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Rachel-K
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Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Please use any of the following questions to talk about the characters we've met so far in Wake of Forgiveness:

 

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?

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

 

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?

 

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

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

 

What are your impressions of Graciela?

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fordmg
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters


Rachel-K wrote:

Please use any of the following questions to talk about the characters we've met so far in Wake of Forgiveness:

 

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?

 

As a son, Karel is obedient and seems to be always looking for approval that he never gets.  His father is only interested in him as "a winner of races".  How sad that his only use is as a work horse and a jockey. 

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

 

Vaclav has gotten his prestege from gambling on his horse.  He uses his sons as chattle to preserve his prize race horse.  As he wins more land, he works his sons harder.  I don't understand yet why it is only Karel who gets to ride, unless the other boys were too heavy to use as a rider. 

Vallasenor uses his children, girls, for his own benefit in a different way.  He gambles with his daughter and gives the girls as a prize in marrage.  He uses his wealth to gain respect, but I don't think he gets respect.  He only generates fear. 

Dalton and Dvorak don't seem to generate much personality in these early chapters.  They have been victims of both Vaclav and Villasenor.  But we don't really see the depth of them.

Father Carew is a mystery.  I don't know what his place is in this story, except that he has been told to prepare for weddings, and he doesn't know if they will happen.  He sets out to baptize twins, and get cought up in the race.  I have know oppinion of the priest.

 

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?

 

There is not enough info to understand Karel's brothers.  They feel the strain of their enslavement, and think that marriage to the Mexican women will help their lot.  In fact they are willing to sacrifice their younger brother to move out, but that is all we know of them so far.

 

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

 

Sophei seems to be a good wife and mother.  She seems to be a bit head strong, but I think that is a characteristic that is needed to survive in this environment.

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

 

I don't really understand Elizka.  She is willing to have an affair with Karel, and then she is upset.  We don't know why, except she resents that his wife is having another child, so maybe she is jeolous of Sophie.

 

What are your impressions of Graciela?

 

I do not get a good feeling from Graciela.  She could not have been up to any good by visiting Wiskey, the horse, right before the race.  I was thinking that maybe she was trying to sabatoge the horse in some way.  Then she flirts her way out of a tricky situation.  She also learned that she could manipulate Karel with her beauity.  She then seduces him after the race.  He didn't have a chance being so young and no experience with women.

 

MG


 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

 

How would you describe Father Carew?

Father Carew did not seem able to appropriately follow his vows and maintain his proper role as a servant of G-d. He put his needs before the needs of his G-d and his parishioners, especially to the Knedlich twins awaiting their baptism. His voyeurism at the horse race almost seemed akin to a sex act.

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

 

Here we have a woman who seems to have fallen from grace. She uses her body to obtain what she needs and doesn't seem to respect the fact that Sophie has just had a child as she pleasures Karel. I felt sorry for her as I felt that Karel used her as his father used animals. She merely served a need.

What are your impressions of Graciela?
Surely she knew what her father had planned for Karel. She was well aware of how she used her body to distract him. Perhaps she was also well aware of how Karel had used the riding crop against the Dalton boy. Still that wouldn't justify her behavior unless she too had cruelty in her persona. Something hard hearted and mean in her, would have had to be unleashed to allow her to be complicit.

 


 

 

 

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Zia01
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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? I like Karel. I think he has his faults like everyone does but generally speaking I like him. I understand his loyalty to his father. He shouldn't feel it but I understand why he does. He is his father after all.

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew? Honestly I am having a hard time at this point keeping people seperated. I coudn't tell you anyones names really but Karel and Sophie. I'm not sure why that is.

 

 

What kind of a person is Sophie, Karel's wife? Do we get a clear picture of her so far? Sophie is a strong woman, but I don't think we've had the opportunity to see enough of her yet for me to formulate a solid response to this question.

 

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dclement04
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

 


I am a little confused about some things, can someone explain the following to me? 

 

 

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny? Who is this woman?

 

What are your impressions of Graciela? Who is Graciela? Is she one of the four daughters that belongs to Villasenor?


 

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Rachel-K
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Maybe I was reading with more hope for a real connection between these two young teens who'd been pitted against each other in the race--and therefore with some sympathy for Graciela--about to be given in marriage to a person she doesn't know from Adam!

 

I do wonder if we tend to judge female characters more harshly for their sexual behavior than the male characters? It is only because we aren't as close to them as we are to Karel? 

 

 

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Bonnie824
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Karel, like many abused children, does not seem to know how to love in a caring generous way. The love he know is dark and twisted since he learned in from his father.

 

So far, Sophia seems nicer than I would expect for him. We don't get a clear picture of her, but have to assume anyone who would marry into this family is not strong and confident and well loved in her own family.

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gackie
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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?

 

I'm not sure if I would call it loyalty I think it was either fear of his father or he was looking for approval from his father.

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

 

I really don't have much of an opinion about any of them except Vaclav who is a very greedy man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

 

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?

 

I don't feel that I know enough about them to form an opinion.

