Reply
Reader 2
broy
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-05-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

To answer your first question: I think all of the girls are unhappy with their situations in the beginning of the book. Gloria is trying to shed her "good girl" image, I think because she does not really want to get married to Bastian. Lorraine is tired of living in the shadows of "good gir" Gloria. Clara is trying to shed her flapper past by keeping it all secret and adopting the "country Clara" persona. I think in the 20's society was more about how you "should" be rather than how you actually are.

 

I think "Freedom" is ability to be who you are and make your own decisions. Their is a lot of "duty" and "obligation" in time period. Gloria is "supposed" to marry Bastian. Lorraine is "supposed" to be the supporting best friend. Clara is "supposed" to be the good girl. Freedom is ability to express who you truely are and not who you are "supposed" to be.

Frequent Contributor
AIRKNITTER
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Why do you think each of these character is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?

 

These characters are going through a lot of change; they "feel" themselves changing and to show the world they are no longer "children" there is a lot of acting out.

 

Freedom to me is the right to make my own mistakes!

 

 

 

Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.
Wordsmith
Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

[ Edited ]

Some predictions that I have:

I predict that Gloria will continue to sneak out to live the flapper lifestyle. She will perform with the band at the speakeasy (at least once I think!)  I do think that she will get caught - I don't think she will wind up marrying Bastian.

I also predict that Lorraine will get herself into a sticky situation. She also will probably have a falling out with Gloria.

I believe that she will not wind up with Marcus.

 

Finally, I think that Clara will reveal more truth about herself to Gloria and Marcus eventually (maybe Lorraine too, because she seems to have compassion for Lorraine). She may have some kind of a relationship with Marcus. She will have some confrontation with someone from her past as the mysterious notes are hinting...

 

Reader
Mandy_Marie0309
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-12-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Wow Vixen has trully turned out to be an interesting read. The questions in this particular discussion are pretty interesting. After reading some of the replies I can't help but agree with alot people have already said. I agree the characters are each trying to change themselves to something they think may be better. I can't wait to see what turns these characters take! It's hard to really explain my answers without stating any spoilers. I guess i'll just wait till the end of the book then I can post all the spoilers I want! Well back to reading! : )

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney
Frequent Contributor
cubicleblindnessKM
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎10-07-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

1. All young girls rebel at some time, If it is as simple as getting a haircut, to a peircing or drinking and acting bad. I dyed my hair and pierced my tongue. In the 20's it was becoming a "Modern" working girl. Drinking spirits, cutting your hair as short as a boys and going to a speakeasy. We see this in Gloria. You can start to see that she is feeling a little tied down because of the upcoming wedding, and this is her "last hurrah" before marrying. She gets pleasure out of her mother and fiance's reaction to her haircut. Lorraine is the jealous type, she gets her hair cut and pushed Gloria to do so because she knows Gloria is going to get in trouble. She wants Gloria to have her share of the problems to she can look like the good friend. Even though she caused Gloria to do "bad" things. She can comfort Gloria and use that against her to get what she wants. (Maybe the boy?) Clara is just playing the part she always had in Gloria's eyes. But Gloria's mother knows better, she knows Clara's past. Clara's appearance is just temporary while she deals with the problems she caused herself. I think so far they are all successful in their changes.

2. Freedom to me is the feeling that you are making your own decisions. Clara is being forced to abide by certain rules, she is not free. But does have the choice of freedom by being honest, which so far she's just playing a role. Lorraine is not free because she is burdened by jealousy, if she were to let go of her jealousy and make her decisions better, she would be free. Gloria is the most free person among them, until she is given the truth about the circumstances with the marriage, she then seems to loose the freedom. Freedom to me is being able to make my own decisions for what I want, it's being selfish. When you have to always be thinking of other people and what your decisions do to them, then you are not free.

Contributor
erica11
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

First off, this book is great!  I love the descriptions of the clothing styles and the way they spoke. 

I think the characters are all unhappy with their lives and they think changing it will be better for them.  It seems to be making things even more complicated.  Gloria wants to do right for her family, but at the same time wants to be her "own liberated woman", even for a little while.  Changing their looks only masks their true self, not change it.

I think being "free" means being able to live your life the way you want.  I don't think any of the characters are truly free yet, otherwise they wouldn't have to pretend to be someone else. 

My prediction is that Gloria will start an affair with Jerome, and Lorraine is going to try to get Bestain to find out so the engagement will be off.  I don't know for Clara yet.

New User
Kaitlyn27
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine just want what every girl their age wants: to fit in, to be liked, to escape. Gloria's doesn't want to keep being the good girl and trying to win the approval of her parents and the rest of Chicago's upper class. Clara wants to run from her past and her mistakes, to start over. Lorraine is tired of being second to Gloria. Each girl wants something, so she puts on a persona that she thinks will get her what she wants.

