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'Moloka'i': Themes and Literary Strategies


• Family

• Perseverance and Hope

• Love, Fleeting or Forever


• Pain and Illness

• Death

Literary Strategies Used to Convey Themes:

1. Formal Aspects of the Book

• Third-person omniscient narrator

Topics for discussion


• How is the point of view of the book changed by having a third-person omniscient narrator as opposed to a first person narrator?

2. Structure of chapters

Topics for discussion:

• Why are the chapters arranged in four sections, The Blue Vault of Heaven, The Stone Leaf, Kapu!, and 'Ohana?

• What views of the characters are changed between the sections?

• Why did the author choose to write an endnote, instead of extending the story a few more chapters? How does this help or hinder readers?

3. Language

• Poetic prose

• Integration of Hawaiian words

Topics for discussion:

• How is the reader's experience hindered or enhanced by the inclusion of Hawaiian words and phrases?