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Stephanie
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Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan

Don Juan enters the bull fight to save the son of his friend, Don Hernan (p. 140). What does this reveal about his character? Is this growth? Or has this been a part of his character throughout his life? If growth, how has he grown? At this point in the book, do you see Don Juan as a hero or a villain?


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Note: This topic refers to events through the chapter titled "The Truth" (through p. 179). Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are referring to events that occur after "The Truth" please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!

Stephanie
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smg5775
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan



Stephanie wrote:

Don Juan enters the bull fight to save the son of his friend, Don Hernan (p. 140). What does this reveal about his character? Is this growth? Or has this been a part of his character throughout his life? If growth, how has he grown? At this point in the book, do you see Don Juan as a hero or a villain?

Don Juan going into the bullring shows that he is interested in others and is willing to risk his life if necessary to protect another. We see this later in regards to his women. I think he has been that way all his life. He was that way back when he left the convent and went to the seminary where Fray Ignacio taught. Instead of betraying Hermana Teresa he kept quiet. He has grown in many ways not just in protecting others, but in discovering that he can love just one and feel pleasure in giving to her alone. And through the book I have never seen Don Juan as anything but a hero. He reminds be of a skit in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES by Eve Engsler. There is a skit about a man named Bob who loves women. He makes them feel good about themselves even if they don't fit society's stereotypes of women. He isn't anyone special but he is able to make his lovers feel special about themselves and him. Don Juan is the same type of man. The end line was that every woman needs a Bob in their life and I guess you could say we should have a Don Juan in our lives. They make you feel special.

Sheila

Sheila
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Stephanie
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan

Sheila,

Your post reminded me that not only did Don Juan protect Hermana Teresa, he had long since abandoned telling the Marquis who the women were that he seduced. Noble, in more than title.
Stephanie
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DouglasAbrams
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan



smg5775 wrote:


Stephanie wrote:

Don Juan enters the bull fight to save the son of his friend, Don Hernan (p. 140). What does this reveal about his character? Is this growth? Or has this been a part of his character throughout his life? If growth, how has he grown? At this point in the book, do you see Don Juan as a hero or a villain?

Don Juan going into the bullring shows that he is interested in others and is willing to risk his life if necessary to protect another. We see this later in regards to his women. I think he has been that way all his life. He was that way back when he left the convent and went to the seminary where Fray Ignacio taught. Instead of betraying Hermana Teresa he kept quiet. He has grown in many ways not just in protecting others, but in discovering that he can love just one and feel pleasure in giving to her alone. And through the book I have never seen Don Juan as anything but a hero. He reminds be of a skit in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES by Eve Engsler. There is a skit about a man named Bob who loves women. He makes them feel good about themselves even if they don't fit society's stereotypes of women. He isn't anyone special but he is able to make his lovers feel special about themselves and him. Don Juan is the same type of man. The end line was that every woman needs a Bob in their life and I guess you could say we should have a Don Juan in our lives. They make you feel special.

Sheila






Sheila,

I loved the Vagina Monologues but did not think of that skit while writing it. Thanks for reminding me of it. How do you think a man can make his wife feel as special as Don Juan (and Bob) did? What do most husbands forget?

In some ways, it seems to me that Don Juan returns to his earlier self at the bull ring. One of my writing teachers once said that people don't change but they can return to who they once were and have forgotten. I don't really agree with this. I think we can change, but I do think that often we discover parts of ourselves that we have lost. What do you think?

Doug
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smg5775
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan



DouglasAbrams wrote:


smg5775 wrote:


Stephanie wrote:

Don Juan enters the bull fight to save the son of his friend, Don Hernan (p. 140). What does this reveal about his character? Is this growth? Or has this been a part of his character throughout his life? If growth, how has he grown? At this point in the book, do you see Don Juan as a hero or a villain?

