Reply
Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Adults and Children

 


If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it?

 

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

 

Did you notice that the children have no toys? How do they get along with each other? How do they play? Do they get much of a chance to be children?

 

What is the relationship between adults and children so far in this novel?

 

Do you see anyone of the children taking after either of their parents?

Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Adults and Children

[ Edited ]

I found all of these relationships very interesting, but especially Anna's relationship to the coyotes.  The non human connection was evident from the time her husband, Stefan, killed the one that came the closest to her touching her hand.  From then on, I had the feeling that this woman was deeply troubled.  She rejected her own baby, Lesya, when she found that she was deformed.  Although, she came around to her at the age of 2, P. 22,  but there was never really any bond between her and her children, only between her and the coyotes. 

 

Anna also seemed distant from her brother.  She vacillated between acknowledging his return from prison.  Teodor knew she watched from the window.  I wondered if she felt she would be betraying her husband, if her acceptance of Teodor back were to happen.  But, then admitted: "I'm glad you're finally home, now I can sleep." 

 

P. 18, "she loved the darkness and the vastness.  it made her feel like she belonged."

 

It  all made you wonder what she was afraid of, from her husband.  You could feel the fear, and distance she had with humans, but the connect to the coyotes persisted. 

 

P. 22, Anna says, "I'm here, she whispers".  The loneliness is heard.

The significance of cutting her hair, the knife....."Twenty nights ago".  It's almost biblical...the renting of garments.  The tearing, the shedding the pain.

 

P47, Did she want to die?  The coyotes cried for her.  They howled her pain.  Her depression is evident.

 

Kathy S.

Message Edited by KathyS on 08-03-2009 08:06 AM
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,824
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Adults and Children

I think one word would describe most of the people in our novel and that is courageous.

 

I think Anna's relationship with the coyotes is her wish to be wild like them, I think she sees herself trapped in a horrible marriage and I think she thinks that Lesya's deformity is a ominous sign that nothing will ever get better.

 

My favorite character(s) so far is Teodor and Maria. I love their strength and how together early in the novel they seem to rise above so much hardship and adversity. 

The children keep themselves busy like children do by making up games and chores and I think the early children of settlers to a new world are more like animal offspring who copy their parents actions as lessons of how to progress in life, in growing up. And yes I think these children have a chance to be young and carefree, not like we do today but in their own way, the cat and mouse game in the first chapter, the swimming, they even made a game out of de-bugging the garden.

I see the adults as the teachers and protectors of the children.

I see Myron taking after Teodor and Ivan emulating him, which will probably change a hundred times by the time Ivan is a man. Just like the younger girls wanted to emulate Maria while the older ones saw it as a chore. 

Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Adults and Children

Hi, Debbie,

 

I think your word, "courageous", is a good one to describe these people.  I can't even imagine going through what they did.

 

I had wondered why Anna rejected Lesya, it had to be more than her foot.  I think it was possibly because she wanted to see perfection in her.  As if she wanted to give her husband something that she, herself, couldn't give him.  He obvisouly wasn't satisfied with just Anna.  I could see the feelings of failure written all over her.

 

I really did love Ivan.  He so wanted to please.  And as you said, to be like his older brother, who wanted to please his father.

 

These people all had their strengths, and showed us how they fought against their weaknesses.  This story is definately a story of life's struggle and survival.

 


dhaupt wrote:

I think one word would describe most of the people in our novel and that is courageous.

 

I think Anna's relationship with the coyotes is her wish to be wild like them, I think she sees herself trapped in a horrible marriage and I think she thinks that Lesya's deformity is a ominous sign that nothing will ever get better.

 

My favorite character(s) so far is Teodor and Maria. I love their strength and how together early in the novel they seem to rise above so much hardship and adversity. 

The children keep themselves busy like children do by making up games and chores and I think the early children of settlers to a new world are more like animal offspring who copy their parents actions as lessons of how to progress in life, in growing up. And yes I think these children have a chance to be young and carefree, not like we do today but in their own way, the cat and mouse game in the first chapter, the swimming, they even made a game out of de-bugging the garden.

I see the adults as the teachers and protectors of the children.

I see Myron taking after Teodor and Ivan emulating him, which will probably change a hundred times by the time Ivan is a man. Just like the younger girls wanted to emulate Maria while the older ones saw it as a chore. 


