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ChrisSnyder
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


fordmg wrote:

Mary and Cobb - Are they suited for each other.

Cobb has noticed Mary on the road to the lake.  He tells of his instant attraction to her, then he ends up camping next to her when he reaches the starting point of his adventure.  I'm not sure this would have worked if they met say at a party.  It would take more conversation to find out they both liked the outdoors and camping, etc.  This is truly a chance meeting.  It makes me wonder if Mary hadn't noticed Cobb as they were traveling down the interstate.  After all he also had a kayak on the roof of his car.  We just don't get the story from Mary's point of view. They seem to be almost too good to be true.  They have instant chemistry that is noticed by others who see them, Annie and John, Wally and the CG's.  What seemed a little strange in this first part of the story, except for a brief entrance of John, Cobb is the only male character in the story so far. 


 

 

             BEWARE, SOME MAY CONSIDER COMMENT A SPOILER

 

What seemed a little strange in this first part of the story, except for a brief entrance of John, Cobb is the only male character in the story so far.

 

And the other male rangers who found Mary's body?

 

Why does Cobb attack the one ranger?  Is that staged (too), or real?


 

He attacks the Ranger because of his off hand comment about it being a "domestic fight" which insinuates Cobb killed Mary. I would have swung on him too!

 

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nicole21WA
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I'm curious about what others think of Cobb's immediate interest in Mary.  I, for one, think it's a bit odd.  When they meet, she asks if he's a bear and is always going on about crows.  I think I would've thought Mary was a little too nutty and just gone on my way!  Now that he knows all about the "Chungamunga Girls" and her potential illness, it's more understandable for him to be with her; there's an explanation for her behavior.  But I don't think I ever would've got far enough in conversation to find that out.  Yes, that would be my loss since she seems like a decent person, but that's the truth of it.

 

I also wonder what the school is going to think when Cobb returns (assuming he does, I haven't read past our selection) and hasn't really done the Thoreau journey that got him approved for the sabbatical.

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nlsamson
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Registered: ‎03-18-2009

Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I think Cobb's initial meeting with Mary intriqued me.. Mary actually intriques me.  I for one am always striking up conversations with total strangers... sometimes I walk away thinking they might just be a few cards short of a full deck, othertimes, I have walked away wishing there was a way that I could get to know them a little better (but circumstances just don't allow). (On more than one occasion a friend of mine has had to come into a convenience store that we stopped at for gas to see what the hold up is...can't help it.. I LOVE people!!!)

 

 

In the case of Cobb and Mary I think the fact that she "caught" his eye, and then he continued to run into her just added to the feeling that this was destiny...

 

I am absolutely loving this book!!!!!


nicole21WA wrote:

I'm curious about what others think of Cobb's immediate interest in Mary.  I, for one, think it's a bit odd.  When they meet, she asks if he's a bear and is always going on about crows.  I think I would've thought Mary was a little too nutty and just gone on my way!  Now that he knows all about the "Chungamunga Girls" and her potential illness, it's more understandable for him to be with her; there's an explanation for her behavior.  But I don't think I ever would've got far enough in conversation to find that out.  Yes, that would be my loss since she seems like a decent person, but that's the truth of it.

 

I also wonder what the school is going to think when Cobb returns (assuming he does, I haven't read past our selection) and hasn't really done the Thoreau journey that got him approved for the sabbatical.


 

 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away" - unknown
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Leeza14
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

So far, the minor character who has captured me the most is little Myrtle.  She simply warmed my heart and made me want to hug her.  I wonder if she will reappear somewhere in the book...I am hoping so.  She is such an old soul, and she did make me wonder if Mary was a lot like Myrtle when she was younger.

 

I also liked Wally.  I have a picture in my mind of her, and it's a fun one!  She is so in touch with all the girls and really cares for them.  She adores Mary, too, and readily accepts Cobb, mostly on Mary's recommendation, which also shows how much she thinks of Mary.

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JoanieGranola
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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. Simply, I think Mary brings a sense of mysticism to the river through her stories.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other? It becomes obvious that they're well suited to each other, given that it was a very short time before they fell in love.

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters? My favorite minor character would have to be Freddy. To be able to live in such a beautiful place and make such an environmental impact as to save the reefs and the turtles is maginificent.

