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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

I'm glad you mention this scene, because in spite of Anna's shortcomings in the book, she did make some kind of sense in the backstory. "She tried to chose well." She knew her chances were limited.

 

What makes me sad is the fact that for thousands of years, the majority of people were poor and women had limited opportunity to escape their lot. Quite often they had low expectations, not even thinking in terms of change. It's only in modern times that women have been able to make decisions for themselves. And even now, in many countries, women still live under the governance of men and they are required to obey rules and laws that are detrimental to physical and emotional health.

 

I consider myself very lucky to not only have been born with choices, but also with opportunities to realize my choices. 


maude40 wrote:
On page 289, Anna's thoughts on her life were heartbreaking. "She had no choice the moment she was born. She would marry, she would bear children, she would farm, she would be poor, she would sacrifice her desires for the good of her husband, her family, she would be obedient and selfless. That was all that was offered. That was her only choice. And she tried to chose well: she chose a life that would take her off the farm and into the city. She chose an officer. She made the best choice to save herself, and she ended up here." Yvonne


 

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Popper19
Posts: 199
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

This was one of the passages that struck me hard also!
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jenniferu
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-16-2009

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

So many sections were so evocatively written that it conjured up images of what was happening in the book and made you understand not just what was happening but also feel it.  I had several areas that really stood out.  One of the paragraphs I really liked was "Her eyes shut again as his voice drones on, like a bedtime story.  Warm and safe, drawing her in, making her forget that it isn't a dream.  Stay awake, she tells herself, as the world dims dark.  Stay awake, she pleads, as she floats away on a bed of feathers."  This just felt so real to me that I was happily relishing thinking about that feeling as if I was in that situation.
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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

On page 240 we get an insight into Myron. Myron has a routine . To quote "He Knows the rituals are childish, but it's all that he can control."  The paragraph describes the simple act of getting ready and all the steps it takes for him to do that. Myron has such a lot of responsibility, but this is what he controls.

 

pen21

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patfayo
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

I can not honestly say that I have any favorites .  I think the Ms. Mitchell did a phenomenal job of taking you to the characters and their places in time.  When the characters experienced heartbreak and pain, you felt it also.  When they were excited and happy so were you.  She also has done a fantastic job with descriptions of depression, hard times experienced by the family and expressing the love and togetherness that immigrant families felt towards each other.  I loved the book!
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Sheltiemama
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎06-01-2009

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

The scene where Myron finds the rabbit in the snare starting on page 242 was rough. And when Ivan hears it crying, he thinks it's a baby. Now that we've finished the book, we see this as foreshadowing. The scenes with Leysa imagining herself hidden in an egg were amazing (pages 269-270). She imagines Happiness smothering her with her warmth. Starting on page 286, I really thought Petro would die in the storm, until Theo found him and saved him. I loved the black and white imagery. And Anna giving birth! The passage that stabbed me in the heart is on page 293: "And then (Lesya) realizes that soon she will have to catch the baby, bring it safely into this world, and that seems too much to expect from a 10-year-old girl." I had forgotten that she was just 10. With everything she did to take care of Anna, Ivan and their home, I kept picturing her as 16. And then she says, "There's nothing wrong with this one, Mama." Now, I just knew that Happiness wouldn't be alive at the end of the novel. What I didn't imagine was that Leysa would kill her, seeing her as a representative of her mother. Anna's delusion about her baby being a rabbit was chilling. And when Theo realizes that what the coyotes have, I gasped. I was horrified. And one of the coyotes was the female who got her foot caught in the snare that Myron set out, and whose paw he brought back. I loved the reference to the "circus of snow children" on page 314. It looked like they just might recover after all. I almost have no words for how powerful the section is when we read what everybody would have said about that night. And when Theo killed himself ... I loved the descriptions of everyone's secret stashes as they prepare to leave. And Maria remembering all the good-byes she has said. And, of course, the sack of grain she hid, and the recounting of just how she got it.
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

The passages you selected and described were powerful ones!  I too was left with many emotional and visual impressions from them.  Your point on foreshadowing was a good one. 

