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Inspired Contributor
BooksRPam
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎12-05-2008
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Re: Choices and Control


KathyS wrote:

 

You may call him selfish, because most people view suicide as a selfish act, because they have no idea what it feels like to be in a depressed mind, without choices.  There is no rational control.  There is no rational choice.  They feel that there is NO choice at all, but to eradicate pain, which is the most unbearable pain one can ever experience.  I honestly don't know what Teodor, or Anna felt, because I didn't live their lives, but I tried to live in their minds, and I can make an educated guess, from all of what this author wrote about them, and from all that I know.

 


Kathy,

 

Good point about Teodor.  I've always believed that once a person reaches the point of suicide that all rational choice is gone.  Each of us has an inherent will for self-preservation, so there is no way that Teodor could have been "sane" when he pulled that trigger.  In his mind, there was no choice; fate, if that's what we want to call it, had taken over and he was no longer "behind the wheel."

Pam
Frequent Contributor
nfmgirl
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-20-2009

Re: Fate and Control

Hopefully we all know by now that the only thing that we can control in life are our reactions. You can't control what happens to you, but only how you react to those things, and how you behave.

 

Anna and Teodor were polar opposites. Anna and her family showed no control (well, Leysa did try. She was a good girl for the most part, but she was weak). They played the victims with no accountability. They viewed everything that went wrong in their lives as someone else's fault. They never took control of their own lives.

 

Teodor's family functioned like a well-oiled machine. They worked hard and didn't let life get them down. Every obstacle was merely a bump in the road. Maria was probably the strongest of them all. They usually reacted well to adversity, although Teodor could allow his stubborness and pride to get in the way.


Heather
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/
Frequent Contributor
nfmgirl
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-20-2009
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Re: Fate and Control

Spoilers:

 

Of course, we can't forget that Teodor also made some poor choices leading up to the climatic doom in the end of the story.

 

If he had secured the note his sister signed stating that she had accepted payment from him for the property and the property was now his, then the battle over the land probably would not have continued.

 

Or if he had gotten rid of the whiskey jug after the fight with Stefan and Petro, or at least hidden it in a different place, then the police would not have found it where Petro said it would be and he would not have been facing another year in prison.

 

As much as I liked Teodor, he shows how fallible we all are. Maria tended to make all of the right choices. Teodor was more "human" and erring in his ways.


Heather
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,843
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Choices and Control


KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

I'm going to, obviously, be in the minority on this subject.  My further thoughts on this subject probably won't change anyone's minds....but I'll give it my best shot.

 

Kathy, Isn't it great that we can agree to disagree.

 

I do not know about mental illness at all, except what I've read about or seen on news shows, and when I mentioned that we always have a choice. I guess I was talking for the victims here, the people left behind. I don't know what went thru Teodor's or Anna's minds when they committed murder but I do know that even if they weren't in their "right minds" they still have consequences to face.

 

I guess I was thinking of the vast majority of immigrants who went through the same hardships that these families did and they survived and flourished even with all the cruelty and unfairness of their new countries.

 

I know I would never make a good defense attorney. 

Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Choices and Control

I believe these characters were too broken to have conscious control over their actions. Do any of us know if we'd be able to do "the right thing" if we were in a similar situation? I guess I'm speaking more of Anna and Lesya than of Teodor. He had control over the liqour he kept in the house and of the grain he stole thus putting him in prison. Yvonne
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Choices and Control


dhaupt wrote:

KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

I'm going to, obviously, be in the minority on this subject.  My further thoughts on this subject probably won't change anyone's minds....but I'll give it my best shot.

 

Kathy, Isn't it great that we can agree to disagree.

 

I do not know about mental illness at all, except what I've read about or seen on news shows, and when I mentioned that we always have a choice. I guess I was talking for the victims here, the people left behind. I don't know what went thru Teodor's or Anna's minds when they committed murder but I do know that even if they weren't in their "right minds" they still have consequences to face.

 

I guess I was thinking of the vast majority of immigrants who went through the same hardships that these families did and they survived and flourished even with all the cruelty and unfairness of their new countries.

