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KxBurns
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Re: The Tape



paula_02912 wrote:
goingeast wrote: "In this chapter Hannah says, "you're too late, ...you're too late." Who is she talking to and to what is she referring? Is she telling Teddy he is too late?"

goingeast, I thought she wasn't really talking to anyone in particular...I think she was just trying to convince herself that whatever decisions she made or actions she took were what they were and they couldn't be changed or undone...

On another note...doesn't Grace say a similar thing when she left Ursula in the Drawing room? When Ruth tells her that she's going home and she never has to go back [to Riverton/to see Ursula] again...Grace responds by saying, "It is too late." (p.16)



I think when Hannah says "you're too late," she's talking to Grace and her comments have to do with whatever instructions were in her letter to Grace.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



bentley wrote:


nfam wrote:
So we finally see the real tragedy. I thought it was well set up. The original game had three players as did the final game and the author used the triangle again to show that there was only one possible conclusion. Members of the original triangle couldn't shoot each other. They could get to the end of the elastic, but then the elastic had to snap back.

I wasn't surprised at Emmeline. It felt throughout, particularly when Teddy married Hannah that there was rather a lot of sibling rivalry and jealousy. I also thought that Emmeline's fast life was a response to that jealousy. She was going to try to be as different from Hannah as possible.

The real tragedy for me was the fact that Hannah couldn't stop playing games. The final note she left for Grace in shorthand was the factor that threw the elopement into tragedy, that and using Emmeline for an unwitting go between. Interesting how their secrets, games playing and failure to deal with reality killed the three final players.

Nancy




Very well put Nancy.



Agreed!
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bentley
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

[ Edited ]
Vivico stated:
I agree with you Kiakar and I think you would agree that this wasn't a murder anyway. It was a killing, an unfortunate act of self defense and defending another. Hannah had no intentions on murdering her lover OR shooting him at all. She had no choice at this point, this was the effect and the adultery was the cause.

Sure there were a lot of other things Hannah could have done, like not get into the affair to begin with, told Teddy the truth and either stay with him or get a divorce, they did happen then altho some seem to think that was just unthinkable then! But all those were options in the past, at this precise time she only had two options, let Robbie kill Em or her and then maybe even himself, or kill Robbie before he got to them. Thats it, no other choices. This was the effect, the final outcome of their lies.

Kiakar stated:
You are right, Vivian, this is the way the author wanted it written and this is how it is. Lies will cause alot more than what these caused and these were tragic.


__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Guys,

Lies created the overall immoral state of affairs; but it was Grace who put her foot into it and overstepped her bounds. She is the one that ruined everything because she also deceived Hannah about knowing shorthand and that was the oldest deception of all; an untruth from so many years ago which started the ball rolling. You have to ask yourself which lie started the domino effect. It was not the adultery of Robbie and Hannah. Robbie was never going to kill Hannah. He may have killed himself; but I think Hannah could have talked him out of hurting Emmeline. Everyone of the characters had other choices. Grace could have come out of the shadows and helped to diffuse Robbie. Hannah could have shot Robbie below the belt or tried to talk him out of it. Emmeline could have turned and run like the dickens yelling at the top of her lungs for help. Hannah could have thrown the gun into the lake. Grace could have kept silent or shown the letters to Teddy instead. Emmeline could have let them go seeing the writing on the wall and/or not brought guns to Riverton. There could have a hundred other decisions or choices made at the lake, at the time of the party and before. These were self destructive and in some cases narcissistic people and that is what caused the tragedy in one form or another.

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 01-20-2008 11:27 PM
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bentley
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



Everyman wrote:

nfam wrote:
The original game had three players as did the final game ....

And in both trios, the man died by violence.




Everyman, you are making me laugh. Yes, the men were the victims. Tough being around those Riverton women (lol).
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vivico1
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


bentley wrote:


Everyman wrote:

nfam wrote:
The original game had three players as did the final game ....

And in both trios, the man died by violence.




Everyman, you are making me laugh. Yes, the men were the victims. Tough being around those Riverton women (lol).


