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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

[ Edited ]

ashleym919 wrote:
Karen-
Emmeline professes her love for Robbie in this chapter and I was left wondering if this, combined with Deborah's ultimatum, will be enough to make Hannah forsake Robbie. Who has more to lose if the relationship ends, Robbie or Hannah?


I do not believe Emmeline's feelings would be enough for Hannah to end her relationship with Robbie. Hannah has always believed that Emme is a romantic girl who is ignorant of the ways of the world and falls in love with just any man. I doubt Hannah would ever consider that Emmeline is truly in love with Robbie.

It seems to me that Deborah's threat would be of a motivation for her to end the relationship. However love often blinds people, and I (from the foreshadowing in the book) do not believe that moving to Riverton will end her affair.

Above all, Hannah needs the escape from a life she hates. Robbie has offered her that, and I don't think she will want to give it up. Robbie doesn't seem mentally stable enough to end the affair on his own accord either.

Is this all a recipe for disaster (well, I guess it is since we know he dies at Riverton).



And we have to keep in mind that Teddy once offered Hannah similar escape from a life she hated and that didn't make her any happier.

Does anybody else think Hannah is seeking outside adventure to fill an internal void? If this is the case, can she ever be happy?

Karen

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-16-2008 05:56 PM
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Tarri
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End


KxBurns wrote:


Tarri wrote:
Hannah is a realist, now. She was a dreamer with dreams of adventure until reality crashed in on her the day she got home from her honeymoon and Deborah greeted her at the front door.




Is it the events of her life that force Hannah to change from an idealist to a realist, or her inability to act on her convictions?




Isn't it really the same thing in a way. Don't the events of her life cause the inability to act on her convictions. Hannah could have had the career she wanted to have, but she wasn't strong enough to go against her father, her grandparents, and then her husband and his parents. Perhaps if her brother had lived he would have been her ally in convincing her father she should work, and she wouldn't have made the decision to marry Teddy.
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mrstreme
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

When I read about Alfred's marriage, I wondered if Grace would feel regret for not going with Alfred when he proposed to her. I believe Grace wishes that she could be with Alfred. She may have quickly pushed it from her mind as she focuses on Hannah and her life, but deep down, I think she misses Alfred.
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EbonyAngel
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

I believe that Hannah is an idealist. I feel she mainly got married because of what Fanny said to Emmeline. It did't appear like her feeling for Teddy were really that strong from the get go.
Page 411, (amazing how that happened like that, 411, info), Deborah hired Caroline just to find out what was going on.
On page 414, Deborah asks Hannah where Emmeline would be without her family. In view of the way things went with Frederick, I don't think Emmeline would have been able to do and act as she has. I also didn't like the threat Deborah issued.
At the end of this chapter, I believe Grace is having regrets but she as always put Hannah first.
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cocospals
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

My feelings about Deborah being a "snake in the grass" pans out in this section. She is more than willing to expose Hannahs affair with Robbie. But what would she gain from it, Teddy's respect, hope that he will leave his wealth to her rather than Hannah or is she just one of those people who gain pleasure from making others squirm. I also feel Grace does regret not marrying Alfred.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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kmliska
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

Hannah is not a realist. She is a more of a dreamer. That is why she enjoyed The Game and was always looking for adventure.

I believe both Hannah and Robbie would lose a lot if their relationship were to end. Hannah would lose what little freedom she seems to have right now. Robbie seems to really need someone to be there for him. I think both of them would struggle on their own.

As for Grace I do think she regrets the choice she made. She is very upset by the news that Alfred has married Lucy. I think even if she knew what would happen ahead of time she still would have chosen to stay with Hannah. She has always been loyal to her and I don't think there is much that would change that. I'm sure it is hard for her though because she knows she let her dream go.
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nfam
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

I'm not sure I see anyone in this book as a realist, certainly not Hannah. She wants adventure, or so she thinks, but she doesn't act on her desires. I find it almost amazing that she actually had an affair with Robbie, but it was a game. If she decides to go away with him, it will be another game and I doubt she will every be happy. She seems to be looking outside for happiness and fulfillment because she can't find it inside.

