What motivates the characters of the novel to immigrate to America? What is Per's vision?

How and why do Per and Beret drift apart in their relationship? At what moments in the novel do they fail to communicate to each other?

What is the importance of the land in the novel? What is the relationship between the land and the characters?

What does the appearance of the minister represent to the settlers? What does he represent to Beret?

Is the dominant tone of the novel optimistic or pessimistic? Is the novel actually a tragedy? What does Per's death at the end of the novel represent? Is he wrong for wanting to immigrate to America? Is he wrong for being so optimistic?