 

Inspired Correspondent
Read-n-Rider
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎01-29-2007

Re: Adults and Children

I am touched by, and concerned for, Petro.  From the start, he seems on the defensive--in somewhat of a competitive situation with his cousin, Ivan who, though younger, often wins out when there is a contest.  He is reluctant to enter the lake with the other children because he doesn't want to take his pants off; shortly, we learn that this is because he has marks on his bottom from being punished by Anna after he comes upon her while she is apparently trying to abort her unborn child.  He doesn't realize what he did to incur his mother's wrath, which emphasizes the unfairness of her treatment of him.

 

At the same time, and perhaps because of Anna's apparent lack of love for her son, Petro obviously loves and yearns for his father, Stefan, the acknowledged villain of the family.  Whether or not this love is justified by Stefan's treatment of the boy, or is just a natural reaction to Anna's lack of caring, is not apparent at this time.  I am anxious to see what awaits this little boy in his struggle for identity.

 

Joan 

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,824
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children


KathyS wrote:

Hi, Debbie,

 

I think your word, "courageous", is a good one to describe these people.  I can't even imagine going through what they did.

 

I had wondered why Anna rejected Lesya, it had to be more than her foot.  I think it was possibly because she wanted to see perfection in her.  As if she wanted to give her husband something that she, herself, couldn't give him.  He obvisouly wasn't satisfied with just Anna.  I could see the feelings of failure written all over her.

 

I really did love Ivan.  He so wanted to please.  And as you said, to be like his older brother, who wanted to please his father.

 

These people all had their strengths, and showed us how they fought against their weaknesses.  This story is definately a story of life's struggle and survival.

 


dhaupt wrote:

I think one word would describe most of the people in our novel and that is courageous.

 

I think Anna's relationship with the coyotes is her wish to be wild like them, I think she sees herself trapped in a horrible marriage and I think she thinks that Lesya's deformity is a ominous sign that nothing will ever get better.

 

My favorite character(s) so far is Teodor and Maria. I love their strength and how together early in the novel they seem to rise above so much hardship and adversity. 

The children keep themselves busy like children do by making up games and chores and I think the early children of settlers to a new world are more like animal offspring who copy their parents actions as lessons of how to progress in life, in growing up. And yes I think these children have a chance to be young and carefree, not like we do today but in their own way, the cat and mouse game in the first chapter, the swimming, they even made a game out of de-bugging the garden.

I see the adults as the teachers and protectors of the children.

I see Myron taking after Teodor and Ivan emulating him, which will probably change a hundred times by the time Ivan is a man. Just like the younger girls wanted to emulate Maria while the older ones saw it as a chore. 


 


Thanks Kathy,
I've wondered through the book so far if it's really Stefan who's not satisfied but Anna. I don't think she can get over what he did to give her those little trinkets while he was courting her. Right now I think he's a skunk but we all know that people in war do things they wouldn't normally do and I haven't seen enough of him to know if she ever gave him a chance to become a "better man".
What do you think? 

 

Wordsmith
kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children


dhaupt wrote:

I think one word would describe most of the people in our novel and that is courageous.

 

I think Anna's relationship with the coyotes is her wish to be wild like them, I think she sees herself trapped in a horrible marriage and I think she thinks that Lesya's deformity is a ominous sign that nothing will ever get better.

 

My favorite character(s) so far is Teodor and Maria. I love their strength and how together early in the novel they seem to rise above so much hardship and adversity

The children keep themselves busy like children do by making up games and chores and I think the early children of settlers to a new world are more like animal offspring who copy their parents actions as lessons of how to progress in life, in growing up. And yes I think these children have a chance to be young and carefree, not like we do today but in their own way, the cat and mouse game in the first chapter, the swimming, they even made a game out of de-bugging the garden.

I see the adults as the teachers and protectors of the children.

I see Myron taking after Teodor and Ivan emulating him, which will probably change a hundred times by the time Ivan is a man. Just like the younger girls wanted to emulate Maria while the older ones saw it as a chore


I also agree with so much of what you wrote about the charactersAlthough "courageous" does much to describe all of the characters, I still find that for me it doesn't do itI'm not sure a single word can be used to describe the charactersThey so far are well developed, complex people.

 

As another contributor wrote, I too worry about PetroHe appears to be a victim in so many different situations.

