Questions to accompany The Flying Machine

If you haven’t yet, read it here first and then consider these for thought/discussion:


  1. Does this story lead you to believe the people of China are better off because of Emperor Juan’s rule over them?
  2. What does the story say either about the sacrifices made for the benefits of safety, beauty, tranquility –as opposed to the benefits and beauty to be found breaking away from safety and security?
  3. Does Emperor Juan serve his own priorities first, or his people’s?


These are questions I got into with my girls when I shared this story (and I’ve been tempted to do a drama club production but an on-stage beheading in a public school serving a tiny community where I teach and everyone knows me is just unfeasible). When I get the chance to sip some wine and talk deep with friends from way back it’s usually analyzing stories and current events this way, and whenever possible I like to push students to see what might be under the words written and be able to explain it in their conversation and their writing while referring to the text.


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