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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Paul and That Scene

 

How do you feel with the scene we witnessed at the opening of the novel  also becoming part of the novel's conclusion?

 

How does the mystery of this scene fit in with the rest of the novel?

 

How does the scene change if you read it once as a fictional scene, written by one of the novel's characters, and then finally as a "real" scene about characters we know?

 

 

How would you describe Paul's character? How well did we get to know him?

 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Paul and That Scene

The ending gave me closure..That Gillian did self destruct,and it was beautifully written.for me to realize that.. Its still a Mystery,and of course I could imagine that Gillian was the first driver of the vehicle  at the beginning,I am not sure..yet..Still have questions...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Paul and That Scene

First off, I have to say that the ending made me cry! I had not expected Paul to be the one to die, but quickly figured that out after Kim left and the car started down the driveway. What a powerful, dramatic, tragic ending. It brought the novel full circle and gave us the reason for the opening.

 

Paul was one of my favorites because I thought he not only had a lot of potential, but was a young man caught up in circumstances beyond his control. He wanted to be successful, but really, what role model did he have to fall back on. Not until a teacher took an active role in his life did Paul realize that he could be more than he was. I think it hurt him to live with his father and not his mother because he didn't have the love and support he needed. He gave his life (unexpectantly) to his first love and Kim witnessed it never knowing how he felt. Paul had been used by Gillian for too long to get what she wanted from his father and now had been killed by the same witch. He had known about her novel but not about the impact of her theft. Paul had grown larger than life and had become real because we empathized with him, wanted him taken to safety, and wanted him to get help. His character was one of hope and struggle; one we could watch grow and change. He is absolutely one of the central characters to me.

 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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aanjel
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Paul and That Scene

I liked Paul a lot, I felt like he was a lost soul in this novel.  He didn't have any friends nor did he have anyone he could really confide in.  I think he an Rachel may have been friends, but then Rachel is a teacher and that has it own set of problems.  I think we got to know Paul better than most of the characters. 

 

His crush on Kim was cute and so like a the young man he was.  I know he wanted to help her and talk to her about Gillian, but wasn't sure what he could do.  The idea that he ran out to save her was touching and so very tragic for him.   

 

The accident in the end of the novel helps with the clouse from the beginning.  The two accidents are similar but different and each has it owns unique set of circumstances.  As a "real" scene I think you invest more thought and feeling into it.  We have gotten to know Paul as a person during the novel and have developed a sense of caring for him and to have him hit and killed is more traumatic than the fictional character in the opening of the book.

 

 

 

 

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Sanderson1216
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎01-20-2010

Re: Paul and That Scene

How do you feel with the scene we witnessed at the opening of the novel also becoming part of the novel's conclusion?

 

This scene brings the entire book together. In the end, I believe Gillian was more the central character than any other character including Nancy.

 

How does the mystery of this scene fit in with the rest of the novel?

 

The mystery of the scene at the beginning could represent the mystery behind all the different characters, their perspectives, and how everything and everyone ultimately relates to each other and Gillian's final self destruction.

How does the scene change if you read it once as a fictional scene, written by one of the novel's characters, and then finally as a "real" scene about characters we know?

The "real" scene is far more emotional now that the reader knows Paul and remembers what happened in the fictional scene. We are sympathetic to Paul and his accident at the hands of Gillian made me more connected to him as a character at the end.

 

How would you describe Paul's character? How well did we get to know him?

I

 feel the story allows the reader to get to know Paul very well. Paul seemed very lonely, depressed, and unsure of his course in life. His parent's divorce and his relationship with Gillian only made him more alienated from the world.

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Paul and That Scene

I orignally thought the opening scene would be covered further and I liked the fact that  was explained but I never thought that it would end that way. It was a total surprise to me. Those two characters, Kim and Paul, were not even in much of the book. They seemed so mnor a part and yet played a most important role. It was certainly an unusual way to bring Gillian down and many of us were probably hoping for it. I was, I know, but not in that way. I wanted her to be exposed but I did not want to see anyone really killed. In my fantasy world, everyone lives happily ever after :smileyhappy:.

 

There were a lot of unanswered questions left hanging. by this ending. Who is Blanche? What happens to Nancy's novel, ultimately? Does Chris work out his problems with his wife? Does Kim go back with Adam? What does Bernard do with the rest of his life? Does Kim realize that Paul sacrificed himself to save her?