 

I know I would never make a good defense attorney. 


 

Debbie, yes, I do think it's great that we can talk about something so controversial, without getting our feelings hurt by an opposite opinion.  I know we all think differently about so many things, and this topic is probably one of the hardest to make sense of, and get across. 

 

Believe me, when I tell you, I felt all of the hurt and sorrow for these victims.  How could any of us not, who have sympathy and compassion?  This author wrote all of these lives in such detail, I had a hard time NOT living in their heads.

 

We do tend to think of the 'vast majoriety' who survivied these trials.  Or even the mass majoriety of society, who live normal lives, whatever normal is these days. Ha!  But Shandi chose this story, I think, because it did echo her own grandfather's secret.  Suicides, as I've said, are more often than not, looked upon as a very selfish act, with apparently no thought for who is left behind.  These suicide cases can't obsolve them from the hurt they cause, but these minds are not without love, either.  Feelings that the ones left behind would be better off without them, or like I'd said, no one can really imagine the kind of pain that is inside of the mind of a depressed person.  I can't always explain it, but it exists, it's real, it's not imagined.  Yesterday, because of this discussion, I tried to explain it face to face with one of my daughters.  It wasn't the first time I've tried, and she still can't understand it at all. 

 

If anyone is interested in understanding this kind of mind, I would highly recommend reading a couple of books by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison.  Her writing is incredibly beautiful, and eloquent.  She's open and honest, and tells it like it is.  An Unquiet Mind:  A Memoir of Moods and Madness. This book gives you her personal inside look of her mind.  She has also written:  Night Falls Fast:  Understanding Suicide.  Unfortunately, at the time I started to read this book, I couldn't get past the dedication on the first page.  It was to a colleague and good friend, who committed suicide.  I desolved in tears.  Right now, I'm reading another one of her books, EXUBERANCE:  The Passion for Life.  It's wonderful!

 

An Unquiet Mind 

 
Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Choices and Control


KathyS wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

I'm going to, obviously, be in the minority on this subject.  My further thoughts on this subject probably won't change anyone's minds....but I'll give it my best shot.

 

Kathy, Isn't it great that we can agree to disagree.

 

I do not know about mental illness at all, except what I've read about or seen on news shows, and when I mentioned that we always have a choice. I guess I was talking for the victims here, the people left behind. I don't know what went thru Teodor's or Anna's minds when they committed murder but I do know that even if they weren't in their "right minds" they still have consequences to face.

 

I guess I was thinking of the vast majority of immigrants who went through the same hardships that these families did and they survived and flourished even with all the cruelty and unfairness of their new countries.

 

I know I would never make a good defense attorney. 


 

Debbie, yes, I do think it's great that we can talk about something so controversial, without getting our feelings hurt by an opposite opinion.  I know we all think differently about so many things, and this topic is probably one of the hardest to make sense of, and get across. 

 

....

 

 

I too think it is great that we can all talk about controversial subjects and not get our feelings hurt.

 

I appreciate your point of view KathyS and agree with it to some degree. The mind is a mysterious thing.

 

I was raised by a schizophrenic mother and have seen firsthand the choices/actions performed by someone not in their right mind. From my experiences,whether or not an individual is sane, they make choices. Should those not in their right mind not be held accountable? I believe that they should be; however, the form of that accountability should consider the extenuating circumstances (including one's state of mind).

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009

Re: Choices and Control


CathyB wrote:

KathyS wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?

 

 

I too think it is great that we can all talk about controversial subjects and not get our feelings hurt.

 

I appreciate your point of view KathyS and agree with it to some degree. The mind is a mysterious thing.

 

I was raised by a schizophrenic mother and have seen firsthand the choices/actions performed by someone not in their right mind. From my experiences,whether or not an individual is sane, they make choices. Should those not in their right mind not be held accountable? I believe that they should be; however, the form of that accountability should consider the extenuating circumstances (including one's state of mind).


