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sarah_in_ca
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Vaclav would brook no back talk from his sons and the least thing would set him off.  Perhaps he set them to pulling the plow, instead of using strong horses, to demonstrate his control over their lives.  He definitely had mood swings and a dark side that emerged when things weren't going right.  Karel tried so very hard to please his dad who never forgot to remind his youngest son that his birth was the reason for their mother's death.  Karel maintains a focus throughout the book that protects himself from the worst of his father.

 

Karel had but one experience with a woman/young girl, whom he lost to his brother.  He was the only one to pick his own wife and he saw things in Sophie that he longed for, that he missed not having a mother.  Again, there's that singular focus to pick a woman he's comfortable with and understands him.

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Clevegal42
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

 

OK - I'm the first to admit that I'm not very smart when it comes to literary stuff, so maybe I'm not right, but I actually thought that his watching the boys eat was more about his wife than the sons.  Maybe I'll go back and read this, but I was thinking that maybe at one point he was a "kinder, gentler human" when his wife was alive but now these people living in his house are "things" he has to take care of.  Yes he'll make them breakfast, perhaps even taking a moment to think about their mother...but it's still not thinking about them, only her.  That's why he can still make his children become his beasts of burden because he doesn't seem to have affection for them outside something that was a part of his wife.  I also suspect that if his wife had survived, the children wouldn't be yoked up to plow, but only because of her...something about him says that he would only be softened in situations with his wife.

 

 

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Immortal-Spirit
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi all, please use any of the following question to continue our discussion of Wake of Forgiveness!

 

 

 

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 

I think he sees how the father was with his boy and decided to be different with his son than his father was.

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

 

It tells me that they have a comfortable relationship. Maybe not one of love (on his side), but respect.

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action?

 

Could be that their mother nursed him when he was a baby.  There's a bond. 

 

How many misunderstandings can we trace in the mess of events that unfolds at the end of these chapters? What was the effect of the extended and unclear way we learn of the events that have transpired with the boys, Thomas, the alcohol, and all of it. At what point did you feel you developed a clear picture of what had happened? Is Karel able to clarify what's happened?

 

I was kind of lost at the end. Waiting for something to "click".

 

 


 

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Goodword
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Vaclav wants his sons to be careful with their mother's things because they are all he has left of her after her photo was destroyed.  It seemed that the point that the photo was destroyed was, if not a turning point, a point of justification for Vaclav to treat his boys so badly as punishment for taking his wife away from him.

 

 

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gackie
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

 

It was nice to see a more human side of Vaclav and that he does care for his kids. Before this I just assumed that the older boys made the food and Vaclav didn't really do much for the kids.

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 

I think he wanted to go and see his own son and to bond with him.

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

 

The teasing shows us that they do care for each other and maybe there is some love between them.

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action? 

 

I think he took pity on them and wanted to help them out. He probably felt a bond too because their mother was his wet nurse.

 

 

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fordmg
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters POSSIBLE SPOILER!!


DSaff wrote:

I think it had to do with the beer competition. They wanted to stake a claim in the business, but were stepping on Thomas' toes. I got the feeling Joe, and probably Raymond, were running away as well.

 


Madgy wrote:

Hey everyone,

   Does anyone know why Thomas shot Joe because he wasn't armed?  Perhaps I missed the reason.   Thanks

 

 

The boys were selling Karels beer accross territory lines.  Then Ramond spit on the floor of Thomas' store.  Thomas shot at them to scare them off, not to kill them.  Remember, Thomas is impulsive too.

I can't remember where this was in the story as I finished the book alread.  So this may be a SPOILER.

 

MG

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torbank6
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Why did Karel turn his truck around? I think because he wanted to see his new son and try and bond with him.

Sophie's teasing of Karel was because she loves him despite his short comings.

Why did Karel hire the twins?  I think he hired them because they are like him in their home life growing up.

I am still unsure why the twins burned down the barn and killed the horses....

I am really enjoying the book and can't wait to finish it.

Thanks.

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Krickett2432
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action? 

 

I think Karel hired the twins because he saw in them something that he had been missing in his own life--a relationship with his own brothers.  He saw them as close to each other, even to the point of accepting each other's risky behaviors.  Karel was a family man, yet perhaps bristled at his responsibiities so maybe also felt a little jealous of their freedom.  He didn't realize what he was getting into, and how far they would go for each other.

