Sylvie’s Silence Discussion Questions

  1. As the story opens, Sylvie is playing with a lump of modeling clay. How does her clay gain significance as the story unfolds?
  2. Paul wears a leg brace and limps as the result of poliomyelitis. What does Sylvie learn from Paul and how he deals with wearing the leg brace?
  3. Compare and contrast how Paulette and Sylvie related to Paul.
  4. What is the significance of the story Sylvie writes about Little Bo Peep?
  5. Little Peggie doesn’t want to leave the Kolari’s to live with her mother. How does her situation compare with Sylvie’s?
  6. In what ways and situations does Sylvie realize that not talking has disadvantages?
  7. What was the secret stitched into the scar that Sylvie was so afraid of?
  8. Sylvie talks about being free at the end of the story. In what ways is she free and in what ways are the people who pretended to be her grandparent not free?
  9. What inspires Sylvie to open the treasure box and ‘find her voice?’
  10. How does Yogi Berra’s saying of déjà vu all over again provide foreshadowing in the story?