 

I do have one question for the group- in the initial question for response Mysha was mentionedI don't recall this characterHow could I miss a whole character?

Kathy

Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007

Re: Adults and Children

I think it would be impossible to describe most of the characters in one sentence, but I think that it would be possible to describe some of them in one sentence.

 

Lysha is by far my favorite, so far.  Because she tries so hard and has such a good heart.  I think that Anna and Lysha feel so strongly for animals because they have been hurt so badly by people and the expectations of people.  

 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children


dhaupt wrote:

KathyS wrote:

Hi, Debbie,

 

I think your word, "courageous", is a good one to describe these people.  I can't even imagine going through what they did.

 

I had wondered why Anna rejected Lesya, it had to be more than her foot.  I think it was possibly because she wanted to see perfection in her.  As if she wanted to give her husband something that she, herself, couldn't give him.  He obvisouly wasn't satisfied with just Anna.  I could see the feelings of failure written all over her.

 

I really did love Ivan.  He so wanted to please.  And as you said, to be like his older brother, who wanted to please his father.

 

These people all had their strengths, and showed us how they fought against their weaknesses.  This story is definately a story of life's struggle and survival.

 


dhaupt wrote:

I think one word would describe most of the people in our novel and that is courageous.

 

I think Anna's relationship with the coyotes is her wish to be wild like them, I think she sees herself trapped in a horrible marriage and I think she thinks that Lesya's deformity is a ominous sign that nothing will ever get better.

 

My favorite character(s) so far is Teodor and Maria. I love their strength and how together early in the novel they seem to rise above so much hardship and adversity. 

The children keep themselves busy like children do by making up games and chores and I think the early children of settlers to a new world are more like animal offspring who copy their parents actions as lessons of how to progress in life, in growing up. And yes I think these children have a chance to be young and carefree, not like we do today but in their own way, the cat and mouse game in the first chapter, the swimming, they even made a game out of de-bugging the garden.

I see the adults as the teachers and protectors of the children.

I see Myron taking after Teodor and Ivan emulating him, which will probably change a hundred times by the time Ivan is a man. Just like the younger girls wanted to emulate Maria while the older ones saw it as a chore. 


 


Thanks Kathy,
I've wondered through the book so far if it's really Stefan who's not satisfied but Anna. I don't think she can get over what he did to give her those little trinkets while he was courting her. Right now I think he's a skunk but we all know that people in war do things they wouldn't normally do and I haven't seen enough of him to know if she ever gave him a chance to become a "better man".
What do you think? 

 


Debbie,

 

People, such as Stepan and Anna, show us much about low self-esteem.  Stepan expects Anna, and other people, to give him what he can't give himself.  It's the typical, 'wanting something for nothing, get rich quick off of others', syndrome.  I had an uncle a lot like him.

 

Anna wants to reject him, but has needs to the point of dependency.....and at the same time hates him for his demands on her.  She's torn between this love hate relationship. 

 

War is an unrealistic place that he came from.   His esteem was gratified at that time, as well as Anna's..... And bringing all of his/their expectations into this new enviornment, just is beyond them to cope with, so they both take it out on anyone who loves them.  I can't say more than this.  As of this point, I would like to see him change, and Anna too, for the better.  I think he's a scum/skunk, as you say. 

 


 

 
Inspired Contributor
bartzturkeymom
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎07-06-2009

Re: Adults and Children

"If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it?"

 

Petro is forever following in his father’s footsteps both literally and figuratively. Where Petro is fiercely loyal to his father’s lies, Ivan takes on the responsibility for the truth. He feels he failed when he tells the truth about the receipt and it doesn’t save them. I fear that if Anna’s tragedy had not come to pass, Petro would have destroyed her and Leysa in some way with his copied anger of them as a big sow and weak mouse.

 

Leyse is compassionate. She takes care of all those around her despite being rejected. She and Dania are a lot alike in that they see needs and dutifully take care.

 

Myron is mature beyond his years, not playing games or listening to the stories, but hanging on the fringe. He’s aware of girls, affected by having to kill the rabbits, and ready to step in and defend his father against Stefan.

 

Sofia is a bit vain, wishing hard to be just like her classmates instead of who she is.

 

Katya is very spiritual though her spirituality is definitely askew and self centered. Her superstitions about the Christ wafers and fire are the stuff of childish imaginations, and burning the receipt is very unfortunate.

