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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Political corruption

 


Lmfwhite wrote:

 

When I read the book, I thought Tammany was a person, a politician!  LOL!  I learned something new.

Laura


 

I was also confused about Tammany.  The first mention of the name WAS a person.....Big Chief Tammany on p. 176.  On p. 177 and subsequent pages, Tammany was mentioned in the present but never did we know whether it was a person or political entity.


 

I'm surprised at the comments here on Tammany.  I thought that it was from high school history that I first encountered Tammany Hall and so-called corrupt politics.  It has been interesting here to see them portrayed as so helpful of the immigrants, albeit in exchange for their votes.

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35

Yours are too new, Pepper. Try these older ones:: 1900-1916

 

What IS the time period for this novel? 

 

I must admit that I slipped into making comparisons with situations I knew from the mid to late forties.

 

Pepper

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Melissa_W
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35

The novel opens in 1912 when Francie is eleven years old. So it's just pre-World War I.

Peppermill wrote:

Yours are too new, Pepper. Try these older ones:: 1900-1916

 

What IS the time period for this novel? 

 

I must admit that I slipped into making comparisons with situations I knew from the mid to late forties.

 

Pepper


Melissa W.
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Melissa_W
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35

The novel opens in 1912 when Francie is eleven years old. So it's just pre-World War I.

Peppermill wrote:

Yours are too new, Pepper. Try these older ones:: 1900-1916

 

What IS the time period for this novel? 

 

I must admit that I slipped into making comparisons with situations I knew from the mid to late forties.

 

Pepper


Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35

The time period in ATGIB has major implications in the development of the novel.


Francie is 11 in 1912, just as we’re about the enter WWI. I’ve always understood ATGIB to be more than Francie’s coming-of-age story…  the entire story is set on the historical crux of our country's coming of age.

 

This is the first time that historically, our nation is going to fight a war in an international arena. WWI is forcing us to share in the responsibilities of a more complicated, modern world.

 

This motif of Francie’s coming of age… moving away from innocence.. is in almost every chapter.

As Francie grows up, she learns more and more about the world—more about poverty, class status, gender, and sex. The older she gets, the more she understands how cruel poverty is, and it's not just the innocent simplicity of her childhood. The uglier side of being poor becomes more real she finds that her dreams and ambitions are denied her.

 

The historical events of the outside world parallel Francie's coming-of-age. By structuring the book around both Francie and the times she grows up in, the novel is both about the life of Francie and America's coming of age in the world.

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35


Peppermill wrote:

Items that particularly caught my attention:

 

Book 3, Chapter 15

 

p. 128 The description of the brick wall, where the bricks “smelled warm and porous when Frances pressed her cheek against them….In winter, when the first snow was too delicate to last on the sidewalks, it clung to the rough surface of the brick and was like fairy lace.”


I noticed this passage too.  I could smell bricks in the summertime just reading it!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35


Peppermill wrote:

More items that caught my attention:

 

Book 3, Chapter 16

 

p. 137  Why is the paragraph about coffee at home in parentheses?

 


I think because Francie was thinking about something that happened in a different place, at home rather than in the store where the scene was set.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35


IBIS wrote:

The time period in ATGIB has major implications in the development of the novel.


Francie is 11 in 1912, just as we’re about the enter WWI. I’ve always understood ATGIB to be more than Francie’s coming-of-age story…  the entire story is set on the historical crux of our country's coming of age.

 

This is the first time that historically, our nation is going to fight a war in an international arena. WWI is forcing us to share in the responsibilities of a more complicated, modern world.

 

This motif of Francie’s coming of age… moving away from innocence.. is in almost every chapter.

As Francie grows up, she learns more and more about the world—more about poverty, class status, gender, and sex. The older she gets, the more she understands how cruel poverty is, and it's not just the innocent simplicity of her childhood. The uglier side of being poor becomes more real she finds that her dreams and ambitions are denied her.

 

The historical events of the outside world parallel Francie's coming-of-age. By structuring the book around both Francie and the times she grows up in, the novel is both about the life of Francie and America's coming of age in the world.


