Waking Lions Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

''Waking Lions'' deals with themes of right and wrong, and the often blurry line between them. These questions can help guide your students through a discussion on this book and its big ideas. Updated: 10/02/2019

Waking Lions

Waking Lions is a novel by Israeli author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen that explores questions of morality and humanitarianism as a doctor accidentally kills a refugee and is blackmailed into providing free medical service for other refugees and immigrants. This complex story should spark a lot of conversation among your students.

Questions about Characters and Plot

  • Who is the main protagonist in Waking Lions? How are we introduced to Eitan? What is his life like at the start of this novel? What are his goals? What are his concerns? What changes this? How does this kick off the main plot of the story?
  • How are we introduced to Sirkit? What is Eitan's first impression of her? What did you think about this character? How would you describe Sirkit?
  • What happens after Eitan begins working at the makeshift hospital? What are some of the things he encounters there? How do these impact him? How does this start to bleed into his personal life?
  • What are the challenges that Eitan must overcome to maintain his secret life and the secret of his killing Asum? How does Eitan deal with these challenges? How does this lead to new challenges and obstacles?
  • How are Eitan and Sirkit first presented in this novel? How do they see themselves? How do they see each other? What changes this? How do these characters develop? What new information do they learn about each other? What do they learn about themselves? How do the makeshift hospital and the other events of this story impact each character?
  • What is the climax of this story? What brought us to this point? How does the climax represent a point where the main protagonists must demonstrate their growth or make a choice about who they truly are? How is the conflict resolved?
  • How does Waking Lions end? How have our characters been changed by the conflict at the climax? What do you think about this ending? What issues are left unresolved? Why do you think that is?

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