Frederick wasn't a realist either. In fact they were portrayed as very alike in the opening chapters. He couldn't really bear to give up his connection to Grace's mother even to the point of having Grace as a servant in the house. They when she died he killed himself. I think he just couldn't face the disintegrating world.

From Deborah we now have a bit more insight into the match between Teddy and Hannah. She may be an unreliable witness, but she says that Simion had planned it and spoken with Hannah's father. Frederick was sure she'd say 'no', but Hannah wanted to escape and took the easy way out.

Poor Grace, her worst fears are realized when Alfred marries Lucy. She doesn't seem to be a realist at this point either. She wanted him, or thought she did, but she wanted Hannah more. Everyone in the book seems to be looking for something they can't have.

Personally I believe that Emmeline had convinced herself that she was in love with Robbie. She gave a serious impression of infatuation when he fixed her arm she she was just a child, but those impressions can linger particularly when Robbie was paying attention to her, a glamorous older man. It was hard for her to resist.

You can see the end game approaching. I think Kate has done a terrific job of starting to weave all the threads together, some from the very earliest chapters. You can tell that she worked hard at plotting this book.

Nancy
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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

So, for those of you who perceive Hannah as an idealist/dreamer rather than a realist, how do you reconcile her convictions with her actions? Or, perhaps more importantly, how does Hannah reconcile them?

I'm thinking specifically of her belief in independence versus her marriage to Teddy. To me, that indicates realism because she understands she must compromise her ideals in order to live within the reality of her life.

And her earlier belief in speaking her mind, versus her impotence within her household at #17. Also, even though she never expresses belief in the institution of marriage, I do believe her affair is a betrayal of her character, as she is presented earlier in the book. She seems to believe in being honorable.

To me, the difference is that a realist will do what's necessary to achieve their goals within the system, sacrificing their ideals if need be, while an idealist will refuse to compromise, at the expense of reaching any kind of satisfaction.
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maude40
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

Robbie is too desparate and mentally sick from the war to let Hannah go. We know he does die at Riverton so he must be unable to go on without her. It seems " The Game" goes on with Hannah, Emmeline and Robbie but with a tragic ending.
Yvonne
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maude40
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

What a waste of a life is, Grace's life. To sacrifice your life to being a maid even if it was to your half sister to me is so tragic. I believe she truly loved Alfred and Hannah is falling apart even with Grace's being there to help her. My heart breaks for Grace and her duty Hannah and none to herself.
Yvonne
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dhaupt
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End



KxBurns wrote:
So, for those of you who perceive Hannah as an idealist/dreamer rather than a realist, how do you reconcile her convictions with her actions? Or, perhaps more importantly, how does Hannah reconcile them?

I'm thinking specifically of her belief in independence versus her marriage to Teddy. To me, that indicates realism because she understands she must compromise her ideals in order to live within the reality of her life.

And her earlier belief in speaking her mind, versus her impotence within her household at #17. Also, even though she never expresses belief in the institution of marriage, I do believe her affair is a betrayal of her character, as she is presented earlier in the book. She seems to believe in being honorable.

To me, the difference is that a realist will do what's necessary to achieve their goals within the system, sacrificing their ideals if need be, while an idealist will refuse to compromise, at the expense of reaching any kind of satisfaction.




Karen,
I am one who believes Hannah an idealist. As far as her marriage, she went into the marriage not for real ideals but because she thought it was a way to further get what she dreamed about, independence & adventure, she only compromises when she realizes that she's not going to get that independence. And further on that what did she do when she couldn't realize her dream of independence, she had an affair. How real is that.

Just my opinion. It's like I read in another thread somewhere No two people ever read the same book. I think that's how it went.
Debbie
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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End


dhaupt wrote:
Karen,
I am one who believes Hannah an idealist. As far as her marriage, she went into the marriage not for real ideals but because she thought it was a way to further get what she dreamed about, independence & adventure, she only compromises when she realizes that she's not going to get that independence. And further on that what did she do when she couldn't realize her dream of independence, she had an affair. How real is that.

Just my opinion. It's like I read in another thread somewhere No two people ever read the same book. I think that's how it went.
Debbie



I see what you mean -- maybe she's a dreamer in the sense that she never really acknowledges the reality of her situation and just goes about trying to get what she wants regardless of the hopelessness of it working out in her favor?

