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gringorn
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-26-2007
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Re: Gabriel


ponie wrote:

How sad that the first thing Meridia noticed about her father was his resentment toward her. (p.4)  From Gabriel there is no affection, no kind word.  Perhaps he acts as he does because as the nurse says (p.5) some men can't help themselves when they're battered.  This is a sad testimony to the adage in the mental health field that hurt people hurt people; an explanation for such behavior, not an excuse.

 

As most children do, Meridia makes it about herself.  She believes his cruelty is about her; something she has done or hasn't done.  Whatever the problem is she believes it is her fault; that she doesn't measure up.  She thinks had she only performed better, been smarter, prettier, he might not look at her with such contempt. (p.13)

 

It is a powerful and sacred thing to have so much ride on one's response and behavior to another, especially your child.  That's parenting.  Gabriel, for whatever reason(s), is abusing that sacred trust.  Unless Meridia develops a strong sense of self, in spite of her father (and mother), she may be limited to his expressed view of her.

 

Emotional and psychological abuse is so much harder to "prove" and substantiate than actual physical abuse because you can't see the scars.  Hatred is often "easier to handle" than apathy.  However in spite of his cruelty her heart never turned against him. (p.26)  Reminds me of reports of social services going into homes where children are being abused.  The child will cling to the abusing parent, and cry at being taken from them, so strong is the need for a relationship with the parent.

 

I think Gabriel hates himself.  I think there is an issue (or 2 or 3...!) between himself and Ravenna that festers like an open wound; unreconciled, unresolved, unforgiven.  Meridia has become the target and container for what truly belongs to Gabriel and Ravenna.  Ravenna confirms this when she tells Meridia your father does not hate you, your father hates me. (p.75)

 

There are many damaging secrets here.  Hard to see them all in the mists!  It is said that the truth will set you free...but the journey to the truth is often long and very difficult.  We shall see.


Well said, as usual, Ponie.

 

 

 

Frequent Contributor
hookedonbooks09
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎02-04-2009

Re: Gabriel

I have to agree with the idea that Gabriel, underneath all of his viciousness, seems to hate himself. Perhaps hate is too strong.  But is definitely not self-assured and centered! 

 

This is evidenced by his habit of pointing out the shortcomings of others at his first opportunity.  Cutting them down, so to speak. This is a trait particular to insecure people with little to no self-confidence--point out another's faults before they have a chance to notice yours.  He seems always to be on the offensive.  Perhaps under it all is hurt????

 

Barb

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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Eckwell
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Gabriel

My first impression of Gabriel is that he is an unloving and very private person.  He acts horribly toward his wife and toward Meridia.  There are, I suppose, some people who do not like their children but Gabriel goes way beyond that in the way that he humiliates her in from of others, berating her and making her feel less than what she is.
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dulcie1010
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Registered: ‎10-11-2008
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Re: Gabriel

My first impressions of Gabrial was that he was purely evil, unloving, etc. But as the story went on I couldn't help but think there is another side to the coin. When he criticized his daughter in front of his friends it made me think that possibly; if his friends respected his beliefs and values than by downplaying his daughter he keeps her out of the spotlight of untreatable attention. As far as the mists??? I have no idea...
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Immortal-Spirit
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
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Re: Gabriel

I do not like him at all.  So far, I don't know why he treats his daughter this way. I'm waiting for some insight as to why this is so.
Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Gabriel

Gabriel is easy to dislike at this point of the book.

When Gabriel does not want Meridia to marry Daniel, I wonder if there was a reason.

Was it that he didn't want Meridia to marry at all.

Or did Gabriel not want her to marry in to Daniel's family.

Food for thought.

 

pen21

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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Gabriel


pen21 wrote:

Gabriel is easy to dislike at this point of the book.

When Gabriel does not want Meridia to marry Daniel, I wonder if there was a reason.

Was it that he didn't want Meridia to marry at all.

Or did Gabriel not want her to marry in to Daniel's family.

Food for thought.

 

pen21


I could be either one of your reasons, pen21 or it could be because his marriage is so miserable, he doesn't want his daughter to maybe have the same thing as he does in her marriage. 

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Gabriel


kiakar wrote:

pen21 wrote:

Gabriel is easy to dislike at this point of the book.

When Gabriel does not want Meridia to marry Daniel, I wonder if there was a reason.

Was it that he didn't want Meridia to marry at all.

Or did Gabriel not want her to marry in to Daniel's family.

Food for thought.

 

pen21


I could be either one of your reasons, pen21 or it could be because his marriage is so miserable, he doesn't want his daughter to maybe have the same thing as he does in her marriage. 


That's a definite option too.

I typically read a book without stopping like this, at a certain point.

It fun to have the time to speculate at different points in the book.

It makes me look at the book more ways than I would normally.

