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Sheltiemama
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Registered: ‎06-01-2009
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

[ Edited ]
Mary and Cobb are perfect for each other. Besides being so much alike, their differences complement each other. Their lives as teachers has made them curious and knowledgeable. I don't think they would have come together as easily under other circumstances. Mary herself narrowed it down from this universe to this moment in time at this campsite in two yellow boats. I love Wally! The caftan, the cat-eye glasses ... she's my favorite minor character, period, though you have to love Myrtle.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

 


sifu-hotman wrote:

 


Leeza14 wrote:

Just a reminder not to get ahead of ourselves in this discussion -- for people who have not read past Chapter 8, please remember not to discuss things that happen later in the book, please.  Thanks!  :-)


 

But this thread doesn't have a chapter limit, like the other one, thought it means that anything goes. 

 


 

 

Not exactly. If you're compelled to talk about the rest of the book -- beyond the weekly chapters -- please preface your post with the following:

 

SPOILER ALERT

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

[ Edited ]

 


Cyscokitty wrote:

I'm having a really difficult time believing in or relating to any of the characters. Despite the health issues of Mary and the Chungamunga girls, they seem to have no character flaws or personality defects. I don't know any people who are so perfect.

I also find it difficult to believe that Mary and Cobb are so deeply involved with each other without really knowing each other. While I believe that love can happen very quickly, they seem to have a deep understanding of each other that can only come over time and shared experience.

If I had to pick a character I liked best, it would be Wally. I also like Myrtle, but the vision I have of her is more of a child-adult from a science fiction movie.


 

Do remember that Monninger is depicting a grieving man telling his own story in these pages.  I think it may be exceptionally perceptive that Monniger uses such a glowing version of reality for these early passages where grieving Cobb is our storyteller.  Cobb is seeing/recalling what he wants to remember in these early hours, whether consciously or unconsciously.  I think Monniger may be rather ingenious in recognizing that such may be a rather rosy picture.

 

"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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JanetRuth
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Do you have any other favorite minor characters? I loved Freddy and his turtles. What a neat idea, I would love to visit a place like Freddy's and witness his turtle sanctuary.
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shelley727
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Registered: ‎12-30-2007
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I think Mary & Cobb are well suited for each other.  There was an instant attraction between them.  I think Mary is a strong person and knows what she wants.  I think she a sort of free spirit and just wants to live life to the fullest.  I like how she had the # of days she had lived and how she tries to make the most of each and every day. 

I like Cobb and can see how he has made his work his life.  It seems that at the beginning when he talked about his sabbatical that he wsa looking for something.  Needed a break from his normal routine which to me was work, work, work.  Nothing wrong with that I think he just needed to do something else and he felt following in Thorau's footstep and writing was just what he needed.  Little did he know.... :smileyhappy:

 

I really like Wally.  She seems like, as Myrtle said, a good soul.  She is a caring person, enjoys what she does--working with the Chungamunga girls.

 

My other favorite minor character so far is Myrtle.  Very wise and caring person for such a young age. 

 

I think Mary & Cobb lives as teachers have shaped them to be the type of people who are optomistic and caring and love to share kowledge with others.  I believe you would have to be in order to teach--otherwise why would you be in that profession?  It takes a special person to be a teacher . 

  I think Mary is a good story teller and lover of knowledge and she shows that with the Chungamunga girls

Shelley
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KateBrianIsAwesome
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Registered: ‎08-19-2009
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Mary and Cobb are by far the characters we have come to know deeply so far. How would you describe each of them, and what has brought each of them to the river.

Mary is a free spirit ready to live life to the fullest Cobb is a man who loves history and nature. He wants to exprience what Thoreau went through on the river.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?

I think they are very suited for each other. Although their relationship does not seem very realistic to me. I guess you just have to exprience love at first sight for it to be believable.

 

Would they have come together so easily in any other circumstances?

Maybe because it seems like their relationship was their destiny.

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?

I like Francis because he seems to be to be going through what a lot of teenagers in the world are going through. I also like the Chungamunga girls because they all appreciate life even if they only get a short time on Earth. Wally is also a very good character she adds humor to the story and she cares about everyone.

Reading can only make you more happy and smarter. :smileyhappy:

Visit my blog at http://teenbibliophile.blogspot.com/

- Mallory
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shannylover
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I know I'm very early into the book but I am really enjoying the minor characters of John and Annie.  John reminds me a lot of my husband, he would love to run a hunting lodge or something in the same area, and it sounds wonderful to just be the two of us in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.  As long as I have my books of course! :smileyhappy:

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jokerc114
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?

