The Water Knife Short Essay - Answer Key

Paolo Bacigalupi
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 121 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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1. How is Angel's character introduced in Chapter 1? What does the author reveal about his character in this chapter?

Angel is one of the three protagonists and the “water knife” of the novel’s title. Angel is immediately established as an anti-hero figure in this chapter through his involvement in the destruction of Carver City’s water supply and his apparent lack of remorse for the suffering that he will cause through his actions.

2. What paradox can be seen in Angel's character? How is this paradox illustrated in Chapter 1?

There is a paradox at the heart of Angel’s character throughout the novel: he is depicted as a kindhearted man, who nevertheless carries out coldhearted actions. This split is articulated in Chapter 1 through the contrast between Angel’s name and his view of himself, which is stated in the final line of the chapter as "the Devil."

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