Don Juan going into the bullring shows that he is interested in others and is willing to risk his life if necessary to protect another. We see this later in regards to his women. I think he has been that way all his life. He was that way back when he left the convent and went to the seminary where Fray Ignacio taught. Instead of betraying Hermana Teresa he kept quiet. He has grown in many ways not just in protecting others, but in discovering that he can love just one and feel pleasure in giving to her alone. And through the book I have never seen Don Juan as anything but a hero. He reminds be of a skit in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES by Eve Engsler. There is a skit about a man named Bob who loves women. He makes them feel good about themselves even if they don't fit society's stereotypes of women. He isn't anyone special but he is able to make his lovers feel special about themselves and him. Don Juan is the same type of man. The end line was that every woman needs a Bob in their life and I guess you could say we should have a Don Juan in our lives. They make you feel special.

Sheila






Sheila,

I loved the Vagina Monologues but did not think of that skit while writing it. Thanks for reminding me of it. How do you think a man can make his wife feel as special as Don Juan (and Bob) did? What do most husbands forget?

In some ways, it seems to me that Don Juan returns to his earlier self at the bull ring. One of my writing teachers once said that people don't change but they can return to who they once were and have forgotten. I don't really agree with this. I think we can change, but I do think that often we discover parts of ourselves that we have lost. What do you think?

Doug




Sometimes I think husbands forget the little things. A woman doesn't want to appear to be a nag but you'd like him to take out the garbage without being told or change a light bulb he sees burned out or surprise her by doing the dishes or taking her out even if she's already defrosted the meat (refrigerators will keep it fresh for a day).
One of the sexiest scenes in a movie was when Richard Gere comes up the elevator where Susan Sarandon is working wearing a tux and carrying a single rose in SHALL WE DANCE? He was just thinking about her and what she wanted him to do about his new hobby dancing and he goes to her and dances with her. Simple but thoughtful. Dan Savage in his book COMMITMENT states that when the big romantic gesture is made, the relationship seems to end shortly after. I think he's right. I've seen the big, expensive weddings and within 2-3 years the couple is divorcing. I don't think most women want the big expensive, elaborate romantic gestures. They just want the little things that show he's thinking about her--small, thoughtful, simple.

I definitely have changed over the years. While I'm still quiet when getting to know someone, I was horribly shy when I was younger. I have changed alot. I like who I am now but I needed the awkward stages to make me want to grow into who I am. I like to think I was a late bloomer. The changes were there but I had to grow into them and become comfortable with all the possibilities of who and what I could be. I have to wonder why some people don't grow and change as they mature. It seems to me to be a waste of a life.
Sheila
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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan

I agree with Sheila about taking out the trash, changing the light bulb... but don't wait around for the wife to ask for those things. That's as annoying to her as it is to him. Men forget to take care of things - themselves, their space, etc. The self-sufficient man (a bachelor) is always appealing. Women look at them and think, there's someone I don't have to a/pick up after, b/fix things for, c/coddle. We're wrong though, because somehow, signing a piece of paper after wearing a suit for a few minutes changes all that! :smileyhappy:

Then, there's simple attention. All that attention that's paid to a woman while dating, that interest, seems to disappear after marriage. Everyone can get boring after a while- the trick I think, for both men and women, is to continue to grow and change and learn so that you remain interesting to your partner, and they to you. When my son was born I talked about nothing but him... my husband let me know right away that I was being a little boring! So what, I said, he's fabulous! It's good to remember that not everyone, including our spouses, is as interested in our passions. It helps to be diverse!
Stephanie
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smg5775
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan

I was talking to some friends tonight about this book. And they said exactly what you were saying, Stephanie, that they want small courtesies. If a husband can treat ohthers kindly and respectfully, a wife wants to be treated the same way. I also like what you say about keep learning. Take up a new hobby, read new books, go to movies, concerts, theater. Keep your life interesting for you and you will find that you're interesting to others because you have new ideas and thoughts to bring to a conversation.
Sheila
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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Don Juan's Friendship with Don Hernan

Sheila,

Small courtesies- yes, that's a perfect way to put it. To be valued as more than a "wife" and all the connotations that go along with that word.

I think one of the truest moments for me in this middle section of the book is Don Hernan's dying statement: "Tell my son, when he is a man ... that to be a man ... is to choose." That's not the whole statement, but it is the whole sentiment. We all make choices, and we can choose to spend time loving, or we can choose to get caught up in the trivialities of our day-to-day. The things that take us away from each other, in our minds especially, are often minor and insignificant.
Stephanie
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