Questions and polls about Robert C. O'Brien's Z for Zachariah
The hope with this blog is to assess readers' understanding of the story while examining issues related to the narrator's reliability, her antagonist's character, and the story's theme. If you know the story, please think about some of the questions and contribute your viewpoint. Citations refer to the 2007 Simon Pulse edition with the red cover.
A note for map-seekers:
Detailed maps of Burden Valley can be found here:
Blog Posts about Z for Zachariah (2006 to the present)
- Questions about Z for Zachariah
- Ann's Initial Fear
- Fear versus need for companionship
- Ann's vanity
- Ann's self-awareness and objectivity
- Is Ann more Ethical or Selfish?
- Is Ann kind to help the stranger?
- What is Loomis's character?
- Ann's guilt & Loomis's forgiveness
- Ann's hopes to have a family and preserve the human race
- Should Ann hide her feelings?
- Nightmares and the "murder" of Edward
- Feelings about Loomis's recovery
- Who is more possessive?
- Should Ann hide knowing about Edward?
- What does Ann know of Loomis?
- The "handholding incident"
- Should Ann hide her concerns?
- Is Ann paranoid?
- Is Loomis a rapist?
- A reasonable compromise?
- Control of the tractor & store
- Why does Loomis hunt Ann?
- What is the main cause of conflict?
- The "murder" of Faro
- Who is more insane?
- Why doesn't Loomis shoot Ann?
- Why is Edward important?
- Is it sensible to leave the valley?
- What is Ann's responsibility?
- What do literary references imply?
- Questions about symbolism
- Are science & technology sinister?
- The story's message, or theme
- General Comments