 

Bernard's statement foreshadows the reformation of The Writing Circle. I wonder if there are so many unanswered questions because this is only Book One. Maybe there will be a series of books that explore the development of the characters in the Circle further and we will get to know them better.

 

 

Rachel-K wrote:

 

How do you feel with the scene we witnessed at the opening of the novel  also becoming part of the novel's conclusion?

 

How does the mystery of this scene fit in with the rest of the novel?

 

 

 

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maxcat
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Re: Paul and That Scene

I thought the tragic death of paul was very different from the preface. The whole time, we were looking for a couple that later had two boys. But remember, this is Nancy's novel not the actual reality. It was Gillian driving the truck with no headlights . It was Paul who ran out in front of her to save Kim. It was a different twist to the ending. I never saw it coming. I knew the book would end the way the preface was but in actuality, it was at the wrong driveway and the wrong people involved.

I kept thinking of Paul as a poor boy who was forced on this crazy family. By crazy, I'm talking about Gillian and Jerry. Paul never wanted to spend time there. He wanted to go home to his mother in Conn. Yet, he is the one who is killed by Gillian perhaps as a mistake. He kind of liked his bedroom in the basement as moldy smelling as it was. He felt he was alone there and could get away from Gillian. He never liked Gillian and one gets to feel sorry for him as towards the end, he starts to relate with people like Rachel.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008

Re: Paul and That Scene

I just wanted to add a Thank you to Corinne,for allowing our intelligence to take over,and figure out the characters,however we perceived them at the beginning,middle and towards the end..It stretched our imagination..and we really got to know them,Paul especially,  ,that was a difficult scene.and the loss once again..Like the beginning....SusanVtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Paul and That Scene

Thank you, Corinne, for a strong ending. Now we understand why Paul, a rather minor character and not part of the Writing Circle, had his own chapters. We all knew, I think, that Paul was a lost soul in this group of self-indulgent adults, many called him "poor boy" and rooted for him. And just as he started to kind of take an active interest in his own life, in the now, he reaches an unfortunate end. The preface becomes the last word, his last action, he "plunges towards her, towards the point of intersection." With that he takes Gillian out of the Writing Circle.And he shows himself capable, maybe for the first time.

 

I like the fact that there are many loose ends; we won't know if and when the circle resumes, if Nancy's book gets published (it could become a bestseller due to the controversy that will now be open to debate) and how the members of the circle respond to Gillian's hit and run. But we get the confirmation that all actions resonate, influence the outcome of the story.

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Katy_Beth
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Re: Paul and That Scene

It was interesting how you were taken back to the beginning at the end of the book.  Very interesting technique but I didn't really like the ending.  It left me feeling incomplete.  That things were just worse.  I like books where things are somehow better at the end even if this is not realistic. 

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Zyna
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Re: Paul and That Scene

How do you feel with the scene we witnessed at the opening of the novel  also becoming part of the novel's conclusion?

 

I think that the scene being a part of both the opening of the novel as well as the novel's conclusion brings the novel full circle. It shows how little has changed during the course of the novel, in the way of character development.

 

How does the scene change if you read it once as a fictional scene, written by one of the novel's characters, and then finally as a "real" scene about characters we know?

 

I think that, if the reader initially perceives the scene as fictional, the second time it comes around, it creates a much more emotional reaction from the reader. I'm not sure if this is because of the realization that we have known all along what the story was coming to, or for another reason, but I personally cried.

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jbg78
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Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: Paul and That Scene

I didn't expect for the book to end this way.  I'm still having trouble getting over the fact that she didn't stop to see what she hit and if help was needed!  She just drove away.  I knew she was mean, but I didn't think she was heartless.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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violetangel
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Re: Paul and That Scene

I wasn't the least bit surprised.  The whole thing was predictable.  Well, as long as you realized that the driveway prologue had nothing to do with the section of Nancy's book that we saw next.  To me that was obvious - I never connected the two in my head at all.

