Reply
Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

 

How do our stories about animals change as the novel progresses, and what does it mean that our significant animals in these chapters are turtles, Komodo dragons, watersnakes, sea horses, etc?

 

 

Why is there an Irish mythical love story thrown into the Indonesian chapters? Does this story in any way reflect Mary and Cobb? If so, how?

 

 

Do you have a favorite story-within-the-story so far?

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,832
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

I think the stories with animals progresses with the story, when in Indonesia we had stories of turtles, sea snakes and sea horses animals found there. When in the wilds of America we had moose, crows and bears and bunnies. I think the author kept telling stories of animals throughout the novel to keep us informed, entertained and to slip a bit of folklore here and there. The animal tales make the adventures that Mary and Cobb take more otherworldly to me, more mysterious and more timeless.

Inspired Contributor
Zia01
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎08-08-2009
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

Do you have a favorite story-within-the-story so far?

I don't know that I have one particular favorite but I really love all the animal stories that are interjected into the story. They just add just that little extra that makes the story even more special.

HBT
Inspired Contributor
HBT
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎10-26-2009
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

My favorite story in the story is the Irish tale. I am prejudice though as my great grandfather was Scottish Irish. 

Frequent Contributor
ethel55
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎04-11-2008

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

The interesting part about these most of the animals Freddy is dealing with is that he's saving them.  These tend to be the protected or even endangered species and here he is, spending his life away from his own family (and beloved dying sister), making sure these animals have a chance at life. He has some bit of control here, where he didn't when dealing with his father's (and sister's) illness.  I'm not feeling particularly articulate this morning, I hope at least a couple of you get what I mean!

 

 

My favorite story within the story up til now is this odd interlude Monninger added with the older couple, the Carters, who are donors to Freddy's foundation.  I really liked it.  At first, they come off as the older, tanned, well-dressed couple who are crashing Mary, Cobb and Freddy's last night together in Indonesia. But as they gather for their meal, the uncomfortable moment about coastal development is broken when Ken and his affliation with St. Paul's is revealed. This, of course is where Cobb teaches, and this connection seems to  strip away those age/societal differences and make the world a much closer place while half way around the world.

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

The interesting part about these most of the animals Freddy is dealing with is that he's saving them.  These tend to be the protected or even endangered species and here he is, spending his life away from his own family (and beloved dying sister), making sure these animals have a chance at life. He has some bit of control here, where he didn't when dealing with his father's (and sister's) illness.  I'm not feeling particularly articulate this morning, I hope at least a couple of you get what I mean!

 

 I agree with your statement ethel55.  I too felt that since he could not save his dad and he knows that he can't save Mary he is going to put his energy into saving what he can.  I think he is coping as well as he can and not give into the depression and angry some people would.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

I think the animals and the sea life progress as we go along in the book. First, it was moose, deer and bear. Then it becomes turtles, seahorses, sharks in Indonesia. Each segment of the book seems to have its own animal and folklore attached.

I think the Irish story is much like Mary and Cobb's love for each other. I think in her heart, that if Cobb went away, she would not accept that. Cobb has been with her all this time and doesn't give up on the fact that she is sick. He is staying with her through thick and thin.

I haven't thought of a story within the story.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Correspondent
CJINCA
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎11-28-2008

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

 


Why is there an Irish mythical love story thrown into the Indonesian chapters? Does this story in any way reflect Mary and Cobb? If so, how?


 

 

[It's true, there is an Irish bar (or, worse, an "Irish" bar) everywhere!]

 

This is more than a mythical love story --Tir na nOg is more than a "blustery island off the west coast of Ireland" (p189).  In Irish mythology this is the Land of Youth, where nobody ages or gets sick or dies, it's the land of eternal happiness.  So, of course, this is an apt name for an Irish bar on an island in the middle of paradise.

 

In this tale our hero, Oisin, realizes that even in this perfect place, he misses his home, his land, his people. Eternal happiness isn't enough, he needs "reality" for balance.  So Oisin leaves Niamh and this perfect place and can never return.

 

This really resonates with Cobb's and Mary's love affair -- they don't have the illusion we usually get to maintain at the beginning of their love affair, that they will have eternal happiness; they decide to go forward knowing they will have to take the bitter with the sweet.

 

("Tir na nOg" was also the name of a play by Edna O'Brien that we saw here in San Francisco a couple of years ago.)

Distinguished Correspondent
coffee_luvr
Posts: 171
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

The animal stories change with the Indonesia location; obviously there are no moose or brown bears there! 

I loved getting introduced to Mary's brother Freddy and how he came about saving the reef and the role of the turtles. 

This section seemed like a get away/vacation for Mary and Cobb.  Even with the drama of the snakebite and the boy she saved.  That was amazing! 

I don't know why the Irish story was woven in.....in fact, it didn't stick with me too much so I had to go back and re-read it. The story references that the island is only visible to someone who has lost their one true love; Freddy indicates the island referenced is meant to be the island he lives on but I am not sure what the author may or may not be saying to us at this point.

