66 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

All the Broken Places

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Essay Topics


Boyne’s title comes from Ernest Hemingway’s World War I novel, A Farewell to Arms (Jonathan Cape, 1929), where the narrator states, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places” (264). Apply this quotation to the characters in Boyne’s story. How are they broken? How do their broken places make them stronger?


Gretel reads about the life of Marie Antoinette. Research Marie Antoinette and discuss the similarities and differences between the two women.


Gretel has many personality traits. She can be funny, assertive, judgmental, and secretive. Discuss Gretel’s multilayered characterization and how it does or doesn’t create a disarming main character.