Reading guide for Zorro by Isabel Allende

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Zorro

A Novel

by Isabel Allende

Zorro by Isabel Allende X
Zorro by Isabel Allende
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2005, 390 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Introduction
Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, Diego de la Vega is a child of two worlds: his father is an aristocratic Spanish landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. From this diverse ancestry, Diego learns the ways of the tribe along with fencing and cattle branding. Over the course of Diego's childhood, he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.

At the age of sixteen, Diego travels to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his fencing master and joins La Justicia, an underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. In Barcelona, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival in the form of Rafael Moncada. As Diego forms the persona of Zorro, a great hero is born, and the legend begins.


Questions for Discussion
    How would you characterize Diego's relationship with Bernardo, his "milk brother," and why does their connection persist despite prevailing social attitudes about class and race?

  1. How do the five basic virtues of okahué and the spiritual guidance of White Owl inform the development of Bernardo and Diego as adolescents?

  2. Where does Diego's sense of justice come from, and how would you characterize his methods of meting out justice over the course of the novel?

  3. To what extent does Bernardo's "loss of voice" diminish or augment his influence in the novel?

  4. How does Diego's indoctrination into La Justicia enact his transformation from a boy into a man?

  5. How does Diego react when achieving justice requires the death of another, and what do his reactions reveal about his character?

  6. What accounts for Juliana's attraction to Jean Lafitte instead of Diego or Rafael Moncada?

  7. From what source does Bernardo, whom Diego perceives as wise, derive his wisdom, and how does he demonstrate it at the novel's end?

  8. How does the narrator portray class and race divisions in Zorro, and in what ways are these divisions related to the novel's theme of justice?

  9. How did the revelation of the narrator's identity at the end of the book affect your appreciation of the novel?


Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Harper Perennial. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: In Extremis
    In Extremis
    by Lindsey Hilsum
    Marie ColvinInternational journalist Marie Colvin pushed the limits in her work and her personal life. Widely ...
  • Book Jacket: Vita Nostra
    Vita Nostra
    by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
    Vita Nostra by Ukrainian authors Sergey and Marina Dyachenko is one of those novels that defies ...
  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.