This is quite an intriguing topic and conversation.  I have been on both sides of this issue and can certainly see both points of view.  My brother-in-law committed suicide 3 years ago, and the heartbreak that he caused his three children was very difficult to watch and experience.  I still cannot get the image of his middle son (age 10) at the funeral when they went to carry the casket out of the church.  He gripped the end of the casket, sobbing loudly, and wouldn't let go.  His grandfather had to pry his hands off.  I do know that he was struggling with many issues, but on some, I don't feel as if he tried to reach out for help.  After attending one AA meeting, he decided that he didn't need it.  After attending therapy twice, he believed he was cured.  My husband was very close to him and would have done anything.  Do I feel as if he was suffering so great that he could not rationalize in order to reach out for help?  I do, and I don't think he was in the position or mind set to think about the effect his death would have on his children.  He was in too much pain.

 

Having suffered from postpartum depression after having my daughter, I did reach out for help and found myself in a whirlwind of medicine and doctors.  I had to try six different medicines before I found one that helped.  I can remember saying to my husband through sobbing tears that I can understand why people make the choice to end their life.  I swore that I would commit myself to a hospital if that understanding came any closer to hitting home with me.  Thank God, it did not, but I will never forget that thought or that time in my life.  It helped me get through the suicide of my brother-in-law, and I think helped others to understand it a little better.  Until you walk that path and experience those terrible feelings, you cannot imagine or even begin to understand what a person goes through that reaches the point of contemplating suicide. 

 

We also have a defense in the court system that provides for a "temporary insanity" plea.  I think Theodor's act of killing Anna would have qualified for that defense had he lived today.

 

Kathy S., thank you so much for recommending the books that you cited!  I plan to pick them up very soon, and I think they would be very informative reading for anyone.

 

Aimee 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
Inspired Correspondent
libralady
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
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Re: Fate and Control


rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

I think the characters in this story had their fates controlled by larger forces.  I think there were very few things that they had control over.  These were immigrants living in a land that was totally foreign to them.  They did not speak the language and that alone causes big problems.  They have to be self-sufficient for the most part to even survive.  They have very little money and only a few ways to make more. When they attempt to sell their grain or a few vegetables or eggs they never get a fair price.  The land office makes the rules on who can own land and who cannot.  People in the town don't treat them with respect.  They are faced with one hardship after another. Before Teodor built the new house, his family lived in a shack.   I can not even imagine a family of seven living in a mere shack.  Sleeping and eating in a structure meant to store grain.  While I don't excuse the behavior of Teodor, Anna and Lesya, I can see how the circumstances that they lived under, the things they had to endure and the lack of some many creature comforts could cloud their thinking and ultimately affect their behaviors. 
"Sow today what you want to reap tomorrow"
Frequent Contributor
patfayo
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fate and Control

I could not agree more with your post. As you are reading this, you start to think of immigrants that are coming to this country present day.  So many people are ready to condemn these new immigrants because of what they have been told by others, what they read in newspapers, or see on television.  I also have found myself caught up in this nonsense from time to time and have to remember that at some point and time, we all had families that immigrated here. Unlike the government in this novel, our government hands everything out and expects nothing in return. If any immigrant coming to this country today worked as hard as the characters in this novel, our country should be happy to see them come here.
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Choices and Control


Zeal wrote:

CathyB wrote:

KathyS wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?

 

 

I too think it is great that we can all talk about controversial subjects and not get our feelings hurt.

 

I appreciate your point of view KathyS and agree with it to some degree. The mind is a mysterious thing.

 

I was raised by a schizophrenic mother and have seen firsthand the choices/actions performed by someone not in their right mind. From my experiences,whether or not an individual is sane, they make choices. Should those not in their right mind not be held accountable? I believe that they should be; however, the form of that accountability should consider the extenuating circumstances (including one's state of mind).