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jb70
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I really liked Annie and John and loved the night they all spent together when Mary talked about them coming back to visit years down the road with their children.  It was a perfect fantasy moment.  Having not had a lot of relationship experience I felt like the two of them were a bit naive and simplistic, like high school kids in their first relationship where they feel like they are in love and will be together forever when odds are by the end of the year or when they graduate they will drift apart.  I know it seems convenient that they were in the same place at the same time but isn't that really what life is?  Being in the right or wrong place at teh right or wrong time dictates what happens to you and then you decide how you are going to go forward with the new experience.  I think having time to be alone to get to know each other without distractions was perfect, we could all benefit a bit from being unplugged from technology and having to really listen to each other and nature.  I loved that the Chungamunga girls couldn't bring any of that with them, to be unplugged for a whole month while experiencing life!

http://bookbookseverywhere.blogspot.com/
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coffee_luvr
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

 


Rachel-K wrote:

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.

In a word, they both are adventurous.  They both have a great love of the outdoors and they both seem to have experience with the potential risks that outdoor trekking, camping, kayaking in wild areas can bring.  They both seemed to have been well prepared to make their trek in solitude; so I would wager they are both independent as well.

 

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?

The love of the outdoors seems to have put them in the same place at the same time.  I am wondering if the author is telling us he believes in destiny...are we destined to meet our one true love?     I am not certain yet if they are suited for each other.  I need to know more. I have read thru chapter 8 and at this point, I am not convinced. 

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?

Mary clearly shows teaching, mentoring and storytelling abilities.  Cobb's character doesn't really reflect much about his teaching career and how it shaped him at this point in the book.  All we really know is he is on a journey to experience what inspired Thoreau.  But Cobb never followed thru on that......he only spent that one night alone in the place where Thoreau also stayed....that made me wonder.

 

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

No, I do not believe so.  I think the magic of the place and the solitude without any other outside influences made this easier.  Although, I am not truly convinced the speed of the relationship is realistic.

 

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

Someone with wisdom and intuition

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?

I really liked Annie.

 


 

 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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coffee_luvr
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

 


nicole21WA wrote:

I'm curious about what others think of Cobb's immediate interest in Mary.  I, for one, think it's a bit odd.  When they meet, she asks if he's a bear and is always going on about crows.  I think I would've thought Mary was a little too nutty and just gone on my way!  Now that he knows all about the "Chungamunga Girls" and her potential illness, it's more understandable for him to be with her; there's an explanation for her behavior.  But I don't think I ever would've got far enough in conversation to find that out.  Yes, that would be my loss since she seems like a decent person, but that's the truth of it.

 

I also wonder what the school is going to think when Cobb returns (assuming he does, I haven't read past our selection) and hasn't really done the Thoreau journey that got him approved for the sabbatical.


 

 

Cobb's initial "interest" in Mary doesn't surprise me, she is described as attractive and I am sure her self sufficient ways made her even more interesting to Cobb.  What I am not sure about is how quickly they fell in love and were both so sure that was what it was.  I might be just a bit more cynical but that was just a little hard for me to buy in to. 

I too thought it odd that Cobb only spent the one day and night experiencing Thoreau's journey.  Seemed like he let that go pretty quickly.  I too haven't read past chapter eight yet.  Maybe we will see more in the next sections.

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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jbg78
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Wally and Freddy are my favorite minor characters. The Girls are an entity of their own.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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carol_fa
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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 & Cobb are free spirits, both very sensitive people. I think fate has brought them to the river.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?

 Very suited to each other.

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?

 I think being a teacher...let me rephrase that.  I think being a good teacher requires a person to be caring, thoughtful and compassionate. With that being said, I think that Mary and Cobb's basic personality, shapes them into good teachers, not the other way around.

 

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

Most definitely, maybe not as quickly, but they are soul mates.

 

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

I think Wally is a very wise woman, maybe very spiritual.

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?

Probably Myrtle she is a very wise person for her young ears.

I also liked Sarah for listening to Cobb tell his story of Mary.

 

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donelsonj
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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 an adventurer whose life has forced her to live in the moment and be cautious with relationships, although you could say this relationship went rather quickly. Cobb appears to be more conservative and a "learner" as opposed to a "doer". I feel like this trip has taken him outside of the box.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other? 

