Friday, February 13, 2009

Let's Get Started: Discussion Questions for The Soloist

1. When they meet, Steve sees Nathaniel simply as a newspaper story, one that can bring attention to LA’s Skid Row. What obligations does Steve have—to his paper, to society, to Nathaniel—in reporting that story? How does his role change once the story affects Nathaniel’s life?

2. Readers begin to donate instruments and money immediately after Steve’s first article. What do you think compels people to help a stranger? Would people have been as eager to help Nathaniel if Steve hadn’t written about him or if Nathaniel had not been a musical genius? What do you think this says about human nature?

3. Although Steve doesn’t approach Nathaniel looking for either a friend or a music teacher, he winds up with both. Discuss how their relationship progresses from writer/subject to friendship. Is there a turning point in their relationship that you can identify? Have you experienced something similar in your own life?

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