 I find myself relating to them easily, being a teacher myself. A lot of their teaching stories are familiar to me. I think because of their teaching experience, Cobb is able to accept Mary through all her quirks and Mary can accept Cobb at face value.

 

Would they have come together so easily in any other circumstances?

I don't think so. I believe the circumstances and environment was the catalyst for the relationship "In a universe, on a continent, in a country, in a state, in a county, on a river, in a small boat."

 

 

Books are not men and yet they stay alive. ~ Stephen Vincent Benet ~
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freelamp
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Yes, Peppermill, I do believe all things happen for a reason.  We are often not meant to know why until much later.  All of my life has been a path of learning experiences.  Mary seems to be aware of the lessons she has learned along the way and Cobb is just opening up to them.  I have not finished the book yet so I don't know where the story will take us. 

freelamp
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Vermontcozy
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters


freelamp wrote:

Yes, Peppermill, I do believe all things happen for a reason.  We are often not meant to know why until much later.  All of my life has been a path of learning experiences.  Mary seems to be aware of the lessons she has learned along the way and Cobb is just opening up to them.  I have not finished the book yet so I don't know where the story will take us. 


 

VtCozy wrote: I haven't finished either,tonight probably.I appreciate your openness to all shades of grey,if you will..Things do happen for a reason,and yes,one might not know initially why..Then it could be weeks,years later when you have that ah ha moment..I have a feeling that will be the case here,even knowing what happens to Mary at the beginning...Vtc...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

[ Edited ]

Vermontcozy wrote:

freelamp wrote:

Yes, Peppermill, I do believe all things happen for a reason.  We are often not meant to know why until much later.  All of my life has been a path of learning experiences.  Mary seems to be aware of the lessons she has learned along the way and Cobb is just opening up to them.  I have not finished the book yet so I don't know where the story will take us. 


 

VtCozy wrote: I haven't finished either,tonight probably.I appreciate your openness to all shades of grey,if you will..Things do happen for a reason,and yes,one might not know initially why..Then it could be weeks,years later when you have that ah ha moment..I have a feeling that will be the case here,even knowing what happens to Mary at the beginning...Vtc...

 


While I grant cause and effect is a powerful and useful concept, I have more trouble with the expression "things happen for a reason."  For whose "reason"?  I tend to find it equally useful to say things happen, now let us find the value, the positive while dealing with the consequences, not all of which I can meaningfully ascribe to happening for a reason.  (Yes, Haiti had an earthquake because certain geological fault lines shifted.  But it would be difficult to say that it was so the world would finally come to its aid in solving its internal troubles or so that Haiti could wake up and take care of those itself or what ever "reasons" hindsight might ply.   As I said earlier, I am not one who will ever be willing to say that 9/11 happened "for a reason" -- although certainly there were lots of causes and there are many lessons that can come out of it.)  Even if there are divine plans for this earth that are being played out, I am chary of ascribing catastrophes, especially human induced, to "reasons."
Still, none of the above necessarily negates the value of sometimes saying, "Consider that it happened for a reason."
"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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mediamissy
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Registered: ‎08-06-2009
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?

Mary and Cobb seem totally suited for each other.  Both are academics with a fondness and appreciation for the river and the earth.  Mary is more the free spirit but Cobb seems to be able to ground her.  Mary uplifts Cobb and adds the spunky side to his more subtle, dry humor.

 

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people? 

Mary and Cobb seem to be dedicated to their profession of teaching.  As teachers they seem to be able to build relationships with people easily, looking at people's strengths.  As educators they also seem to embrace the opportunity for learning more. Taking trips to various locations, as they quote authors, learn from each other's area of expertise.

 

 

Would they have come together so easily in any other circumstances?

It's quite romantic that Mary and Cobb seem to click so quickly but I do wonder if people come together that quickly in the real world.  Today's society also seems to dictate that we be more "cautious" about how well we know people.  Of course, in this situation, survival on the river seems like a catalyst. 

 

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?

I enjoy the Chungamunga girls as a collective whole.  I find them endearing and innocent.  They bring a beauty and innocence to the story.


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freelamp
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Even catastrophies happen for a reason, whether scientific or from natural progression.  Terrorism has a reason as well, just horrendous to our understanding.  We live our lives hoping to learn something from our experiences.  We also die; there is no avoidence of it.  There is a thread of the living and dying in the river of our book, as well as in the lives of the characters.  That is more of what I mean about a reason for everything.   I also believe in rebirth: nature and soul.  It is too easy to get caught up in words, like the storm that comes up unexpectedly on the Allagash.

freelamp
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

[ Edited ]

It is too easy to get caught up in words, like the storm that comes up unexpectedly on the Allagash.