Either way I am interested in hearing what you all think - so if I challenge your perceptions of something, it's not b/c I disagree per se or b/c I don't think you have a valid point. Just trying to keep the dialogue going! :smileyhappy:
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dhaupt
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End



KxBurns wrote:

dhaupt wrote:
Karen,
I am one who believes Hannah an idealist. As far as her marriage, she went into the marriage not for real ideals but because she thought it was a way to further get what she dreamed about, independence & adventure, she only compromises when she realizes that she's not going to get that independence. And further on that what did she do when she couldn't realize her dream of independence, she had an affair. How real is that.

Just my opinion. It's like I read in another thread somewhere No two people ever read the same book. I think that's how it went.
Debbie



I see what you mean -- maybe she's a dreamer in the sense that she never really acknowledges the reality of her situation and just goes about trying to get what she wants regardless of the hopelessness of it working out in her favor?

Either way I am interested in hearing what you all think - so if I challenge your perceptions of something, it's not b/c I disagree per se or b/c I don't think you have a valid point. Just trying to keep the dialogue going! :smileyhappy:




I know you do Karen and that's what makes you such a great moderator.
Debbie
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KathyS
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

Hannah did live with an inner void. She was seeking Teddy to fulfill it, but he never did, because his own life changed course, and left Hannah out of it. The desire in Hannah even became stronger when Robbie came back into her life. Robbie was mystery to her. Robbie became her dream in reality.

Robbie became that idealistically 'true love', living a life within a life that Hannah desperately needed to fill her most inner desires. But she also felt caught between obligations. Who needed her the most? It took Robbie to pin her against the wall, and prove how much he loved her...he needed her desperately, and that's what it took to show her which direction she had to go.

Emotions sometimes over rule the logic in things, until confusion thows more light on a situation than you can handle....more confusion creates havoc in judgment....and on and on and on....until who knows what happiness is?????????
I think I just confused myself on this one!
K.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End


KathyS wrote:
It took Robbie to pin her against the wall, and prove how much he loved her...he needed her desperately, and that's what it took to show her which direction she had to go.
K.



I don't know if this is what you're talking about necessarily but your comment reminded me of it and I don't believe we've discussed yet the scene where Robbie wakes from his nightmare and pins Hannah to the floor in a rage?! This was in the last chapter, "Hannah's Story," on page 394.

Hannah's reaction to it, the pleasure she takes in looking at the bruises around her neck, reveals so much about what she seeks from the relationship. Danger, but also as you point out, someone who needs her desperately! She is indeed playing with fire.
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katknit
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End



KathyS wrote:
Hannah did live with an inner void. She was seeking Teddy to fulfill it, but he never did, because his own life changed course, and left Hannah out of it. The desire in Hannah even became stronger when Robbie came back into her life. Robbie was mystery to her. Robbie became her dream in reality.

Robbie became that idealistically 'true love', living a life within a life that Hannah desperately needed to fill her most inner desires. But she also felt caught between obligations. Who needed her the most? It took Robbie to pin her against the wall, and prove how much he loved her...he needed her desperately, and that's what it took to show her which direction she had to go.

Emotions sometimes over rule the logic in things, until confusion thows more light on a situation than you can handle....more confusion creates havoc in judgment....and on and on and on....until who knows what happiness is?????????
I think I just confused myself on this one!
K.




I see what you mean, I don't think Hannah was looking for her husband to fulfill her, as much as to allow her the opportunity to find fulfillment by traveling and developing intellectual interests. Love in the romantic sense, and sex, did not seem to be an issue for her at all until Robbie's return sparked something. I also don't think that she needed to be pinned down that way to gain proof of Robbie's love. That incident showed her that he was indeed human and flawed, damaged, but that she could love him in spite of the flaws. And her understanding of his flaws ultimately determined the outcome.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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KathyS
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

When I said 'pinned down', I didn't mean it physically. I meant both when he betrayed his love for her...calling her on her own feelings with the note, and forcing the issue of her making a decision about what she should/needed/had to do in the end, to make them both happy. I'm not saying it was right or wrong, either, but I knew she wanted to make a change in her life, I just wasn't sure if she knew how, until he forced 'the issue' in the end.
K.

katknit wrote:


KathyS wrote:
Hannah did live with an inner void. She was seeking Teddy to fulfill it, but he never did, because his own life changed course, and left Hannah out of it. The desire in Hannah even became stronger when Robbie came back into her life. Robbie was mystery to her. Robbie became her dream in reality.

