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Frequent Contributor
fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Teodor shows how he can be dangerously proud when he goes to sell the wheat.  He knows that the land is in his sisters name, but keeps insisting that it is his.  He does not want to be called Stefan's hired hand.  I can actually empathize with him on this.  He has organized and done all the work with the children, then Stefan comes and lords over him.  A little respect could go a long way, but Stefan does not show any, and Teodor seems to want to demand it.

MG

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debbook
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Registered: ‎05-03-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I was so disappointed with Anna, the way she has let Stefan back in to their lives and he is so controlling. They are having a hard enough time surviving, he is only making things worse.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
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ssizemore
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

The Fall season is a time of anticipation and getting ready for the harsh winter.  The family tries to gather in the supplies they will need and take stock of the things they must buy.  Unfortunately, there is only money for a few of those things and they must make careful decisions.  Theo and Maria do this and therefore seem determined to surivive.  Their purchases are not selfish ones, but rather the bare necessities of life.  The family works together--and each member does his part, no matter how young.  Maria also adds prayer to her determination.  When she realizes there is so little money she is discouraged, and this drives her to knees in prayer.  Her faith clearly helps her to believe they will survive.

 

The return of Stefan was anticipated and detrimental to Anna and her children as well as to Theo's family.  I feel sure that Stefan will play a role in undoing Theo.  Stefan's homecoming is a marked contrast to Theo's.  When Theo is coming home, the family celebrates with their first meal from the garden. The house is cleaned and scrubbed and they rejoice in his return.  The appearance of Stefan brings fear and foreboding to the family and the reader.  He is violent and does not care who he hurts in pursuit of his needs.  He expects to receive a benefit from the work of others and will take all that Theo and his family have worked for if given the chance.  Anna seems doomed with or without him.

 

Theo is a proud man.  He borders on being dangerously proud when he challenges the merchants over the cost of wheat.  Once again, he suffers from inability to communicate well and the prejudice of those with whom he is dealing.  Injustice heaped on injustice.  All of this makes it more difficult to see that these characters will survive.  However, he feels he must stand up for himself.

 

The novel is definitely a page turner--I am anxious to go on. 

Sandy

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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

[ Edited ]

Can you describe the Autumn season in this rural Canadian climate?

 

I don't believe that we actually saw an Autumn season - the chapter opened with a snow fall - I would ave to conclude that Autumn was unpredictable and that we were to accept the unexpected.

 

Theo and Maria's family are determined to survive. In what ways do you see this in each of the characters?

 

Theo and Maria will take care of the families - chopping wood, preparing/storing/rationing food for the winter months to come, making particial & necessary purposes with the grain money, etc...

 

Stefan will take what he wants from whomever he wants.

 

Anna behaves in a manner similar to Stefan - she eats like there is no tomorrow because she is taken care of by her brother, sister-in-law and children. She does not want to surviveas shehas stated before - this act of taking forherself just adds another layer of selfishness to her.

 

The children do the chores they are asked to.

 

Leysa & Petro try to maintain a household - cooking, cleaning, keeping a fire going, gathering wood - once Stefan has returned. Chores that their aunt& uncle had been performing.

 

Now that Stefan has returned, we can see how each of these households operate-Can you compare what it's like to live inside each house?

 

Anna & Stefan's house is cold and uninviting. There is no love and the occupants live in fear of Stefan. 

 

Maria & Teodor's house is filled with warrmth, love, respect and understanding. There is a joy present - eventhough they have suffeed many hardhips - that makes one feel welcome.

 

How would you describe Anna and Stefan's family life, as opposed to Anna's household without Stefan?

 

Anna was better off without Stefan - as were the children. Where the children were once only neglected (and poor Petro experienced that incident of abuse), they have become slaves to their father - living in fear.

 

Maria accuses Theo of being dangerously proud-Do you agree, or not?

 

I believe that he is a proud man and does act without thinking of all the consequences. Yes, I do agree.