Although they appear to be opposites, they complement each other. Where one of them is strong - the other needs them, but the other is strong in the areas of the other's weakness.

Without Mary's expertise, Cobb probably would not have lasted for more than a day or two on his river trip. Mary is finding in Cobb what her life is missing. 

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?

They both enjoy new experiences and sharing with others. The compassion they need as teachers enables them to quickly bond and cement their relationship. It gives them the common thread that holds them together.

 

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

No, I think Cobb's insecurities of his trip enabled him to lean on Mary and Mary's insecurities on life and relationships caused her to fall for Cobb.

 

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

Wally is a strong character who knows the correct thing to do in different cirumstances. Her wording seems carefully chosen to push Cobb to find out more about Mary. She appears to be strong, caring, and compassionate.

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters? Not yet.

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Peppermill
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I also liked Sarah for listening to Cobb tell his story of Mary.

 

Carol -- I did, too.  It has surprised me that so few so far have called attention to her.  I am wondering, however, what her training is as an officer of the law, as Melissa pointed out in an earlier post.    

 

 


carol_fa wrote:

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 & Cobb are free spirits, both very sensitive people. I think fate has brought them to the river.

 

How well are Mary and Cobb suited to each other?

 Very suited to each other.

 

How do their lives as teachers shape them as people?

 I think being a teacher...let me rephrase that.  I think being a good teacher requires a person to be caring, thoughtful and compassionate. With that being said, I think that Mary and Cobb's basic personality, shapes them into good teachers, not the other way around.

 

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

Most definitely, maybe not as quickly, but they are soul mates.

 

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

I think Wally is a very wise woman, maybe very spiritual.

 

Do you have any other favorite minor characters?

Probably Myrtle she is a very wise person for her young ears.

I also liked Sarah for listening to Cobb tell his story of Mary.


"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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krb2g
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I'm not sure I buy the love at first sight thing--it seemed a little forced to me. While Mary and Cobb seem like they make a good match for each other on the surface (they have good chemistry with each other, they're both teachers [though through chapter 8 we see more of her teaching than of his] and they both like the outdoors [though here too, she seems to outpace him]), I'm not sure they're as good a match on deeper levels--while she wants to avoid the knowledge of whether she has Huntington's Disease as long as she possibly can (by not taking the test), Cobb at first doesn't understand why you wouldn't want to know, so you could plan as best as possible. Even Mary's agreement (which she comes up with on her own)--that she'll take the test so Cobb can know and make his own decision seems to lack some give-and-take. 

 

Also, I found the frame of the story a bit forced as well. Obviously after Mary has died, Cobb wants to share their story with someone, but I found Sarah's sense of "she was someone special, you really loved her" a bit sudden. I also felt like the text was trying to overdo the emotional connection between Sarah (as a person who really "got" what Cobb and Mary shared) and Cobb (with all his emotional baggage).

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Peppermill
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I also felt like the text was trying to overdo the emotional connection between Sarah (as a person who really "got" what Cobb and Mary shared) and Cobb (with all his emotional baggage).

 

While I like Sarah, the text didn't necessarily lead me to "trust" her as a confidante.

 

 


krb2g wrote:

I'm not sure I buy the love at first sight thing--it seemed a little forced to me. While Mary and Cobb seem like they make a good match for each other on the surface (they have good chemistry with each other, they're both teachers [though through chapter 8 we see more of her teaching than of his] and they both like the outdoors [though here too, she seems to outpace him]), I'm not sure they're as good a match on deeper levels--while she wants to avoid the knowledge of whether she has Huntington's Disease as long as she possibly can (by not taking the test), Cobb at first doesn't understand why you wouldn't want to know, so you could plan as best as possible. Even Mary's agreement (which she comes up with on her own)--that she'll take the test so Cobb can know and make his own decision seems to lack some give-and-take. 

