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dghobbs
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Re: Ed

Ed - so far seems to me obsessed with his job, selling real estate, keeping his family intact, and avoiding contradicting his wife or getting on her bad side. There seems to be a sense that Fran may be an alcoholic - if so Ed shows signs of a classic co-dependent - ignore the problem and work around rather than with the other person (Fran).
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umlaut
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Re: Ed

[ Edited ]
Ed likes to have a scripted, normal life,and has opposite of the "Alpha dog" personality. Whatever changes around him he adopts and doesn't bring anything new to the table. He likes to see everyone happy and will try to do so.
simple, ordinary person, just doing his part of the share, nothing more and nothing less.

Message Edited by umlaut on 06-14-2008 12:17 PM
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
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Re: Ed



umlaut wrote:
Ed likes to have a scripted, normal life,and has opposite of the "Alpha dog" personality. Whatever changes around him he adopts and doesn't bring anything new to the table. He likes to see everyone happy and will try to do so.
simple, ordinary person, just doing his part of the share, nothing more and nothing less.

Message Edited by umlaut on 06-14-2008 12:17 PM

So would you say the book serves as an indictment of this approach to life? Or do you think O'Nan is simply making the observation but withholding judgment? The answer to that probaby depends on whether we see his depiction of these characters as sympathtic or not. I'm leaning toward sympathetic myself...
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bmbrennan
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Re: Ed

I don't know about the scripted normal life.  I saw Ed as a tragic figure berating himself for Kim missing initially, and desperately clinging to hope that she hasn't left them completely.   I felt sorry for him in that he had no one to talk to about what he thought or felt.  Other characters had someone, he hasn't.

umlaut wrote:
Ed likes to have a scripted, normal life,and has opposite of the "Alpha dog" personality. Whatever changes around him he adopts and doesn't bring anything new to the table. He likes to see everyone happy and will try to do so.
simple, ordinary person, just doing his part of the share, nothing more and nothing less.

Message Edited by umlaut on 06-14-2008 12:17 PM


bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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Turner_A
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Re: Ed

What did you think of Ed, Kim's father? I think that Ed, before Kim's disappearance, was the strong one for the family.
 
What makes him tick? I think his job, coaching, and family make him tick. Probably in this order.
 
How does he change over the course of the story? Ed, when noticing Kim is missing, attempts to do everything in his power to find her. As the story goes on, Ed seems to lose control of being the strong man in the family. I think this is because he realizes there is nothing he can really do to bring Kim back home.
 
What are some of the transformative moments for Ed? After the detective talked to them about what he could do to find Kim, Ed felt frustrated because he knew that "their position was weak".
 
In what ways does Kim's abduction influence Ed's relationship with those around him particularly Fran? I think that J.P. and Ed get closer as a result of the searches for Kim. Fran and Ed are performing different duties that deal with the same situation.
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umlaut
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Re: Ed



KxBurns wrote:


umlaut wrote:
Ed likes to have a scripted, normal life,and has opposite of the "Alpha dog" personality. Whatever changes around him he adopts and doesn't bring anything new to the table. He likes to see everyone happy and will try to do so.
simple, ordinary person, just doing his part of the share, nothing more and nothing less.

Message Edited by umlaut on 06-14-2008 12:17 PM

So would you say the book serves as an indictment of this approach to life? Or do you think O'Nan is simply making the observation but withholding judgment? The answer to that probaby depends on whether we see his depiction of these characters as sympathtic or not. I'm leaning toward sympathetic myself...





That’s a great point you made, I don't believe O'nan is being judgmental towards Ed’s lifestyle. I believe Ed brings emotional balance to the house and overall to the story. Ed’s character gives you (as a reader) a little breather room in the story and provides opportunity to explorer other story line away from searching for Kim. To me these storyline provided an opportunity to bond with the family.
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Ed


KxBurns wrote {ed.}:


umlaut wrote:
Ed likes to have a scripted, normal life,and has opposite of the "Alpha dog" personality. Whatever changes around him he adopts and doesn't bring anything new to the table. He likes to see everyone happy and will try to do so.
simple, ordinary person, just doing his part of the share, nothing more and nothing less.
So would you say the book serves as an indictment of this approach to life? Or do you think O'Nan is simply making the observation but withholding judgment? The answer to that probably depends on whether we see his depiction of these characters as sympathetic or not. I'm leaning toward sympathetic myself...





Thx for the comment, Karen. I find O'Nan far less judgmental of his characters than his readers.

But I still think he might have been able to elicit more empathy from his readers for his characters if he had taken us inside to the feelings that underlay their actions. As it is, we tend to find ourselves overlaying our own expected emotions and reactions, rather than understanding someone else. For example, my assessment of the characters has shifted as I have considered what those initial emotional reactions or mixture thereof might have been, from disbelief and concern to fear and panic to shock... in whatever order those may have occurred for each of the participants. Unfortunately, I often can only assume or guess based on the information presented. (Actions are clues to feelings; however, the same feelings can result in vastly different actions and the same actions can derive from a wide range of feelings. I wanted more help from O'Nan in sorting out the combinations at play for these characters.)
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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umlaut
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Re: Ed

I am glad you brought this up about Ed's financial problems, while i was reading this book, it seemed strange for Ed not to be discussing financial issues with his Wife Fran, my take on this was, O'nan wanted to add more complexity to the story, nothing more. Since, this plot line never leads to anything, i assume it was just there to add more drama to the plot. Another unsatisfying plot line.



KxBurns wrote:







fordmg wrote:








noannie wrote:

I think Ed was a loner and lacked self confidence. He sat back and wanted to take the easy way in any situation. I wanted to tell him to "man up".