 

I completely agree, IBIS, but this conclusion did not become clear to me until I had read through the next section of reading. 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Political corruption


Peppermill wrote:

 


Lmfwhite wrote:

 

When I read the book, I thought Tammany was a person, a politician!  LOL!  I learned something new.

Laura


 

I was also confused about Tammany.  The first mention of the name WAS a person.....Big Chief Tammany on p. 176.  On p. 177 and subsequent pages, Tammany was mentioned in the present but never did we know whether it was a person or political entity.


 

I'm surprised at the comments here on Tammany.  I thought that it was from high school history that I first encountered Tammany Hall and so-called corrupt politics.  It has been interesting here to see them portrayed as so helpful of the immigrants, albeit in exchange for their votes.

 


 

I hated history in school.  I remember almost nothing.  As an adult, I have been learning history by reading historical fiction.  It is so much more interesting to learn political history at the same time as societal history and everyday-living history, for lack of correct terms.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Political corruption

 


Fozzie wrote:

I hated history in school.  I remember almost nothing.  As an adult, I have been learning history by reading historical fiction.  It is so much more interesting to learn political history at the same time as societal history and everyday-living history, for lack of correct terms.

Problem with historical fiction is that it's not always accurate. You tend to remember it the way you read it and not the way it was. But you're right about school, it is taught in a boring manner. I've boned up on a lot of my history with PBS programs, like American Experience and Ken Burns' documentaries. If we had been taught that way in school, with diaries and letters and newspaper accounts from the period, it would have been a whole different story.
There was one notable figure assocaited with Tammany, Boss Tweed, but that was before the time of this novel.   As for Tammany Hall, it was NOT "so-called" corrupt, but an engine for graft and political corruption from 1854-1932.   I have only time to cite Wikipedia, but anyone who's interested can take it farther.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammany_hall

 

Anyway, we had been talking about the police dept's casual attitude toward Katie's shooting of the pedophile/murderer.  No inquest, not questions about an illegal gun, although it might not have been illegal at that time. Once again, I was surprised to see that kind of criminal in a book from 1943. It certainly wasn't in any films of that period.  She was ahead of her time in her frankness. Since the book is fictionalized, she could have made him just a murderer.



 

 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35

[ Edited ]

IBIS wrote:age.

 

This is the first time that historically, our nation is going to fight a war in an international arena. WWI is forcing us to share in the responsibilities of a more complicated, modern world.

 


War of 1812, Spanish-American War 1898.  .:smileyvery-happy: I'm taking Choisya's place.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Lmfwhite
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Political corruption


foxycat wrote:

 

 

Anyway, we had been talking about the police dept's casual attitude toward Katie's shooting of the pedophile/murderer.  No inquest, not questions about an illegal gun, although it might not have been illegal at that time. Once again, I was surprised to see that kind of criminal in a book from 1943. It certainly wasn't in any films of that period.  She was ahead of her time in her frankness. Since the book is fictionalized, she could have made him just a murderer.


I agree that the police dept. had a casual attitude toward the shooting.   On my pg. 256, the cop does ask Johnny if he has a permit for the gun.  When Johnny replies "No", the police officer returns with "That's tough".  The cop pursues it further by asking who gave it to him and Johnny says he found it in the gutter.  The police officer  basically says that it's OK with him, just as long as Johnny remembers to stick with this  story.  So I'm thinking it probably was illegal but the police officer did not want to press charges.

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AJ981979
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Political corruption

Re: the cop and the gun....

 

I feel this is an example of how things were handled before things got too litigated.  Either the just punishment for that person was death or Katie was justified in the shooting, and the cops were human enough to understand that and that they would've done the same thing.  And pre-24-hour-news, they could just make it disappear.  To me, it's an example of humanity in that the cops understand life leads to tough choices, and it would be unfair to criminalize a mother for making tough choices.

~ Happiness is a good book, a sleeping cat, and a glass of wine. ~
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Feminism

Re: feminism

 

haha, this is my area!

