The Darkness of Mere Being

Chapter 9: “The Darkness of Mere Being” 1. What happens to Laurie when Jon teleports her to Mars, and what does this emphasize about Jon? 2. What does Jon mean when he says, “We’re all puppets, Laurie. I’m just a puppet who can see the strings”? 3. Discuss the significance of Laurie’s earliest memory—along with other memories presented in this chapter, what realization does it lead Laurie to? What meaning do you think that realization has for her? What symbolic significance does the snow globe have? 4. Why does Jon no longer care about Earth and the fate of humanity? What arguments does he make in his debate with Laurie, and how does she respond? 5. What changes Jon’s mind about saving humanity? Explain the realization he has about the significance of human life. Discuss the symbolic meaning of Laurie’s destruction of his clockwork structure. 6. Discuss the symbolic significance of the special crater seen near the end of the chapter (which is based on an actual crater photographed on Mars). 7. Discuss your interpretation of C.G. Jung’s quote at the end of the chapter and explain how it relates to the events in the chapter.  Chapter 10: “Two Riders Were Approaching” 1. What do we learn from the scene with President Nixon at the beginning of the chapter? 2. What different approaches and theories do Daniel and Rorschach have? What evidence are they working with? What clues point to Adrian’s role in the events of the story? (Some are discussed by Daniel and Rorschach; others are clues that readers can identify, including visual clues.) 3. Why do you think Rorschach decides to leave without punishing his landlord, who told lies about him to the press? 4. What happens to the artists, writers, and other people leaving the island, and why? 5. What is the significance of Rorschach’s journal? Why does he mail it to the offices of The New Frontiersman? 6. What does the shipwreck survivor do in this chapter, and why? How is it significant that he mistakes a scarecrow for a pirate sentry? 7. Based on the scene in Karnak early in the chapter and the documents at the end of the chapter, what kind of future does Adrian seem to be preparing for? 

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