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LISA-BRYAN
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Registered: ‎12-16-2008
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Re: Time and Nature

Since the families depend on the environment for their survival they must be aware and adapt to the time of year and changes the environment imposes upon them.  Living off the land takes a lot more awareness and effort than picking up food from a drive-through or at Wal-mart.  These families work 24/7... there is no 2 week vacation or a weekend to relax. 

 

Just when I think the families are going to be able to do well with the crop, etc... something happens that they had no control over... fire, dust storm, long winter.... I continue to hope they will succeed but it seems for every step they take forward too often they are taking 2 steps backwards.

 

Yes - most of the children are keenly aware of what they have to do to survive and how much things cost... Sofia is the exception -- she has dreams of fancy dresses, etc.  Being an adult (and should know better) , Stefan is also unwilling to work and provide...thus setting a bad example for his family. 


rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways does this family seem in harmony with their environment, and in what ways do they struggling against it?

 

Do you feel more a sense of hope that time is on their side, or a sense of dread that they are racing against time for survival?

 

Do the children share their parents anxieties about their survival?

 


 

 

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Christie62
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Registered: ‎07-10-2009
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Re: Time and Nature


rkubie wrote:

 

In what ways does this family seem in harmony with their environment, and in what ways do they struggling against it?

 

As a farming family, it is necessary to have both the harmony with and the struggle against the environment. The harmony is shown by their sense of when to do the various chores associated with the planting and harvest.  They also seem to relish what the environment has to offer them, as with Teodor admiring the beautiful wheat fields, and even the children playing in the snow and making snow angels. It seems that despite the hardships, they take the time to appreciate the beauty and bounty of the environment.   The struggle is probably more obvious -- the challenges of planting and maintaining a healthy crop and the severity of the weather, storms, fire, dust, etc....

 

 

Do you feel more a sense of hope that time is on their side, or a sense of dread that they are racing against time for survival?

 

For both families I feel a sense of dread that they are racing against time, that there is no way they will ever be adequately prepared to face the approaching winter!

 

Do the children share their parents anxieties about their survival?

I feel that the children do share their parents anxieties. In face, Lesya may be more anxious about their survival than either of her parents.  

 

--Christie

 

 


 

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KathyS
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Re: Time and Nature


Wisteria-L wrote:

Do you feel more a sense of hope that time is on their side, or a sense of dread that they are racing against time for survival?

 

Teodor has a sense of hope preparing is farmland and anticipating the following year expanding his crop to produce higher yield. Even when the prices drop, he still anticipates a better year to come. 

 

Teodor feels a sense of dread when he discovers the mice have entered his grain bin, it is an immediate emergency to move the grain or all will be lost. "WE HAVE TO GET THE GRAIN OUT." 171.  Myron pauses mid-strike with the ax-high, a pile of split wood at his feet. 

"NOW! Teodor barks. "Get the shovels and whatever bags you can find."

 

I can only imagine the anxiety Myron feels when he hears his father bark the order Now!

He realizes the desperation and he had not moved fast enough. I would have been very anxious in this situation. 

 

Later in the same scene as Myron harnesses the horse to the cart he is rubbing the forelock and consoles the horse. Then he hears. "Myron! he replys "

Coming!"

 

As they shovel the grain and work in a rhythm...."Myron, panting struggles to keep pac. Once, he falters and the shovels slam together again. Sweat trickles into Myron's eyes. He wishes he had taken off his coat too." (174)

 

Teodor is very abrupt with Myron, and on the ride to town with the grain, we won't speak to him even though Myron wishes he would.  He thinks, "I'm here if you want to talk."

When they arrive all he says to Myron is "Stay with the horse."(178)

 

Katya has anxiety over the blanket of her mothers that she ruined. Crying in bed she says to her Tato, as he tries to console her. 

"Shhhh," Teodor soothes her. 

Tears spring to her eyes. "I stole Mama's blanket."

He thinks she's had a bad dream and is about to say so when Katya breaks his heart.

 

:smileysad:

 

This is such a touching father daughter scene in such juxtaposition to his recent time spent with Myron. 