Robbie became that idealistically 'true love', living a life within a life that Hannah desperately needed to fill her most inner desires. But she also felt caught between obligations. Who needed her the most? It took Robbie to pin her against the wall, and prove how much he loved her...he needed her desperately, and that's what it took to show her which direction she had to go.

Emotions sometimes over rule the logic in things, until confusion thows more light on a situation than you can handle....more confusion creates havoc in judgment....and on and on and on....until who knows what happiness is?????????
I think I just confused myself on this one!
K.




I see what you mean, I don't think Hannah was looking for her husband to fulfill her, as much as to allow her the opportunity to find fulfillment by traveling and developing intellectual interests. Love in the romantic sense, and sex, did not seem to be an issue for her at all until Robbie's return sparked something. I also don't think that she needed to be pinned down that way to gain proof of Robbie's love. That incident showed her that he was indeed human and flawed, damaged, but that she could love him in spite of the flaws. And her understanding of his flaws ultimately determined the outcome.


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KathyS
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

[ Edited ]
Karen, no, as I just now said to KatKnit, I wasn't referring to the nightmare...I was speaking in general terms....which I explained to her. Indeed, that nightmare would make me re-think my relationship with anyone! I think I made a jest comment on it, someplace on this board! :smileyhappy:

Yes, Hannah was certainly playing with fire AND games, in more ways than one. This mix is dangerous!
K.

KxBurns wrote:

KathyS wrote:
It took Robbie to pin her against the wall, and prove how much he loved her...he needed her desperately, and that's what it took to show her which direction she had to go.
K.



I don't know if this is what you're talking about necessarily but your comment reminded me of it and I don't believe we've discussed yet the scene where Robbie wakes from his nightmare and pins Hannah to the floor in a rage?! This was in the last chapter, "Hannah's Story," on page 394.

Hannah's reaction to it, the pleasure she takes in looking at the bruises around her neck, reveals so much about what she seeks from the relationship. Danger, but also as you point out, someone who needs her desperately! She is indeed playing with fire.



Message Edited by KathyS on 01-24-2008 05:00 PM
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Peppermill
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End

"...sometimes I just want to kick her."

Why?



dhaupt wrote:
I don't agree that Hannah is a realist and I don't think Deborah meant it either I think she was being sarcastic. But if I were asked to label Hannah I would probably say Idealist.

The damage brought on by secrets to the Hartford's are many. The untimely death's of Jonathan's second son, Grace's parentage, Emmeline's shaded past and Hannah's affair with Robbie and I'm sure I've missed twenty or so along the way.

I don't think secrets can be blamed for Frederick's death, I think it was because of his failures that drove him to his decline.

I think the loss is pretty equal between Hannah and Robbie.

I think in her heart of hearts Grace is devastated by the news of Alfred and Lucy's wedding, but after a minute she pulls herself up by the bootstrings and becomes the maid again, sometimes I just want to kick her.
"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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Peppermill
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Re: PART FOUR: The Beginning of the End


Tarri wrote: Isn't it really the same thing in a way. Don't the events of her life cause the inability to act on her convictions. Hannah could have had the career she wanted to have, but she wasn't strong enough to go against her father, her grandparents, and then her husband and his parents. Perhaps if her brother had lived he would have been her ally in convincing her father she should work, and she wouldn't have made the decision to marry Teddy.


Would Hannah have had a greater chance of a career if she had reached for archaeologist or a political career than she had by pursuing shorthand? (As she was teased in the nursery by her brother David.) Would those aspirations have been more in line with her "class," as irregular as they might have been for a woman? What about the character of Hannah that she ended up the marriage route instead of independent woman, while her more unfortunate half sister was apparently able to obtain a career for herself that required a substantial investment of time and effort? Did the their class differences actually make it easier for Grace, as has been suggested elsewhere on these boards? Might it have been different for Hannah if David had returned? Could/might David have encouraged his sister down such an independent route, whereas obviously the Robbie relationship was deigned to be much different?
"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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