Message Edited by CathyB on 08-10-2009 03:34 PM
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emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

The autumn season is brutal in this Canadian climate! I got a good sense of how hard it was for the family to survive in the fall! They had to store what food they had because it was almost impossible to acquire more in those harsh autumn months. It was not a simple task to travel to town or earn any money because there were no vegetables to trade and no wheat to harvest. They had to make do with what they had and ration everything from food to clothing to survive.

 

Theo and Maria's family all work together to make ends meet. They all make the necessary sacrifices to survive and they share what little they have with Anna and her two children.

 

Maria and Theo's house is warm and inviting. They love each other unconditionally and they do what ever is necessary to stay happy and healthy.

 

I would not call Stefan and Anna's place a home. It is cold and uninviting just like Stefan. I feel so very sorry for those poor children. At least they have a loving aunt and uncle to provide them with food and warm clothes!

 

I agree that Theo is a proud man. At this point, I would not say that he is dangerously proud.

Frequent Contributor
ethel55
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎04-11-2008

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Yes, I have been curious while reading about the climate--I'm the one who was looking up hardiness zones for Alberta!  It's only October and they are already getting flurries and cold temps.  I wonder how, with the harvest barely in, they will afford any supplies/clothing for when real winter hits? 

 

I think Teodor and Maria's children are a testament to a working-together farm family.  Katya seems a bit scattered at times, and Sofia yearns to be like the other kids.  In contrast, I don't know how Anna would survive without Lesya, both before and after Stefan's return.  Petro worries me...both in how he is treated and how he will perhaps mimic his father. 

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JoyZ
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎12-19-2007

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

A few people commented that they were disappointed that Anna took Stefan back, but did she?  I think he pushed his way back into their lives and I felt she finally had some backbone when she told him to leave.  Of course, she might have asked him to leave because she knew he would beat her again and she hoped he would kill her or at least the baby. 

 

It was wonderful to watch Teodor and Maria's family interact, enjoying their time together with their new belongings.  It was a celebration of their hard work.  I think Teodor felt pride in knowing the hard work allowed them to have these new things, including his homebrew.  But, he let down his guard after having a little too much to drink and that nasty Stefan arrived.  Stefan hoped to find out how much money Teodor had made so that he could take his share.  But it gave him the opportunity to notice Dania and gave Petro a chance to see the hidden niche.  I haven't finished the book yet, trying to stay on schedule, but am anxious to finish to find out what happens with Dania and Petro and if the paper Katya burned is the deed.  I love suspense.

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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


JoyZ wrote:

A few people commented that they were disappointed that Anna took Stefan back, but did she?  I think he pushed his way back into their lives and I felt she finally had some backbone when she told him to leave.  Of course, she might have asked him to leave because she knew he would beat her again and she hoped he would kill her or at least the baby. 

 

It was wonderful to watch Teodor and Maria's family interact, enjoying their time together with their new belongings.  It was a celebration of their hard work.  I think Teodor felt pride in knowing the hard work allowed them to have these new things, including his homebrew.  But, he let down his guard after having a little too much to drink and that nasty Stefan arrived.  Stefan hoped to find out how much money Teodor had made so that he could take his share.  But it gave him the opportunity to notice Dania and gave Petro a chance to see the hidden niche.  I haven't finished the book yet, trying to stay on schedule, but am anxious to finish to find out what happens with Dania and Petro and if the paper Katya burned is the deed.  I love suspense.


I thought she originally asked him to leave because of the coyotes - she felt his presence was undoing all of her work to get close to them. Once she asked him to leave, I believe that she had the thought that he would now do what she couldn't and kill either her or the child - reason she kept 'pushing' him.

Inspired Contributor
Wisteria-L
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎07-06-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

The climate is cold, snow has blanketed everything-white, the woodstove is necessary to keep them warm, it is important for Teodor to check the grain door to make sure it is secure. Maria checks on the kids at night to make sure they are covered with blankets.