This is quite an intriguing topic and conversation.  I have been on both sides of this issue and can certainly see both points of view.  My brother-in-law committed suicide 3 years ago, and the heartbreak that he caused his three children was very difficult to watch and experience.  I still cannot get the image of his middle son (age 10) at the funeral when they went to carry the casket out of the church.  He gripped the end of the casket, sobbing loudly, and wouldn't let go.  His grandfather had to pry his hands off.  I do know that he was struggling with many issues, but on some, I don't feel as if he tried to reach out for help.  After attending one AA meeting, he decided that he didn't need it.  After attending therapy twice, he believed he was cured.  My husband was very close to him and would have done anything.  Do I feel as if he was suffering so great that he could not rationalize in order to reach out for help?  I do, and I don't think he was in the position or mind set to think about the effect his death would have on his children.  He was in too much pain.

 

Having suffered from postpartum depression after having my daughter, I did reach out for help and found myself in a whirlwind of medicine and doctors.  I had to try six different medicines before I found one that helped.  I can remember saying to my husband through sobbing tears that I can understand why people make the choice to end their life.  I swore that I would commit myself to a hospital if that understanding came any closer to hitting home with me.  Thank God, it did not, but I will never forget that thought or that time in my life.  It helped me get through the suicide of my brother-in-law, and I think helped others to understand it a little better.  Until you walk that path and experience those terrible feelings, you cannot imagine or even begin to understand what a person goes through that reaches the point of contemplating suicide. 

 

We also have a defense in the court system that provides for a "temporary insanity" plea.  I think Theodor's act of killing Anna would have qualified for that defense had he lived today.

 

Kathy S., thank you so much for recommending the books that you cited!  I plan to pick them up very soon, and I think they would be very informative reading for anyone.

 

Aimee 


CathyB and Aimee, thank you so much for your responses.  I think, and know, we all should be held accountable for our actions, whether it be here on earth, or in an eternal life.  The circumstances leading to any action, always should be judged on the individual case at hand. 

 

In Dr. Jamison's memoir, she tells you what it feels like in these depressed states of mind.  She's a manic depressive......when you think you're fine one minute, and no help is needed, that's when you go off medication, or leave therapy, or feel you can do it on your own.  She tells you about her suicide attempts, and how many years it took her to get her meds straightened out.  Lithium was the only meds at that time, and the side effects were as bad as it can get.  But the alternative for her was not an option. 

 

I've studied this subject for a lot of years, but only in the last two years, have I gotten serious about it, and I know what denial is all about.  I know about MD, because I've lived on the edge of it.  She has written another book that was recommended to me by a therapist who had heard her speak.  It's called:

 

Touched with Fire 

  

Handling  and understanding the creative mind can sometimes be a precarious venture.  It can be a double edged sword.  I also write, and I've had to talk about what I write to help me understand this process.  Wherever the mind goes, you want to be able to retrieve it!  In depressed states, you can't always.

  

Aminee, your story touched my heart, and brought me to tears.   Thank you for it.  I hope these books will help all to understand what goes on in those secret recesses of the mind.

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Choices and Control

Kathy, thank you again for all of your book recommendations and insight.  We are all in "this" together, and the more individuals we can reach, share, and understand, the better.  The world will be a much better place for it!

Aimee 

 


KathyS wrote:

Zeal wrote:

CathyB wrote:

KathyS wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?

 

 

I too think it is great that we can all talk about controversial subjects and not get our feelings hurt.

 

I appreciate your point of view KathyS and agree with it to some degree. The mind is a mysterious thing.

 

I was raised by a schizophrenic mother and have seen firsthand the choices/actions performed by someone not in their right mind. From my experiences,whether or not an individual is sane, they make choices. Should those not in their right mind not be held accountable? I believe that they should be; however, the form of that accountability should consider the extenuating circumstances (including one's state of mind).


This is quite an intriguing topic and conversation.  I have been on both sides of this issue and can certainly see both points of view.  My brother-in-law committed suicide 3 years ago, and the heartbreak that he caused his three children was very difficult to watch and experience.  I still cannot get the image of his middle son (age 10) at the funeral when they went to carry the casket out of the church.  He gripped the end of the casket, sobbing loudly, and wouldn't let go.  His grandfather had to pry his hands off.  I do know that he was struggling with many issues, but on some, I don't feel as if he tried to reach out for help.  After attending one AA meeting, he decided that he didn't need it.  After attending therapy twice, he believed he was cured.  My husband was very close to him and would have done anything.  Do I feel as if he was suffering so great that he could not rationalize in order to reach out for help?  I do, and I don't think he was in the position or mind set to think about the effect his death would have on his children.  He was in too much pain.