‎"No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself." -Virginia Woolf
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EiLvReedn
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Registered: ‎05-25-2007
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Re: Paul and That Scene

Well I had a good reply and then something happened to my computer - argh!  So I'm trying again. The beginning & the end scenes: I really thought the beginning scene with the car down the driveway was something in Nancy's novel. I didn't realize it was supposed to be a prologue sort of thing. I was truly saddened to find out it was Paul who is hit. Not that I wanted Kim to die either but she was such an insignificant character in the story compared to Paul. Plus, Paul sort seemed like he was going to get his life turned around for the better. Somehow it should have been Gillian walking away and then getting accidentally hit. She is the one who seems to be the cause of so much pain even her own and getting her out of the picture would be a relief! She is so into herself and doing everything for her own gain, I would have liked to have seen her go thru a trial and jail for what she did. That would have been just desserts!  Well anyway, the ending of the story was better than the beginning but left too many unanswered questions, I would have like to have found out more on Nancy's novel. I also would have liked to have seen how much more the writing circle would have met after the accident if at all. The story need an epilog. Just my opinion.

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,839
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Paul and That Scene

Well at least now I know what happened at the first of the novel.

 

the whole novel is a mystery to me, it left me with many more questions than answers, if the author hoped for that then she got what she wanted.

 

In the "accident" scene, did Paul die? It was never made clear to me. I mean even if he lived, leaving the scene is a crime so that answers why Gillian was talking to her lawyer.

 

I think we got to know Paul pretty well, he was a kid, confused by his role in this "new" life of his after his parents divorce, but pretty well adjusted even though he made some bad decisions, like we all have as kids and even as adults

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literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Paul and That Scene

Paul's was definitely in the early stages of his metamorphosis and progressing nicely.  He lived with his father and Gillian, but his father dotes on Gillian, he was just a custodial parent to Paul.  To make new friends at The Academy, Paul was willing to write a paper for another student; the student didn't appreciate it , when Paul was called on it for copying off the internet, Paul's concern was that he just threw away the chance of becoming friends.  Paul was very lonely and depressed.  Living in his father's house, his bedroom being downstairs and far away enough from the master bedroom so you couldn't hear a child cry out in the night.  But Paul liked his room, it was away from everybody.  Paul thought nothing of lying to his father and didn't trust Gillian.

 

Rachel wins the confidence of Paul and he starts opening up to her.  Here we see the beginning of his change.  Paul shows his drawings to her and she says they are very good.  He says that sometimes both of his parents want him and sometimes neither wants him and sometimes his father acts like I matter and other times, not.  At his father's and Gillian's Christmas party, Gillian delegates Paul to watch Chris's boys;  Paul offers to bartend but Gillian nixes that.  Then things perk up for Paul when Gillian asks him to give Kim a tour of the house.  All of a sudden Paul is transfixed by this beautiful creature and thus begins his admiration for Kim.  His sketch book is now filled with drawings of Kim but he has problems capturing her. 

 

To attend Gillian's book reading at Borders, his father trades the weekend with his ex; Paul hates the thought of being traded.  When Paul mentions to his father about Gillian writing a novel, his father is surprised and Paul felt for once he had something up on his father.  Paul thinks that even if he was interested in Gillian's reading, he wouldn't let on.

 

After Gillian is turned down for the Pullitzer, his father asks him to keep an eye on Gillian and not let anything disturb her.  Paul asked his father if he was afraid that Gillian would kill herself and then went on to say "People kill themselves over major disappointments, it happens all the time."  Paul thought that Gillian didn't fit the profile of someone suicidal and he knew all about that from some website on depression.  Then Kim comes to the house and Paul thinks "a fantasy suddenly turned actual".  Paul reaches out to Kim when she is crying in his bedroom and says "You can talk to me, I'd like to help you, if I could.".    Paul had never had a girl sitting in his room before, with the door shut, and now he did and it was Kim.  Paul was so taken with her that he just wanted to touch her where her bra strap showed out from her top.  When Kim was leaving his room, the tips of his fingers brushed the sleeve of her sweatshirt and he thought he could have left them there forever.  Paul calls out to Kim and runs after her when he realizes she might be struck by the oncoming truck. 

 

So what was Paul's life like after his parents divorced?  Sometimes he was wanted, sometimes not.  He was an object to be traded.  His mother usually wanted him, but his father was more interested in Gillian than his own son.  He is lonely and depressed and thinks nothing of lying to his father.  His father never talked with him but rather to him.  Rachel reaches out to him and he realizes that someone is actually listening to him.  Then Kim comes along and a whole new world opens up for him.  Paul actually gave up his life to save Kim from being hit by the truck.  It was his intention to keep her from harm but I don't believe Paul knew it would come to this.  How sad for him.  The only saving grace here is that he was completely happy right before the  accident.  I wonder what Paul's reaction would have been if it was Gillian instead of Kim in harm's way.

