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jd
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jd
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class

Some things do not change, money cannot buy poverty :smileyhappy: even today. I think he guarded his money and station and used it to insulate himself from what was really happening around him and then felt very guilty about it because some of it could have been prevented or lessened to some degree.
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beshockley
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class

[ Edited ]
CATHOLICISM
One of the central themes of the book is a tension between Protestant and Catholic orientations to the world.
Ford Maddox Ford says nasty things about Leonora’s Catholicism, but he was in fact a sort of Catholic in his own life.
What do you make of this tension?

This novel presents so many incongruous themes it is difficult to grasp hold of one and follow it consistently throughout the story due to the sentimental exceptions.

Here are some ideas I have on the religious tension.

This catholic/protestant tension seems to be focused on the pre and post reformation society. Dowell’s preference is to the pre reformation age, not seemingly because of religion but rather expected upper class etiquette.

His description on the characters - as good people - is ironical. He seems to be saying; we all know better regarding what is appropriate behavior. After all, we are upper class people.

Once the appropriate etiquette is breached, he then begins to contrast the difference of the faithful catholic with the adultering Protestants.

Toward Lenora Dowell, Dowell is critical of her stoic demeanor which he states as strange and secretive because of catholicsm. Yet, this is also what he admires about Lenora, an attribute of the pre-protestant revolt order and its more proper upper class behavior.

The story itself further alludes to this with the setting that hinges on the eventful day with the Luther Protest papers. The story gives the impression Dowell is virtually outright blaming the protestant schism for the affair between the two Anglicans, Lenora and Edward Ash. This is the reference to the event that literally changed the world, and ultimately changed his personal world.

Compare this to Nancy not even initially conceiving of divorce, but then considering perhaps the Ash’s could become divorced since Edward is an Anglican and divorce being the reason for the Anglican Church

Also noted in the novel, is that both the women Dowell seems to desire and wish to marry in the story are both the catholic women.

Message Edited by beshockley on 02-16-200701:14 AM

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IlanaSimons
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



beshockley wrote:
CATHOLICISM
Toward Lenora Dowell, Dowell is critical of her stoic demeanor which he states as strange and secretive because of catholicsm. Yet, this is also what he admires about Lenora, an attribute of the pre-protestant revolt order and its more proper upper class behavior.

The story itself further alludes to this with the setting that hinges on the eventful day with the Luther Protest papers. The story gives the impression Dowell is virtually outright blaming the protestant schism for the affair between the two Anglicans, Lenora and Edward Ash. This is the reference to the event that literally changed the world, and ultimately changed his personal world.


Yes--nice observation. That's such a strange scene. Dowell is standing there, on the verge of intuiting his wife's affair, but his revelation about his wife is trumped by his wife's social faux pas (insulting the Catholics without knowing Leonora's a Catholic?). The religious controversy is superimposed onto the personal one. Ford draws a parallel between the religious schism and personal schisms--but concern for religious questions relieves Dowell from having to think of the other.



Ilana
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KathleenVitale
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class

Where does the book itself seem to stand on this issue for you? Classist? Not?
i.e. is the book just simplifying/romanticizing the lower classes in portraying Maisie and Nancy's purity?

Goodness it seems all the books I read do this! The rich are always so pretentious and the simple or poor have all the morals and smarts. So yes I would agree the book is classist.

I was really surprised at Dowell's behavior at the end of story... Not very classy :smileyhappy:
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



KathleenVitale wrote:I was really surprised at Dowell's behavior at the end of story... Not very classy :smileyhappy:




What exactly do you have in mind?

ziki
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KathleenVitale
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class

I was just kind of surprised that all throughout the book Dowell claimed he was good people and put down Edward and Florence. I was given the impression that Dowell felt it would have awful for Edward to go for Nancy (I'm putting this into my own words here :smileyhappy: - but Dowell knew Nancy for just as long as Edward, didn't he? Wasn't he a part of her life as an adult figure from very young as well as Edward? As her 'father's' friend?