 

pen21

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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Gabriel

Gabriel is a snob. Doesn't want his daughter to marry a man who is the son of a "middling tradesman." He's also full of cliches, "You will finish school, go on to a university, break a dozen young men's hearts, and become a real woman." It is a typical reaction of the "master of the house." I don't think it is Meridia he is concerned about; it is his name and family tradition.


pen21 wrote:

Gabriel is easy to dislike at this point of the book.

When Gabriel does not want Meridia to marry Daniel, I wonder if there was a reason.

Was it that he didn't want Meridia to marry at all.

Or did Gabriel not want her to marry in to Daniel's family.

Food for thought.

 

pen21


 

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Gabriel

 I hope there is more intrigue to Gabriel's character.

"Master of the house" would be kinda boring.

But it is another option.

pen21

 


Sunltcloud wrote:

Gabriel is a snob. Doesn't want his daughter to marry a man who is the son of a "middling tradesman." He's also full of cliches, "You will finish school, go on to a university, break a dozen young men's hearts, and become a real woman." It is a typical reaction of the "master of the house." I don't think it is Meridia he is concerned about; it is his name and family tradition.


pen21 wrote:

Gabriel is easy to dislike at this point of the book.

When Gabriel does not want Meridia to marry Daniel, I wonder if there was a reason.

Was it that he didn't want Meridia to marry at all.

Or did Gabriel not want her to marry in to Daniel's family.

Food for thought.

 

pen21


 


 

 

Inspired Contributor
gringorn
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-26-2007
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Re: Gabriel

I don't think Gabriel wants Meridia to have any kind of happiness and that is why he doesn't want her to marry.  He doesn't seem to care at all about her, so I doubt if the reason he doesn't want her to marry is his being worried about her.
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Gabriel


ponie wrote:

How sad that the first thing Meridia noticed about her father was his resentment toward her. (p.4)  From Gabriel there is no affection, no kind word.  Perhaps he acts as he does because as the nurse says (p.5) some men can't help themselves when they're battered.  This is a sad testimony to the adage in the mental health field that hurt people hurt people; an explanation for such behavior, not an excuse.

 

As most children do, Meridia makes it about herself.  She believes his cruelty is about her; something she has done or hasn't done.  Whatever the problem is she believes it is her fault; that she doesn't measure up.  She thinks had she only performed better, been smarter, prettier, he might not look at her with such contempt. (p.13)

 

It is a powerful and sacred thing to have so much ride on one's response and behavior to another, especially your child.  That's parenting.  Gabriel, for whatever reason(s), is abusing that sacred trust.  Unless Meridia develops a strong sense of self, in spite of her father (and mother), she may be limited to his expressed view of her.

 

Emotional and psychological abuse is so much harder to "prove" and substantiate than actual physical abuse because you can't see the scars.  Hatred is often "easier to handle" than apathy.  However in spite of his cruelty her heart never turned against him. (p.26)  Reminds me of reports of social services going into homes where children are being abused.  The child will cling to the abusing parent, and cry at being taken from them, so strong is the need for a relationship with the parent.

 

I think Gabriel hates himself.  I think there is an issue (or 2 or 3...!) between himself and Ravenna that festers like an open wound; unreconciled, unresolved, unforgiven.  Meridia has become the target and container for what truly belongs to Gabriel and Ravenna.  Ravenna confirms this when she tells Meridia your father does not hate you, your father hates me. (p.75)

 

There are many damaging secrets here.  Hard to see them all in the mists!  It is said that the truth will set you free...but the journey to the truth is often long and very difficult.  We shall see.


 

You've got it exactly!!  Excellent points!  Well done, ponie!
"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Gabriel

Hi guys,

 

Aplogies for the spoiler that slipped by me earlier in the thread. I try to make a warning header for them when I see them.

 

If I miss one, please send me a PM (by clicking on my username) with the thread and user and I'll make a quick note.

 

Thanks!

 

Rachel

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TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: Gabriel


rkubie wrote:

What are your first impressions of Gabriel?

 

Is this man truly so hateful of his own daughter? Do you have any understanding of his awful behavior toward her?

 

Do your feelings for Gabriel change as the story goes on?

 

What is Gabriel's relationship with the house and with the mists?


 

While Gabriel may appear to be a strong & powerful personality, he is actually a weak coward. He takes his anger (most likely for Ravenna) out on a child and slinks from home because things aren't just his way. His perceived arrogance is only a mask for his own self loathing and if it isn't, it should be. Why he even bothers to return home is a mystery.
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TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: Gabriel


els wrote:

What are your first impressions of Gabriel?

