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1archi1
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

I thought they were going to be posted today also.  I will start reading the next section and just make any notes until the questions are posted.  Thanks for the help TWJ!!!

 


thewanderingjew wrote:
Rachel posted this a few weeks ago. I just assumed she would also post the questions today since that was when the new reading assignment was due. I hope i am right.:smileysurprised:

September 6th to October 1st: General Discussion

 

Read opening to "Meander Scars: May, 1898" (through page 132).

 

September 13th: Bruce Machart joins us through the end of September. Adrienne Brodeur, Bruce's Editor, joins us--this week only!

 

Read middle chapters, to "Testaments to Seed: March 1910" (through page 212).

 

September 20th:

 

Read through to end of novel.

 

September 27th:

 

Final thoughts and goodbyes.


 

:smileyhappy:
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters


thewanderingjew wrote:
Rachel posted this a few weeks ago. I just assumed she would also post the questions today since that was when the new reading assignment was due. I hope i am right.:smileysurprised:

September 6th to October 1st: General Discussion

 

Read opening to "Meander Scars: May, 1898" (through page 132).

 

September 13th: Bruce Machart joins us through the end of September. Adrienne Brodeur, Bruce's Editor, joins us--this week only!

 

Read middle chapters, to "Testaments to Seed: March 1910" (through page 212).

 

September 20th:

 

Read through to end of novel.

 

September 27th:

 

Final thoughts and goodbyes.


I quickly read through the schedule..So that is why I am almost finished  Sorry..I will only post accordingly  and wait till the next Questions..Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Rachel-K
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Hi guys,

 

I'll have our new questions up by evening. I had a bug that knocked me out and set me a bit behind. Sorry for the delay!

 

For these general threads, we include all of our scheduled reading to this point in our discussion. As of today (Sept 14th), that's through page 212,  up to "Testaments to Seed," and it will expand again next Monday to include the whole novel.

 

I've also put up a "spoiler" thread to reduce the anxiety of those who've finished early and refrain from taking part for fear of letting something slip!

 

Rachel

 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters


thewanderingjew wrote:

I agree with your assessment about them being young and dumb, perhaps, but in my day a fifteen year old girl who behaved as "loosely" as Graciela would have been condemned. A fifteen year old boy would probably have been congratulated for scoring. If she became pregnant she probably would have been sent to a home for unwed mothers or a convent. Fortunately, times have changed and in many ways so has our judgment. Our opinions are colored by our age and backgrounds, I think.


1archi1 wrote:
Clarification for me: up to page 132, aren't Graciela and Karel teenagers when they first get together at the horse races? In 1910 wouldn't that make him 15?  I guess I am looking at it like they were teenagers, she had just been won at a horse race, maybe to the wrong brother.  They were both young, dumb teenagers.  Teenagers are trying to find themselves, not sure what they want, rebellious.  Do you think Karel is the brother she really wanted but didn't get so it was more of this is my only chance kind of thing?  I haven't read much further so I don't know if they continued seeing each other after she married his brother, which I hope they did not.  Whereas in 1924, Elizka is an adult who should have known better.  I guess that is why I don't give Elizka a pass is because she is an adult, whereas, at the time, Graciela was not, manipulative yes, but still a teenager.  

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

I think that there may be a view that Elizka is more worldly and independent, more educated and therefore more capable of making a responsible sound decision about what to do with her life. Perhaps that is why some of us hold her more accountable for her behavior. Perhaps Graciela is looked upon as a victim of her father's control. That is not to say that some of us think Karel should be excused for his behavior or even excuse Graciela's.
Personally, I think fidelity is a very important part of marriage. I think that unmarried women who go after married men are foolish. For them it is a lose, lose situation. I think men who cheat are worse.
The fact that we are discussing the moral attributes of these characters, with such passion, is really a tribute to the writing skills of this author, don't you think?
BookWoman718 wrote:

I've noticed that a number of respondents are so repulsed by Karel's upbringing that they tend to give him a bit of a pass when assessing his bad behavior.  (Some have even indicated that Vaclav must be the way he is because of a bad childhood as well, so perhaps we shouldn't judge HIM harshly.) 