If its any consolation Eman, very very few in here find the adulterous Robbie with all his planning and scheming and lying along with Hannah, in any way responsible for what transpired that night. So if your a MAN having an affair, as long as you dont get caught, well or even if you do apparently, and whether you live or die, you're not responsible for anything. Its only the women! And as a bonus, if your a man with PTSD, you got an immediate out, on being responsible for being in a harmful relationship to many because if you committed the sin and are about to physically harm others in a traumatic state of mine, well, you surely aren't to blame, maybe after all, you committed adultery, lied, cheated, hurt others in a state of PTSD I guess, because you get a pass card on any of this.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
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Re: Responsibility

AbbeyLynn and KarenBurns:

You are certainly both right about blame. No one person is responsible for this mass of secrets that caused this murder. Anyone that tells lies or secrets will start a chain that will intercept all further truth in the matter and cause most likely an interruption of peace of some kind. Thank goodness its not always murder, but a lie told, will not go unnoticed I believe in most cases anyway.
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



bentley wrote:
>__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Guys,

Lies created the overall immoral state of affairs; but it was Grace who put her foot into it and overstepped her bounds. She is the one that ruined everything because she also deceived Hannah about knowing shorthand and that was the oldest deception of all; an untruth from so many years ago which started the ball rolling. You have to ask yourself which lie started the domino effect. It was not the adultery of Robbie and Hannah. Robbie was never going to kill Hannah. He may have killed himself; but I think Hannah could have talked him out of hurting Emmeline. Everyone of the characters had other choices. Grace could have come out of the shadows and helped to diffuse Robbie. Hannah could have shot Robbie below the belt or tried to talk him out of it. Emmeline could have turned and run like the dickens yelling at the top of her lungs for help. Hannah could have thrown the gun into the lake. Grace could have kept silent or shown the letters to Teddy instead. Emmeline could have let them go seeing the writing on the wall and/or not brought guns to Riverton. There could have a hundred other decisions or choices made at the lake, at the time of the party and before. These were self destructive and in some cases narcissistic people and that is what caused the tragedy in one form or another.

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 01-20-2008 11:27 PM





I agree with you Bentley. there were many options or choices to take. but at that precise moment at the lake, there must have been only a few seconds to make the choice! In times of stress, it can sometimes be hard to make the right decision. For the author's purpose, it had to go this way to create the novel she wrote. But it is fun to figure out what else could have been done.
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bentley
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


Librarian wrote:


bentley wrote:
>__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Guys,

Lies created the overall immoral state of affairs; but it was Grace who put her foot into it and overstepped her bounds. She is the one that ruined everything because she also deceived Hannah about knowing shorthand and that was the oldest deception of all; an untruth from so many years ago which started the ball rolling. You have to ask yourself which lie started the domino effect. It was not the adultery of Robbie and Hannah. Robbie was never going to kill Hannah. He may have killed himself; but I think Hannah could have talked him out of hurting Emmeline. Everyone of the characters had other choices. Grace could have come out of the shadows and helped to diffuse Robbie. Hannah could have shot Robbie below the belt or tried to talk him out of it. Emmeline could have turned and run like the dickens yelling at the top of her lungs for help. Hannah could have thrown the gun into the lake. Grace could have kept silent or shown the letters to Teddy instead. Emmeline could have let them go seeing the writing on the wall and/or not brought guns to Riverton. There could have a hundred other decisions or choices made at the lake, at the time of the party and before. These were self destructive and in some cases narcissistic people and that is what caused the tragedy in one form or another.

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 01-20-2008 11:27 PM





I agree with you Bentley. there were many options or choices to take. but at that precise moment at the lake, there must have been only a few seconds to make the choice! In times of stress, it can sometimes be hard to make the right decision. For the author's purpose, it had to go this way to create the novel she wrote. But it is fun to figure out what else could have been done.
Librarian




Yes, Librarian, an exchange of ideas on possible solutions or other paths that the characters could have chosen but did not is always interesting. The author did what she had to do to connect the very first sentence of the novel with the last...you are absolutely right on target. I think everyone read the novel and based their interpretations on their own life's events or experiences; we all read something differently based upon our own mirrors. That is what is really delightful about First Look...the great lively discussions and probing.

Bentley
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ezraSid
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



kiakar wrote:


ezraSid wrote:
I don't think they realized that Grace was still there. However, how could she have left? She was Hannah's maid, of course she would stand by to see if she could help in some way.
My opinion of Emme didn't change, I thought of her as a spoiled brat before and haven't changed that opinion. It was noble of her to protect her sister, but wasn't she also protecting herself? She wouldn't want everyone knowing that the man she thought of as her suitor was running off with her married sister.
I would but the responsibility for Robbie's death on Emme. If she hadn't had the gun, if she hadn't interfered with their leaving it wouldn't have happened. She threatened to expose them and that threat combined with the fireworks sent Robbie over the edge. It was a very sad ending.




No one person was responsible for this disaster. It all was set in motion by all that was involved .




perhaps, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
~Grace~
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ezraSid
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



goingeast wrote:


Peppermill wrote:

ezraSid wrote:
I don't think they realized that Grace was still there. However, how could she have left? She was Hannah's maid, of course she would stand by to see if she could help in some way.