That being said, I was surprised at the end. I felt as if he was getting his revenge on Edward because that was Edward's ultimate woman, but at the same time it was putting himself in Edward's shoes.

I don't know, did I read into this too much?
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



KathleenVitale wrote:I don't know, did I read into this too much?




No, what you said sounds plausible....to me anyhow. Dowell probably felt less than the English who were such a 'good people' with traditions and style.

thanks Katie
ziki
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class

Thanks so much for your post on Catholicism, beshockley. Personally, I found the fact that Leonora was Catholic, and the idea that her religion led to so many of her thoughts and actions, to be overused and ridiculous. Your post helped me look more objectively at the issue.
Laura

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ROSIE
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



IlanaSimons wrote:


beshockley wrote:
CATHOLICISM
Toward Lenora Dowell, Dowell is critical of her stoic demeanor which he states as strange and secretive because of catholicsm. Yet, this is also what he admires about Lenora, an attribute of the pre-protestant revolt order and its more proper upper class behavior.

The story itself further alludes to this with the setting that hinges on the eventful day with the Luther Protest papers. The story gives the impression Dowell is virtually outright blaming the protestant schism for the affair between the two Anglicans, Lenora and Edward Ash. This is the reference to the event that literally changed the world, and ultimately changed his personal world.


Yes--nice observation. That's such a strange scene. Dowell is standing there, on the verge of intuiting his wife's affair, but his revelation about his wife is trumped by his wife's social faux pas (insulting the Catholics without knowing Leonora's a Catholic?). The religious controversy is superimposed onto the personal one. Ford draws a parallel between the religious schism and personal schisms--but concern for religious questions relieves Dowell from having to think of the other.



I am behind in that I am only at the end of part two.




However, I think this supposed "admiration" of Leonora's stoicism that is attributed to her Catholicism and staying in her marriage in fact may be because it allows her to hold power over Edward and to control him in some ways--like an adult child--with his debts, blackmails, etc.

She, in her own way, is cruel and calculating--she seems to find some self-righteousness in her manner of living and staying in her marriage.

Oddly, though, in referring to the "closed-mouthed" approach Catholics purportedly take to these things, FMF/Dowell ignore(s) the same emphasis on appearances and hiding of deficiencies in which the upper classes engage. The public face is not necessary the private face of families or individuals....just as true today as then.
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



ROSIE wrote:
I think this supposed "admiration" of Leonora's stoicism that is attributed to her Catholicism and staying in her marriage in fact may be because it allows her to hold power over Edward and to control him in some ways--like an adult child--with his debts, blackmails, etc.

She, in her own way, is cruel and calculating--she seems to find some self-righteousness in her manner of living and staying in her marriage.

Oddly, though, in referring to the "closed-mouthed" approach Catholics purportedly take to these things, FMF/Dowell ignore(s) the same emphasis on appearances and hiding of deficiencies in which the upper classes engage. The public face is not necessary the private face of families or individuals....just as true today as then.





nicely put
I do think that Dowell confuses class-based austerity and what he calls moral austerity.



Ilana
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jd
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



IlanaSimons wrote:


ROSIE wrote:
I think this supposed "admiration" of Leonora's stoicism that is attributed to her Catholicism and staying in her marriage in fact may be because it allows her to hold power over Edward and to control him in some ways--like an adult child--with his debts, blackmails, etc.

She, in her own way, is cruel and calculating--she seems to find some self-righteousness in her manner of living and staying in her marriage.

Oddly, though, in referring to the "closed-mouthed" approach Catholics purportedly take to these things, FMF/Dowell ignore(s) the same emphasis on appearances and hiding of deficiencies in which the upper classes engage. The public face is not necessary the private face of families or individuals....just as true today as then.





nicely put
I do think that Dowell confuses class-based austerity and what he calls moral austerity.




