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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Faith and Hope

Nice analogy, Jane  :smileyhappy:


JaneM wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

What is Maria's relationship to her faith? How does Katya understand faith? Do you perceive any faith relationship in any of the other characters? Do you believe that if Theo might have retained his own faith, it could have given him enough hope to go on?

 

Do you think that Maria has any hope for their future?

 

After having finished such a heartbreaking story, do you think you will look back to find anything hopeful in it? If so, what?

 

 


 By the end of the Spring and Summer, I had started to see Teodor as a Job figure – as if God were testing him with one calamity after another – fire, dust storm, mice in the granary, a broken ax.   Earlier, his says that he “knows there is no God.  A compassionate God wouldn’t  have tried to starve his family.  A just God wouldn’t have taken away everything he had built.  A merciful God wouldn’t have abandoned him in prison.”   The house is his church, and I think the view of the sky is his heaven.  As the story progresses, Teodor seems to struggle against the land and natural events as if he were the one being challenged to prove  to himself and to his family that righteousness and hard work is its own reward. 

 

Katya has lost her faith in Jesus during the fire.  Jesus did not protect them.  She ate the dough to protect herself. “She killed Jesus to protect herself.  Maybe Mama doesn’t know that Jesus is gone.”  “If she has killed Jesus, then that means God won’t want her now.”  She turns her fear to the power of fire and creates her own version of the Lord’s Prayer, replacing “who art in Heaven” with “who art in Fire”. 

 

Maria is a strange combination of faith and superstition.  In the morning she has a bad feeling that begins with two crows facing the house.  While waiting for Theodor to come home, she kneels and prays to the Virgin, but the picture is knocked against the wall by a gust of wind “decrying its sacrilegious use.”  At one point she is feeling self-pity for her situation, and “she prays it away.”  But in the end, her personal strength carries the day as she saves a bag of seed for their next life. Maria prays every night for the safety of her vegetables, but also asks Anna to make a scarecrow.  She combines her faith with her practical nature.   

 

I believe that eventually Katya will grow into a more mature faith, that the combined strength of Maria, Myron and Dania and the overall strength of the family will lead them to find a new life and hope for the future.


 

 

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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babzilla41
Posts: 252
Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Faith and Hope

I think that in the end, Dania is the one who gives us hope for their future as she wraps a "small handful of rich black earth" in her father's handkerchief.  How like her mother!  She carries/preserves an important part of her past and her father off into the unknown of her future.
"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: Faith and Hope


rkubie wrote:

 

 

After having finished such a heartbreaking story, do you think you will look back to find anything hopeful in it? If so, what?

 

 


As I finished this wonderful story, the hope I saw was the sack of grain that would be their new start in a new place whether it would be sold or planted, it was of value.  Dania taking a handful of dirt is an indication of how much she loved this place even though they had struggled with so many different problems while here.  She hoped to connect this world with where ever she would next land.  Myron has hope.  He leaves wearing his father's jacket.  Obviously he has forgiven him and sees the strength that his father possessed.  Myron hopes to grow to be like his father- a strong, capable man.  And then there is the hope in Maxim- a new life, a new beginning.
Kathy
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Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Faith and Hope

Thank you! :smileyhappy:

 

I agree with you completely about her practical nature (and constant faith) - as you say, she was able "to move forward and put one food in front of the other, no matter what life threw in her path." 

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AIRKNITTER
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Faith and Hope

"Marie" is among us today. In this recession there are so many Marie's.

 

Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.
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retromom
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Faith and Hope

I think Maria's faith has carried her through all that life has dealt her in the past and it will see her and her children through their future. I think Maria's faith gave her the strength and will to survive. If Teodor had had faith he may have been able to be strong and deal with life differently. Maria had hope from her faith whereas Teodor felt hopeless to me. The seeds of grain represent the hope for Maria and her children's future.

 

I'm hoping that by the priest taking in Lesya she will learn about having faith and hope. I see her being more like Maria than Anna in that regard. Anna too was hopeless and faithless. In a way I think Lesya is in a better place with the priest than she was in her own home. And just maybe Petro will learn to be a respectable young man living with Josyp Petrenko. Goodness knows that Anna and Stefan did not set good examples for their children. I think the futures of these two children are better off now than they were before in that dismal home.

 

 

Beth

http://bookaholicmom.blogspot.com/
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shannonbh
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Registered: ‎09-20-2008
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Re: Faith and Hope

I really loved the poetry-like prose in this book.  But I did not feel it was full of faith and hope.  I suppose like everyone else, I believe Maria is the one who embodies the most aspects of this.  However, even as she leaves with her children, as she moves on, as she writes in the family Bible to cover the truth, something about covering that truth, about that shame, speaks to a less mature faith.  A faith that cannot bear the truth.  A faith that is shaken by that truth.  I still am processing how I feel about this story.  It is so heartbreaking....
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melisndav
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Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: Faith and Hope

What is Maria's relationship to her faith? How does Katya understand faith? Do you perceive any faith relationship in any of the other characters? Do you believe that if Theo might have retained his own faith, it could have given him enough hope to go on?