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1archi1
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi all, please use any of the following question to continue our discussion of Wake of Forgiveness!

 

 

 

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

Vaclav does not become more humane, for me, just because he makes his boys breakfast.  He was still an evil man for treating his sons the way he did.

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 I think he turns his truck around because he sees the dad he wants to become for his own son.

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

 I believe Sophie loves Karel.  Karel did not grow up w/ a loving example, which might be why he takes part in his extra curricular activities, but he seems to love his kids and I would say he loves his wife.  At least that is what I came away with after reading about when Karel sees Sophie after she gives birth to Frank.

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action? 

I really didn't get a clear understanding of why Karel hired the twins.  I would say he feels an affinity for the boys because their mom was his wet nurse and he knows they killed their father just like he left his father to die.

 

How many misunderstandings can we trace in the mess of events that unfolds at the end of these chapters? What was the effect of the extended and unclear way we learn of the events that have transpired with the boys, Thomas, the alcohol, and all of it. At what point did you feel you developed a clear picture of what had happened? Is Karel able to clarify what's happened?

I understand that Joe was shot and Thom kept all of the alcohol so Raymond burned down the barn out of revenge but why not burn down the bar instead and why kill the horses?  I could understand if Karel set the barn on fire and killed the horses after losing the race and everything that has happened since then w/ his brothers and their father-in-law and them taking the alcohol.  I just don't understand why Raymond picked to set fire to the barn and not the bar.

 

 


 

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Peppermill
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

 


1archi1 wrote (excerpt):

How many misunderstandings can we trace in the mess of events that unfolds at the end of these chapters? What was the effect of the extended and unclear way we learn of the events that have transpired with the boys, Thomas, the alcohol, and all of it. At what point did you feel you developed a clear picture of what had happened? Is Karel able to clarify what's happened?

 

I understand that Joe was shot and Thom kept all of the alcohol so Raymond burned down the barn out of revenge but why not burn down the bar instead and why kill the horses?  I could understand if Karel set the barn on fire and killed the horses after losing the race and everything that has happened since then w/ his brothers and their father-in-law and them taking the alcohol.  I just don't understand why Raymond picked to set fire to the barn and not the bar.

 


 

Arch -- good questions!  It would have been a different story may be the "only" answer.  But, do consider, the twins had already tried revenge at the bar by moving out and emptying Thom's beer supply.  So it was escalation of revenge time. 

 

Given the trailer next to the stable, I wondered if the fire would spread to the house. Also, these boys had already flamed their parents' home; they could have gone for Thom's house rather than the stable, although the hay would make the latter easier.  I also wondered why they didn't at least release all or more of the horses to the padlock.

 

"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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librarysusie
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

 

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing?

 

It seems like maybe he did try in the beginning but he did smack his son pretty hard and did seem to just get meaner and meaner.I felt sorry for the Karel that he just wanted to see his mother and that the only picture of her was ruined.

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 

I think it touched him I don’t think he wants to become like his father.

 

 What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

 

I think it shows that they actually have a pretty good relationship and that he has a sense of humor that in some ways surprised me.

 

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action?

 

I’m still confused as to why he hired these boys maybe it was because of their upbringing being similar but to trust them as he did to as they were told that was a bad decision. I see Karel as trying to make the best with the hand he was dealt but these boys seem to after more and have not gone about it in the right way.

 

 

 

How many misunderstandings can we trace in the mess of events that unfolds at the end of these chapters? What was the effect of the extended and unclear way we learn of the events that have transpired with the boys, Thomas, the alcohol, and all of it. At what point did you feel you developed a clear picture of what had happened? Is Karel able to clarify what's happened?

 

I don’t know that it was misunderstandings I think it was more poor judgment on Karels part for hiring the twins in the first place and on the twins for their actions. I don’t think at the end of this section that Karel really has a clear idea of what the twins have done, us as readers know much more than Karel at this point.

 

 

 

I actually felt sorry for Karel when he was thinking about his brothers and the brotherhood they had lost especially when you think that if Karel hadn’t lost that race they wouldn’t have the life they have now.

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Cleos_Mum
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

 

The impression I get is that Vaclav cares more for his late wife than he does for his living children. I feel that he is only raising them now out of duty to his late wife. His treatment of the boys is to punish them as a whole for taking his wife away from him. This section doesn't make him more human for me, but less so.