My opinion of Emme didn't change, I thought of her as a spoiled brat before and haven't changed that opinion. It was noble of her to protect her sister, but wasn't she also protecting herself? She wouldn't want everyone knowing that the man she thought of as her suitor was running off with her married sister.

I would but the responsibility for Robbie's death on Emme. If she hadn't had the gun, if she hadn't interfered with their leaving it wouldn't have happened. She threatened to expose them and that threat combined with the fireworks sent Robbie over the edge. It was a very sad ending. {emphasis added}

EzraSid -- and if the case had come to trial and you were a member of the jury, knowing what we know here as readers?




Peppermill,

You make an excellent scenario. What if the case had come to trial. Let's see...Grace was hiding in the shadows, away from them and Hannah had her eyes shut. So, who actually was the witness? Just because Grace and Hannah were present at the scene doesn't mean they actually saw what happened. I rest my case (so to speak).




well, if we were to go to trial back then, handguns were illegal, so who had the gun?
~Grace~
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KathyS
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

[ Edited ]

ezraSid wrote:


kiakar wrote:


ezraSid wrote:
I don't think they realized that Grace was still there. However, how could she have left? She was Hannah's maid, of course she would stand by to see if she could help in some way.
My opinion of Emme didn't change, I thought of her as a spoiled brat before and haven't changed that opinion. It was noble of her to protect her sister, but wasn't she also protecting herself? She wouldn't want everyone knowing that the man she thought of as her suitor was running off with her married sister.
I would but the responsibility for Robbie's death on Emme. If she hadn't had the gun, if she hadn't interfered with their leaving it wouldn't have happened. She threatened to expose them and that threat combined with the fireworks sent Robbie over the edge. It was a very sad ending.




No one person was responsible for this disaster. It all was set in motion by all that was involved .




perhaps, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


This ending certainly was a chain reaction, of all sorts...I would hate to be on this jury! Maybe it's a good thing it was kept a secret? I think someone traced it back to where Hannah...ASSUMED Grace knew how to read shorthand? What a mess this tangled web was...as Sir Walter Scott said, Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”

Kathy S.

Message Edited by KathyS on 01-23-2008 09:02 PM
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kiakar
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



ezraSid wrote:


kiakar wrote:


ezraSid wrote:
I don't think they realized that Grace was still there. However, how could she have left? She was Hannah's maid, of course she would stand by to see if she could help in some way.
My opinion of Emme didn't change, I thought of her as a spoiled brat before and haven't changed that opinion. It was noble of her to protect her sister, but wasn't she also protecting herself? She wouldn't want everyone knowing that the man she thought of as her suitor was running off with her married sister.
I would but the responsibility for Robbie's death on Emme. If she hadn't had the gun, if she hadn't interfered with their leaving it wouldn't have happened. She threatened to expose them and that threat combined with the fireworks sent Robbie over the edge. It was a very sad ending.




No one person was responsible for this disaster. It all was set in motion by all that was involved .




perhaps, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.




So, Sorry, ezraSid, I didn't include a " this is my opinion" in my post. I absolutely do not know everything about anything so from now on if I forgetto put it in my post, you can be sure its just my opinion and everybody else has theirs. Thanks.
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paula_02912
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Re: The Tape

Karen wrote: "I think when Hannah says "you're too late," she's talking to Grace and her comments have to do with whatever instructions were in her letter to Grace."

Karen, I really didn't think of that...I wish we did have a copy of the letter now, so that we could see how it would help to answer some of these questions. I am glad that it wasn't included in the book though because it left a lot more to the imagination, trying to figure out what Hannah was going to do...

In retrospect, I could see what you are saying...I also thought that she was thinking that it is too late to do anything about what happened at the lake...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


bentley wrote:
The author did what she had to do to connect the very first sentence of the novel with the last...
Bentley




Speaking of connecting the opening with the ending, let's talk about how Grace's dream ties into what we've learned from this penultimate chapter, now that we know the events at the lake as well as we can hope to.

What are your thoughts? Why is Grace, and not Hannah, holding the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound"? Do you take the foxhound to represent Robbie, or is it a symbol of the end of Grace's childhood (with the foxhound being Raverly, from the nursery)? Any other interpretations?

Karen
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



KxBurns wrote:

bentley wrote:
The author did what she had to do to connect the very first sentence of the novel with the last...
Bentley




Speaking of connecting the opening with the ending, let's talk about how Grace's dream ties into what we've learned from this penultimate chapter, now that we know the events at the lake as well as we can hope to.

