Debbie Lee Wesselmann


Media inquiries can be made directly to the publisher, John F. Blair.

1.   How does the setting of South Carolina’s Low Country add to the novel?  Would the novel have had the same impact if set elsewhere?  Why, or why not?

2. Reginald Armstrong states that Dana is his legacy, and not only genetically.  What does he mean?  Do you agree?  Do you think that Dana would agree?  Examine other instances of legacy in the novel, and discuss their meaning.

3. Zack and Dana survived their father’s language experiment in very different ways.  Explore how their experiences with Annie have shaped their adult lives.  Why do you believe the trauma manifested itself the way it did?  What kind of conflict does it create between them?

4.  Although superficially dissimilar, Dana and Zack, as siblings, share many characteristics.  What are they?  Do Zack’s more destructive traits bear any relationship to Dana’s positive ones?  How do the siblings reflect their father’s qualities?

5.  Discuss the metaphor of scars and wounds.  After exploring the literal ones, examine how they take a more figurative meaning. 

6. The author uses imagery that suggests that this fictional world is either obscured or vanishing.  Discuss specific images and their significance to the overall theme of the novel.  How do the images evolve from the opening pages to the last?  What do you think the author’s intent was?

Return to the first page of Captivity’s readers’ guide.

Copyright 2007 by Debbie Lee Wesselmann

Discussion Questions for Captivity