 

I also forgot just how young Lesya was and felt an extreme ache for her when reminded that she was only 10 years old.  My daughter is 9, and I cannot imagine her having all the responsibilities that Lesya faced even though she is very responsible.  It was quite horrifying to think this, and like many here on the posts, I just wanted to take Lesya home.   

 


Sheltiemama wrote:
The scene where Myron finds the rabbit in the snare starting on page 242 was rough. And when Ivan hears it crying, he thinks it's a baby. Now that we've finished the book, we see this as foreshadowing. The scenes with Leysa imagining herself hidden in an egg were amazing (pages 269-270). She imagines Happiness smothering her with her warmth. Starting on page 286, I really thought Petro would die in the storm, until Theo found him and saved him. I loved the black and white imagery. And Anna giving birth! The passage that stabbed me in the heart is on page 293: "And then (Lesya) realizes that soon she will have to catch the baby, bring it safely into this world, and that seems too much to expect from a 10-year-old girl." I had forgotten that she was just 10. With everything she did to take care of Anna, Ivan and their home, I kept picturing her as 16. And then she says, "There's nothing wrong with this one, Mama." Now, I just knew that Happiness wouldn't be alive at the end of the novel. What I didn't imagine was that Leysa would kill her, seeing her as a representative of her mother. Anna's delusion about her baby being a rabbit was chilling. And when Theo realizes that what the coyotes have, I gasped. I was horrified. And one of the coyotes was the female who got her foot caught in the snare that Myron set out, and whose paw he brought back. I loved the reference to the "circus of snow children" on page 314. It looked like they just might recover after all. I almost have no words for how powerful the section is when we read what everybody would have said about that night. And when Theo killed himself ... I loved the descriptions of everyone's secret stashes as they prepare to leave. And Maria remembering all the good-byes she has said. And, of course, the sack of grain she hid, and the recounting of just how she got it.

 

"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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Wisteria-L
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎07-06-2009

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?


rkubie wrote:
Many of us have remarked on Shandi's striking writing style. Please share with the rest of the group some of your favorite scenes and passages by replying to this message!

  After reading Winter, there was one scene that breaks my heart and it has to do with the delivery of Anna's baby. Here is a ten year old little girl who has not known a true mother delivering her mother's baby.  She gives so much encouragement and knows what to say and do and she is only ten. 

 

"Your're doing good, Mama. It's almost here. Just a little bit more."...Don't push yet. It's coming. It's coming. Anna clings to her daughter's voice. "Now." The tide rips her away again.

 "There's the shoulders." Lesya cradles the head. She sees a fluff of wet, brown hair, small pink ears. She holds its shape in her hands, a perfect egg without the shell. (Notice the symbolism of the chicken/egg to Lesya). "Your're almost done, Mama."

 

Without going through all of the dialogue, I'll skip to the end when the baby is born. 

"Now, Mama, push!" The legs slip out. Two perfect legs and two perfect feet. Straight and perfect. The baby slides into her hands. "It's a girl!"

 

After Lesya cleans up the baby, knows enough to wipe the mucus and unplug the nose. She knows it has blue lips and fears it will die like the bird. She figures out how to get the baby to breathe.  This amazes me. She is ten and afraid and is doing the job of an adult. 

She wraps her baby sister in a rabbit-fur blanket. 

She says, " Shes's as small as a mouse, but as loud as a crow. It's a girl, Mama."

"I don't want to see it."

"You have to hold her, Mama." She pushes aside her mother's protesting hands. She lays the baby on her mother's chest.

Look at her, Mama."

 

This is the part that breaks my heart.....

 

"There's nothing wrong with this one, Mama.":smileysad:

 

This brought tears to my eyes knowing that Lesya knew how her mom felt about her deformity and that there was something wrong with her and it bothered her mother. 

 

She guides Anna's hand to the baby's head, leads her fingers over the face, down the chest wrapped in soft rabbit fur, to the exposed legs, then  she lets go. She watches her mother's fingers hesitantly brush the skin, glide down the shins, barely touching, to the ankles, over the feet. Her hand embraces the toes. 