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 

I think that he saw the type of father that he wanted to be - not the type that he grew up with. So he went to bond with his son.

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

 

It tells me that this is a loving relationship. He doesn't intimidate her and she feels comfortable teasing him. She wouldn't do that if he didn't show her love.

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action?

 

Karel hired the twins because he saw something of himself and his brothers in them. They were mistreated by their father, as Karel and his brothers were. I think he also wanted to bring back some of the companionship that he felt with his brothers. I think he has been missing that. 

 

How many misunderstandings can we trace in the mess of events that unfolds at the end of these chapters? What was the effect of the extended and unclear way we learn of the events that have transpired with the boys, Thomas, the alcohol, and all of it. At what point did you feel you developed a clear picture of what had happened? Is Karel able to clarify what's happened?

 

I think that at first, the twins were trying to do something good. They were trying to help Karel sell more than he had intended, thereby increasing his profit. Unfortunately, without knowing the 'unspoken agreement' that Karel had with his brothers regarding territories, they ended up making a mess of things. Then they became spiteful and impulsive with the rest of their decisions, and it made everything much, much worse. I still don't have a clear picture of everything that happened - but that has been an ongoing issue for me with this book. Karel will not be able to clarify what's happened unless he he actually talks with the twins to learn their initial motivations behind the situation. But now that they set fire to the stables (those poor horses!!!), I don't think he will get the opportunity for clarity.

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AnnahE
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

Vaclav's distress over the ruined picture shows that he has feelngs after all.  He deeply loved his wife and other than memories, this picture was all he had left of her.  He still puts everything else in his life under the "object" heading.  He is more concerned with the dishes than the welfare of his children.  Sad.  I found Karel's tipping of his hat to the young boy touching.  He dreams of what never was with his own father.  He will be sorely disappointed by the twins.  He is bonded to them by the nursing of their mother and tries to help them on the right path, but has no idea what trouble they are.

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nicole21WA
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

 


flouncyninja wrote:

 



Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 

He's reminded of his own son and realizes that he doesn't want to have the same type of relationship he had with his own father.  He'd much rather have a caring and protective relationship as it seems this hunting father and son have.  It reminds him that perhaps he should be there for his new born child, instead of caring about business above family.

 


I agree.  It seemed to be a moment where Karel realized he didn't have to make the same mistakes his father did.  This part makes it seem possible that Karel's children will grow up knowing their father loves them.  I actually felt some sympathy for Karel again at this point (but then I remembered he's an animal abuser so I got over it).

 

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mgorbatjuk
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

I agree also. I think at that moment he realized what fate had offered him and he knew he needed to take it seriously. He knew what the repercussions were of being uncared for and unloved.

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TudorRose
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

 

I think this scene made me feel a little more empathetic towards Vaclav.  While I find his behavior towards his sons reprehensible, I did feel compassion in the loss of his wife.  It is obvious that he loved her and wants to keep as much of her with him as he can, even if it is only her possession.  To lose the only picture he had of her was heartbreaking, but I felt as much loss for Karel.  He not only lost his mother before he could even have a foggy image of her, but he also feels responsible for the loss of the only physical reminder that the family had of her.  He was only a toddler, so it wasn't his fault, but a part of him will always blame himself as will Vaclav.  I still believe that a part of Vaclav is punishing his sons, especially Karel, for the loss of Klara. 

 

This passage also made me more curious about Vaclav's own childhood.  What happened to him as a child that him so bitter that only Klara's love could soften him for a short time?

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

 

I think that at that moment he understands that he can be the kind of father that he wishes Vaclav were.  He can break an abusive cycle.  He loves his son, but with a lack of physical love in his own life, he is unsure sometimes how to give it to others, and I think this scares him in the raising of his own son.  He sees a father and son bonding over a simple, everyday hunting expedition, but for Karel it becomes a turning point in his life.  He can be that kind of father to his son and with that relationship, he can regain some of what he lost as a child.

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

 

Karel and Sophie have genuine love and care between them.  They can tease each other because they are confident in their relationship.  Karel is not a perfect husband, which is pretty obvious.  I get the feeling that Sophia understands this about Karel, but she knows that she means more to Karel than the women he has sex with outside his marriage.  Sophia knows that Karel will always come home to her and she feels that she can tease him a bit without worrying that he will hurt her physically or emotionally.  Karel doesn't feel the same intense love and longing that he has for Graciela, but he has a tenderness and love for Sophia and his daughters. 