 

In the fall, this chapter the snow begins and blankets everything to a cold whiteness.

In this part of the book Shandi often refers to the whieteness and the blackness.

 

**The whiteness when Teodor walks away from the house.." and Theodor's gone leaving only white."

-Ivan is following a rabbit, early fall it is brown(149), and he easily follows the tracks but when he pounces to catch the rabbit "it disappears in a cloud of snow."

-Then he sees a person..."Black against white."

-When Stefan returns and speaks to Lesya he asks if she has a hug for your tato?

"She looks to Teodor, who looks at the ground and focuses on its whiteness." (155)

 

Later, after checking on the kids, she wants to go out and walk in the moonlight. "follow the moonlight wherever it leads."......The sensation of walking in blackness, not knowing what's behind or ahead..."

 

Petro is given an apple by Stefan and he focuse on the "redness against his white sheet."

He says, "It smells like summer." So the color red here is introduced as summer, not white or black. He calls it "a ruby jewel." He wants to "cut into it's whiteness. Devour it..." 

He doesn't want to eat it, because then it would be gone. 

 

Later Petro trades his mittens, even though his hands will freeze and feel the bitter cold so that he can have the apple. They share eating it together. They realize they destroyed it bey eating it. They destroyed the apple, the sign of summer, but they decide to plant the seeds so they will have a tree. They think apples like hot (weather) so they both pee on the seeds. 

A funny little boy adventure, but interesting that Shandi adds this scene...again the apple a metaphor for summer, the whiteness of winter and blackness...the unknown..what is to come. 

 

Late fall the rabbits turn white and are camoflaged by the snow. Myron is checking his traps and has his .22. " Myron sits on the stone wall. The world darkens gray with the approach of night. It is so quiet, he can hear the silence. It has a sound, flakes flutter down, coating him white." He pops a lemon drop (yellow) in his mouth..almost like he has a bit of sunshine to brighten the starkness and cold fall. (white and black)

 

Later...Theodor decides to party with his liquid honey (I think a metaphor for summer).Their partying is interrupted when Stephan pays a  visit looking for trouble. A horrible fight ends the party. Days later police are at the door looking for the home brew. Black shows up again...Black smoke comes from the tail of the car, black-trousered men, the car leaving is a black spec. 

 

The chapter ends with an amalgamation of the two colors, Teodor has a wound that is wrapped in a grayed linen bandage and he forbids his family..."any contact with the people in the house on the other side of the stone wall."

 

The line is drawn in the snow. It is not a question of gray. The world is seen in black and white for many reasons. 

 

This is what I read into fall. 

 

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
Correspondent
scnole
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


rkubie wrote:

Can you describe the Autumn season in this rural Canadian climate

 

The Autumn season sounds more like winter to me.   The weather makes it more difficult to survive

 

Theo and Maria's family are determined to survive. In what ways do you see this in each of the characters?

 

Theo and Maria's family keep working  no matter what the weather is like.   They always walk through the snow to check on Anna and her family - even though Stefan is there and should be taking care of his own family.  

 

Now that Stefan has returned, we can see how each of these households operate-Can you compare what it's like to live inside each house?

Even though they are poor Maria and Theo's family are happy and do everything they can to survive - They try to keep t. he house as warm as they canMaria cooks and takes care of her childrenThey love their children.

Whereas, Anna and Stefan's house is coldNeither one of them keep the fire goingThey depend on their children to do everyting.   It is a very unhappy householdThey are all afraid of Stefan.

 

How would you describe Anna and Stefan's family life, as opposed to Anna's household without Stefan?

They were much happier when Stefan wasn't there.   Everything changed when Stefan reappeared.

 

Maria accuses Theo of being dangerously proud-Do you agree, or not?