 

I don't think it was written with an intended feminist bias... I think it was written as a portrayal of life in poverty.  And in poverty, women have ALWAYS worked.  It's a myth that no woman worked before the feminist movement of the '60's and '70's, and while you can find books to support this, it's easier to point to examples.... domestic servants have been around for centuries, female schoolteachers since the 19th century, female nurses since the late 19th century, women as rulers since documented history began. 

 

Traditional history glosses over this all so we forget it existed, but even in my family they were hugely women-centered: they kept the family in touch, together, took the jobs to support the family when the man's job wasn't bringing in enough money.... all while preaching conservative Lutheran faith.  It wasn't a political statement so much as living.

 

Am I missing a feminist slant other than women working and Katie keeping the family together?  FYI, abortions have also been around for as long as women have been getting pregnant.  :smileywink:

 

~ Happiness is a good book, a sleeping cat, and a glass of wine. ~
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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35

By fighting on an international arena, I meant that we weren't fighting just ONE adversary.

IBIS

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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Feminism

There is a definite bias since not one, not two, but practically ALL the men in Francie's life are weak....

 

surely one strong male figure would have been more realistic?

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Feminism


IBIS wrote:

There is a definite bias since not one, not two, but practically ALL the men in Francie's life are weak....

 

surely one strong male figure would have been more realistic?


 

Don't you think McShane was a strong male figure?  Don't want to elaborate in this thread due to spoilers, but I really thought he was a strong male figure.

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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Feminism

Since the story covered up to this point is Chapter 35, I find a definite feminist bias apparent in Francie's young life.

 

Strength... both physical and moral... is divided along gender lines.  At this point in her young life, all the men in her family are weak... her grandfather, her father, her uncle, even Neely her younger brother... whereas all the women are strong... both emotionally and physically.

 

As Francie matures, and her world grows larger, it's only natural that she meets different people.

 

But my point is, in her tender years... the years that shaped her young mind and emotional makeup, I think the author stacked the deck against the males. 

 

I know that this is the story that Betty Smith wanted to write.... and when I was younger, this feminist bias didn't bother me.

 

But as an adult, I'm finding the setup too simplistic.

 

 


Lmfwhite wrote:

IBIS wrote:

There is a definite bias since not one, not two, but practically ALL the men in Francie's life are weak....

 

surely one strong male figure would have been more realistic?


 

Don't you think McShane was a strong male figure?  Don't want to elaborate in this thread due to spoilers, but I really thought he was a strong male figure.


 

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Feminism

Since the book is viewed as quasi-autobiographical, do you think Betty Smith stacked the deck or did she record the world as she experienced it -- but which may be neither representative nor totally reliable?


IBIS wrote:

Since the story covered up to this point is Chapter 35, I find a definite feminist bias apparent in Francie's young life.

 

Strength... both physical and moral... is divided along gender lines.  At this point in her young life, all the men in her family are weak... her grandfather, her father, her uncle, even Neely her younger brother... whereas all the women are strong... both emotionally and physically.

 

As Francie matures, and her world grows larger, it's only natural that she meets different people.

 

But my point is, in her tender years... the years that shaped her young mind and emotional makeup, I think the author stacked the deck against the males. 

 

I know that this is the story that Betty Smith wanted to write.... and when I was younger, this feminist bias didn't bother me.

 

But as an adult, I'm finding the setup too simplistic.


Lmfwhite wrote:

IBIS wrote:

There is a definite bias since not one, not two, but practically ALL the men in Francie's life are weak....

 

surely one strong male figure would have been more realistic?


Don't you think McShane was a strong male figure?  Don't want to elaborate in this thread due to spoilers, but I really thought he was a strong male figure.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 2, Chapters 15 - 35 - Feminism


Peppermill wrote:

Since the book is viewed as quasi-autobiographical, do you think Betty Smith stacked the deck or did she record the world as she experienced it -- but which may be neither representative nor totally reliable?


I think the author wrote the book based on her experience.  It could be argued that the women depicted were "extra strong," thereby making the men seem even weaker than they actually were by comparison. 

 

Personally, I didn't feel a feminine bias while reading.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.