 

My first impressions of Gabriel is that of a typical father from the Eastern part of the world.  I see in him my grandfather, my father as well as other fathers I know from my childhood.  In my experience, most fathers in the eastern part of the world rarely show so much emotion or even talk about it.  In some (if not most) Eastern countries, praising a child's beauty is not allowed for fear that the evil spirits might hear the praises, think the family is too proud and cast a spell or bring harm to the child.  Looking from this perspective allowed me to understand why and how Gabriel acts toward Meridia.

 

 

 

Message Edited by els on 06-02-2009 06:18 AM

An interesting thought! Thanks fo rthe additional perspective!

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TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: Gabriel


ponie wrote:

How sad that the first thing Meridia noticed about her father was his resentment toward her. (p.4)  From Gabriel there is no affection, no kind word.  Perhaps he acts as he does because as the nurse says (p.5) some men can't help themselves when they're battered.  This is a sad testimony to the adage in the mental health field that hurt people hurt people; an explanation for such behavior, not an excuse.

 

As most children do, Meridia makes it about herself.  She believes his cruelty is about her; something she has done or hasn't done.  Whatever the problem is she believes it is her fault; that she doesn't measure up.  She thinks had she only performed better, been smarter, prettier, he might not look at her with such contempt. (p.13)

 

It is a powerful and sacred thing to have so much ride on one's response and behavior to another, especially your child.  That's parenting.  Gabriel, for whatever reason(s), is abusing that sacred trust.  Unless Meridia develops a strong sense of self, in spite of her father (and mother), she may be limited to his expressed view of her.

 

Emotional and psychological abuse is so much harder to "prove" and substantiate than actual physical abuse because you can't see the scars.  Hatred is often "easier to handle" than apathy.  However in spite of his cruelty her heart never turned against him. (p.26)  Reminds me of reports of social services going into homes where children are being abused.  The child will cling to the abusing parent, and cry at being taken from them, so strong is the need for a relationship with the parent.

 

I think Gabriel hates himself.  I think there is an issue (or 2 or 3...!) between himself and Ravenna that festers like an open wound; unreconciled, unresolved, unforgiven.  Meridia has become the target and container for what truly belongs to Gabriel and Ravenna.  Ravenna confirms this when she tells Meridia your father does not hate you, your father hates me. (p.75)

 

There are many damaging secrets here.  Hard to see them all in the mists!  It is said that the truth will set you free...but the journey to the truth is often long and very difficult.  We shall see.


 

Great insight Ponie! Very well said on a difficult subject.
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LISA-BRYAN
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎12-16-2008
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Re: Gabriel

Very interesting ideas --- perhaps it is not Gabriel's fault but rather he is a product of his culture and environment.

 

els wrote:

What are your first impressions of Gabriel?

 

My first impressions of Gabriel is that of a typical father from the Eastern part of the world.  I see in him my grandfather, my father as well as other fathers I know from my childhood.  In my experience, most fathers in the eastern part of the world rarely show so much emotion or even talk about it.  In some (if not most) Eastern countries, praising a child's beauty is not allowed for fear that the evil spirits might hear the praises, think the family is too proud and cast a spell or bring harm to the child.  Looking from this perspective allowed me to understand why and how Gabriel acts toward Meridia.

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retromom
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Gabriel

I find Gabriel to be an extremely cruel father. I just can't imagine a father treating his daughter the way he treats Meridia. He truly seems heartless at this point in the book.
Beth

http://bookaholicmom.blogspot.com/
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VeraC
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Re: Gabriel

 

I come from a Slavic background, and in some ways Gabriel reminds me of my own father.  He too rarely showed emotion or talked about it.  In addition, girls were inferior beings and not worth much, other than being there to take care of you in your old age.  I wonder if Gabriel would have acted differently if his child had been a son?

 

But this doesn't strike me as the story behind Gabriel.  In the beginning of Meridia's life, he was very in love with his wife and very proud of his daughter.  It seems to that he had a curse on him for being that proud.  Hiding behind the mists may not be all about being ashamed (although I found him dispicable and certainly thought he should be ashamed), but for his own protection.

 

 


LISA-BRYAN wrote:

Very interesting ideas --- perhaps it is not Gabriel's fault but rather he is a product of his culture and environment.

 

els wrote:

What are your first impressions of Gabriel?

 

My first impressions of Gabriel is that of a typical father from the Eastern part of the world.  I see in him my grandfather, my father as well as other fathers I know from my childhood.  In my experience, most fathers in the eastern part of the world rarely show so much emotion or even talk about it.  In some (if not most) Eastern countries, praising a child's beauty is not allowed for fear that the evil spirits might hear the praises, think the family is too proud and cast a spell or bring harm to the child.  Looking from this perspective allowed me to understand why and how Gabriel acts toward Meridia.


 

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cornwall
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-09-2009
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Re: Gabriel

While I still have much to read, his coldness is hard to take.