Theo is very proudI don't know that I agree that he is dangerously proud

 

 


 

Correspondent
Stewies_Mom
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎05-28-2008

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Can you describe the Autumn season in this rural Canadian climate? I imagine what I, in the west, think of as severe winter.  And that is only the Fall for these people.  I can't imagine having snow in October.

 

 

Now that Stefan has returned, we can see how each of these households operate-Can you compare what it's like to live inside each house?  Stefans' return signals a dramatic change in the Shevchuk household.  I think that without Stefan present, his children suffered neglect, but were absolutely terrified after his return.  In this house, fear and power play the most dominant role.  The children and Anna fear Stefan, and likewise, Stefan holds his "power" over them.  (I think I could write an entire essay on Stefan.  His character is such a piece of work.)The Mykolayenko family is based on love, and only love.  Each family member acts their part, in order to assist their loved ones, and at the same time, contribute to the success of the family.  This love overflows the core Mykolayenko family to include Lesya and Petro, and to some degree, even Anna.

 

 

How would you describe Anna and Stefan's family life, as opposed to Anna's household without Stefan?  Anna and Stefan's family life is turbulent and filled with terror.  The children are afraid of their father.  Petro is too little to see his father clearly, and only mimics his behavior because it is what he has been shown through example.  His true role model should have been his uncle, but every little boy idolizes his father and Petro is no different.  Poor Lesya is old enough to understand who and what her father is, even if she cannot admit it, even to herself.  Although the children are neglected during his absence, they do spend a tremendous amount of time with their aunt, uncle and cousins while Stefan is absent.  They were much better off this way.  Although their mother is emotionally unable to care for them, let alone herself, they do receive what they need from their extended family.

 

 

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lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I'm so glad you pointed out how much color plays in Ms. Mitchell's descriptions of the environment and their lives in general.  It makes me want to go back and read certain sections over again more carefully.

Wisteria-L wrote:

The climate is cold, snow has blanketed everything-white, the woodstove is necessary to keep them warm, it is important for Teodor to check the grain door to make sure it is secure. Maria checks on the kids at night to make sure they are covered with blankets.

 

In the fall, this chapter the snow begins and blankets everything to a cold whiteness.

In this part of the book Shandi often refers to the whieteness and the blackness.

 

**The whiteness when Teodor walks away from the house.." and Theodor's gone leaving only white."

-Ivan is following a rabbit, early fall it is brown(149), and he easily follows the tracks but when he pounces to catch the rabbit "it disappears in a cloud of snow."

-Then he sees a person..."Black against white."

-When Stefan returns and speaks to Lesya he asks if she has a hug for your tato?

"She looks to Teodor, who looks at the ground and focuses on its whiteness." (155)

 

Later, after checking on the kids, she wants to go out and walk in the moonlight. "follow the moonlight wherever it leads."......The sensation of walking in blackness, not knowing what's behind or ahead..."

 

Petro is given an apple by Stefan and he focuse on the "redness against his white sheet."

He says, "It smells like summer." So the color red here is introduced as summer, not white or black. He calls it "a ruby jewel." He wants to "cut into it's whiteness. Devour it..." 

He doesn't want to eat it, because then it would be gone. 

 

Later Petro trades his mittens, even though his hands will freeze and feel the bitter cold so that he can have the apple. They share eating it together. They realize they destroyed it bey eating it. They destroyed the apple, the sign of summer, but they decide to plant the seeds so they will have a tree. They think apples like hot (weather) so they both pee on the seeds. 

A funny little boy adventure, but interesting that Shandi adds this scene...again the apple a metaphor for summer, the whiteness of winter and blackness...the unknown..what is to come. 

 

Late fall the rabbits turn white and are camoflaged by the snow. Myron is checking his traps and has his .22. " Myron sits on the stone wall. The world darkens gray with the approach of night. It is so quiet, he can hear the silence. It has a sound, flakes flutter down, coating him white." He pops a lemon drop (yellow) in his mouth..almost like he has a bit of sunshine to brighten the starkness and cold fall. (white and black)

 

Later...Theodor decides to party with his liquid honey (I think a metaphor for summer).Their partying is interrupted when Stephan pays a  visit looking for trouble. A horrible fight ends the party. Days later police are at the door looking for the home brew. Black shows up again...Black smoke comes from the tail of the car, black-trousered men, the car leaving is a black spec. 