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
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kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?


Sunltcloud wrote:

I love the scene on page 333. I read it several times.

(I must really love it; I copied it from my post in "Fate or Control.")

 

1. I read it as a factual account...."he takes off his leather jacket........"

2. I read it as magical realism...."clawing at the strings caked with snow and ice...." in which Teodor morphes from man to animal/coyote, skinning himself.....,

3. I read it as allegory; a symbolic offering for all the sins that have been committed.

4. I read it as spiritual renewal. He looks up. He gives his blood.

5. I read it as a testament to his character. He is an orderly man when it comes to worldly small detail. ....."He tucks the shoelaces inside and places the feet side by side on top of the man."

 


   


 


I am behind in reading some of the posts.  I know that you posted this several days ago.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness in thinking about this passage of the book.  I wouldn't say that this was one of my favorite passages, but it was a passage that I marked.  It moved me when I read it.  You so clearly have analyzed it.

Kathy

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literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

I just finished reading Winter for the second time.  The scene is when Teodor and Maria are sitting in the house trying to grasp what had just happened (I don't want to write a Spoiler) and the children are outside playing.  "They look outside and see a circus of snow children, laughing faces, ducking and running, dodging a snowball ambush.  They see their children.  Still innocent.  Still alive.......Maria places her hand on Teodor's shoulder.  It's time for them to go outside."

 

Their children have snapped them back into reality and to dealing with what's coming next.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Many of us have remarked on Shandi's striking writing style. Please share with the rest of the group some of your favorite scenes and passages by replying to this message!

_____________________________________________________________________

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JaneM
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?


literature wrote:

I just finished reading Winter for the second time.  The scene is when Teodor and Maria are sitting in the house trying to grasp what had just happened (I don't want to write a Spoiler) and the children are outside playing.  "They look outside and see a circus of snow children, laughing faces, ducking and running, dodging a snowball ambush.  They see their children.  Still innocent.  Still alive.......Maria places her hand on Teodor's shoulder.  It's time for them to go outside."

 

Their children have snapped them back into reality and to dealing with what's coming next.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Many of us have remarked on Shandi's striking writing style. Please share with the rest of the group some of your favorite scenes and passages by replying to this message!

_____________________________________________________________________


 

I had just found those same pages (p 311 - 315) and was going to post about them, only to find that you had beat me to it.  I agree with your comments and love how the pleasure of work and play is described - from Ivan's description of the wood to Katya with her first perfect throw of a snowball - beautiful!
Jane M.
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janv
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-15-2008

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

After thinking about the outcome of the story, it struck me how innocent the young boys are: Petro and Ivan. And how that innocence can go so far astray as Petro's actions led to devastating death and destruction. It also highlights how children deal with loss and love differently - their feelings so pure and powerful, yet their ability to reason and understand so weak.  They simply see the world differently than adults.  The scene that really brought this innocence home to me and created a vivid mental picture was on page 35 where Ivan wanted the dead calf to know it wasn't alone.  How sweet and innocent are the gifts he brings to the calf? And how metaphorical those "remnants of their lives" items are: BROKEN bottles and plates, BOTTOMLESS bucket, CRACKED ax blade, ONE shoe, RUSTED pan, TWISTED wire! That told the story of their lives in a nutshell!

 

The calf's hind feet came out first, which was bad. Ivan was supposed to go inside the house, but with Dania running back and forth to the well for water and Myron trying to hold the cow's thrashing head, they forgot abut him. Mama had to get the calf out before the umbilical cord broke and it tried to breathe.  She wrapped ropes around the scrawny legs and pulled with all her weight ... the calf slipped out in a rush of blood and mucus. Splayed rigid and blue, its tongue hanging out ... After a long time, she cut the mangled cord and carried away the bundle in a bloodied burlap bag.

