37 pages 1 hour read

William Steig

Abel's Island

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1976

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Essay Topics


Describe three events or circumstances during Abel’s year on the island that most contribute to his character development. Will Abel will maintain his new outlook on life after returning home? Why or why not?


Analyze tree branches as motifs in the story. Consider the tree branch in which Abel lands on the island and the tree branch he climbs to escape the cat. What do the branches symbolize? How does Abel employ the birch branch to aid in his survival but also his contentment on the island?


The narrative gives few details about Amanda, Abel’s wife. What does the reader learn about her from Abel’s lonely musings? Why does he worry that she has remarried in his absence? What other doubts do they harbor about their relationship?