 

Maria placed everything in her whole being in faith.  She was a very spiritual person who believed that the church and God would be her salvation and help her through life.  Katya is very young and has a little warped sense of what faith is.  It could almost be interrepted that she was over-spiritual in her faith.  With age, she wuold have come to understand it a little more.   I did not believe there was much faith in the other characters.  Theo did not have any faith.  If so, his government would not have betrayed him when they sent him to prison; his family would not have had to suffer while he was gone, etc.  If he had kept his faith, he might have been able to get through most of the rough times that he was going through.

 

Do you think that Maria has any hope for their future?

 

I would like to believe that Maria has some hope.  It will be difficult as her two eldest children will be leaving soon with families of their own and she will have four young ones to tend by herself.

 

After having finished such a heartbreaking story, do you think you will look back to find anything hopeful in it? If so, what?  Yes, possibly.  I believe that since Lsyha went with the nuns, she may find peace with her deformity and not think to focus on it so much.

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misslynn
Posts: 28
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Re: Faith and Hope

Maria has an inner strength that transcends what you would traditionally depict as faith. She also had her family. On the other hand, Theo knew where he was going. And he would be alone. I think these are two different sets of circumstances. Like Maria, Theo could handle stress and hardship with the love of his wife and family. Together, they worked out problems. Without his wife and family, he was lost.
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misslynn
Posts: 28
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Re: Faith and Hope

Katya's understanding of faith is interesting. She believes Christ is an actual piece of flesh that she can form with flour and water. She needs to make he faith into something tanglible. She wants to have control over her faith/fate. When it crumbles she gets upset, but she learned you can make her"avator" of faith new again. I think that this has serious implications for Katya. She knows that she can power over her destiny and I think she will be ok.
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Lildove3
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Re: Faith and Hope

  I have to agree, in this day and age we all are alot like Maria, trying to keep

  strong. Isn't it funny how this book, Under This Unbroken Sky can apply to

  some of our own problems of today???

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annemd
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Re: Faith and Hope

It also makes me think of how much we have that we take for granted.  Most of us do not have to struggle so to even have a hope of feeding and clothing our family.
AnneMD
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Jennd1
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Re: Faith and Hope

I'm not sure I will look back on it and see hope but I was very impressed by the characters perserverence.  Maria is helped by her faith to persevere.  Her sister in law draws her faith more from the land and the animals and Theo is driven by his need to prove himself and make up for the past.  I dont' think faith would have changed him any, like his sister I think his ties were more to the land and to nature.
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fordmg
Posts: 546
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Re: Faith and Hope


rkubie wrote:

 

 Do you believe that if Theo might have retained his own faith, it could have given him enough hope to go on?

 

 


I don't think the story would  have changed.  The other characters' actions were already set.  Teodor was appalled by the sacrafice of Anna's child.  He could not have stopped that, and I believe that was what pushed him over the brink.

MG

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Anna_Louise
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎06-17-2009

Re: Faith and Hope

What is Maria's relationship to her faith? How does Katya understand faith? Do you perceive any faith relationship in any of the other characters? Do you believe that if Theo might have retained his own faith, it could have given him enough hope to go on?

 

Maria has a strong relationship to her faith.  She proved this early on in the story when she brought dirt over from the old country.  This is her way of knowing and trusting that everything will be fine in their new journey to Canada.  Maria is a strong individual who knows that she is the rock of her family even before Theo's imprisonment and that her children depend on her as does her sister-in-law and niece and nephew.  Even Stephan depends on her.    Katya is child-like in her faith with believing that keeping Jesus, she is okay and her family will be okay. 

 

Anna has faith in the coyotes who always seem to answer her "prayers" when she is depressed and lonely.  Theo has lost his faith both in mankind and religion and proves this at the end of the story when he lets his family down one last time in killing Anna. 

 

Do you think that Maria has any hope for their future?

 

After having finished such a heartbreaking story, do you think you will look back to find anything hopeful in it? If so, what?

 

 

Maria has a strong hope for their future given the type of person and mother she is.  They will all be okay as long as Maria is okay.  I think that even though it is a heartbreaking story, we all can learn a lot from the story.  Just like of Maria and her struggles and not losing faith.  We all struggle through life at various time and it is purely goodness and grace along with God and others that pulls us through.  How we handle our struggles is a testimony of our strength and faith.  Remember God doesn't give us anything we can't handle and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and better people!

 

Anna