 

Also, I found the frame of the story a bit forced as well. Obviously after Mary has died, Cobb wants to share their story with someone, but I found Sarah's sense of "she was someone special, you really loved her" a bit sudden. I also felt like the text was trying to overdo the emotional connection between Sarah (as a person who really "got" what Cobb and Mary shared) and Cobb (with all his emotional baggage)


 

 

"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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dhaupt
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

 


nicole21WA wrote:

I'm curious about what others think of Cobb's immediate interest in Mary.  I, for one, think it's a bit odd.  When they meet, she asks if he's a bear and is always going on about crows.  I think I would've thought Mary was a little too nutty and just gone on my way!  Now that he knows all about the "Chungamunga Girls" and her potential illness, it's more understandable for him to be with her; there's an explanation for her behavior.  But I don't think I ever would've got far enough in conversation to find that out.  Yes, that would be my loss since she seems like a decent person, but that's the truth of it.

 

I also wonder what the school is going to think when Cobb returns (assuming he does, I haven't read past our selection) and hasn't really done the Thoreau journey that got him approved for the sabbatical.


 

 

In my opinion and in the context of the characters in the book and knowing that they are not only teachers but naturalists, they have a rather unique way of looking at the world and of other people around them. They tend to connect to other people and have fewer phobias about strangers etc., they have to sometimes rely on strangers when out in the wilderness. I think of them as modern day hippies to an extent. And in that it didn't surprise me at all that they took to each other right away. In fact when they first met I thought the rest of the book would be pretty predictable. Boy was I wrong.

 

Now if I were in their position, well I wouldn't be in their position so it doesn't matter. I'm neither a naturalist or fond of the wilderness unless it can be experienced through a big window in front of a fire with a big mug of Seattle's Best coffee. 

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mrsareads
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Mary has certain qualities that Cobb seems to be searching for in himself. She is confident in who she is and what she wants in life; whereas Cobb appears to be searching within himself for this comfort zone. Mary gives him the strength to search deeper within himself. Cobb gives Mary some reassurance and security she feels might not be there.

 

Being teachers makes them more open to each others and to peoples individual needs.

 

They may have come together in other circumstances, but camping on the Allagash helps bring them together with a common goal and interest - so the relationship is intensified and develops more quickly then it might have otherwise.

 

Wally is a spiritual guide for them both. She is a compass pointing them in the "right" direction. She is a healer, both in the physical and soul sense of the term.

 

I am enjoying the river as a character in its own right - much like the Mississippi is in Huck Finn; I also like Myrtle. Her insights are profound. I love the comment she makes about the gifts we are given to compensate for something we lack: " For every hole dug, there is earth to fill it".

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mrsareads
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I agree that their meeting is full of coincidences. As Mary says, " In a universe, on a continent, in a country, in a state, ...."  But they both were searching for things that the other could offer, so fate may have drawn them together like two magnets with an opposite attraction.

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mrsareads
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Nice observation about her name - I had skimmed over that and hadn't thought about it.

 

I also had a similiar experience when meeting my husband. I admire Abraham Lincoln and met my husband on Lincoln's birthday. Also, he is 14 years older than I and the day after I met him, I went to my college class and we had to take a survey. One of the questions was: "You have just met a 35 year old man (that's how old he was) who has never been married and has no children (both also true of him). What would you conclude about him: A) he's gay; B) he's environmentally conscious; C) he's lying - I answered D) He's been waiting for me! It was all a little freaky and no, I did not know his last name either until later.

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Bedelia
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

I think Mary and Cobb were "made for each other" and suit each other like a cup and saucer.  They have a common life style and interests.  Mary has more whimsy and imagination, but Cobb easily goes along yet brings a touch of reality too.  Each has needs that the other seems to fill.

 

I think since they are teachers and used to being around many different younger people they then accept the younger ones more easily than others might.  Their jobs have kept them from growing away from the world of the young.

 

I like Wally and she brings as a minor character, not only interest, but as a narrator to tell the background of girls, Mary and others.  She is also wise council to Cobb and his growing relationship with Mary.  What she talks to Mary about we don't know, but she seems very supportive.

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nfam
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Re: Mary and Cobb and other characters

Mary and Cobb seem extremely well suited to each other. They have obviously come to the river searching for something. I thought it was amazing that finding each other they were able to grab their happiness. I think Mary knew about her condition. She may have been trying to put it out of her mind, but she knew. That's why she was looking for someone else to hang on to. Cobb is the strong character. You knew right away that he wanted to take care of her.