 

The chapter ends with an amalgamation of the two colors, Teodor has a wound that is wrapped in a grayed linen bandage and he forbids his family..."any contact with the people in the house on the other side of the stone wall."

 

The line is drawn in the snow. It is not a question of gray. The world is seen in black and white for many reasons. 

 

This is what I read into fall. 

 


 

Happiness is a warm blanket!
Distinguished Correspondent
lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I just wanted to make a general statement about the book as we progress into the middle of our discussion (even though I've done the unthinkable and read the whole book, which I never do in First Look!)

 

This is the saddest book I've read in a really long time.  It makes me feel a bit depressed when I read, but I think that's only because I know that these circumstances and how these people lived have been shared by millions worldwide in the past and even now.  I think I feel so bad because these characters have become real to me in a way.

 

My great-grandparents on my father's side came from Germany to Minnesota to farm in the late 1800s.  I'm sure they lived a harsh and difficult life in such cold climates during the winter.

 

I've really enjoyed reading the book and have found it very hard to put down!

Happiness is a warm blanket!
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ssizemore
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Fantastic!  Love the color symbolism.
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Sensitivemuse
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎07-01-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Now that Stefan has returned, we can see how each of these households operate-Can you compare what it's like to live inside each house?

 

- I'd hate to live in Stefan and Anna's house. Stefan doesn't even lift a finger to do anything and I suppose Anna can't really do anything she's pretty much helpless. I really do feel for Lesya and Petro they're really innocent and shouldn't be in a house like that. Maria and Teodor's house is much better albeit probably more crowded. At last you're taken care of though as long as you also do some of the work too. They're much more cooperative and work together to keep the home.

 

How would you describe Anna and Stefan's family life, as opposed to Anna's household without Stefan?

 

- I don't know if it was any much different. Anna still wasn't taking care of herself when Stefan wasn't around. I suppose, Anna had more freedom when Stefan wasn't there she wasn't under his iron thumb. It's hard to say as Anna's there...but she's not if you know what I mean.

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Sensitivemuse
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎07-01-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Can you describe the Autumn season in this rural Canadian climate?

 

- If you live in rural areas. Most likely you don't see much of autumn, it's really short in those areas. Winter seems to come faster there than it does in cities, naturally.

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ilenekm
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


 I agree about Anna not having a choice when Stefan came back. Although she was dreading his return, I think that she was too depressed to do anything about it. It was only after the repeated beatings that she started to become strong.  Until Stefan's return, I never saw Petro as a bad kid. He was always willing to help with the chores and felt a part of Maria and Teodor's family.  With his father back, he had to prove is manliness.
I feel like Maria and Teodor have worked really hard for what they have.  They have had many setbacks but still keep plugging on. Every time they feel like htey are getting ahead, something happens, like the fire and the cost of wheat dropping, They are proud of their children, their home and all that they have accomplished.
 I am predicting that the paper that Katya through into the fire was the release signed by Anna giving Teodor his land.  This book has had a few twists and I think this may be the next.   I cant wait until this weekend to read the next section.

 

Inspired Contributor
Wisteria-L
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎07-06-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

[ Edited ]

 

 Good comment! (Joy Z) I think no matter what, Anna doesn't or can't live alone. She is a lost soul who needs to have someone take care of her. It really doesn't matter who it is. Be it Maria, Lesya, Teodor, Petro or Stefan. She is even looking to the coyote pack for companionship. 

I believe Anna has given up on life and will do anything the person in control of her tells her to do. Remember, at one time earlier, she made arrangements with her brother. He took care of her. She is incapable of living alone, taking care of herself and so she is a total dependent.  At least that is what I read into it. She doesn't really take him back, there is no decision. She is the supplicant. 

