Essay Topic 1
The boys steal Hans' boat and Will learns a lesson in human compassion as he sees the desperation in Hans' face when Hans realizes he cannot stop them from leaving with his only means to reach the nearby village. Will is touched and will remember that moment for the rest of his life, suggesting some character growth from this event. Discuss one of the following questions:
1. What is compassion? How is compassion shown? Why might Will learn compassion from watching Hans? Use examples from the book to support your answer.
2. What is the difference between compassion and pity? Discuss the implications of feeling pity versus feeling compassion. Use examples from the book to support your answer.
3. How did feeling compassion for Hans help Will grow? Compassion is generally associated with mature individuals. Do you think Will's growth made him more mature? Why or why not?
Essay Topic 2
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