 

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

 

I don't have a clear picture of her yet but from what I have read she has an unconditional love for Karel.

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

 

She doesn't seem like a very nice woman and is used to getting what she wants.

 

What are your impressions of Graciela?

 

When I think of Graciela one word comes to mind... Manipulator.

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coffee_luvr
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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?

As a son, I found Karel to be loyal but also think his actions are a result of fear as well.  I think he is a better farmer than he is a husband.  I think his betrayal is appalling.

 

 

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

I don't think we have as clear a picture of Sophie as we will later on in the book.   I remember thinking she was slightly stubborn but also a wise and loving woman.

 


What are your impressions of Graciela?

At this point, I think Graciela is a product of her father.  I think she uses people.


 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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Bonnie_C
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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 finds it difficult being the son of one so domineering as Vaclav.  He can never atone for causing his mother to die in the process of giving life to him.  He and his brothers seem to have a bond in that together they share the burden of being the sons of a father that seems so cold hearted.  As a grown man, Karel does not seem to be a natural born farmer.  He seems to have talents leaning more to underhanded business like selling illegal liquor or beer.  He also seems to enjoy tinkering as when he fixed the bearings on the windmill.  As a husband he is definitely a complex character.  He was described as one who adored his wife but lied to her with regularity.  I think he definitely had feelings for Sophie.  But someone else already had his heart.  Sophie was a second choice. 

 

Karel's stand with his father at the end of the race was born out of a feeling of disloyalty generated by his brothers.  He felt deceived by Stan and Thomas.  He knew they willed him to lose the race by forming an alliance with the 2 Mexican guards.

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

 

Vaclav and Dalton are pretty much 2 peas in a pod.  Both are cold and ambitious and are willing to use their sons to attain more land/wealth. 

 

Villaseñor is a man of wealth who seeks more wealth.  Like Vaclav and Dalton, he also is willing to use his children to attain his goals.

 

Dvorak is someone who seems to want to fit in with the upper echelon.  He is a banker who will call in a debt at the drop of a hat with no regards to the effect it may have.

 

Father Carew does not seem to be a good fit in the robe of the priest.  He seems to feel that by administering to others he can make up for a childhood that was flawed.

 

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?

 

Most of my impressions about the brothers were made at the fight at the end of the race.  Thom seems to be the bold one of the bunch.  Eduard felt slighted that he was not asked to be a witness to the race so he threw his cards in with Thom.  Stan was described as being the "mother hen" of the 4.  But by this time he was firmly in bed with Thom and Eduard in their desire to get away from Vaclav.

 

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

 

I feel bad for Sophie.  She seems to be a devoted wife and mother.  Too bad her husband feels the need to stray.

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

 Elizka seems to be a horse of a different color.  She went to school for 3 years and became educated.  Only when her mother became ill did she come back home and eventually ended up helping to manage her father's business.  I would think that is quite an accomplishment for a woman at that time.  I'm not sure if she actually cares for Karel or if she is just using him.  Maybe the pickings are kind of slim as far as suitors go.

 

What are your impressions of Graciela?

Beautiful, cunning and smart.  Karel  didn't stand a chance against her.


 

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cathy58
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

Elizka has an affair with Karel.

 

Graciela is one of the three daughters that belong to Villasenor.

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DSaff
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

The characters are very alive to me. For this post, I am going to concentrate on the women.

 

Graciela is just like Karel - willing to do anything to win a race. I liked her at first, but found she is a product of her father just as Karel is. Both want approval, both will step on whoever is in the way to get that approval. The only difference is that Graciela uses her feminine wiles to beat Karel.

 

Sophie is a good Catholic girl, who loves her husband and children. It is very possible that she knows about the other women, but chooses to ignore it hoping that she will have a son and win her husband's complete heart. She is the only character I like right now.

 

Elizka is a woman trying to make it in a man's world and she isn't going to let any man take her freedom away from her. As she saidon pg. 63, "I am settled. I didn't grow Daddy's business just to marry some dirt farmer who expects me to hand over the reins so he can make a wreck of it." I also think that their sexual encounter took a turn she didn't want or expect ("Karel, you didn't." pg. 71) and now I wonder what will come of it????? I respect her for trying to make her own way, but intensely dislike her for having affairs with married men.

 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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dhaupt
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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?

He is a good son, an indifferent brother, a successful farmer and a flawed husband.

I thought it was more family loyalty then to his father directly.

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

Vaclav - dictator - Dalton- ineffectual - Villasenor -suspicious -Dvorak - full of himself - Father Carew- outdated

 

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

She seems to be a caring wife and mother, who also feels the need to "nurture" Karel as well. The picture is just coming into focus on all of the characters for me, still a little fuzzy around the edges for them all.

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

She is a daughter raised to be like a son and she acts in many ways like a male, independent, taking what she wants, running a business

 


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Kittysmom
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

I will just add something about Sophie(Karel's wife), she is the poor woman who is trying to be a devoted wife and mother and it;s a shame she is married to someone like Karel who is not a nice person!