What are your thoughts? Why is Grace, and not Hannah, holding the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound"? Do you take the foxhound to represent Robbie, or is it a symbol of the end of Grace's childhood (with the foxhound being Raverly, from the nursery)? Any other interpretations?

Karen






Could the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound" be a metaphor for the secret Grace has carried for all these years? The movie production triggers her thoughts again. So she has this dream. Then she decides to narrate the events and finally reveal her secret.
Librarian
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KxBurns
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


Librarian wrote:


KxBurns wrote:

bentley wrote:
The author did what she had to do to connect the very first sentence of the novel with the last...
Bentley




Speaking of connecting the opening with the ending, let's talk about how Grace's dream ties into what we've learned from this penultimate chapter, now that we know the events at the lake as well as we can hope to.

What are your thoughts? Why is Grace, and not Hannah, holding the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound"? Do you take the foxhound to represent Robbie, or is it a symbol of the end of Grace's childhood (with the foxhound being Raverly, from the nursery)? Any other interpretations?

Karen






Could the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound" be a metaphor for the secret Grace has carried for all these years? The movie production triggers her thoughts again. So she has this dream. Then she decides to narrate the events and finally reveal her secret.
Librarian



It sure could! And you could take it a step further and tie it in with another indelible image from the book, that of Hannah on her honeymoon wearing the fur stole with the beady eyes. If you put that image together with your interpretation of the dream, it is as if this secret, symbolized here as the foxhound, has been a burden Grace carried on her back for so many years and now she is ready to surrender it/offer it up.
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KathyS
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

[ Edited ]

KxBurns wrote:

Librarian wrote:


KxBurns wrote:

bentley wrote:
The author did what she had to do to connect the very first sentence of the novel with the last...
Bentley




Speaking of connecting the opening with the ending, let's talk about how Grace's dream ties into what we've learned from this penultimate chapter, now that we know the events at the lake as well as we can hope to.

What are your thoughts? Why is Grace, and not Hannah, holding the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound"? Do you take the foxhound to represent Robbie, or is it a symbol of the end of Grace's childhood (with the foxhound being Raverly, from the nursery)? Any other interpretations?

Karen



Could the "stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound" be a metaphor for the secret Grace has carried for all these years? The movie production triggers her thoughts again. So she has this dream. Then she decides to narrate the events and finally reveal her secret.
Librarian



It sure could! And you could take it a step further and tie it in with another indelible image from the book, that of Hannah on her honeymoon wearing the fur stole with the beady eyes. If you put that image together with your interpretation of the dream, it is as if this secret, symbolized here as the foxhound, has been a burden Grace carried on her back for so many years and now she is ready to surrender it/offer it up.



Just some armchair dream interpretation about guilt:
I just re-read the dream sequence, for the first time since finishing the story. A lot of symbolisms.

1) Hannah in her wedding gown....a symbol of a time when Emmeline was not happy with Hannah for making the decision to marry Teddy, and leaving her. Was Grace feeling Emmeline's grief? Do we see Hannah leaving, again?

----Or it could symbolize what should have been a happier time in Hannah's life....Was it the hopes by Grace that she could have made Hannah happy, but botched it for her with the letter?

2) Hannah with a 'voice' that 'chilled' Grace's blood..... This could have been a voice of both accusation, and resignation, as Hannah points at Grace's hands, saying, "you're too late", "you're to late."...repeats it twice....Was it that Grace was too late to save both Hannah, when she died in childbirth, or too late to prevent the death of Robbie, Hannah's true love?

The question, again, could Grace have prevented any of these deaths, if she had been truthful with Hannah about the shorthand......?

How much guilt was Grace carrying around with her? A ton!

3) Grace's hands were young in the picture: holding "the stiff, cold body of a dead foxhound." Does this 'dead-stand in' foxhound represent someone? Grace from the past is trying to give Hannah back the lives that she felt guilty in not being able to save for her?

Dreams, or nightmares, present themselves when unfinished business is naggingly present......and this business has to be finished for Grace. Resolutions have to occur - interpretations have to make sense. If Grace unburdens herself with these revelations in those tapes, then guilt is taken away with it. She dies in peace.

The major question is - at what cost do we carry guilt? Tragedies that affect other lives, besides our own, where so many people were involved, who takes these blames, besides us, as individuals? Blame doesn't seem to stick on people who have already died. If unresolved, you end up assuming it.

This is a difficult dream for me to interpret, and I'm thinking maybe only it can be interpreted by Kate Morton! :smileyhappy: Anyone else what to give it a go?
K.