 

 

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Zia01
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Re: Paul and That Scene

How would you describe Paul's character? How well did we get to know him? I really liked this character and it made me upset to see he got the brunt of Gillian's self destruction.

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pen21
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Re: Paul and That Scene

 

dhaupt wrote:

Well at least now I know what happened at the first of the novel.

 

the whole novel is a mystery to me, it left me with many more questions than answers, if the author hoped for that then she got what she wanted.

 

In the "accident" scene, did Paul die? It was never made clear to me. I mean even if he lived, leaving the scene is a crime so that answers why Gillian was talking to her lawyer.

 

I think we got to know Paul pretty well, he was a kid, confused by his role in this "new" life of his after his parents divorce, but pretty well adjusted even though he made some bad decisions, like we all have as kids and even as adults

 

 

I am left with many questions. But the biggest was did Paul die. I didn't mind the other open ended characters. But Paul is a character that I wanted to more closure.

pen21

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Bonnie_C
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Re: Paul and That Scene

I thought the scene in the beginning of the book was a clever tool to keep the reader enticed to find out where this story was heading.  When the scene appeared for real at the end of the story I felt it was rather rushed and contrived. 

 

I had trouble believing that Kim would show up at Gillian's house looking for Adam.  When she found out that Gillian was Adam's new love, would she not have waited Adam out at his apartment rather than driving to a house she had only been to one time before? If she were in such an angry state of mind would she leave her car at the end of the driveway and walk up to the house?  If she were that angry would she not have driven right up to the door,?  She clearly did not want a confrontation with Gillian.  Paul tells Kim that Adam is not at the house but Gillian is.  Paul then asks if Kim wanted to talk with his stepmother.  Kim very quickly tells him no.  So what are the chances that she would not run into Gillian if Adam were there?

 

Also, just how fast was Gillian driving down that driveway?  She just pulled out of the garage for heavens sakes.  Unless that pickup could get up to 80 within 10 seconds she was driving at a very low rate of speed.  I know she did not have headlights on and Kim was wearing dark clothing, but it was light enough that Kim felt comfortable walking down that same driveway to get back to her car.  Somebody should have seen somebody.

 

And just how silent is this truck engine or how thick was the hood that Kim had over her head?  Would she not have heard something and gotten out of the way?

 

But after all is said, this scene was the axis upon which this story was spun.  It achieved its purpose of bringing closure to a much despised character and an ending to one that had gained everyone's sympathy. 

 

Bonnie

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StewiesMom
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Registered: ‎10-09-2008
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Re: Paul and That Scene

How do you feel with the scene we witnessed at the opening of the novel  also becoming part of the novel's conclusion?

 

I knew it had meaning somewhere else in the story - it just had to!  I didn't see this coming though.

 

How does the mystery of this scene fit in with the rest of the novel?

 

It didn't seem to feel the same to me.  It was like the tone changed.  Although considering it revolved around Gillian, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.

 

How does the scene change if you read it once as a fictional scene, written by one of the novel's characters, and then finally as a "real" scene about characters we know?

 

It turns from something abstract into something absolutely terrible.

 

 

How would you describe Paul's character? How well did we get to know him?

 

Paul was a pawn.  Unfortunately, the one person who should have ensured he was cared for properly - his father, didn't.  I feel like this poor kid was a sub-plot.  He was not taken care of very well by his father and the idea that Jerry was so involved in his own life and his "wife" should have made him realize that Paul wasn't getting the parental support he needed.  Paul would have been better off going to public school and living with his mother, rather than to get this "opportunity" at the academy to further his college chances and living with Gillian & Jerry.

Rachel-K wrote:

 

How do you feel with the scene we witnessed at the opening of the novel  also becoming part of the novel's conclusion?

 

How does the mystery of this scene fit in with the rest of the novel?

 

How does the scene change if you read it once as a fictional scene, written by one of the novel's characters, and then finally as a "real" scene about characters we know?

 

 

How would you describe Paul's character? How well did we get to know him?

 

 

 

"Tact, my dear"..."is merely a ploy of the unimaginative." - Bernard in Corinne Demas' "The Writing Circle"
"My life is my own, and the opinions of others don't interest me..." — Carroll John Daly**
**This is not necessarily true, I just love the quote!**