 

Graciela is also seen as a victom of her father's ambitions;  she will be marrying a man that he has chosen for her - and WON in a horse race, no less -  so perhaps she is not to be held to a high standard of behavior either.  She, like Karel, is a horse-race cheater who will do anything to win, and besides that, she seduces him (there wasn't any doubt that it was the other way around) even though she'll be marrying one of his brothers and this casual coupling is bound to cause serious family rifts.  She's a manipulative and completely selfish young girl.  But we see that as her father's doing. 

 

But that Elizka, now we don't see any EXCUSE for her behavior.  She's had an education, she's smart, she's earning her own living and directing her own life, and taking her pleasure where she finds it.  Oh my gosh, like a MAN!   So, of course, she's the slut.   

 

Maybe Bruce should have told us about how bad her childhood was, and then we could feel for her, too. 

 

 


 


 


 


1archi1..Yes they are teenagers and if as I recall, Elizka was just out of her teens,she did not complete college,but of course seemed worldly in that time and place..All were young,seeking,experimenting..And all looking for some sort of acceptance,Why is the sexual excapades so hashly spoken about..And before God etc,and vows.well It doesn't seem relevant,being that all were sexually active and Graciela probably told her Husband Thom,she was a Virgin...So lies before God were spoken..I am not addressing your post in full   1archi1,sorry,just some thoughts going through my head...Best Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi guys,

 

I'll have our new questions up by evening. I had a bug that knocked me out and set me a bit behind. Sorry for the delay!

 

For these general threads, we include all of our scheduled reading to this point in our discussion. As of today (Sept 14th), that's through page 212,  up to "Testaments to Seed," and it will expand again next Monday to include the whole novel.

 

I've also put up a "spoiler" thread to reduce the anxiety of those who've finished early and refrain from taking part for fear of letting something slip!

 

Rachel

 


Rachel ,Please rest and we are ok..We miss you,but we have been buzzing around and discussing..Its such a Great Novel,that being outspoken,posting our true feelings is well received..i really hope you are doing what it takes to "Kill The Bug" see you when you return"..SusanVtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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thewanderingjew
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Help, why are you sorry? :smileysad: You didn't do anything wrong!  We all reading at our own pace.


Vermontcozy wrote: I quickly read through the schedule..So that is why I am almost finished  Sorry..I will only post accordingly  and wait till the next Questions..Susan

 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

You know, I was just thinking, off the cuff, am I the only one who thinks that there was a lot of promiscuity for that time and place?  Maybe I am assuming that moral standards were stricter then just because I don't know any better. My dad said the only real smart person knows they have a lot left to learn...maybe I forgot that message.
What if they just didn't discuss it as openly as we do  today, but it was prevalent behavior behind closed doors? Maybe these characters were simply doing what everyone else did, in those times. Maybe promiscuity was common practice. I am just thinking "out loud".

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Thanks for that post. I was under the false impression that Elizka was closer to Karel's age. I didn't realize she was so young, as well. Actually, Karel is still quite young too. He was born in 1895 so that would make him around 29 at the time.

 

They were all pretty young by today's standards. They matured more quickly and had much shorter life spans then. It wasn't unusual for young boys to leave home and strike out on their own to make their way in the world or for young girls to marry and begin families in their early teens.

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

1archi1..Yes they are teenagers and if as I recall, Elizka was just out of her teens,she did not complete college,but of course seemed worldly in that time and place..All were young,seeking,experimenting..And all looking for some sort of acceptance,Why is the sexual excapades so hashly spoken about..And before God etc,and vows.well It doesn't seem relevant,being that all were sexually active and Graciela probably told her Husband Thom,she was a Virgin...So lies before God were spoken..I am not addressing your post in full   1archi1,sorry,just some thoughts going through my head...Best Susan

 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi guys,

 

I'll have our new questions up by evening. I had a bug that knocked me out and set me a bit behind. Sorry for the delay!

 

For these general threads, we include all of our scheduled reading to this point in our discussion. As of today (Sept 14th), that's through page 212,  up to "Testaments to Seed," and it will expand again next Monday to include the whole novel.