 

Despite his imprisonment, Teodore seems to have had a very positive influence over his children, just the opposite of Stefan whom Leysa fears. Stefan pretends to be a big man only because he knows he never will be. The alcohol and anger make him feel bigger.

 

Anna is demoralized. Having two children and one on the way because of marital rape, has caused her to fall into a battered prisoner syndrome. She craves Stefan’s attention, because he like most batterers has isolated her from everyone but himself.

 

Maria is a true hero. She is practical, she works hard, rallies the troops, feeds, clothes, shelters, and loves not only her own, but Anna and her family. Even though Stefan feels belittled and pitied by her, she is still compassionate for the sake of the children.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. - Edith Wharton
Contributor
Sensitivemuse
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎07-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

- I think Anna's relationship to the coyotes is interesting. Maybe she envies them because they have great freedom than she does?

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

- It's a tie between Teodor and Myron. They're both strong and seem to have an unspoken bond together.

 

 

Do you see anyone of the children taking after either of their parents?

 

- I think Myron is becoming more like Teodor but I think he doesn't have much of a choice as Myron was considered man of the house while Teodor was in jail.

Inspired Correspondent
Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children


rkubie wrote:

 


If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it?

 

Maria-A strong, loyal, and hardworking woman.

 

Teodor-A broken man trying to find himself again in work and hope.

 

Anna-A crazy selfish woman. A bad mother.

 

Stefan-A weak narcistic user of others.

 

Myron-A good hard working and unapreciated older son trying to be perfect.

 

 

 

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

 

I think Myron has a caring loving relationship to animals, not always welcomed in farm children.

Anna's feelings to the coyote's are just part of her mental illness. Delusional.

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

 

I like Myron and Ivan.

 

Did you notice that the children have no toys? How do they get along with each other? How do they play? Do they get much of a chance to be children?

 

Like most pioneer children, they played as they worked, with things around them. There relationships seems cruel at times, but that is realistic I think for kid stuck so close together of such different ages.

 

What is the relationship between adults and children so far in this novel?

 

They seem cared for Ok until they are able to work, and then they seem to be taken for granted as labor.

 

Do you see anyone of the children taking after either of their parents?

 

Not really. Myron may be like Teodor before he was broken down.


 

Inspired Correspondent
Read-n-Rider
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children

[ Edited ]

kpatton wrote:

I do have one question for the group- in the initial question for response Mysha was mentionedI don't recall this characterHow could I miss a whole character?

Kathy


I wondered about this, too, Kathy, but have come to think it must be a misspelling of another character's name.  These Ukranian names are not what we are used to, and it is easy to get them wrong.  If Mysha is indeed a character in the book, I missed him/her too!

 

Joan 

Message Edited by Read-n-Rider on 08-03-2009 02:43 PM
Distinguished Correspondent
JaneM
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎02-01-2008

Re: Adults and Children

Maria – Earth Mother (she carries a handful of her native soil to her new homeland)

Teodor – A man struggling against all odds to provide for his family in a righteous manner

Myron – A young man eager to match the example of a hard worker set by his father.

Dania – A young woman eager to match the example of a good housekeeper set by her mother.

Sofia – A dreamer, more concerned with the opinion of those outside the family than those within it.

Katya – struggles against her faith and fear, trying to reconcile the two.

Ivan – constantly trying to exceed in contests and games and match his dad and Myron

Lesya – a wonderful person who reaches beyond her deformity to be the mother of her family

Petro – struggles against his lack of strength and skills and might become like his father.

Anna – Fearless of the night and the coyotes, but overwhelmed by life’s requirements.

Stefan – Worthless drunkard with empty ambitions 

 

I can see Myron and Dania taking over for the adults in their family, and Lesya already seems destined to that role as well.  Although the children are given many chores by the adults, they still have time to play and grow.  It seems as if the children (Myron in particular) want to be equals to the adults as quickly as possible.  It’s evident that it is vital to the survival of all that each one helps to the best of their ability.   

 

My favorite character is Lesya who works so hard to prove herself.  She rescues the deformed chick who jumps on her boot because she sees it as a kindred spirit.

Jane M.
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Adults and Children

So far, this is how I feel about the characters.

Maria=Brave beyond my imagination or capability with the courage to deal with all of life's packages.

