Nathan and Enoch left home for Yale at ages 14 and 15. In what ways, for better or worse, has society changed the expectations for those in their teens?
Being a member of the Linonia Society was a formative part of Nathan’s life. What did you think of their discussions? Do you think similar groups exist for young people today?
The young men discuss variations in reports of current events and read piles of newspapers in their attempts to discern the truth. How is this similar to current day? How is it different?
Nathan encounters his cousin and uncle, who remain loyal to the crown. How do you think you would have felt about the politics of the 1770s?
American patriots risked everything they had for their vision of freedom. What did freedom mean to them? Does it mean the same thing today?Betsey is not willing to make sacrifices for the causes of independence and liberty. Is she selfish? Did you find her ultimatum reasonable? Do you agree with Nathan’s decision?
Nathan discovers that life within a military camp is not as exciting as he had hoped. When have you experienced this kind of disillusionment?
Nathan volunteers for an espionage mission despite objections that he is not well-suited to the task. Do you think he was patriotic or prideful? Should Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton have sent him?Several lines have been attributed to Nathan Hale’s final moments, and many of them are included in the final chapter of But One Life. Do you believe he said any or all of them? What would you say?
Both Nathan Hale and John André gave their lives for their side of the cause. Was one more honorable than the other? How were they similar? How were they different?
Who was your favorite character in But One Life? Why?