 

I've also put up a "spoiler" thread to reduce the anxiety of those who've finished early and refrain from taking part for fear of letting something slip!

 

Rachel

 


Thanks Rachel, sorry you're under the weather

 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Thanks for the update. I hope you feel better and are up to snuff sooner rather than later.

twj

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters


thewanderingjew wrote:

Help, why are you sorry? :smileysad: You didn't do anything wrong!  We all reading at our own pace.


Vermontcozy wrote: I quickly read through the schedule..So that is why I am almost finished  Sorry..I will only post accordingly  and wait till the next Questions..Susan

 


:womanhappy:Because I read ahead I didn't want to post any spoilers.Which annoy me if I read any,but now since you and Rachel posted ,its all Good Susan

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

What kind of a person is Sophie, Karel's wife? Do we get a clear picture of her so far?

 

Right now, I love Sophie.  I believe she is a strong woman and somehow looks pass all of Karel's faults.  She has given him girls but now she has given him a strong healthy boy. I am waiting to get to know her better.  There is not a clear picture, but way Varna talks about her and how she is seen through Karel she must be a strong and even minded person.

 

 

Colleen

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1archi1
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

I was thinking she was closer to Karel's age also. On pg 63 it doesn't specifically state that she was 18 when she went to college. I was thinking that she was out of high school for a little bit before she went to UT.  When did UT start letting women go to college, does anyone know? I also got the impression from her independence she might be closer to Karel's age also. 

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

Thanks for that post. I was under the false impression that Elizka was closer to Karel's age. I didn't realize she was so young, as well. Actually, Karel is still quite young too. He was born in 1895 so that would make him around 29 at the time.

 

They were all pretty young by today's standards. They matured more quickly and had much shorter life spans then. It wasn't unusual for young boys to leave home and strike out on their own to make their way in the world or for young girls to marry and begin families in their early teens.

 

:smileyhappy:
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

The age difference was how I saw this, too.  Being just kids, so to speak, coming off of the high of the race and mixing that with their teenage hormones, I think is understandable.  Plus, neither of them had spouses!

 

Elizka is very worldly, wants no attachment and perhaps that is how she justifies sleeping with Karel.  She is not out to steal him from his wife and children.  To her, it is just a diversion, same as the masculine way of looking at it?! Actually,  her character struck me as more masculine, in her outlook and her protection of her freedom.

 

Barb


1archi1 wrote:

Clarification for me: up to page 132, aren't Graciela and Karel teenagers when they first get together at the horse races? In 1910 wouldn't that make him 15?  I guess I am looking at it like they were teenagers, she had just been won at a horse race, maybe to the wrong brother.  They were both young, dumb teenagers.  Teenagers are trying to find themselves, not sure what they want, rebellious.  Do you think Karel is the brother she really wanted but didn't get so it was more of this is my only chance kind of thing?  I haven't read much further so I don't know if they continued seeing each other after she married his brother, which I hope they did not.  Whereas in 1924, Elizka is an adult who should have known better.  I guess that is why I don't give Elizka a pass is because she is an adult, whereas, at the time, Graciela was not, manipulative yes, but still a teenager.   

 


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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters


thewanderingjew wrote:

You know, I was just thinking, off the cuff, am I the only one who thinks that there was a lot of promiscuity for that time and place?  Maybe I am assuming that moral standards were stricter then just because I don't know any better. My dad said the only real smart person knows they have a lot left to learn...maybe I forgot that message.
What if they just didn't discuss it as openly as we do  today, but it was prevalent behavior behind closed doors? Maybe these characters were simply doing what everyone else did, in those times. Maybe promiscuity was common practice. I am just thinking "out loud".


I was wondering about the level of promiscuity as well.  It's possible that just as much went on years ago, but it wasn't as publicized or talked about as in the later 20th century and now.

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

I hope you feel better, Rachel! We will wait for the questions.  =)

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi guys,

 

I'll have our new questions up by evening. I had a bug that knocked me out and set me a bit behind. Sorry for the delay!