 

Freedom means being able to choose your own path. It's not always easy, but it's yours. It means you're not sitting around waiting for someone else to decide for you, waiting for something to just happen. Freedom means being able to test the waters, to challenge yourself.

Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

thank you  =)


Deltadawn wrote:

So well said, Donna! That's exactly what I was thinking - but you said it so well...:

 

 

"Freedom is the ability to be yourself no matter what the obstacle. Bobbing your hair, drinking alcohol, smoking, acting differently for others, etc., do not make you free. They are simply ways of following the crowd. I think that all three of these young women are yearning for the freedom to be themselves and to be accepted as such. But, they are all going about it the wrong way, at least so far. We will see what happens as the story progresses."

 

 


 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
Contributor
LorettaP
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

First let me start by saying that I am really enjoying Vixen and hope there are more books to follow.

 

Gloria is interested in exploring the life of a flapper. I think she is successful in her endeavor. Gloria's whole life is mapped out for her. Who she is, who she is to marry and what is expected of a girl her age living in the 1920's. She has a hunger for adventure for more than her posh lifestyle can offer. I think that by changing her looks she will ultimately change her lifestyle.

On the other hand, Lorraine will not get as far. I think Gloria's BFF will fall short of her goal as a flapper. My prediction is Lorraine will end up alone with broken dreams. The haircut and bad girl lifestyle won't get her far. Even though she has changed her appearance I think Lorraine is the same jealous, insecure person on the inside.

Clara fled from her flapper lifestyle in New York. I think deep down Country Clara is ready for change. Right now she is rebellious and mad at her parents for sending her to Chicago.  I think with time she will realize that her former fast lifestyle needed to come to an end.

 

I don't think that this current point in the book that any of the characters have freedom. Gloria is weighed down by her family obligations and her upcoming nuptials. Cutting your hair and drinking in a speak easy does not make you free when you have a curfew and living in your parents house. Freedom is being able to go where and when you please. To do as you wish, to believe, dream and love. I hope that some if not all of the characters get to experience real freedom.

Contributor
sjs82489
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎08-14-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

This is the first time I've read a book based in the flapper area and I love it so far! I haven't had a chance to finish it just because I've been so busy with school but I love the characters. They are so complicated and have so many layers that you can't put the book down because you want to get to know them more. It's also written really well. The way it switches between the point of view of three characters lets you see the situations in a full 360 view. Amazing book so far! =)

Contributor
chelseamaya
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

1. Each of the characters seems to be trying to change their lives by manipulating their image. Gloria is a good girl interested in exploring the flapper lifestyle. Lorraine is her best friend who is jealous of Gloria and thinks she can get attention through a bad girl reputation and appearance. Then we have Clara who has a past living the high life as a flapper in New York City, but decides to adopt of the persona of 'Country Clara' when she comes to Chicago to help with Gloria's wedding. Why do you think each of these character is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?

 

First I must say that I've really, really enjoyed reading this book.  It's not my normal genre, and I'm loving it so very much. But to answer your questions, I think they're so interested in changing their character because they are so stuck in boxes, stuck with what society deems acceptable that they want to be free (which ties into your second question).  Gloria is trying to escape her inevitable future, and Lorraine is trying to escape the shadow that she had fallen under.  Then there is Clara, she's experienced the freedom, she's seen the other side, but she's also felt what happens when everything gets out of hand.  So I see her as trying to fix her life, maintain it in a way, rather than completely change it.  I feel like Clara, eventually, will want to try and find a balance between what she had in New York, versus what she has now with Gloria's family.

 

For the most part I think they're relatively successful.  Gloria is breaking out and doing what she feels she needs to.  I can say the same for Lorraine, though I'll be honest when I say I don't like her character much at all.  And Clara I think probably does the best out of all of them when it comes to working on changing themselves, though if I'm honest about Clara as well, I find her character not bad but slightly boring.  I've found myself extremely attached to Gloria and invested in her character development.  And to finish off the question, changing their looks doesn't change their lives, but their outlook in a way.  It shows them what they're missing, which then they take that information and have to figure out what they're going to do with it.  Stay stagnant or find a way to try and fix it.

 

2. The other thing that really struck me about this first section of Vixenis Gloria's first meeting with Jerome, a black piano player at the Green Mill speakeasy."'You're here because you think it makes you free,'" he tells her. "'Unlike the rest of your little schoolgirl friends, sneaking out without Daddy's permission. Listening to the black man play his music and dirty your lily white hands... But you ain't free, kid. You wouldn't know how to be free if your life depended on it.'" I'm very interested in hearing about what you think regarding 'freedom' in this novel. Does sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting one's hair make someone free? What constitutes freedom to you, and do any of the characters we've met so far have it?

