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+ What do you make of the style of this story? Who is the narrator?
The style kept me interested.  It was just offbeat enough to make me wonder what sort of twist lay in store at the end.  Turns out, the ending was surprisingly anti-climactic, but as such still made for an interesting twist – the narrator turned out to be a far more decent individual than I’d expected.

I believed, for a while, that the narrator WAS God.  By the end of the tale, I believed it was more a representation of all the greedy developers who tend to sweep in and take over – but this story was written over 30 years ago, and my opinion may be influenced by more recent trends.  Perhaps it was merely an illustration of all of the easy corruptibility often found around big fish in small ponds.

+ The word "imaginative" is used a lot. Discuss.
It’s interesting that this word was not considered a positive description.  People in power often have a very limited imagination.  Perhaps those with broader imaginations are too easily distracted to focus their energies into achieving power.  I loved the puzzle-piece idea, and I liked how the narrator went to the people affected by the changes to get their input on finding a solution.  Perhaps the poor and downtrodden are more imaginative because there is so very much outside of their reality.  When you’re rich and powerful, there’s very little left to imagine that you cannot make real.

+ What does the story say about God?
I thought the story made a good, if vague, point about the inability for mere humans to understand God.  God allows terrible things to happen, but also provides in imaginative ways.  It’s not easy to play God.  It’s not possible to have all the answers – more questions will continue to arise from every answer you think you have.  We humans do not have the imaginative capabilities to be gods.

+ What do you make of the last line? Comparisons to "Whores"?
I think this reference to no children is actually much more selfless than the one in “Whores.”  In the previous story, I felt the narrator didn’t want kids because he didn’t want to really commit to anything – he didn’t want to get too involved.  As a mother, I can attest to the level of involvement parenting requires – it is absolutely mandatory!  In this story, however, I felt that the narrator had learned something from his Galveston experience and refused the school board position because of his lack of experience (and involvement) with children.  Whoever “they” were, they may have been impressed with his money, power, charisma, what-have-you, but they never stopped to think if he was qualified to hold any position of authority over children.  Or, perhaps, they IMAGINED he’d be good at anything, but his own imagination or lack thereof, convinced him otherwise.

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