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action? 

 

I think Karel hired the twins because he sees something of himself in them.  They come from similar backgrounds and had similar relationships with their fathers.  Although, as Karel points out, there is a difference in letting your father die and murdering him.  I think that Karel feels that he can be a father-figure to Joe and Raymond and somehow give them something that he was missing so that they could make something better of their lives.

 

How many misunderstandings can we trace in the mess of events that unfolds at the end of these chapters? What was the effect of the extended and unclear way we learn of the events that have transpired with the boys, Thomas, the alcohol, and all of it. At what point did you feel you developed a clear picture of what had happened? Is Karel able to clarify what's happened?

 

There are more misunderstandings than you can count in the last chapters of this section.  There are misunderstandings between Karel and Thom, between Thom and Raymond, between Karel and the twins, even between Joe and Raymond. I liked the effect of layering the explanation of what happened during that last day.  You think that you have a sense of what direction the story is moving in and then as more layers are revealed, you see deeper nuances of the character and plot.  I don't think that everything has been revealed yet, and I haven't read further into the book, so I don't have a clear picture of what is going to happen next, but I can't wait to get there. 

Kimberly from Ohio

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JaneM
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)


Peppermill wrote:

BookWoman -- thank you for your thoughtful comments.  Several comments come to mind, but I'll mention only three here until after we have all wrestled with our discussion on the final section of TWoF.  First, "sin" is as troublesome a word to me as "evil."  Second, my questions come more from large business management and diversity training, psychology, and parenting than from religion.  Third, when are cruelty and evilness different?

 

Pepper  


To respond to your last question, Pepper, there is a fine line (imho) between cruelty and evilness.  Evilness is an inherent trait that causes actions with no discernible payback to the evil doer.  Some might even excuse their behavior as part of a mental aberration, such as a mental insantity defense for murder.  But cruelty is more subtle in that it provides the doer with a negative pay-back sensation of superiority or revenge or helps with their own self-image.  So I guess I'm saying that evilness is worse than cruelty.

 

And this has been a great discussion!

Jane M.
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melissas
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

I absolutely feel that Vaclav becomes more human. He must care for his boys in order to be providing for them, as opposed to making them take care of themselves (which seems to be the case later on). Plus there is the part of the scene in which he questions whether he should sit down with Karel and eat with him. We also know that this scene is the last time in his life he cries, so perhaps it's a turning point for him.

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside?

He seemed to have temporarily forgotten that he has his own son now! What a great reminder.

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship?

It seems like they have an easy-going relationship.

 

Why did Karel hire the twins, Joe and Raymond? Why did he feel some affinity for the boys? How do you compare their characters with Karel's now that we've seen them in action? 

I think he felt some affinity with them for basically two reasons. First, he just found out that Villaseñor bought their family land. I think he can relate to that given the way his own life was disrupted by the man. Secondly, he understands what it's like to have to deal with a hard father. They refer the scar on one twin's face as "a family matter", which Karel dealt with on a similar level when he was their age. I'm still not sure how to compare their characters with Karel, though. They seem to be much wilder and awful people, but perhaps I don't know all there is to know about Karel yet.

 

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BooksToTheCeiling
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

We open with our only childhood scene so far after the first pages of the novel. Does Vaclav become more "human" for us, if not more humane, toward his boys? We get, for example, an image of Vaclav making breakfast for the young boys and watching them eat, warning them to be careful with their mother's dishes. How does such a scene fit with the man who would put yokes on his sons for plowing? 

 

 

What does Sophie's teasing of him tell us about their relationship? I think it tells us that she loves him regardless. She wants a life with him that includes love and joy. It lets me know that at home he must be kind to her and love her in his own way.

 

Why does Karel turn his truck around after watching a boy and his father hunt along the roadside? I believe it struck a cord in his heart. He saw with his own eyes the thing he never had, something he longed for, a loving relationship with his father. He dreamed often enough of this kind of relationship with the mother he never knew. He went back home to be with his family, to have that relationship with his son. I think that he wanted to be the kind of father he never had.

 

 

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BooksToTheCeiling
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Middle Chapters to "Testaments to Seed," (p.212)

I'm probably wrong, but I feel it might be a comparison to his life. All around are wonderful smells that are overrun by the stink of the tannery. In his life he has beauty around him, his wife, family, farm and it is all under the cloud of the memories of his abusive upbringing.