 

Having suffered from postpartum depression after having my daughter, I did reach out for help and found myself in a whirlwind of medicine and doctors.  I had to try six different medicines before I found one that helped.  I can remember saying to my husband through sobbing tears that I can understand why people make the choice to end their life.  I swore that I would commit myself to a hospital if that understanding came any closer to hitting home with me.  Thank God, it did not, but I will never forget that thought or that time in my life.  It helped me get through the suicide of my brother-in-law, and I think helped others to understand it a little better.  Until you walk that path and experience those terrible feelings, you cannot imagine or even begin to understand what a person goes through that reaches the point of contemplating suicide. 

 

We also have a defense in the court system that provides for a "temporary insanity" plea.  I think Theodor's act of killing Anna would have qualified for that defense had he lived today.

 

Kathy S., thank you so much for recommending the books that you cited!  I plan to pick them up very soon, and I think they would be very informative reading for anyone.

 

Aimee 


CathyB and Aimee, thank you so much for your responses.  I think, and know, we all should be held accountable for our actions, whether it be here on earth, or in an eternal life.  The circumstances leading to any action, always should be judged on the individual case at hand. 

 

In Dr. Jamison's memoir, she tells you what it feels like in these depressed states of mind.  She's a manic depressive......when you think you're fine one minute, and no help is needed, that's when you go off medication, or leave therapy, or feel you can do it on your own.  She tells you about her suicide attempts, and how many years it took her to get her meds straightened out.  Lithium was the only meds at that time, and the side effects were as bad as it can get.  But the alternative for her was not an option. 

 

I've studied this subject for a lot of years, but only in the last two years, have I gotten serious about it, and I know what denial is all about.  I know about MD, because I've lived on the edge of it.  She has written another book that was recommended to me by a therapist who had heard her speak.  It's called:

 

Touched with Fire 

  

Handling  and understanding the creative mind can sometimes be a precarious venture.  It can be a double edged sword.  I also write, and I've had to talk about what I write to help me understand this process.  Wherever the mind goes, you want to be able to retrieve it!  In depressed states, you can't always.

  

Aminee, your story touched my heart, and brought me to tears.   Thank you for it.  I hope these books will help all to understand what goes on in those secret recesses of the mind.


 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
Inspired Contributor
Wisteria-L
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎07-06-2009

Re: Fate and Control


rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


Oh boy...you're asking the wrong person this question, but here goes my answer.

 

Whether a person has control or does fate overpower our lives is an essential question that will be pondered for eternity. This is a great novel to discuss a great philosophical puzzle. 

 

Is controlling ones behavior a really the end result of the choices you are presented? In some cases yes, maybe in some cases no. Are we saying we are excusing a person or forgiving a person based on their choices. That is another question to ask. People have differing opinions about fate and how that plays out in a person's life. When it comes to this novel, I think there will be many differing ideas about fate and destiny.

 

I look at Anna from the 21st century perspective and say, "What is wrong with this woman, get up and kick this deadbeat lowlife out of your life and seek help from your brother."

That would be my answer...simple. Yet, I am not abused and have never been abused, mentally and physically. Has Shandi shown us all that happened to Anna? Kesya? Petro?

Was she afraid for her children's lives? Did she feel battered and was her brother threatened by Stefan? To her, the choice was her only choice. She killed her baby and yes that was a choice she made alone. She has to suffer for that choice. I don't believe fate was involved in her decision. That is my opinion.

 

However, Teodor and Stefan were on a collision course from the moment they faced each other again. The battle lines were drawn and as the Greeks would say...the fates were upon them.  Yes, they both had choices at every turn but yet they were both too proud to do that.

