Discussion: Fever by Lauren DeStefano
This post is part of the Catch Wither Fever Read-Along event hosted by myself and Jessie at The Daily Bookmark.
I just finished Fever and as I read I always jot down notes. While I read Wither, I came up with a couple of different discussion questions as I was reading. But with Fever, I only came up with one as I was reading. But if you have any other discussion questions that you want me to post, leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the discussion! Or you can write your own discussion post and leave a link in the comments!
Spoiler Warning: This discussion has spoilers for those who haven’t read Wither. It also may have spoilers for those who haven’t finished Fever.
Discussion Topic #1: Why Does the Caged Bird Sing?
I’ll admit, I’ve never read Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, nor have I ever really thought that I understood that concept. But I think the title kind of fits for this discussion topic.
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped from the mansion in Fever, yet things aren’t all butterflies and rainbows for them. On pages 133-134, there’s a great analogy where Rhine is thinking about Gabriel and how he is reacting to his new-found freedom. Rhine remembers a time when she had a fish and she cleaned out its tank, and when she dumped the fish into the new water, the fish promptly died. Her brother explained that she should have slowly acclimated the fish into the new water. “I’d killed it with shock” (page 133).
Rhine goes on to compare this to Gabriel. “I took him from the mansion, a virtual terrarium where Vaughn controlled everything but the weather, and I dumped him into a world of murderers and thieves and empty shells of people, with nothing for him but the promise of a freedom he didn’t even want before he met me” (page 134).
I know a lot of the participants in this read-along have wondered why Rhine was so eager to escape the mansion in the first place. The world that she lived in with her brother was gritty, grimy, rat-infested and unsafe. She was constantly having to hide so that she wouldn’t be snatched up by one of the Gatherers. But she did have her freedom, and she had her brother.
So my big question here is: Do you think that being free from the mansion is really better for Rhine? For Gabriel? They have their freedom, but at what price?
Let’s get a discussion going! And since I have a spoiler warning on this post, don’t worry about leaving spoilers in the comments! (I personally hate spoilers, but it’s really hard to have a discussion post, especially one about the 2nd book in a series, without spoilers!)
JessicaApril 6, 2012 at 11:15 am
That same section in FEVER really resonated with me, too. I'd like to argue that freedom really is better for everyone always, but I don't honestly think that's true. I think, that yes, Rhine who was born in a free situation needs to be free again, but for Gabriel, who has only ever known his life, he deserves freedom…if it will be a safe situation. I think that getting out of the mansion may have been too much for him. I'm very curious to see how he does without Rhine in book three!
Andrea @ The Overstuffed BookcaseApril 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm
Exactly! I'd love to think that freedom is always the better choice, but with Gabriel you really see that sometimes, maybe it's not for the best. Thanks so much for stopping by and for joining in on the discussion!
Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!April 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Hm….I think it really depends on the person. Like Jessica said in the above comment, Rhine was free first, and because she was forcibly taken from that freedom, she wanted it back even if it meant barely surviving. For Gabriel, all he knew was the mansion so I believe staying in the mansion was better for him. But, if you look at Jessica in the first book, she was alright with her freedom being taken away. She did the best with what she had. It really just depends on the person. I believe freedom is worth it, no matter the price. We should live by our own choices.
Great discussion Andrea!
All the best ♥
Andrea @ The Overstuffed BookcaseApril 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm
I totally agree. We all deserve our freedom, yet sometimes freedom comes with consequences that some people (in Gabriel's case, for instance) just might not be able to handle. Like Jessica said, he totally deserves that freedom – if it's safe. And unfortunately the world that they live in is not safe at all.
Thanks so much for joining the discussion, Mackenzie!