19 book club questions for We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

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Let’s warm up Questions

  1. Why does she live in an inhabitable house?
  2. Why does she lives or describes her house as a dollhouse?
  3. Are the letters a way of catharsis or are they a way to release the soul and mind of all that weighs upon it?

Discussion Questions

  1. Why does she blame herself?
  2. Why is she forced to go visit him? Why is she using “I am his mother” as a justification?
  3. Is there something that Eva is really guilty of?
  4. Eva was so into having control over everything, why do you think that she felt defeated by feeling pain during the partition?
  5. Why did she resent the fact that Kevin loved or felt secure in his father’s arms and not hers?

Feminism Questions

  1. Do mothers have additional pressure from society? Like they need to be careful of what they do for the sake of avoiding what other people will say about them?
  2. Are other mothers too judgy to other mothers or new mothers?
  3. What is the implication of the phrase “welcome to your new life” when the husband finds out that she is pregnant?
  4. Why does Eva resent so much her husband when she was giving birth?
  5. Do you think that she is the villain or does she thinks she is the villain for her own accord or because of the husband’s constant gaslighting? On page 126 who is see how Kevin is putting a lot of salt on top of his beef and when she starts to clean it, we see how the husband is blaming her that she does not allow the kid to have fun. Why is playing with your foot something funny? What is his rejection of education and authority?
  6. Page 166 Loretta said that it is always the mother’s fault. Do you agree with this?

Literature Questions 

  1. Why crimson? Why vandalize her house with red blood paint?
  2. “My yearning to go home had grown recurrent, but was most intense when I was already there” what does this mean?
  3. What is the meaning of the scene where Eva and Kevin go out for dinner, but Kevin eats a whole chicken before going out?
  4. Why is the leeches scene so difficult to swallow and yet so powerful?
  5. According to Freud,  what complex do you see present in Kevin?

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