It was impossible to reverse their destiny. Shandi's story between the two men took on a life of its own and really propelled the story forward. Without either character, the plot would have collapsed. Their war and family life was a paradox of wills to live. They both wanted it all except you had the quintessential good vs evil fight for the right.

 

Stefan chose to premeditatively beat and abuse his wife all along. Should he be forgiven?

Was he in control of that situation. I say he had a choice. Could Anna avoid it? I don't think she honestly had enough self-esteem or power to make the right choice.

Could she have avoided killing her child. I believe, she had a choice, because it had to do with another human being. If we use the argument that she was staying with Stefan to protect her family and possibly Teodor, then, why would she have killed the baby.

 

Teodor was a madman when he killed Anna and he was in my opinion killing Stefan. He couldn't rationalize that so he killed Anna for her transgression. Should we excuse that behavior?  I say no. Can we forgive his behavior?  I say we have to forgive....because think of what Jesus said to Mary (in our story Maria) his mother when he was condemned, being crucified. "Forgive them Mary, they know not what they do."  I think this applies to Teodor.

I think he was so painfully overwhelmed he could not control this passion.

 

I'll keep this brief....LOL 

Wisteria,

"Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds a way into his heart."

The Shadow of the Wind,
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,843
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Choices and Control

 Kathy S thank you for your suggestion of reading material and most of all for your insights into a hard subject to talk about and understand.

 

Aimee,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope the children are coping and I'm sure that your family gives them a strong support system. I have endured the tragedy of an untimely death but it was by car accident and  the one thing that I really missed was being able to say good-bye to my dad before he died. 

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

Re: Fate and Control

Kathy,
I think this is so well said.  I also have changed my opinon regarding choices in life over the years.  Often I think people don't see choices to make.  It is easy for us as outsiders or observers to be critical and see all of the choices that a person could make in a situation, but if we were in that situation would we see choices?
I have really begun to believe more in fate or luck be it good luck or bad luck and then we have to deal with what we have left.
 May be rambling a little since I find this a little difficult to put into words.
Kathy

KathyS wrote:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

As we talk about these characters, as to their respective choices, the word 'choices' is a tricky one to talk about.  We can divide the characters up into children and adults.  The children, for the most part, were governed by their parents choices.

 

For years, I had thought that everyone had choices in thier lives [and we do] and could make them willingly.  I've since changed my mind.  Yes, all of these characters had choices, but some characters were not able to make them.  Anna was one of them. 

 

We go through life trying to make good choices, learning from the bad ones we make.  And that's the key, to learn and apply.  Unfortunately, some characters, as in real life, will never learn from their bad choices.  Stepan was one of them.

 

If we talk about Teodor, he had the choice to destroy his sister's life, or not.  We saw that.  But, to him, he made [what looked like] the selfish choice.  We don't reallly know what went on in his heart to make the choices he did.  We can guess that he would rather die than to go back to prison, because he knew (we guess) that he would rather die from his own hand, than to die by someone else's.  His family would be alone, either way.  I only guessed at his great remorse, for killing his sister.  He was broken at that time he made that choice.  We don't always know what breaks a person.  Personalities are so complex.

 

I've talked about freedom, as others have, as it pertains to this story.  The freedom, which I included in both life, and death.  We can see that Anna made the choice to kill her child, but it was, to her, freedom both for the child, and for herself.  She was no longer capable of making good choices.  

 

Teodor, in the killing of Anna and himself, freed them both from something only they knew in their hearts.  It was wrong to take these lives, but in a way, seemed the only ending to this story.  We don't know what choice Maria made for her children, as to where they would go to live.  We only hope it was somewhere that was kinder, and gentler.  Maria made the choice to take the grain.  She knew, somehow, she would need it for their hope in the future.  Let's hope for the best.

 

The choices for Petro and Lesya were made for them.  I hope, in the years that followed, they would be better off for these choices the adults made for them.

