5 TO 1 Discussion Questions for Book Clubs and Classrooms
1. What was the role of men in the Koyanagar society? How do you think men viewed their roles in society? How did women view the roles of men?
2. What kind of marriage do you think Sudasa would have with her cousin if she chose him? How might she feel and how would he treat her?
3. The theme of choice runs throughout the entire novel. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both having freedom of choice and not having it in this society. How does this compare to your freedoms and limitations?
4. What other themes were present in the book? How were they portrayed?
5. What were the issues relating to gender, both before and after the government changed? What gender issues are present today? Are there any? Why do they exist?
6. The phrase “second class citizen” comes to mind throughout the book. What does that mean and give examples from the book. How does the issue correlate with society today?
7. Discuss the role of rocks as both as a reward and their use to both reward freedom and prevent it. Include the use of irony for this symbol and find a parallel to something in current day that has this duality and explain it.
8. What part does the structure and style of the story contribute to the overall mood of the book? How so?
9. What elements made the setting in Koyanagar believable, even though it is a fictional country?
10. Gandhi was known to say, “An eye for eye makes the whole world blind.” Explain the statement and discuss how this statement is demonstrated in 5 TO 1.
11. Why were the male teens ages 15-17 made to undergo the Tests? Do you agree or disagree that this is the appropriate age for the selection and marriage? Why?
12. What decision do you believe Sudasa made at the end of the novel?
13. Who had some form of power in the course of the novel? How did they use their power and how did it affect them and others around them?
14. Appa says, “There are no bad people. Only bad choices.” Do you agree with this?
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