 

noannie





I wouldn't call Ed a loner.  He was an outgoing person - a real estate agent has to meet with people all the time.  He was known in the community.  He coached soft ball, probably sponsored by his agency.  However, I don't think he had any close friends as Fran did.  This makes him realize that he is more alone than his life style may project.  The situation has been a "come to reality" wake up call and he is lost.

MG






This is so true -- all of Ed's connections as a man of some standing in the community really meant nothing in the end; it didn't help them find Kim or get any preferential treatment from law enforcement. I think Ed certainly feels disillusionment more keenly than Fran, who is able to channel her frustration back into the search efforts.

 

This reminds me, what did you all think of Ed's financial difficulties, which he hides from his family?

 

-Karen



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KxBurns
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Re: Ed



Peppermill wrote:

KxBurns wrote {ed.}:


umlaut wrote:
Ed likes to have a scripted, normal life,and has opposite of the "Alpha dog" personality. Whatever changes around him he adopts and doesn't bring anything new to the table. He likes to see everyone happy and will try to do so.
simple, ordinary person, just doing his part of the share, nothing more and nothing less.
So would you say the book serves as an indictment of this approach to life? Or do you think O'Nan is simply making the observation but withholding judgment? The answer to that probably depends on whether we see his depiction of these characters as sympathetic or not. I'm leaning toward sympathetic myself...




Thx for the comment, Karen. I find O'Nan far less judgmental of his characters than his readers.

[edited]
Oh, I completely agree! And, from reading O'Nan's comments (as well as the comments of previous FL authors), it seems natural for that to be the case. The author spends so much more time in the world of these characters than the reader, never mind the whole issue of creatorship :smileyhappy:
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KxBurns
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Re: Ed



umlaut wrote:
I am glad you brought this up about Ed's financial problems, while i was reading this book, it seemed strange for Ed not to be discussing financial issues with his Wife Fran, my take on this was, O'nan wanted to add more complexity to the story, nothing more. Since, this plot line never leads to anything, i assume it was just there to add more drama to the plot. Another unsatisfying plot line.


KxBurns wrote:
...This reminds me, what did you all think of Ed's financial difficulties, which he hides from his family?
-Karen



Hmm. See, I'm not sure this element was meant to function as a plot line; I thought it was more a device for character development. Does it seem more effective if you read it that way, as a detail meant to provide insight into Ed's psyche, or do you feel it's an unnecessary feature either way?

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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Ed


KxBurns wrote:


Peppermill wrote:...I find O'Nan far less judgmental of his characters than his readers.

[edited]
Oh, I completely agree! And, from reading O'Nan's comments (as well as the comments of previous FL authors), it seems natural for that to be the case. The author spends so much more time in the world of these characters than the reader, never mind the whole issue of creatorship :smileyhappy:



Still, I sometimes have allowed myself to be saddened by choices to judge rather than empathize. Does it say as much as it seems to about who we are as people in relationship to each other?
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Ed



Peppermill wrote:

KxBurns wrote:


Peppermill wrote:...I find O'Nan far less judgmental of his characters than his readers.

[edited]
Oh, I completely agree! And, from reading O'Nan's comments (as well as the comments of previous FL authors), it seems natural for that to be the case. The author spends so much more time in the world of these characters than the reader, never mind the whole issue of creatorship :smileyhappy:



Still, I sometimes have allowed myself to be saddened by choices to judge rather than empathize. Does it say as much as it seems to about who we are as people in relationship to each other?

That's a good question. Definitely, our opinions are evoked and voiced more liberally here than they would be in real life because we're all aware that these are fictional characters.
 
I personally felt great empathy and even affection for the characters in Songs. But I think what I've seen expressed on the boards is not so much judgment of the characters as people (although, sure, there's some of that, too) but of the characters as creations. Maybe we tend to demand more logic of fictional creations than we do of real people. What do you think?
 
Real people often do illogical things, but when a character does something that seems "out of character," we sometimes jump to the conclusion that it's a flaw in the writing, rather than a consciously written character flaw. I'm not saying this is the case here, or that you guys aren't entitled to your criticisms of some of the characters in Songs, I'm just posing this as more of a general question...
 
Thoughts?
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Ed


KxBurns wrote:


Peppermill wrote:

KxBurns wrote:


Peppermill wrote:...I find O'Nan far less judgmental of his characters than his readers.

[edited]
Oh, I completely agree! And, from reading O'Nan's comments (as well as the comments of previous FL authors), it seems natural for that to be the case. The author spends so much more time in the world of these characters than the reader, never mind the whole issue of creatorship :smileyhappy:



Still, I sometimes have allowed myself to be saddened by choices to judge rather than empathize. Does it say as much as it seems to about who we are as people in relationship to each other?

That's a good question. Definitely, our opinions are evoked and voiced more liberally here than they would be in real life because we're all aware that these are fictional characters.

I personally felt great empathy and even affection for the characters in Songs. But I think what I've seen expressed on the boards is not so much judgment of the characters as people (although, sure, there's some of that, too) but of the characters as creations. Maybe we tend to demand more logic of fictional creations than we do of real people. What do you think?

Real people often do illogical things, but when a character does something that seems "out of character," we sometimes jump to the conclusion that it's a flaw in the writing, rather than a consciously written character flaw. I'm not saying this is the case here, or that you guys aren't entitled to your criticisms of some of the characters in Songs, I'm just posing this as more of a general question...

Thoughts?





Karen -- thank you for drawing attention to the distinction of judging characters as creations of writing versus of judging characters as if they are people. A very important distinction, and I quite agree that the former is a valid part of close reading. (And, yes, my unease is much more with the latter.)

We learn not only stories, but how to read here! And, hopefully, a bit about how to live with each other and with ourselves.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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