House of Stairs Topics for Discussion

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1. What is meant by the statement that the machine is a capricious provider?

2. What are the changes that take place in Blossom, Peter, Abigail, Oliver, and Lola during the course of the novel?

What causes these changes?

3. What do you think will become of Blossom, Abigail, and Oliver? Do you think their conditioning will ever go away?

4. What psychological conflicts does Peter face and how does he deal with them?

5. Why are the scientists experimenting on the young people?

6. What kind of feelings do Peter and Lola develop towards each other?

7. How does Sleator address the theme of mistrust in the story?

8. House of Stairs focuses on the conditioning of human behavior. What does it tell you about human behavior?

9. Discuss the terms "stimuli," "variable ratio reinforcement," "reward," and "punishment" in relation to the novel.

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This section contains 141 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the House of Stairs Short Guide
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House of Stairs from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.