 

I must start off this question with saying how much I absolutely love Jerome.  From what we've seen of him, I felt that immediate attraction that Gloria felt (which, again, out of all the main female protagonists Gloria is the one I identify the most).  So I loved this quote, because I feel like while it's applicable then, in some cases it's even more applicable to parts of society today.  But to answer this question, I'd say for the time period, and the styles of lives the girls have, going to speakeasys, drinking, and cutting their hair is clearly a sense of freedom from the girls - just like it's seen in the scene between Gloria and Lorraine.  It's a sign of freedom (and rebellion).

 

For me freedom is choice, deciding what you want to do, and so far the only character that really seems to have "freedom" is Lorraine, and so far she doesn't seem to use it in any sort of beneficial way for her or anyone else.  Clara had freedom, and she got carried away, and then there's Gloria who seems to have "freedom" in the sense of familial "success" or "wealth" but not in the personal sense.  Which I think that will be something that will continue to be a theme throughout the rest of the novel, her exploring her freedom, or finally finding it eventually.

Contributor
Lizard16
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-20-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I have to say that I am enjoying the book so far.  The character development and setting are well done.  I truly get a sense of what it was like to be a teenager in a big city during the 20's.  I can see how some would interpret the girls behavior as trying to attempt to gain their freedom.  However, I feel they are just trying to figure out who they are.  So they are attempting to change their looks and attempt to be a little rebellious in some ways or even attempt to be coming from a small town environment.  I believe they feel that playing these different roles will help them to figure out who they are and if they could be different in some way instead of living their lives as they have been mapped out. I don't know if changing their looks will change their lives in the long run but it does bring to light different aspects of their personalities.  This change in their personalities may in the end have lasting effects to their lives.

 

 

 

Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Oh have I been waiting to start off the discussion here!

 


 

1. Each of the characters seems to be trying to change their lives by manipulating their image. Gloria is a good girl interested in exploring the flapper lifestyle. Lorraine is her best friend who is jealous of Gloria and thinks she can get attention through a bad girl reputation and appearance. Then we have Clara who has a past living the high life as a flapper in New York City, but decides to adopt of the persona of 'Country Clara' when she comes to Chicago to help with Gloria's wedding. Why do you think each of these character is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?

 


 

Interesting to say the least.  Outright spell-bounding characters!  I see Clara & Gloria as shape-shifters or so called personality changers; each picked-up one anothers persona, so to speak.

Gloria in essence becomes what her cousin Clara was heading towards; had she not be "girl-interupted"  The idea behind changing their 'persona' is due to every girls dream of being something interesting, not boring, but maybe not to the extent of these girls during their era.

I believe the reason for the transformation in looks and persona was due to how they viewed their life as they lived it out, and by looking at their mother and how they saw themselves in her- most often boring.  

I do believe they were successful in changing their looks from their own perspective, yet it seems as though everyone around them could still see the naivety in each character as they interacted.  Take the case when they (with Marcus in tow) first enter the speak-easy; the door man thought they were nothing more than rich, kids out looking for fun; not the real "women of the times-flappers" they wanted to become.

Changing their looks can become very dangerous because there may be a "no turning back" point where you become who you fear the most.  In Country Clara's case I think she started to sway so far left - she became Country Clara seamlessly and almost lost herself.

 

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
Reader
twinsbur
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-19-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I have to agree with you that all the characters are restless. They are all "good girls" but they feel trapped in their lives. Lorraine changes her appearience so that she can get attention. She is jealous of Gloria. Changing their looks will make them happy shorterm but it may affect their future plans.

 

Running off and drinkig and doing bad things may make you feel free but in the long run may effect your relationships and life in general.I feel that none of the characters have total freedom in their lives.

 

Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Freedom:

2. The other thing that really struck me about this first section of Vixenis Gloria's first meeting with Jerome, a black piano player at the Green Mill speakeasy."'You're here because you think it makes you free,'" he tells her. "'Unlike the rest of your little schoolgirl friends, sneaking out without Daddy's permission. Listening to the black man play his music and dirty your lily white hands... But you ain't free, kid. You wouldn't know how to be free if your life depended on it.'" I'm very interested in hearing about what you think regarding 'freedom' in this novel. Does sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting one's hair make someone free? What constitutes freedom to you, and do any of the characters we've met so far have it?

 

 


 

 

I love the first section of the book, it fast paced starting out the Shute and then even quicker pace at touching upon ethical, moral and relationship issues thru-out the novel.

