How has Hurricane Katrina traumatized Kathy? Zeitoun? Compare and contrast the different types of trauma they have and how they deal with their trauma.
What is shame and why do people feel it?
Why do people feel shame for actions other people have committed (to them)?
Clarification: Zeitoun didn’t commit the atrocities that he went through - other people did that to him. So why should he be the one feeling shame?
Where and how do animals come up throughout the book? How are they treated? In what ways have animals been symbols?
What do the government responses to the hurricane victims tell you about our society?
Can this ever change? How or why not?
Compare/contrast ideologies from communism/socialism or capitalism if you can.
At what point should one take responsibility for regrettable or misinformed actions?
At what point should one refuse orders to harm someone, even if it will harm you (or harm your family in that you will lose your job)?
Where is the line between doing your job and humanity?
Why weren’t procedures followed properly? What was the result of procedures not being followed?
Connect this to what happened in the Stanford Prison Experiment.
Do laws change in a state of emergency? Should they? Why and how so? Or why not?
How does hypocrisy come up in the police’s actions during the hurricane as law enforcers but also residents?
Respond to the quote on page 307: “But knowing Zeitoun’s ordeal was caused instead by systemic ignorance and malfunction -- and perhaps long-festering paranoia on the part of the National Guard and whatever other agencies were involved -- was unsettling. It was said, quite clearly, that this wasn’t a case of a bad apple or two in the barrel. The barrel itself was rotten.”
What does this quote mean?
What can we do about it?
How does it connect to Milgram or the Stanford Prison Experiments?
In what ways is fear powerful? In what ways is it harmful?
Which was more important: imprisoning looters or helping the helpless?
What is more important: safety or resources?
What do the answers to those questions say about a society?
What does a prison system say about the priorities and values of a society?