Teodor=Headstrong and stubborn, to his credit and harm, who can foolishly endanger himself and others with his impetuosity.

Anna=Beaten down by life and not strong enough to fight back and get back on her feet. 

Lesya=An amazing child who should grow up to be an amazing woman who can deal with what life throws at her, as opposed to her mom who cannot.

Sonia=Young woman trying to fit into the world of her parents and the world of her friends which are worlds apart. She sometimes has a mean streak.

Myron=He so wants to be appreciated and recognized by his father, as a man, that all else fades into the background. Hopefully, he will mature well, without anger when he is disappointed.

Petro and Ivan seem like typical children, trying to have fun in mischievous ways, i.e., boys will be boys, although sometimes they seem to show some rivalry that could get out of hand. Petro seems to want very much to have Ivan's home life.

Dania=Seems more timid than her siblings and becomes paralyzed with fear, unlike her mom who gets tougher when things get harder.

Katya=Seems like an uncomplaining sweet child who is eager to please.

Stefan=He is someone I dislike intensely. He is weak in character, among other things, and therefore takes advantage of those who are weaker.

I must admit that I am eager to read and find out more about each of them. I am loving the book so far.

Scribe
debbook
Posts: 1,823
Registered: ‎05-03-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children

I feel connected to all the characters, except Stefan

I find Anna's connection to the coyotes touching as well as Leyse with her chick. Leyse is so strong, much stronger than her mother, I think.

Myron has had to grow up fast to takes his fathers place while he was in jail.

Sofia dreams of another life, farm life is not for her.
Ivan is so sensitive, his connection to the animals is also touching.

Maria is strong and keeps her family together.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
"bookmagic418.blogspot.com
Distinguished Correspondent
emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children

It would be hard for me to be brief when describing many of these characters! Teodore and Maria's family are all so brave and kind. Lesya is so sweet and determined. I could go on and on!

 

One of my favorite characters is Lesya. I don't think that there is anything that she can not do when she puts her mind to it.

 

The children get along pretty well. They fight like all siblings. I think that they have fun without toys because they can use their imaginations and really enjoy each others company. They do not often get a chance to be children because for their family to survive, everyone needs to chip in.

 

I see Myron and even little Ivan taking after Teodore. I see Dania taking after her mother Maria. I see Lesya taking after her aunt Maria.

Inspired Contributor
melisndav
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children

If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it?

 

Teodor - hard-working to make a better life for family

 

Maria - believing that her family would make it, no matter what

 

Anna - depressed and just wants it all to end

 

Stefan - sneaky to do whatever he has to get his way

 

 

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

 

Anna likes the wolfs and she believes that they can understand her and her pain.  When the wolf cries, she believes that it is taking Anna's pain and yelling at the stars to get rid of that pain.

 

Lysla likes all animals and believes that she would be happier as an animal, that way no one would be able to see her deformity.

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

 

Maria -

 

Did you notice that the children have no toys? How do they get along with each other? How do they play? Do they get much of a chance to be children?

 

Back in this time era, there were not a lot of toys for anyone, not just this family.  The children behaved like children behave, one minute they are playing with each other and the next they are fighting.  Imagination has a huge part of the childrens' play activities.  They seem to have a chance to be children once the chores are done, but not a minute before.

 

What is the relationship between adults and children so far in this novel?

 

Maria seems to be the mother hen for all the children and she loves each of them.  Does not necessarily seem to feel sorry for Anna's children but she makes sure that they have all their necessities such as boots, food, and includes them in all the activities.  Anna does not seem to care that she is in fact a mother and does not want her children around at all.

 

Do you see anyone of the children taking after either of their parents?

 

I can see the eldest son and daughter taking after Teodor and Maria.  They know what they have to do to make sure the family is feed, chores are done, etc.

Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Adults and Children

Yes, I think that the characters have been developed enouh to describe them with a single sentence each. I may do that at some other point but not now.

 

My favorite characters are: Maria, Teodor and Ivan. 

 

Children find a way to play - they make up their own games. At the start, Ivan and Petro were playing some game with cats and mice, they swim, they make their chores into games.

 

Maria and Teodor love and protect their children. They are teaching them the value of hard work, love and respect.

 

I don't think that Anna & Stefan are good role models or teachers - except to teach them what not to emulate.

 

Myron is like his father.

Contributor
BarneyNoble
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-16-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Adults and Children

I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.