 

Wisteria

 

 


 Joy Z wrote......

 

A few people commented that they were disappointed that Anna took Stefan back, but did she?  I think he pushed his way back into their lives and I felt she finally had some backbone when she told him to leave.

Message Edited by Wisteria-L on 08-10-2009 10:41 PM
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
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


bookloverjb85 wrote:

It was interesting to find out that Lesya blames herself for her mother being raped by her father the last time.  She was determined to stay awake and protect her mother, but unfortunately was lulled to sleep by the soothing murmuring of her father's voice.


Wasn't this heartbreaking? Poor child!

 

I think Shandi does a great job of presenting the inner world of these children--illogical, innocent, and always hoping for some recognition from the adults around them.

Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

 

 Yes, this is great. It seems that each of them has some means of carrying warmth within them.


lmpmn wrote:

I'm so glad you pointed out how much color plays in Ms. Mitchell's descriptions of the environment and their lives in general.  It makes me want to go back and read certain sections over again more carefully.

Wisteria-L wrote:

The climate is cold, snow has blanketed everything-white, the woodstove is necessary to keep them warm, it is important for Teodor to check the grain door to make sure it is secure. Maria checks on the kids at night to make sure they are covered with blankets.

 

In the fall, this chapter the snow begins and blankets everything to a cold whiteness.

In this part of the book Shandi often refers to the whieteness and the blackness.

 

**The whiteness when Teodor walks away from the house.." and Theodor's gone leaving only white."

-Ivan is following a rabbit, early fall it is brown(149), and he easily follows the tracks but when he pounces to catch the rabbit "it disappears in a cloud of snow."

-Then he sees a person..."Black against white."

-When Stefan returns and speaks to Lesya he asks if she has a hug for your tato?

"She looks to Teodor, who looks at the ground and focuses on its whiteness." (155)

 

Later, after checking on the kids, she wants to go out and walk in the moonlight. "follow the moonlight wherever it leads."......The sensation of walking in blackness, not knowing what's behind or ahead..."

 

Petro is given an apple by Stefan and he focuse on the "redness against his white sheet."

He says, "It smells like summer." So the color red here is introduced as summer, not white or black. He calls it "a ruby jewel." He wants to "cut into it's whiteness. Devour it..." 

He doesn't want to eat it, because then it would be gone. 

 

Later Petro trades his mittens, even though his hands will freeze and feel the bitter cold so that he can have the apple. They share eating it together. They realize they destroyed it bey eating it. They destroyed the apple, the sign of summer, but they decide to plant the seeds so they will have a tree. They think apples like hot (weather) so they both pee on the seeds. 

A funny little boy adventure, but interesting that Shandi adds this scene...again the apple a metaphor for summer, the whiteness of winter and blackness...the unknown..what is to come. 

 

Late fall the rabbits turn white and are camoflaged by the snow. Myron is checking his traps and has his .22. " Myron sits on the stone wall. The world darkens gray with the approach of night. It is so quiet, he can hear the silence. It has a sound, flakes flutter down, coating him white." He pops a lemon drop (yellow) in his mouth..almost like he has a bit of sunshine to brighten the starkness and cold fall. (white and black)

 

Later...Theodor decides to party with his liquid honey (I think a metaphor for summer).Their partying is interrupted when Stephan pays a  visit looking for trouble. A horrible fight ends the party. Days later police are at the door looking for the home brew. Black shows up again...Black smoke comes from the tail of the car, black-trousered men, the car leaving is a black spec. 

 

The chapter ends with an amalgamation of the two colors, Teodor has a wound that is wrapped in a grayed linen bandage and he forbids his family..."any contact with the people in the house on the other side of the stone wall."

 

The line is drawn in the snow. It is not a question of gray. The world is seen in black and white for many reasons. 

 

This is what I read into fall.