Bone Game Study/Quiz questions

For Tues. be prepared to answer question 1. For Thurs. be prepared to answer question 6.


1. Onatima says to her granddaughter:  “I’ve never felt a place so troubled by the past.  And, that, of course, is the essence of our problem.  We pretend that the past is over, that ten or thirty or two hundred years puts a distance between us and what we were.  But we know in our hearts there is no such thing as the past” (176). 
Analyze this passage in relation to one of the concepts we have been considering in this course: post-memory, collective memory, rememory, the trace of the ghostly. 

2. How, in Bone Game, are events of the 19th century linked to those in the 20th?

3. What is the significance of the figure of the painted gambler? Who is he and what role does he play in the narrative?

4. How do dreams figure in the novel?

5. Onatima says of the bone gambler: “He’s part of something too big.  It’s everywhere now.  We all have to live with this thing” (209).  How are we meant to understand the nature of evil in the world of Bone Game

6. The novel begins with two epigraphs that recount events from 1812 and 1993.  How are these events connected in the novel and what do these connections tell us about the relationship Bone Game posits between the past and the present? 

7. What is significance of place in this novel? How does Owens render place (description, role in narrative, role in characterization and in plot)? How is place related to memory for the novels' characters?

8. What is the relationship between the individual and the community in Bone Game?