Selected Writing Prompts for Mountains Beyond

Selected Writing Prompts for Mountains Beyond Mountains
from the Random House A Reader’s Guide
I would like you to do some personal writing in response to your reading of Tracy Kidder’s book.
You will not need to have a thesis statement, as the piece can be more of a meditation or a personal
narrative. The essay should, though, be organized with a clear sense of focus. You should also
include plenty of specific examples from your own life, using narrative techniques to convey your
viewpoint. You will be given thirty minutes in class to work on the assignment, and you should
spend no more than one additional hour at home. The paper is due Monday, Feb. 1 (E200e) or
Tuesday, Feb. 2 (E200d).
1. Paul Farmer believes that “if you’re making sacrifices . . . you’re trying to lessen some psychic
discomfort” (24). Do you agree with the way that Farmer makes personal sacrifices? For what kinds
of things do you make sacrifices, and when do you expect others to make them?
2. Paul Farmer had an eccentric childhood, and his accomplishments have been unique. Do you see
a correlation between the way Farmer was raised and how he has chosen to live his life? How has
your own background influenced your life and your decisions?