I am wondering if L has any other choice available to her. She cannot get a divorce, she is Catholic. She must stay in the marriage and make the most of it and not have children. I think her devout beliefs led her to do some of the things she did but not because she is self-rightous or cruel. I do agree with you that she is trying to control the situation. She does not have much happiness in her relationship with E. The constant travelling is a source of economy for them and necessity to regroup after E's financial fiascoes and blackmail. The austerity is what Dowell finds appealing in L. His silly wife F is spoiled and ignorant. She did not want more from him other than his checkbook and the constant travel, which as an American was a luxury.
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Choisya
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class

As an older person reading these posts about Nancy - the marriage, sex, birth control etc. I would just like to comment, in case younger people here are not aware, that when birth control was not available, or forbidden by your church and coitus interruptus and the rhythm method were so unreliable, a woman's way of dealing with this could be self imposed frigidity, single beds etc etc. This, of course, affected not only the marriage but it affected the psyche of both the man and woman concerned. I observed this on a number of occasions in my youth and have spoken to the women of that generation about it. The passionate relationship of early marriage is subsumed and bringing up children, if there are any, becomes the raison d'etre for the woman whilst the man is pushed aside. Men often turned to the bottle for solace and many women became what we now call 'uptight' and/or very religious. Nancy had no children and seems to have become 'uptight' and mired in her religious convictions. It is a very sad situation and the book is narrated from the man's side of the divide.




beshockley wrote:
CATHOLICISM
One of the central themes of the book is a tension between Protestant and Catholic orientations to the world.
Ford Maddox Ford says nasty things about Leonora’s Catholicism, but he was in fact a sort of Catholic in his own life.
What do you make of this tension?

This novel presents so many incongruous themes it is difficult to grasp hold of one and follow it consistently throughout the story due to the sentimental exceptions.

Here are some ideas I have on the religious tension.

This catholic/protestant tension seems to be focused on the pre and post reformation society. Dowell’s preference is to the pre reformation age, not seemingly because of religion but rather expected upper class etiquette.

His description on the characters - as good people - is ironical. He seems to be saying; we all know better regarding what is appropriate behavior. After all, we are upper class people.

Once the appropriate etiquette is breached, he then begins to contrast the difference of the faithful catholic with the adultering Protestants.

Toward Lenora Dowell, Dowell is critical of her stoic demeanor which he states as strange and secretive because of catholicsm. Yet, this is also what he admires about Lenora, an attribute of the pre-protestant revolt order and its more proper upper class behavior.

The story itself further alludes to this with the setting that hinges on the eventful day with the Luther Protest papers. The story gives the impression Dowell is virtually outright blaming the protestant schism for the affair between the two Anglicans, Lenora and Edward Ash. This is the reference to the event that literally changed the world, and ultimately changed his personal world.

Compare this to Nancy not even initially conceiving of divorce, but then considering perhaps the Ash’s could become divorced since Edward is an Anglican and divorce being the reason for the Anglican Church

Also noted in the novel, is that both the women Dowell seems to desire and wish to marry in the story are both the catholic women.

Message Edited by beshockley on 02-16-200701:14 AM




jd
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jd
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



Choisya wrote:
As an older person reading these posts about Nancy - the marriage, sex, birth control etc. I would just like to comment, in case younger people here are not aware, that when birth control was not available, or forbidden by your church and coitus interruptus and the rhythm method were so unreliable, a woman's way of dealing with this could be self imposed frigidity, single beds etc etc. This, of course, affected not only the marriage but it affected the psyche of both the man and woman concerned. I observed this on a number of occasions in my youth and have spoken to the women of that generation about it. The passionate relationship of early marriage is subsumed and bringing up children, if there are any, becomes the raison d'etre for the woman whilst the man is pushed aside. Men often turned to the bottle for solace and many women became what we now call 'uptight' and/or very religious. Nancy had no children and seems to have become 'uptight' and mired in her religious convictions. It is a very sad situation and the book is narrated from the man's side of the divide.




beshockley wrote:
CATHOLICISM
One of the central themes of the book is a tension between Protestant and Catholic orientations to the world.
Ford Maddox Ford says nasty things about Leonora’s Catholicism, but he was in fact a sort of Catholic in his own life.
What do you make of this tension?

