1. What dramatic purpose does
the snowstorm serve? How does Guterson relate the storm to his narrative?
2. Does Ishmael’s decision to
bring the lighthouse evidence to Judge Fielding’s attention represent
a major development in Ishmael’s character? What is the significance
of Ishmael’s decision?
3. The novel presents several
different codes of behavior, each associated with a different character.
What are some of these codes and how do they differ?
4. Considering the demographics
of San Piedro’s population, what is ironic about the prejudice against
Japanese immigrants and their descendants? How does Guterson develop
5. Why is Sergeant Maples an
inappropriate expert witness