Message Edited by KathyS on 01-24-2008 11:08 PM
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Peppermill
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Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

Fascinating thread to read. Thx to all of you who have contributed.

One of the questions that has been haunting me about HAR -- and it may be discussed elsewhere where I have not read yet, but did Kate Morton intend this entire story as an elaborate commentary on 911 (and similar catastrophes)? Where did the catastrophe "start"? Where, if any, is blame, guilt, responsibility, cause and effect, culpability, accountability ...? On the agents who had clues but did not reveal them or were buried by the bureaucratic processes? By social and structural expectations and disappointments? By perverted visions of self-protection? By deliberate subversion of societal norms and decency? ...

I probably go too far in making such parallels, but tidbits like Gertrude Bell (districting of the Middle East), emphasis on the impact of war on individual soldiers, the possible "mercy killing" of the second son with hemophilia, ... are among those that have taken my thoughts on this perhaps extravagant leap.
"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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KathyS
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Dreams



Peppermill wrote:
Fascinating thread to read. Thx to all of you who have contributed.

One of the questions that has been haunting me about HAR -- and it may be discussed elsewhere where I have not read yet, but did Kate Morton intend this entire story as an elaborate commentary on 911 (and similar catastrophes)? Where did the catastrophe "start"? Where, if any, is blame, guilt, responsibility, cause and effect, culpability, accountability ...? On the agents who had clues but did not reveal them or were buried by the bureaucratic processes? By social and structural expectations and disappointments? By perverted visions of self-protection? By deliberate subversion of societal norms and decency? ...

I probably go too far in making such parallels, but tidbits like Gertrude Bell (districting of the Middle East), emphasis on the impact of war on individual soldiers, the possible "mercy killing" of the second son with hemophilia, ... are among those that have taken my thoughts on this perhaps extravagant leap.


Pepper, our minds do take 'extravagant leaps' at times, don't they? Most of the time, without us even knowing it! If I thought to bring all of those side thoughts, introducing them into this complicated dream interpretation, just think where that would have taken me! LOL. After I wrote my own thoughts, I went back into the questions for the author section, and saw that Kate had given more of her thoughts about this dream, to her readers. As with any dream, there is always room for personal interpretation. As I said, the author created this dream, and she would be the only one who could interpret it properly.

Your thoughts were great, I wonder how some of those people sleep, don't you?
Kathy
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Peppermill
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Responsibility?

[ Edited ]
"I wonder how some of those people sleep, don't you?"

Kathy -- The accusation could be sweet, if it didn't apply to us -- whether we vote or we don't vote.

It may be, as one poster says, the blame is in the situation. But where is the responsibility? Somehow, placing it on Grace, or the engineers who didn't get heard on a technical difficulty for a shuttle launch, or an analyst who didn't get heard when she cried what was deemed "Wolf" before 9/11, or the child who yelled "I hate you" at the Dad who walked out of the house drunk and then had a fatal accident does not work for me. And, yes, I know those are not truly parallel situations. But they do impact my ruminations on Riverton.

Oh, dear, it must be late on a Saturday nite. I am walking the gang plank into cold water.

PS -- my comments really were back towards the entire thread on The Tape.


KathyS wrote:

Peppermill wrote:
Fascinating thread to read. Thx to all of you who have contributed.

One of the questions that has been haunting me about HAR -- and it may be discussed elsewhere where I have not read yet, but did Kate Morton intend this entire story as an elaborate commentary on 9/11 (and similar catastrophes)? Where did the catastrophe "start"? Where, if any, is blame, guilt, responsibility, cause and effect, culpability, accountability ...? On the agents who had clues but did not reveal them or were buried by the bureaucratic processes? By social and structural expectations and disappointments? By perverted visions of self-protection? By deliberate subversion of societal norms and decency? ...

I probably go too far in making such parallels, but tidbits like Gertrude Bell (districting of the Middle East), emphasis on the impact of war on individual soldiers, the possible "mercy killing" of the second son with hemophilia, ... are among those that have taken my thoughts on this perhaps extravagant leap.
Pepper, our minds do take 'extravagant leaps' at times, don't they? Most of the time, without us even knowing it! If I thought to bring all of those side thoughts, introducing them into this complicated dream interpretation, just think where that would have taken me! LOL. After I wrote my own thoughts, I went back into the questions for the author section, and saw that Kate had given more of her thoughts about this dream, to her readers. As with any dream, there is always room for personal interpretation. As I said, the author created this dream, and she would be the only one who could interpret it properly.

Your thoughts were great, I wonder how some of those people sleep, don't you?
Kathy


Message Edited by Peppermill on 01-26-2008 10:34 PM
"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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