This novel presents so many incongruous themes it is difficult to grasp hold of one and follow it consistently throughout the story due to the sentimental exceptions.

Here are some ideas I have on the religious tension.

This catholic/protestant tension seems to be focused on the pre and post reformation society. Dowell’s preference is to the pre reformation age, not seemingly because of religion but rather expected upper class etiquette.

His description on the characters - as good people - is ironical. He seems to be saying; we all know better regarding what is appropriate behavior. After all, we are upper class people.

Once the appropriate etiquette is breached, he then begins to contrast the difference of the faithful catholic with the adultering Protestants.

Toward Lenora Dowell, Dowell is critical of her stoic demeanor which he states as strange and secretive because of catholicsm. Yet, this is also what he admires about Lenora, an attribute of the pre-protestant revolt order and its more proper upper class behavior.

The story itself further alludes to this with the setting that hinges on the eventful day with the Luther Protest papers. The story gives the impression Dowell is virtually outright blaming the protestant schism for the affair between the two Anglicans, Lenora and Edward Ash. This is the reference to the event that literally changed the world, and ultimately changed his personal world.

Compare this to Nancy not even initially conceiving of divorce, but then considering perhaps the Ash’s could become divorced since Edward is an Anglican and divorce being the reason for the Anglican Church

Also noted in the novel, is that both the women Dowell seems to desire and wish to marry in the story are both the catholic women.

Message Edited by beshockley on 02-16-200701:14 AM







Do you mean L as not concieving of divorce? jd
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no love



jd wrote: The austerity is what Dowell finds appealing in L. His silly wife F is spoiled and ignorant. She did not want more from him other than his checkbook and the constant travel, which as an American was a luxury.




The austerity is also the composure, a sign of the high class that he was seeking, no? Not sure.
Some posts stated that Dowell was in love with L.
I do think otherwise. What he had in comon with her is the lack of love. That is what he related to in her.

If you don't have love you tolerate loveless people more easily than those who remind you about what you are missing.
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



beshockley wrote:Also noted in the novel, is that both the women Dowell seems to desire and wish to marry in the story are both the catholic women.




You mean L and Nancy?

But did he want to marry Leonora? Could you please point me to the place in the book, perhaps I missed that.

ziki
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ROSIE
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Re: Catholicism, Country, and Class



Choisya wrote:
As an older person reading these posts about Nancy - the marriage, sex, birth control etc. I would just like to comment, in case younger people here are not aware, that when birth control was not available, or forbidden by your church and coitus interruptus and the rhythm method were so unreliable, a woman's way of dealing with this could be self imposed frigidity, single beds etc etc. This, of course, affected not only the marriage but it affected the psyche of both the man and woman concerned. I observed this on a number of occasions in my youth and have spoken to the women of that generation about it. The passionate relationship of early marriage is subsumed and bringing up children, if there are any, becomes the raison d'etre for the woman whilst the man is pushed aside. Men often turned to the bottle for solace and many women became what we now call 'uptight' and/or very religious. Nancy had no children and seems to have become 'uptight' and mired in her religious convictions. It is a very sad situation and the book is narrated from the man's side of the divide of the partner and lack of "passion."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re. Catholicism (and other congregations) there was the additional perception of sex as merely for procreation, not for expression of love. More recently embodied in the "Jansenistic Heresy" this approach was not fully and clearly rejected until the Second Vatican Council. (But there must have been some passion in those Catholic marriages that resulted in many children. If the rhythm method failed to work, one was at least doing something which would cause it to be labeled successful or failing!)
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