 

The next morning Ivan found the calf in the dumping ground. That's where everything went that died. Five birch tree grew there, nestled in a tangle of tamarack and spruce. In their shade were the remnants of their lives: broken bottles and plates, a bucket without a bottom, a cracked ax blade, one shoe, a rusted pan, twisted wire, heads of chickens, bones of cats and a dog, and now the calf. He knew it would be there. It was still wrappped in burlap with only its snout poking out.

 

Ivan stayed with the calf all afternoon. He found whatever objects he thought the calf might like and set them in a circle around it. The top of a blue bottle, a pile of fresh-picked spring grass, a prairie crocus, and a strip of white birch-bark. He talked to it, sang it songs, and brushed away the flies. He didn't uncover it. He just wanted it to know that it wasn't alone.

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emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

girlie0620 wrote:


I think one of the moments that I really enjoyed is when everyone was singing and dancing at Maria's and Teodor (I think others liked that also). Anyway- throught all people/families endure- we still find time for happiness. Michelle  


That was one of my favorite parts as well! It is nice when people can find happiness in times of hardship!!

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emmagrace
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

jenniferu wrote:


So many sections were so evocatively written that it conjured up images of what was happening in the book and made you understand not just what was happening but also feel it.  I had several areas that really stood out.  One of the paragraphs I really liked was "Her eyes shut again as his voice drones on, like a bedtime story.  Warm and safe, drawing her in, making her forget that it isn't a dream.  Stay awake, she tells herself, as the world dims dark.  Stay awake, she pleads, as she floats away on a bed of feathers."  This just felt so real to me that I was happily relishing thinking about that feeling as if I was in that situation.


I enjoyed this scene as well! Shandi did a wonderful job writing it! I could almost feel myself there! 

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Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

My favorite occurs in The Story Behind the Book.

 

I realized that real and fictional were interchangeable, so long as they were true.

 

This succinctly sums up what I love about reading fiction --- fiction is based in truth and truth is stranger than fiction.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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biljounc63
Posts: 189
Registered: ‎11-02-2008

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

[ Edited ]
I think that I'm getting obsessed with finding a common thread with the current First Look and the previous one. So for those of you who read Of Bees and Mist the comparison is on page 314 in Under This Unbroken Sky where after Anna baby dies Maria is in the kitchen "She consumes herself with her recipes, chopping stirring. frying, and baking." I immediately got the image of Ravenna on page 73 in Of Bees and Mist "a knife furiously beheading cauliflowers; a teapot shrilling like a banshee; shallots frying in a hot pan; the eyes of a flounder starring in a deathless rage."
Message Edited by biljounc63 on 08-25-2009 06:04 AM
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

"Reading lets you visit the world of another"
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misslynn
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎07-18-2009

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

I loved Myron and I liked it when he pretended to not notice when his dad was tired. he took time tying his shoe so his dad could catch up. I am an adult and I don't always show that much courtesy to my dad. I find myself getting irritated. Myron made me remember we have to respect our parents at any age.
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Anna_Louise
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎06-17-2009
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

This is one of my favorite passages as well.  When I read this, I cried.  How compassionate of a young man was he and what a wonderful visual image Shandi created for us as readers.  I will always remember this as one of my favorite passages in the books that I've read due to the visualization!  Thanks, Shandi for beautiful writing!!:womanvery-happy:

 

Anna

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sgregg88
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

Pg. 47 "That's when the coyotes first started to cry for her. They cried all through the night, and they've come back every night since. She tells them everything and they howl her pain. She wants to grow teeth and run wild." I love the raw, intense pain that Anna has in this passage... the desperation. A sense that no person can understand her pain, but that she shares it with the wild animals in nature that are lonely, desperate and able to scream. Very vivid.
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dj5775
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎03-22-2009
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Re: Favorite lines, passages and scenes?

I have loved many passages from the book and many really touched me. The one on page 314

" Teodore sits with a stillness learned in prison. If he sits quiet enough, long enough, he can make himself disappear. Empty is his mind, no more thoughts. He can become a rock, the dirt floor. a log, the snow. He can just exist and not feel."

That passage alon you could feel how broen he was. How empty he was.

ct