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KxBurns
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story



maude40 wrote:
What a great line on page 397 describing men returning from war, "That's why nobody talks about it, he said. They know that if they do, people will see them for what they really are. Members of the devils party amid the regular people as though they still belong. As if they're not monsters returned from a murderous rampage." This describes Robbie's state of mind. Hannah is toying with a sick man.
Yvonne



I agree, but I'm not sure that Hannah really accepts or realizes how ill Robbie is. She's so blind to the reality of Robbie's mental state -- almost willfully so!
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Tarri
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Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story


KxBurns wrote:
What factors do you think have contributed to this dramatic change in Hannah's character?

Karen




In my opinion, Hannah is lost and has lost her sense of reality and her moral compass. I think she is so unhappy with the way her life has turned out, she doesn't realize what she is doing.
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fordmg
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story



darma51 wrote:
I too believed that Hannah's affair with Robbie was a way to play the game at first but then she developed feelings for him. Once her emotions were involved the affair became a way to escape. [Edited for spoilers by moderator]

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-14-2008 02:45 PM




I believe that Hannah became involved with Robbie after he admitted to her that he went out with Emmeline for the sole purpose of seeing Hannah. Then Hannah acknowledged her feelings for Robbie. It was Robbie who first exploited Emmilene. Hannah was so unhappy in her marriage, she jumped at the escape.
MG
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fordmg
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story



KxBurns wrote:

kmliska wrote:
I believe Hannah had an affair with Robbie because she was bored and was looking for adventure. Also we know she loves to have secrets. She was not happy with the way her life had become and she saw a way to escape it by being with Robbie.

I did not like the way Hannah used Emmeline to continue seeing Robbie. It was not a good idea to put Emmeline into the middle because we know from her past that she is a romantic and it seems obvious that she would form feelings for Robbie. I believe Hannah was convincing herself that Emmeline was not becoming attached because she wanted to have a reason to continue to see Robbie.

I think Hannah knew Robbie was not okay after the fight and didn't want to risk upsetting him so she let him plan their escape. I don't really think she intended to leave with him she just wanted him to be happy. She wasn't taking it seriously but he was.



Hannah's manipulation of Emmeline and her disregard for her sister's feelings for Robbie is shocking because it is such a turn-around from the Hannah of earlier in the story. In the chapter "Bankers," Emmeline teases Hannah about a suitor whose attentions Hannah fails to entertain, and Hannah asserts that it would be wrong to lead the young man on. "I wasn't going to make a promise I couldn't keep," she says to Emmeline (p.196).

And yet here she is allowing her sister's affections to be toyed with, and possibly midleading Robbie about her seriousness about running away together.

What factors do you think have contributed to this dramatic change in Hannah's character?

Karen




I am not sure that you can put so much blame on Hannah. Emmiline was a party girl. She didn't want to be attached to anyone - just drink and party. I agree that it was a misjudgment. Emeline was hiding her attachment, but I don't think Hannah sees that until it is too late.
MG
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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story


fordmg wrote:


darma51 wrote:
I too believed that Hannah's affair with Robbie was a way to play the game at first but then she developed feelings for him. Once her emotions were involved the affair became a way to escape. [Edited for spoilers by moderator]

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-14-2008 02:45 PM




I believe that Hannah became involved with Robbie after he admitted to her that he went out with Emmeline for the sole purpose of seeing Hannah. Then Hannah acknowledged her feelings for Robbie. It was Robbie who first exploited Emmilene. Hannah was so unhappy in her marriage, she jumped at the escape.
MG



MG, you're right - I overlooked that it was Robbie who first used Emmeline to further his relationship with Hannah. Although I think the attraction was already there for Hannah; she's clearly jealous when she thinks Robbie and Emmeline are on the verge of becoming engaged. I suppose it could be the perceived closeness between R&E that sparks her attraction in the first place, but to me, Hannah's feelings for Robbie go all the way back to the library at Riverton.
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m3girl
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Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story

Some notes from this long chapter.

1.I was happy to get Hannah's perspective and thrilled that she found some fun and adventure with Robbie. That Teddy was such a drag of a husband!!

2. Deborah - don't let me get started - what a bitch! Her flirting was just painful to watch and Robbie's rejection was almost exhilerating. She reminds me of some of my single friends that really do just pounce on the available men somewhat 'wolfishly'.

3. Interesting to learn that Robbie made something of his live - and was a famous poet. The percieved romance of the writing life...back then and still today! And the thought that if he was a socialist - he would be an enemy - is rather comical knowing about Teddy and the Nazi's....So, Robbie has live the life Hannah has always dreamed of - the travel and the adventure - perhaps the and the connection to her bother David are the lure.

4. Page 370 the narrator (who I would assume to still be Grace reporting on what happened to Hannah - third person still) refers to Frederick as Pa - I found that interesting and sort of confusing. Who is calling Frederick Pa? Grace or Hannah?

5. There are more secrets...a theme of the book. I love it when Hannah eavesdrops on her husband and father in law - learning more about the men they really are.

6. Back to scorned and dangerous Deborah - it would make sense that she would figure things out between Hannah and Robbie...and then use them to her advantage. It is difficult for me to figure out if she is in fact a 'liberated' woman of the time with a job or if she is really still stuck in the old ways - or perhaps what is good for her (freedom and work) isn't right for her brother's wife. Perhaps there is some jealousy of Hannah - from the start not just about Robbie that makes her so mean.

7. The affair lasts a long time - and eventually Robbie wants more - and that is what leads to his demise...

The author tells a good tale - slowly revealing the details and keeping the reader curious.
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fordmg
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story

m3girl wrote:
4. Page 370 the narrator (who I would assume to still be Grace reporting on what happened to Hannah - third person still) refers to Frederick as Pa - I found that interesting and sort of confusing. Who is calling Frederick Pa? Grace or Hannah?

Hannah is calling Frederick Pa. It is written from Hannah's point of view. Grace is not really in this chapter.
MG
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Story



maude40 wrote:
What a great line on page 397 describing men returning from war, "That's why nobody talks about it, he said. They know that if they do, people will see them for what they really are. Members of the devils party amid the regular people as though they still belong. As if they're not monsters returned from a murderous rampage." This describes Robbie's state of mind. Hannah is toying with a sick man.
Yvonne




How true. A friend of mine came back from Vietnam so different we hardly knew how to talk to him. It took years for him to be able to have a typical pre-war conversation. The biggest change was his clinging need for his wife. They loved each other, no doubt, but he could not let her go as the years passed and they slid away from each other. It was very sad to see. And he was never, ever, diagnosed, decreed, described as sick. He was just a Viet vet.
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