98 pages 3 hours read

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2012

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity.

“Life Imitating Art: Discovering the Secrets of Our Loved Ones Through Paintings, Poems, and Other Works of Art”

Just as Dante and Ari learned about one another through a mutual love of art, students will research a work of art that reminds them of a loved one—be it a friend, a family member, or a significant other—and then perform a deep analysis to see what the work of art reveals about their loved one and perhaps even themselves.

Visual art and literature serve as a thread that connects characters emotionally in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Through their discussions about art, Ari and Dante deepen their knowledge of each other and of themselves. Sometimes, Ari and Dante make direct comparisons between each other and works of art. For example, in Part 4, Dante says that Nighthawks by Edward Hopper reminds him of Ari because in the painting everyone is “remote and unknowable.”

In this exercise, you will describe someone you love—a friend, family member, or significant other—through a direct comparison with a piece of art of your choice.