*****May contain Spoilers!******
1. We have a third-person narrator in this novel, but how much of this
narration is influenced by Will and Jim's way of looking at the world? That is,
how "close" is the narrator to our main characters?
2. The book is divided into three (four if you count the Prologue) parts:
Arrivals, Pursuits, and Departures. Do these divisions make sense? What about
the titles? Who is arriving/pursuing/departing in each?
3. We discuss in our "In a Nutshell" that Something Wicked This Way Comes can
be read as the dark side of Dandelion Wine, a novel Bradbury published in 1957
about one magical summer in the same Green Town, Illinois. Read this other novel
and tell us what you think. Pay particular attention to thematic similarities
regarding magic, seasons, and boyhood.
4. What do you think is the target audience (age group) of Something Wicked
This Way Comes? How might its meaning change for readers of different age
5. In the Prologue, we learn that Something Wicked This Way Comes is a tale of
what happens one year when Halloween comes early. What elements of the novel may
be described as Halloween-ish? What is the significance of Halloween in the
6. What kind of relationship does Will have with his father? How does this
change over the course of the novel?
7. Why is Mr. Dark so intent on capturing these two boys in particular?
8. How much do Will and Jim's birthdays play a role in determining their
characters? Does this mean that they can't help but exhibit the characteristics
that they do?
9. What's going on with that one-sentence chapter? What purpose does that serve
in the novel?
10. Charles tells his sons that the carnival preys on those unconnected to the
community, those whose cries of help will not be heard. Does this seem true
about the victims we've seen in the novel? What about the schoolteacher?