 

To me it showed that when survival threatened Teodor. His personality switched. He was like Jekyl and Hyde. He had an adrenaline rush, power, one track mind, unfatherly, abrupt. He showed no feelings for Myron, only the grain. The grain represents survival.

 

Yet, with Katya, the blanket is not essential, since it doesn't interfere with his families future survival.  Even though she did something wrong, he has a soft spot for her.  Myron did nothing wrong and he is badgered.  What should Teodor expect of Myron...a man's labor?  Both children must have felt anxiety but in different ways. 

 


 

Wisteria,

 

I also noticed Teodor's relationships with his family members.  I think he treated Myron with expectations.  Myron had to grow up fast, and there was mutal respect, at times.  He wanted Myron to be as strong as he was [before prison time], both physically, and mentally.  He saw how capable Myron was, for his age.  It's hard to watch the harshness of Teodor, but he couldn't treat him any differently.  Fathers do treat their daughters differently, so we did get the opportunity to see his softer side.  He wasn't a bad man, just gruff.....and tuff.  I think some of this hardness came from his prison time.

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Wisteria-L
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Registered: ‎07-06-2009
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Re: Time and Nature

Hi Kathy...I don't think Teodor was a bad man either. He actually was just like my father was. Although, when I went to work for him his expectations for me were higher than the other employees, so I totally understand this. 
I was probably not clear enough..my fault. The question was about anxiety. I was commenting on a time when I felt Myron had reason to feel anxious. I was relating to similar personal life experiences. Very typical of a lot of dominant male homes. Although, I have to say my mother and father had pretty much a 50/50 marriage and very happy. 
I think it was really amazing how sweet Teodor was to Katya. It reminded me of the time he showed Maria the home he was building. Both of these times Teodor showed the calm, sweet, honorable and loving man he was. I know he just wanted what was best for his family. I actually love his character a lot, because of his resemblance  to my own father.

 
KathyS wrote:

Wisteria-L wrote:

Do you feel more a sense of hope that time is on their side, or a sense of dread that they are racing against time for survival?

 

Teodor has a sense of hope preparing is farmland and anticipating the following year expanding his crop to produce higher yield. Even when the prices drop, he still anticipates a better year to come. 

 

Teodor feels a sense of dread when he discovers the mice have entered his grain bin, it is an immediate emergency to move the grain or all will be lost. "WE HAVE TO GET THE GRAIN OUT." 171.  Myron pauses mid-strike with the ax-high, a pile of split wood at his feet. 

"NOW! Teodor barks. "Get the shovels and whatever bags you can find."

 

I can only imagine the anxiety Myron feels when he hears his father bark the order Now!

He realizes the desperation and he had not moved fast enough. I would have been very anxious in this situation. 

 

Later in the same scene as Myron harnesses the horse to the cart he is rubbing the forelock and consoles the horse. Then he hears. "Myron! he replys "

Coming!"

 

As they shovel the grain and work in a rhythm...."Myron, panting struggles to keep pac. Once, he falters and the shovels slam together again. Sweat trickles into Myron's eyes. He wishes he had taken off his coat too." (174)

 

Teodor is very abrupt with Myron, and on the ride to town with the grain, we won't speak to him even though Myron wishes he would.  He thinks, "I'm here if you want to talk."

When they arrive all he says to Myron is "Stay with the horse."(178)

 

Katya has anxiety over the blanket of her mothers that she ruined. Crying in bed she says to her Tato, as he tries to console her. 

"Shhhh," Teodor soothes her. 

Tears spring to her eyes. "I stole Mama's blanket."

He thinks she's had a bad dream and is about to say so when Katya breaks his heart.

 

:smileysad:

 

This is such a touching father daughter scene in such juxtaposition to his recent time spent with Myron. 

 

To me it showed that when survival threatened Teodor. His personality switched. He was like Jekyl and Hyde. He had an adrenaline rush, power, one track mind, unfatherly, abrupt. He showed no feelings for Myron, only the grain. The grain represents survival.

 

Yet, with Katya, the blanket is not essential, since it doesn't interfere with his families future survival.  Even though she did something wrong, he has a soft spot for her.  Myron did nothing wrong and he is badgered.  What should Teodor expect of Myron...a man's labor?  Both children must have felt anxiety but in different ways. 

