Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Sophie does not seem to have much of a life in Salty Creek beyond her reading group and her painting. What keeps her in this town?
One of Sophie's few childhood friends was Sally, a friendship Sophie's mother put to an end when she discovered it. Given that Sophie grew up in an environment that fostered prejudice and segregation, how is it that she is able to see beyond the close-mindedness she had been taught?
Is Miss Ruth or Miss Anne more emblematic of the town of Salty Creek? Why?
Is it a feeling of patriotism, a feeling of friendship, or some combination of both that causes Miss Anne to hide Mr. Oto?
Japan is known as "The Land of the Rising Sun," but in the terms of this novel, could the image of a rising sun mean something more?
What is the significance of Mr. Oto's first and middle names?
Sally suggests, and Sophie agrees that, "you got to have bad feelings toward some folks because they do things [that are] bad." Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Does Sally's method of revenge against the women of Salty Creek cleaning their houses with an intensity so as to "make all those white ladies feel like they been living in a pigsty before"yield the results she seeks?
Spiritual faith is an important theme in Sophie and the Rising Sun. How does it shape the lives of Mr. Oto, Miss Ruth, and Miss Anne, respectively?
At the close of the novel, what do you think happened to Sophie and Mr. Oto?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Plume.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.
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