I knew the part when Gloria looks over at Jerome and  immediately feels a connection was a pivotal point in the book, at least it was for me.  Jerome represents the freedom and forbidden things in Gloria's life that she can't seem to touch or have.  Ability to go and come as she pleases, ability to have the things in life without daddy providing them, and doing your own thing (drinking, partying, making one's choices freely).

During this timeframe you have to keep in mind about prohibition, oppression, gangsters, city-life and sub-servant culture, etc.  

None of these characters have true freedom, perhaps males more so than females have the latitude to be a 'bit' free to come and go, yet still have rules and customs to follow.  Take Marcus for example, he never seems to have to "report" to anyone about his comings and goings, his choice in friends, buddy's and girls whom he hangs out with.

Jerome is no where near free to come and go, but he is more free to make some life choices than these girls are.


Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I must state the book is good.  

I think I most connected with Jerome and not so sure why, other than we are both black and know the city life.

 

Gloria wants so much to be rid of the boring life that Bastion, no doubt offers; the dutiful wife, the socialite that she will become as his wife.  A life already planned out by her mother and the society which is pushing this behavior.  Yet, I didn't like Bastion at the beginning of the book, and after reading the book - I dislike him all the more.  Gloria knew what marrying him meant for everything she yearned; so it was now or never.  Bad girl, good girl.

 

Clara has so many secrets it isn't even funny.  To her credit she gets a transformation and a new start with a new set of friends; the author did this cleverly I think.

 

Lorraine has so many issues, I think everyone that went to public school has been around a person we see as Lorraine - yet I do like how Gloria keeps her as a friend even though she is bad news (well up to part 1).

 

 

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,827
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 


Deltadawn wrote:

I also love this book - such a page turner! I am in complete agreement with you, Debbie!


dhaupt wrote:

Hi Sarah, great questions

Hmm and thought provoking too.

I love this novel, it is so well written and I love the narrative the author uses, she really gets her point across.

 

To answer the first question first we have to remember the era that this novel talks about, it was a very changeable time with prohibition the mob and I think it's a lot like the 60's of my generation where people were trying to reinvent themselves.

Second we're talking about young adults at a very important precipice of their lives about to graduate high school and either go off to college or in Gloria's case get married. I think all young adults of this age are trying out their wings to see how far from the nest they can go and I don't think they're any different from the youth of today. So I call it more coming of age than anything else.

 

The second question

sneaking off to the speakeasy, drinking illegally and cutting hair is VERY much so freedom for Gloria anyway. She is obviously very unhappy with her life, the direction she sees it going. Wondering what kind of marriage she'll have, not seeing passion is Bastien etc. It may not be safe freedom, but it's freedom none the less. It's no different than when our young people try drugs, have sex at a too young age or drink before it's legal. 

 

At this point I don't see anyone having freedom in the novel, the characters are all in their boxes but they're trying to get out.

 

My thoughts on the first section of Vixen was that it took everything in me to stop reading. I really wanted to find out where it was going.

My predictions are dark, I just have an uneasy feeling about the kind of trouble these characters are getting into especially Gloria involving herself with the gangsters of Chicago.


 


Thanks Delta, it's a great novel isn't it.

 

Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

LorettaP:  I agree with your analysis of Gloria.  I do agree with your statement about her planned LIFE in general.

 


 

you said: . . . . . . .

Gloria is interested in exploring the life of a flapper. I think she is successful in her endeavor. Gloria's whole life is mapped out for her. Who she is, who she is to marry and what is expected of a girl her age living in the 1920's. She has a hunger for adventure for more than her posh lifestyle can offer. I think that by changing her looks she will ultimately change her lifestyle.

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Whew DeltaDawn you sure got it figured out in your predictions . . . . 

 

You will love the rest of the read then . . . .

 

I tried to assume where the author was going to take the characters & then she threw a few of "oops I didn't figure that one" in the mix - - > you will love reading the rest of the book

 

 


You said .   .   .    .\

 

Some predictions that I have:

I predict that Gloria will continue to sneak out to live the flapper lifestyle. She will perform with the band at the speakeasy (at least once I think!)  I do think that she will get caught - I don't think she will wind up marrying Bastian.

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
Wordsmith
swan480
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

In answer to the second question, I think freedom in this book has very feminist connotations.  Freedom is what the flapper stood for: She was a modern woman who danced on the edge of polite society: drinking, dancing, smoking cigarettes, wearing short dresses, and even having sex if she wanted.  I think Gloria's desire for freedom captures the allure of the flappers very authentically.

 

I can't make any predictions because I read the book in about two days, but I can tell you that it keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end!