 


 

Wisteria,

 

I also noticed Teodor's relationships with his family members.  I think he treated Myron with expectations.  Myron had to grow up fast, and there was mutal respect, at times.  He wanted Myron to be as strong as he was [before prison time], both physically, and mentally.  He saw how capable Myron was, for his age.  It's hard to watch the harshness of Teodor, but he couldn't treat him any differently.  Fathers do treat their daughters differently, so we did get the opportunity to see his softer side.  He wasn't a bad man, just gruff.....and tuff.  I think some of this hardness came from his prison time.


 

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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KathyS
Posts: 6,893
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Re: Time and Nature

Wisteria, thanks for your explanation and example.  I guess I wasn't looking at it from the angle of anxiety.  :smileyhappy:  I really felt for Myron, at times.  I think of him as older than he is......and keep thinking/hoping Teodor will open up to him more, with time.  I wonder what he was like, before prison?  Time, more often than not, can play a big part in these relationships.  I hope for the best.

 

Kathy S.

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Sunltcloud
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Time and Nature

Is it possible that Teodor's treatment of his oldest son has something to do with old-world treatment of boy-children? Make them tough; teach them not to show their emotions; don't show your own emotions in front of them.

 

Besides that, it must be difficult to find a congenial way to treat the son who had to take over while the father was gone. Teodor is once more the head of household. He is supposed to be the teacher. And though Myron has done much physical work, he is not prepared to be a man yet.

 

How does a father acknowledge his son's hard work, but make him understand who the boss is without stepping on his toes too much? And how does a father who has been in jail answer questions of ethics? How does he teach what is right and what is wrong, if his own actions were questioned by authorities? Does he teach emotional survival or does he teach pride? And how much of both does Teodor really have?


Wisteria-L wrote in part:

 

This is such a touching father daughter scene in such juxtaposition to his recent time spent with Myron. 

 

To me it showed that when survival threatened Teodor. His personality switched. He was like Jekyl and Hyde. He had an adrenaline rush, power, one track mind, unfatherly, abrupt. He showed no feelings for Myron, only the grain. The grain represents survival.

 

Yet, with Katya, the blanket is not essential, since it doesn't interfere with his families future survival.  Even though she did something wrong, he has a soft spot for her.  Myron did nothing wrong and he is badgered.  What should Teodor expect of Myron...a man's labor?  Both children must have felt anxiety but in different ways. 

 


 

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Sunltcloud
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Re: Time and Nature

Kathy and Wisteria,

 

I apologize to both of you for duplicating something that alreaydy has been sorted out. This comes from writing before reading, but I have some other things to do tonight and tried to avoid starting to read. And then I did it anyway. But ...... if somebody asks, I am not addicted to B&N book clubs. I can get up from my computer any time and do chores. Shhhhht.


KathyS wrote:

Wisteria-L wrote:

Do you feel more a sense of hope that time is on their side, or a sense of dread that they are racing against time for survival?

 

Teodor has a sense of hope preparing is farmland and anticipating the following year expanding his crop to produce higher yield. Even when the prices drop, he still anticipates a better year to come. 

 

Teodor feels a sense of dread when he discovers the mice have entered his grain bin, it is an immediate emergency to move the grain or all will be lost. "WE HAVE TO GET THE GRAIN OUT." 171.  Myron pauses mid-strike with the ax-high, a pile of split wood at his feet. 

"NOW! Teodor barks. "Get the shovels and whatever bags you can find."

 

I can only imagine the anxiety Myron feels when he hears his father bark the order Now!

He realizes the desperation and he had not moved fast enough. I would have been very anxious in this situation. 

 

Later in the same scene as Myron harnesses the horse to the cart he is rubbing the forelock and consoles the horse. Then he hears. "Myron! he replys "

Coming!"

 

As they shovel the grain and work in a rhythm...."Myron, panting struggles to keep pac. Once, he falters and the shovels slam together again. Sweat trickles into Myron's eyes. He wishes he had taken off his coat too." (174)

 

Teodor is very abrupt with Myron, and on the ride to town with the grain, we won't speak to him even though Myron wishes he would.  He thinks, "I'm here if you want to talk."

