Discussion Questions – The Nix

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Discussion Questions

The Nix By Nathan Hill

  1. Why do you think that the author chose to call his novel The Nix?
  2. At the beginning of the story, Faye reveals that she believes the things a person loves the most will ultimately hurt them the worst. Which events in her life may have caused her to adopt this point of view?
  3. Why does Faye leave her son, Samuel, and her husband?
  4. Evaluate the treatment of women in the book. What kinds of experiences do the female character’s share? How are they treated by the male?
  5. Compare and contrast the parent-child relationships in the book. How does Samuel and Faye’s relationship compare to Faye’s own relationship with her father, Frank?
  6. Evaluate the treatment of technology in the book. Is technology portrayed as a positive invention or a negative one? Why are Samuel and Pwange especially addicted to Elfscape, and why does Pwange believe that Elfscape is more meaningful than the real world?
  7. In the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure portion of the book, what choice does Samuel make when Bethany asks him if he can help her avoid her upcoming nuptials and invites him into her bedroom?
  8. Evaluate the theme of shame. What causes the various characters in the novel to feel shame? How does the prevalence of this feeling impact their lives, the people they become, and the life choices they make?
  9. Consider the portrayal of suburban middle-class living in the novel. Does the book suggest whether industry provided a happier or better existence for families? For instance, is Frank living a better life because of his willingness to leave his home in Norway?
  10. Why does Judge Charlie Brown take on the case against Faye? Do you feel his animosity towards Faye is warranted? Does Judge Brown get the outcome he desires?
  11. Consider the collective view of America that the novel offers. What does this America look like? Would you say that is an accurate portrayal?
  12. At the end of the book, Faye thinks: “Something does not have to happen for it to feel real” (581). What do you think she means by this? What might her statement suggest about the past, memory, imagination, and regret?

Girly Book Club

The concept is simple. We’re a global book club for likeminded women to discuss great books! All members of the book club read the same book over the same period; members then meet up in their respective cities at the end of each month to discuss the book and exchange views.
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1 Comment

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