 

 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
Distinguished Correspondent
coffee_luvr
Posts: 171
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

 


CJINCA wrote:

 


Why is there an Irish mythical love story thrown into the Indonesian chapters? Does this story in any way reflect Mary and Cobb? If so, how?


 

 

[It's true, there is an Irish bar (or, worse, an "Irish" bar) everywhere!]

 

This is more than a mythical love story --Tir na nOg is more than a "blustery island off the west coast of Ireland" (p189).  In Irish mythology this is the Land of Youth, where nobody ages or gets sick or dies, it's the land of eternal happiness.  So, of course, this is an apt name for an Irish bar on an island in the middle of paradise.

 

In this tale our hero, Oisin, realizes that even in this perfect place, he misses his home, his land, his people. Eternal happiness isn't enough, he needs "reality" for balance.  So Oisin leaves Niamh and this perfect place and can never return.

 

This really resonates with Cobb's and Mary's love affair -- they don't have the illusion we usually get to maintain at the beginning of their love affair, that they will have eternal happiness; they decide to go forward knowing they will have to take the bitter with the sweet.

 

("Tir na nOg" was also the name of a play by Edna O'Brien that we saw here in San Francisco a couple of years ago.)


 

I didn't think of that CJINCA; interesting......

 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
Distinguished Correspondent
emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

ethel55 wrote:


The interesting part about these most of the animals Freddy is dealing with is that he's saving them.  These tend to be the protected or even endangered species and here he is, spending his life away from his own family (and beloved dying sister), making sure these animals have a chance at life. He has some bit of control here, where he didn't when dealing with his father's (and sister's) illness.  I'm not feeling particularly articulate this morning, I hope at least a couple of you get what I mean!

 

 

My favorite story within the story up til now is this odd interlude Monninger added with the older couple, the Carters, who are donors to Freddy's foundation.  I really liked it.  At first, they come off as the older, tanned, well-dressed couple who are crashing Mary, Cobb and Freddy's last night together in Indonesia. But as they gather for their meal, the uncomfortable moment about coastal development is broken when Ken and his affliation with St. Paul's is revealed. This, of course is where Cobb teaches, and this connection seems to  strip away those age/societal differences and make the world a much closer place while half way around the world.

 


Well said!!
Distinguished Correspondent
emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

My favorite story is still the story of Madrid the raven so far.

Distinguished Correspondent
emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

CJINCA wrote:


[It's true, there is an Irish bar (or, worse, an "Irish" bar) everywhere!]

 

This is more than a mythical love story --Tir na nOg is more than a "blustery island off the west coast of Ireland" (p189).  In Irish mythology this is the Land of Youth, where nobody ages or gets sick or dies, it's the land of eternal happiness.  So, of course, this is an apt name for an Irish bar on an island in the middle of paradise.

 

In this tale our hero, Oisin, realizes that even in this perfect place, he misses his home, his land, his people. Eternal happiness isn't enough, he needs "reality" for balance.  So Oisin leaves Niamh and this perfect place and can never return.

 

This really resonates with Cobb's and Mary's love affair -- they don't have the illusion we usually get to maintain at the beginning of their love affair, that they will have eternal happiness; they decide to go forward knowing they will have to take the bitter with the sweet.

 

("Tir na nOg" was also the name of a play by Edna O'Brien that we saw here in San Francisco a couple of years ago.)


Thank you for this!

Frequent Contributor
sarah_in_ca
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎09-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

I enjoyed the mythical crow stories that Mary shares, for example, how crow brought light to the world.  I've read other myths involving crows so it was interesting to read more of them.

Inspired Contributor
ambika22
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎08-31-2009
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

Even if i liked the irish love story, my favorite animal story is still the one about Madrid.
Distinguished Wordsmith
MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

How do our stories about animals change as the novel progresses, and what does it mean that our significant animals in these chapters are turtles, Komodo dragons, watersnakes, sea horses, etc?

 

  I have found that as the story progresses and we meet new characters, they too have animal stories to tell and live.  Freddy is a self made ecologist and he has taken up the plight of the sea turtles.  How appropriate that is.  He lives on an island which appears to have been going down hill so to speak prior to his arrival.  I say that because of the condition of the coral reef and what was being done.  He rescued the reef and in the meantime he took up the Turtle cause.  He appears to have decided to dedicate his life to the island and more especially to the turtles. 

  As for the other animals, such as the Komodo dragons and the watersnakes, I like the way they were introduced to us.  It gives us a look into the surroundings of Indonesia and the life of the area as well. 

 

Do you have a favorite story-within-the-story so far?

 

  I have to say that I have no favorite story within the story, as each has its own place and time.  Each story allows us to picture the surroundings as well as to allow us to draw our own conclusions as to the relevance of the story.

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
Contributor
Kathy17
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: More Folktales, Myths, Animal Tales

Do you have a favorite story-within-the-story so far? It would be really hard for me to pick just one. I finished the book on Friday and I would have to say the animal folklore that is woven throughout the novel is probably my favorite part. When I write my review, I'm sure that will be a highlight of it.