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Bonnie824
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

 


Kittysmom wrote:

I will just add something about Sophie(Karel's wife), she is the poor woman who is trying to be a devoted wife and mother and it;s a shame she is married to someone like Karel who is not a nice person!


ITA about Karel. I don't think there was any way he could have become a good loving husband or father really given how he was raised, though.

 

CAG
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CAG
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Please use any of the following questions to talk about the characters we've met so far in Wake of Forgiveness:

 

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 is a son looking for acceptance and I believe that is exactly why he showed "loyalty" to his father in the race and fight. That need for acceptance drives him. I don't think it is "loyalty" as much as that need. As a brother, I think he is just indifferent because that is the main emotion they show in his family in order to survive. I believe he works hard as an adult because it means becoming successful and he wants that. I think he does love Sophie and his children he just never learned how to be a good husband beyond providing for his family.

 

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

 

I see Vaclav and Villasenor as very similar in characteristics. Cold and bitter men and use to getting their own way whatever the costs. I am still thinking about Father Carew. Dvorak wants to fit in but also benefit himself. He thrives on a sense of power though I question if he really is powerful at all.

 

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?

 

I need to think more about his brothers.

 

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

 

Sophie has a strong personality and I believe she loves Karel and her children very much. I think she knows Karel better than he knows himself. I see her as determined to keep her family intact.

 

Do we get a more distinct impression of Elizka Novotny?

 

Elizka seems to be a woman who is trying very hard to survive in a man's world. She is tough but has hardened herself. I think she was using Karel as much as he was using her. She is certainly different from most of the woman of her time as far as managing a business and having some education. So, perhaps ambitious is a good word to describe her. She really doesn't care about doing wrong as far as Karel being married. Perhaps it feels safe for her in her way of thinking to use a married man like Karel and therefore not have be concerned about complications that love and respect can bring. She certainly had no desire to marry someone like Karel. 

 

What are your impressions of Graciela?

 

I see Graciela as head strong and also doing her father's bidding. She is very manipulative and her point was to distract Karel, get a feel for Wiskey and win for her father no matter what. I am wondering if her actual seduction of Karel was a way of getting back at her dad, just a little, for using her. I don't think Karel stood a chance against her.


 

CAG
CAG
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CAG
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

 


DSaff wrote:

The characters are very alive to me. For this post, I am going to concentrate on the women.

 

Graciela is just like Karel - willing to do anything to win a race. I liked her at first, but found she is a product of her father just as Karel is. Both want approval, both will step on whoever is in the way to get that approval. The only difference is that Graciela uses her feminine wiles to beat Karel.

 

Sophie is a good Catholic girl, who loves her husband and children. It is very possible that she knows about the other women, but chooses to ignore it hoping that she will have a son and win her husband's complete heart. She is the only character I like right now.

 

Elizka is a woman trying to make it in a man's world and she isn't going to let any man take her freedom away from her. As she saidon pg. 63, "I am settled. I didn't grow Daddy's business just to marry some dirt farmer who expects me to hand over the reins so he can make a wreck of it." I also think that their sexual encounter took a turn she didn't want or expect ("Karel, you didn't." pg. 71) and now I wonder what will come of it????? I respect her for trying to make her own way, but intensely dislike her for having affairs with married men.

 

 


I have to agree that the characters are very alive for me too. It is one of the reasons I like this book so much. Great writing!

 

CAG
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RIRN56
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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, as a son, appeared to be obedient and fearful of his father. I do not think Karel had any loyalty towards his brothers...I think they were competitive, but not loyal. Karel did seem to love his children. I also believed he loved his wife, but not as much as he loved Graciela. I do not think Karel showed any loyalty to his father, when he lost the race to Graciela, by having her win. I do not think the fighting pertained to any loyalty. I think the fight was a turning point that showed the boys would start thinking and acting for themselves, and that they were done being obedient and subservient to the father. I feel that Karel joined into the fight only to relieve built-up resentment from over the years while growing up.

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RIRN56
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

How would you describe any of the following influential men of Lavaca County: Vaclav, Dalton, Villasenor, Dvorak, Father Carew?

 

Vaclav appeared to be a no nonsense, strict,  and hard man, who did not show much kindness, and who appeared to want to be in total control.

 

Dalton appeared to be pretty much the same as Vaclav, to me.

 

Villasensor seemed to be a conniver, slick weasel, competitive man, who enjoyed material things and always strived to have the most.

 

I pictured Dvorak as wearing more of a suit, and as the type of man who does not become involved physically.

 

Father Carew seemed to be a gruff priest, who yearned for excitement just like any other man. I think he didn't want the other people to know how interested he was in their affairs, like the race, probably because he didn't think it would be good example to act like that as a clergyman.

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RIRN56
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Characters

What are your impressions of each of Karel's brothers?

 

Stan, the eldest, comes across as a thoughtful, protective, compliant, obedient, mild-mannered man.

Eddie and Thom appear to be mischievous. Thom also appears to be cocky and very sure of himself.