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Melissa_W
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SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

Please use this thread to discussion Part III of Ship of Fools and the novel as a whole.

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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streamsong
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

I finished the book and it left me with a lot to think about.

 

I thought the setting of the ship was brilliant. Conflicts were inevitable. People could not escape the unpleasantries until the voyage was over. They knew they wouldn't see their fellow travelers again, so they had no reason not to let their masks slip. Not a single thoroughly likeable person in the story, although some had moments of likeability and moments when one empathized with their backstory.

 

The members of the dance troup were a real focal point for me. They lied, they stole, they had obnoxious children, they were prostitutes and pimps and they made fun of the other passengers. And yet, when all was said and done, I don't think they hated with that burning sense of moral-righteousness that was soon to explode in Germany. Other passengers  were more gentile and refined and followed all the precepts of respecting property and morality with self-righteous decorum with the small exception that they  thoroughly hated others

 

It was an interesting and rewarding read..

 

 

Melissa_W
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Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

That is an excellent assessment.  I did drive me nuts that there weren't any chapter breaks or rests in the bulk of the novel but it did contribute to that sense of being confined that the passengers underwent while on the boat for the journey.
And your second paragraph is so true.  Although the troop had a different moral code, they seemed more open as a group as well.

streamsong wrote:

I finished the book and it left me with a lot to think about.

 

I thought the setting of the ship was brilliant. Conflicts were inevitable. People could not escape the unpleasantries until the voyage was over. They knew they wouldn't see their fellow travelers again, so they had no reason not to let their masks slip. Not a single thoroughly likeable person in the story, although some had moments of likeability and moments when one empathized with their backstory.

 

The members of the dance troup were a real focal point for me. They lied, they stole, they had obnoxious children, they were prostitutes and pimps and they made fun of the other passengers. And yet, when all was said and done, I don't think they hated with that burning sense of moral-righteousness that was soon to explode in Germany. Other passengers  were more gentile and refined and followed all the precepts of respecting property and morality with self-righteous decorum with the small exception that they  thoroughly hated others

 

It was an interesting and rewarding read..

 

 


 

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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streamsong
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

Thanks for your comment on the lack of chapters adding to the feel of shipboard claustrophobia. I had missed noticing that. That's the very reason I love group reads!

 

Something else I noticed (that may seem too obvious to mention). was that with the exception of the Mexican 'Indian' nurse, everyone was Caucasian.

 

It led me to wonder if this a reflection of the late 1930's--that not 'even' the steerage passengers would accept a non-white among them; or a reflection of the US cultural environment of the early 60's when the book was written. 

Melissa_W
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Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

Hmmm...I had thought the circus troupe to be perhaps a mixed bag of different races, perhaps gypsies (and it could have just been me since I can't find an actual description now).


streamsong wrote:

Thanks for your comment on the lack of chapters adding to the feel of shipboard claustrophobia. I had missed noticing that. That's the very reason I love group reads!

 

Something else I noticed (that may seem too obvious to mention). was that with the exception of the Mexican 'Indian' nurse, everyone was Caucasian.

 

It led me to wonder if this a reflection of the late 1930's--that not 'even' the steerage passengers would accept a non-white among them; or a reflection of the US cultural environment of the early 60's when the book was written. 


 

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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streamsong
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Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

Gypsies, yes. Blacks or Asians? No.

Melissa_W
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Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

That is true.


streamsong wrote:

Gypsies, yes. Blacks or Asians? No.


 

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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chadadanielleKR
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Registered: ‎10-29-2006

Re: SHIP OF FOOLS: Part III, The Harbors

 Spanish gypsies, I presume like those described in this page


Melissa_W wrote:

That is true.


streamsong wrote:

Gypsies, yes. Blacks or Asians? No.