When they arrive all he says to Myron is "Stay with the horse."(178)

 

Katya has anxiety over the blanket of her mothers that she ruined. Crying in bed she says to her Tato, as he tries to console her. 

"Shhhh," Teodor soothes her. 

Tears spring to her eyes. "I stole Mama's blanket."

He thinks she's had a bad dream and is about to say so when Katya breaks his heart.

 

:smileysad:

 

This is such a touching father daughter scene in such juxtaposition to his recent time spent with Myron. 

 

To me it showed that when survival threatened Teodor. His personality switched. He was like Jekyl and Hyde. He had an adrenaline rush, power, one track mind, unfatherly, abrupt. He showed no feelings for Myron, only the grain. The grain represents survival.

 

Yet, with Katya, the blanket is not essential, since it doesn't interfere with his families future survival.  Even though she did something wrong, he has a soft spot for her.  Myron did nothing wrong and he is badgered.  What should Teodor expect of Myron...a man's labor?  Both children must have felt anxiety but in different ways. 

 


 

Wisteria,

 

I also noticed Teodor's relationships with his family members.  I think he treated Myron with expectations.  Myron had to grow up fast, and there was mutal respect, at times.  He wanted Myron to be as strong as he was [before prison time], both physically, and mentally.  He saw how capable Myron was, for his age.  It's hard to watch the harshness of Teodor, but he couldn't treat him any differently.  Fathers do treat their daughters differently, so we did get the opportunity to see his softer side.  He wasn't a bad man, just gruff.....and tuff.  I think some of this hardness came from his prison time.


 

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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Time and Nature


babzilla41 wrote:
I wonder what Stefan was thinking when he told the police about Theo's whiskey?  He must realize that he and his family are dependent upon Theo and Theo's family - whether he wants to admit it or not.  Even if he's trying to muster favor with the police, he's just shooting himself in the foot.  He is a pig...in every sense of the word.

 

Stefan is certainly the worst kind of man there possibly could be on this earth. How can you just sit around and watch children do adult work and not get up and do it yourself.  There can't be much pity for this man no matter the kind of life he was raised in. If that had anything to do with his meanness of spirit.   Maybe he knew that Thedor was twice the man he was or ever would be, and he was jealous of him.  He probably saw in Anna's eyes that she respected Teodore more than her own husband.
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jbnie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Time and Nature

I think that when people's basic needs are met such as adequate food and shelter, they live in harmony with their environment.  When Maria feel secure secure she plants and garden.  When the garden is harvested, and everybody had enough to eat, they relax and start to enjoy their life. Anna family never seems able to do this.

 

I do believe that children reflect their parents' concerns and anxieties.  Anna's children reflect her and her husband perfectly.  Her son is suspicious of everything such as his father is and her daughter is quiet and withdrawn.

 

The spring and summer portions of the book made me very hopeful for the future for both of these families', we'll see what happens.

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KathyS
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Re: Time and Nature

Kathy and Wisteria,

 

I apologize to both of you for duplicating something that already has been sorted out. This comes from writing before reading, but I have some other things to do tonight and tried to avoid starting to read. And then I did it anyway. But ...... if somebody asks, I am not addicted to B&N book clubs. I can get up from my computer any time and do chores. Shhhhht.

 

 

 

LOL  G- Don't apologize...we all do it....I read your post, it was great, and it gave me more to think about...good questions you raised!  And, of course, we can all get up from our computers....to do our chores. :smileyvery-happy:

 

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Sheltiemama
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎06-01-2009

Re: Time and Nature

I think she also was trying to scrub away her guilt at allowing the blanket to be taken to the pond -- the children must have known how valuable it was, especially the older ones -- and letting Katya take the fall.

 


KathyS wrote:

BooksRPam wrote:

I feel Shandi shows the family's struggle with time and nature through the issue with Maria's mother's blanket. During a hot, carefree summer day the girls leave raspberries on the blanket.  While at the time it seemed such an unimportant detail to have to deal with among the excitement of the picnic and the fishing and the frolicking, time takes its toll and becomes an enormous tragedy.  Maria finds it months later covered in grass stains, red stains, mold, and mildew.  What started out as just a summer day with a borrowed blanket has now turned into a ruined blanket, a beloved treasure made by Maria's mother's own gnarled hands.