 

Fate is a word, similar to the word, coincidence.  You either believe in it, or you don't.  Fate is something that no one person has control over, like nature, and all choices that govern us, outside of our own.  It's a melding pot of all choices and decisions, whether good or bad.

 

Kathy S.

 

 


 

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

Re: Fate and Control

Kathy, You said it succinctly and very well!  You don't ramble!

 

That's it, exactly....when you're in the midst of the termoil in your mind, the choices don't always appear.  When you're on the outside, looking in with a clear mind, the choices become more obvious.

 

But we have to 'be' in the minds of these characters, as well as on the outside, to understand their decisions.  Sometimes it's just too difficult to go that deeply into another person's mind.  It can hurt.  It's easier to stand on the outside and make their choices for them.  This is what a jury has to do....make that choice to see, or not to see what the motivations are in the minds of the prisioner, with the evidence that is shown.  That's how I see these poor souls of Teodor and Anna, as prisioners of their fate.  And our responsibilities are great as discussers, to find out what their choices were and why they made them. 

 

Thanks for your wonderful input... :smileyhappy:

K.S.


kpatton wrote:

Kathy,
I think this is so well said.  I also have changed my opinon regarding choices in life over the years.  Often I think people don't see choices to make.  It is easy for us as outsiders or observers to be critical and see all of the choices that a person could make in a situation, but if we were in that situation would we see choices?
I have really begun to believe more in fate or luck be it good luck or bad luck and then we have to deal with what we have left.
 May be rambling a little since I find this a little difficult to put into words.
Kathy

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Choices and Control

Thank you, Debbie!  Loss of any kind is never easy.

Aimee

 


dhaupt wrote:

 Kathy S thank you for your suggestion of reading material and most of all for your insights into a hard subject to talk about and understand.

 

Aimee,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope the children are coping and I'm sure that your family gives them a strong support system. I have endured the tragedy of an untimely death but it was by car accident and  the one thing that I really missed was being able to say good-bye to my dad before he died. 


 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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Sheltiemama
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Registered: ‎06-01-2009
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Re: Fate and Control

Fate in the form of the weather has tremendous control over their lives. How they react to that is what they can control, and some people are stronger than others.

 

Anna obviously is mentally ill, and she can't control that. It's not like she could go to the doctor for antidepressants or counseling. But I still can't excuse everything she did. On the other (third?) hand, she came from a time and place when women had very little power over their own lives. Woe to the woman who married a drunken, sadistic, violent bully.

 

Stefan, for all his many faults, exercised control and did what he described as the one good thing he'd done in his life and ran away from his family, especially Lesya.

 


rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

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jbnie
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fate and Control

Fate and COntrol are opposite sides of the same coin. The characters in the story, for the most part, have no control over their fate. What they have control over, is their reaction to what fate has dealt them, for instance, Stephan, blames everything and everybody, for his fate. As a  result of his actions, his character is both pitiful and repulsive. The reader wants to shake him up and say, "get a grip !" The story is filled with examples of this. This in my opinion, is what makes the story so interesting. It's how Shandi has tem handle  life:smileyhappy:

rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?


 

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melisndav
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: Fate and Control

In what ways have the characters in Unbroken Sky had control over their own lives, and in what ways have their fates been controlled by larger forces? Do you hold each of them accountable--or do you tend to excuse some behavior by it seeming forced upon them by lack of choices?

 

The characters pretty much have control over their lives.  They had no control over the dust storm and the wild fire.  Mother nature pretty much let them know who was boss there.  Also, I believe that if the families would have more choices, their lives would have been better.  Like when Maria had taken her vegetables to the store to be sold, the manager advised her that he couldn't sell the bean, the carrots were too small, etc., he could have given them a little bit more money but he decided that he would make the profit.  Another example of the rich getting richer. 

 

When Stefan moved back to the homestead, all he wanted was the money from the field for his drinking, gambling, and sleeping around.  He saw that Theo's family was starting to make something for themselves but they had no way of knowing that he was going to return and attempt to blackmail them.  Also, Anna could not bear the thought of Stefan leaving again, so she did everything in her power to keep him there.