily about a twelve-year-old boy, there are a host of older characters in the book. What is the role of the older people in the book? What are the contrasts between the way that old people view the world and they way that children view the world? Please mention at least three different older characters.
What is the role of the Lonely One in the novel? Take into account his role both as a man who was killed by Lavinia Nebbs and as a force that the boys believe is still alive.
Helen Loomis, Colonel Freeleigh, and Great-grandma Spaulding all die happy. Assess how Bradbury makes death all right for each of these characters and then draw some conclusions about the role of death in Dandelion Wine.
Leo Auffmann discovers that the true Happiness Machine is his family. Assess the role of family in Dandelion Wine from the perspective of at least three different characters.
Is Dandelion Wine a realistic novel? Does Douglas Spaulding represent all twelve year old boys? Defend each answer taking into account possible counterarguments.
Bradbury uses a lot of imagery in this novel. In what ways does his language mirror the content of the novel? Please refer to a few specific passages.
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