 

:smileyvery-happy:  Great simile!  Words indeed can be like unexpected storms  -- especially when their meanings slip and slide even as we use them, as they inevitably do.


freelamp wrote:

Even catastrophies happen for a reason, whether scientific or from natural progression.  Terrorism has a reason as well, just horrendous to our understanding.  We live our lives hoping to learn something from our experiences.  We also die; there is no avoidence of it.  There is a thread of the living and dying in the river of our book, as well as in the lives of the characters.  That is more of what I mean about a reason for everything.   I also believe in rebirth: nature and soul.  It is too easy to get caught up in words, like the storm that comes up unexpectedly on the Allagash.


"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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Buffie24
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Mary and Cobb are by far the characters we have come to know deeply so far. How would you describe each of them, and what has brought each of them to the river.

What brought them to the river was the need for something more in the lives.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?

It's half and half for me.  On one hand, they fell for each other way too fast (in my opinion).  Sure, it was love at first sight.  But it just seemed like they were promising themselves to each other before really getting to know each other.  Plus, they have never had a long term relationship before then just makes it seem, to good to be true (just my opinion again!)

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?

I think it was one of the things that holds them together, their love and passion for teaching.

 

Would they have come together so easily in any other circumstances?

I don't think so.  But then again, it was love at first sight and maybe they are soul-mates, so they would have eventually come together no matter what.

 

How would you describe Wally and what we know of her so far?

I really like her, real down to earth and caring.  I think we might see more of her (I hope!)

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?

Not yet.

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pattycakeMN
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Mary and Cobb are both teachers drawn to nature and the river.  It seems rather odd to me that neither seem to have ever had another serious relationship, and then they are sleeping with each other almost immediately.

 

They seem to have a lot in common and are really drawn to each other.  Not sure that they would have come together so easily if they were not the only people at that spot at that moment - which is also a very unrealistic thing.

 

Wally seems like a genuine person who really cares about people.

 

I like Francis, and hope that his interaction with Cobb and Mary helps him find happiness in his life.  I also like Cobb's Father - another genuine hard working contractor/carpenter.

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Susan57
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I love the eccentric Freddie.  He's off living a dream, but is helping the turtles, the reefs, and all that helps to sustain the green turtle.  Like Mary and Cobb, he loves the environment.  I think all the circumstance surrounding the characters love of learning and the environment truly do make Mary and Cobb suited for each other.  Let's face it, teachers have wonderful schedules that provide time for exploring both intellectually and physically, and Mary and Cobb live lives that allow them to pursue their interests.  It's perfect that Mary and Cobb's life began and ended by the river.

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MissRemmers
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Registered: ‎12-07-2009
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

While I'm not too far into the novel yet, I'm having a hard time with the progressing relationship between Mary and Cobb. It seems rushed, unbelievable, and more than slightly awkward at times. I'm hoping as the novel continues I'll find their relationship has evolved.
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Paula_Jean
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

[ Edited ]

My favorite minor character is Myrtle.  I like this book.  Especially for this one line, "Today, I am whatever I will be."  I love the insight of this girl.  

 

Even though I've made comments on other threads about the characters living a fairy tale and that "real" life being what the girls' experience away from the river, I believe that what you are experiencing right now is your real life.  

 

Which might be why I like the feel of this story, even if it's not what would be expected if Mary & Cobb were actual people dating in every day life between work and chores and whatever other obligations wait for them to finish their kayaking trip.

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inkslngr
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Registered: ‎12-05-2009
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Mary and Cobb are by far the characters we have come to know deeply so far. How would you describe each of them, and what has brought each of them to the river.

Mary is a go getter.  She is active.  Cobb is going to the river for the first time.  He studies what he is going to do in great detail.  Mary just does it or so it seems.  She seems a much livlier and Cobb stays somewhat in the background.  Cobb is just very laid back and accepting.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?  Pretty well I think.  Part of that is they are new to each other and it takes awhile for the differences to come to the surface sometimes.  Right now they are molding themselves to each other. 

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?  They are both teachers and I think that makes them both nurturers.

 

Would they have come together so easily in any other circumstances?  Yes but because of Cobbs acceptance they are able to stay together.  He does not contradict her on anything but, letting her live her life and going along for the ride.

 

How would you describe Wally and what we know of her so far?  She is a very loving and giving person.  It shows with her part with the girls.

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?  Annie.  She is so like home.  You feel like you have arrived when you find Annie.