 

For these general threads, we include all of our scheduled reading to this point in our discussion. As of today (Sept 14th), that's through page 212,  up to "Testaments to Seed," and it will expand again next Monday to include the whole novel.

 

I've also put up a "spoiler" thread to reduce the anxiety of those who've finished early and refrain from taking part for fear of letting something slip!

 

Rachel

 


 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

TWJ wrote (excerpt): The fact that we are discussing the moral attributes of these characters, with such passion, is really a tribute to the writing skills of this author, don't you think?

 

Okay, TWJ, it's my turn to be opinionated!

 

No, I think it is simply an indication that the double standard is alive and well!

 

And maybe it should (or shouldn't) be.  But that is a different discussion entirely.

 

Also, in response to VTCozy's comments about the significance of vows et al, maybe I lived and worked in a "man's world" too long and too early, but I am of the training that one's word is one's bond.

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Well, great, I would love to hear your opinions.
I, too, think the double standard is alive and well. I also think women are harder on women than they are on men. My experience in the workplace has not been that positive when I worked for a woman boss. I always found them somewhat insecure and competitive to the point where they seemed to feel if they didn't act like men they couldn't be successful. They used foul language like truck drivers. That, however, is my anecdotal experience and may not be representative. I may have had the misfortune to draw the short straw and work for those kinds of women. I also worked for those kinds of men! :smileywink:

What I meant by my comment about the author's skills was the fact that he made the characters seem so real for us that we became passionately involved in their attributes.

For me, I don't think there should be a double standard of judgment. I prefer an equal playing field but, as you said, that is quite another subject.

I would like to chime in on your comment to Vermont. I was very much involved with the corporate world, through my husband's work. Often, one's word was meaningless. I also found that in my personal life, a handshake no longer means an honorable deal has been consummated.

Truthfully, I wish we could go back to the days when a man's/woman's word was their bond. I think that as a society, we have become so used to the lies that we have stopped trying to live in a world without them and have just given up and accepted it as a way of life. We sling the word liar around in the most inopportune situations and always think the one we call the liar is a liar while the one who calls our enemies liars, are liars themselves. Sometimes the truth is elusive or we refuse to see it. I am off on a tangent here, methinks. Sorry!:smileyindifferent:

I wish it wasn't so in my experience.:smileysad:

 

On the other topic,


Peppermill wrote:

TWJ wrote (excerpt): The fact that we are discussing the moral attributes of these characters, with such passion, is really a tribute to the writing skills of this author, don't you think?

 

Okay, TWJ, it's my turn to be opinionated!

 

No, I think it is simply an indication that the double standard is alive and well!

 

And maybe it should (or shouldn't) be.  But that is a different discussion entirely.

 

Also, in response to VTCozy's comments about the significance of vows et al, maybe I lived and worked in a "man's world" too long and too early, but I am of the training that one's word is one's bond.


 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

How would you describe Karel as a son, as a brother, as a farmer, as a husband? Can you understand the loyalty he showed his father in the race against Graciela or in the fight after? Was it loyalty at all?

 

Karel has a sense of duty or obedience to his father but it doesn't feel like loyalty.  I think he tries to be a good father and husband but falls a little short in the husband category. 

 

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?  I don't think we get enough of them in the story to make a clear answer to this question.  It would be easy to say they are selfish, mean, or weak but not knowing about their place in the family, their trials and tribulations with their father or their life away from the father and Karel make it difficult to account for any of their actions.

 

What are your impressions of Graciela?  I wanted to like her character but found I could not.  Instead of being caught in circumstances she was unable to escape I found her to be manipulative and possible a little cruel.  She certainly knew what was to happen in the race and her encounter with Karel afterward was not by chance. 

 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

I'm going to comment first and then read through the thread (and yes, I know I'm a little behind!):

I've only read through the first chunk of sections, but so far, I'm really interested in the contrast between Graciela and Sophie. Graciela is so interesting because she strikes me as a risk taker, and because she seems to fascinate Karel even after he's married someone else and had three children with her (although, as we can see from her labor with his son, he's not entirely committed to the faithful part of marriage).

Karel's not a particularly good husband, it seems, but then it's not like he had a role model--although that in itself is not a particularly good excuse....