 

Dania takes it upon herself to defy time by trying to fight against both the mildew and mold accumulated over the months and also by trying to defy nature in her attempts to wash out time's effects on the blanket even though Dania's hands become "raw and cracked and "the front of her coat and sleeves had frozen."


 

Good analogy!

 

MYK
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MYK
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Registered: ‎03-24-2009
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Re: Time and Nature

i want to write..I want to answer this question. and my view just keeps rippling from person to person.. Starting with the parents. I find no harmony in this. I only see struggle to survive. They had no "choice" to be in harmony or not. It is either live or die.  The only ones who it may have seemed have had  any harmony or struggle would have been the children. They are the only ones who did not know how much their survival solely depended on their parents. So from a childs perspective..the harmony was swimming in the lake. The struggle,was against the fire and dust storm, the cold. the famine, the rules of the country.. Everything that is natures wrath. I believe this list goes written and concidered today under, "Acts of God". Something we have no control of. Hmm. Maybe they should be rewritten as Acts of Nature. Oh maybe they have been rewritten as such. I don't know.
MYK
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MYK
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Re: Time and Nature

I do feel a sense of hope.  I also feel a strong family bond.

 

Every child carries an anxiety.Katya prays like her mother. Ivan tries like his father, but is unsure of his trust in him. Sophia dreams like her Aunt. Myron fears punishent and retribution from nature. Lesya works so hard to keep Stefan quiet. Finds peace in a nest. Petro so insecure.Dania, who tries to run from Stefan's stares.

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Lildove3
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Re: Time and Nature

With all different phases of seasons you find hope and defeat, but somehow famers

make the best of what mother nature hands them.

 

 Time might be on their side, but again it how people handle different situations in life.

 

 The children are being treated unfairly, if your compare with the laws od today the

 parents might be put in jail for curlty.

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abicreasmom
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Re: Time and Nature

I believe that they are only in harmony with their environment because it is vital to their survival. I believe their biggest struggle with their environment is that some aspects of it cannot be controlled; the fire for instance.

 

I have hope that everything is going to work out for this family but at the same time a sense of dread, afraid that only more tragedy is coming for them. Now that Stefan is back, everytime he is mentioned I feel some anxiety. He is such a heartless, selfish person and I am afraid that he is going to hurt Theo or one of the children. 

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bookowlie
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Re: Time and Nature

I felt that the family was in harmony with their environment through gardening, planting, and harvesting the crops.  There was a sense of order and beauty when they worked outside.  The children were either helping or playing outside and seemed happy or at least less anxious that their parents.  The description of the family working outside with the plants made me forget for a time how poor they really were.

I did feel a sense of hope mostly when I looked at things through Maria's vantage point.  She moves forward and adapts well to the environment around her, and made me feel hopeful for their future, at least during certain points of the story.  Maria reminded me of the saying "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it". 

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babzilla41
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Re: Time and Nature


Sheltiemama wrote:

I think she also was trying to scrub away her guilt at allowing the blanket to be taken to the pond -- the children must have known how valuable it was, especially the older ones -- and letting Katya take the fall.

 


KathyS wrote:

BooksRPam wrote:

I feel Shandi shows the family's struggle with time and nature through the issue with Maria's mother's blanket. During a hot, carefree summer day the girls leave raspberries on the blanket.  While at the time it seemed such an unimportant detail to have to deal with among the excitement of the picnic and the fishing and the frolicking, time takes its toll and becomes an enormous tragedy.  Maria finds it months later covered in grass stains, red stains, mold, and mildew.  What started out as just a summer day with a borrowed blanket has now turned into a ruined blanket, a beloved treasure made by Maria's mother's own gnarled hands.

 

Dania takes it upon herself to defy time by trying to fight against both the mildew and mold accumulated over the months and also by trying to defy nature in her attempts to wash out time's effects on the blanket even though Dania's hands become "raw and cracked and "the front of her coat and sleeves had frozen."


