Discussion Questions

Oscar’s Gift Reading Guide: Day 28

Discussion Questions

“I knew I was standing on the edge of something strange and new and beautiful.” ~ Oscar’s Gift

In the end, the prevailing theme of Oscar Micheaux’s life was one of creative persistence.

  • Unpopular as a school child, he refused to let others define him.
  • Never having finished high school, he was a life-long learner who taught himself what he needed to know.
  • Forced to give up his land after droughts hit hard in 1911-1912, he decided to embark on a new career as a novelist.
  • Undaunted by the prospect of getting his books in the hands of readers, he went door to door selling copies and finding distributors.
  • Wanting more control than a motion picture company was willing to give him for his first film, he decided to start the Micheaux Film and Book Company.

The following discussion questions are designed to be posed after readers have finished the book. They build upon the facts of Oscar Micheaux’s life (see “The Self-Education of Oscar Micheaux” for more) and ask readers to think about their own lives, their attitudes toward luck and talent, and their ability to persist in the face of adversity.

Discussion Questions

  1. Can you think of an example of when you have felt like an oddball? What makes someone an “oddball”?
  2. How did Tomas feel at the end of chapter 2, when he learned he would no longer be going to school?
  3. Have you ever had to do hard, physical work, like the kind Tomas does to help to build their soddy and to break their land? Did you enjoy it, or not?
  4. What were Tomas’s first reactions to his new step-sisters and step-father? Have you ever had to welcome, not by your own choice, new family members or friends to your life? How did you feel?
  5. Do you have a gift or talent for doing something special? Does it make you feel different from your friends?
  6. Do you practice your gift so that you get better at it?
  7. Have you ever wanted to do something that didn’t seem possible?
  8. Do you believe that luck determines whether you will succeed? Why or why not?
  9. In chapter 10, “Thunderstorm,” Tomas is responsibility for caring for Oscar over the course of a stormy night. Have you ever been responsible for taking care of someone else? How did it make you feel about yourself?
  10. How did Tomas change by the end of the book? What led to the change?

Thank you for following along with February’s online reading guide! In a week or two, watch for a pdf version of all of the posts, re-arranged and re-formatted as a single publication. Meanwhile, if you have enjoyed the book, please recommend it to your friends and consider posting a review on Amazon.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Click HERE for the full Oscar’s Gift Reading Guide.

Oscar’s Gift: Planting Words with Oscar Micheaux is available from Amazon as a paperback and ebook.

New Oscar Cover


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