 

Good analogy!

 


 

Wasn't it Sophia who took the blanket - she was trying to emulate the magazine pictures? Any by letting her little sister take the fall, I thought it was another example of her weakness.
"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Time and Nature

Yes, Sophia did take the blanket without Maria's permission.  Pg. 91 is the scene. :smileywink:

 


babzilla41 wrote:

Sheltiemama wrote:

I think she also was trying to scrub away her guilt at allowing the blanket to be taken to the pond -- the children must have known how valuable it was, especially the older ones -- and letting Katya take the fall.

 


KathyS wrote:

BooksRPam wrote:

I feel Shandi shows the family's struggle with time and nature through the issue with Maria's mother's blanket. During a hot, carefree summer day the girls leave raspberries on the blanket.  While at the time it seemed such an unimportant detail to have to deal with among the excitement of the picnic and the fishing and the frolicking, time takes its toll and becomes an enormous tragedy.  Maria finds it months later covered in grass stains, red stains, mold, and mildew.  What started out as just a summer day with a borrowed blanket has now turned into a ruined blanket, a beloved treasure made by Maria's mother's own gnarled hands.

 

Dania takes it upon herself to defy time by trying to fight against both the mildew and mold accumulated over the months and also by trying to defy nature in her attempts to wash out time's effects on the blanket even though Dania's hands become "raw and cracked and "the front of her coat and sleeves had frozen."


 

Good analogy!

 


 

Wasn't it Sophia who took the blanket - she was trying to emulate the magazine pictures? Any by letting her little sister take the fall, I thought it was another example of her weakness.

 

"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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kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: Time and Nature


Wisteria-L wrote:

In the beginning Maria is very optimistic about her garden. She has her army of helpers work tirelessly each day pulling bugs off by hand and watching the little shoots work their way through the soil.

 

When they are ready she has plenty of time to do her canning and Anna helps her. She can't just take her time she must make sure the vegetables are fresh and complete the task in a reasonable time, but it is a hopeful time.

 

Maria is successful at the market and is able to negotiate a fair price, being a strong haggler and with her money buys the chickens.  All this is very hopeful for survival. 

 

Teodor must feel great because he finishes cultivating the farm and plants with enough time to get his crop in and then begin bulding his new home. This shows hope for his survival come winter. He must hurry by utilizing the daylight early morning til late at night, but he knows this is what a farmer does. 

 

There is one exact spot where Shandi writes about Teodor's thoughts... on page 108 when he "wades through the field of hip-deep, swaying wheat. He inhales its sweet, musty smell baking in the sun. ....Its beauty makes his chest hurt.

Clearly he loves his crops and feels close to them.  The must smell baking in the sun reminds me of baking bread in the oven. 

 

Later " he admires the perfectly symmetrical kernels....The grain crackles and snaps. He cups his hands, loosening his fingers, and gently blows

 

He thinks: "This year will be a good harvest. this year will be the year that he dreams again.

Then he looks at his home almost completed and, "feels the blood coursing through his body, tingling from his toes to his fingertips, the oxygen filling his lungs, his heart pumping against his chest, against the seeds- and he knows he will survive."

 

When Shandi writes this passage you know he feels alive, the crop gives oxygen to his blood, he thrives, it gives him the will and power to continue.  He is in sync with his crop. They are dependent on each other. They live because and for each other. 

 

This is a beautiful passage. After he says this the scene ends with this beautiful image:

"He wends his way back through the field, stepping softly, not wanting to crush a single stalk."

He loves his crop, his wheat and his labor and knows that he will survive and must protect the field of life at all costs. 


Very nice quotes demonstrating not only Ms. Mitchell's superb writing style but Teodor's love of the land and farming.  These passages certainly demonstrate the harmony with nature.

Kathy

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kpatton
Posts: 206
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Re: Time and Nature

Some of the greatest passages of harmony with nature that I can recall are Lesya with Happiness.  They seemed to be in sync with one another.  One example on page 104

"Lesya sings to the bird and it cocks its head back and forth as if trying to catch the notes, tapping its crooked foot like it is dancing, all the whille clucking off-key."

Kathy