Reply
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Journeys

[ Edited ]
The physical journey that Cain goes on parallels the emotional and psychic journey he undertakes. How do the two reinforce and reflect each other?

Message Edited by Stephanie on 10-28-2007 08:19 PM
Stephanie
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys

Throughout the novel, I was struck by the multiple "awakenings" and journeys that Cain undergoes through major episodes.

Cain either falls asleep and dreams his vivid nightmares, or is knocked unconscious, or borders near death. When he awakes, or regains consciousness, he's undergone and traveled through some kind of passage or journey...either a passage of time, or an advancement of emotional growth, or physical recovery from gunshot or knife or battle wounds, or a psychic mastery of some aspect of his self-awareness.

For example, we first meet Cain "waking up" in the brothel by the frenzied whinnying of a horse. We are introduced to his fugue-dreams of Buena Vista and the Indian girl. He is then rudely introduced to Eberly and Shofe. And the plot thickens.

Another "awakening" is the pure surrealistic kind of Chapter 16. He has been left for dead by the blackbirders. He hears growls by the wild dogs who are feeding on a nearby carcass. Although he's suffering from gunshot wounds, Cain feels compelled to follow them, and rescue Rosetta.

Another "awakening" is when he and Rosetta enter the dense forest of tall hemlocks and it reminds Cain of Dante, in the Inferno, entering Hades. He passes out several times while trying to take out the bullet in his body. When he "awakens" he becomes self-aware that he does not want to bring Rosetta back to Eberly.

There are so many instances of Cain "waking up" and having to face the responsibility given him to protect the 2 valuable souls left in his care.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys



IBIS wrote:
Throughout the novel, I was struck by the multiple "awakenings" and journeys that Cain undergoes through major episodes.

Cain either falls asleep and dreams his vivid nightmares, or is knocked unconscious, or borders near death. When he awakes, or regains consciousness, he's undergone and traveled through some kind of passage or journey...either a passage of time, or an advancement of emotional growth, or physical recovery from gunshot or knife or battle wounds, or a psychic mastery of some aspect of his self-awareness.

For example, we first meet Cain "waking up" in the brothel by the frenzied whinnying of a horse. We are introduced to his fugue-dreams of Buena Vista and the Indian girl. He is then rudely introduced to Eberly and Shofe. And the plot thickens.

Another "awakening" is the pure surrealistic kind of Chapter 16. He has been left for dead by the blackbirders. He hears growls by the wild dogs who are feeding on a nearby carcass. Although he's suffering from gunshot wounds, Cain feels compelled to follow them, and rescue Rosetta.

Another "awakening" is when he and Rosetta enter the dense forest of tall hemlocks and it reminds Cain of Dante, in the Inferno, entering Hades. He passes out several times while trying to take out the bullet in his body. When he "awakens" he becomes self-aware that he does not want to bring Rosetta back to Eberly.

There are so many instances of Cain "waking up" and having to face the responsibility given him to protect the 2 valuable souls left in his care.





Yes, all the way through the novel, it was like Cain's adrenalin was flowing everlasting......never completely stopping. Great suspense!
Author
MichaelCWhite
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-08-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys

I had intended some of these awakenings, but you are pointing out some that I wasn't even aware of. But since they seem clever, I guess I should pretend that I meant them and take credit. I find it extremely illuminating to listen to others point out things about my work. I know that most writers feel the same way. When working, sometimes things come to you as a writer on an subconscious level and the idea seems good and you good with it. Other times in writing a novel, you are so deep in the woods, you literally can't see the forest for the trees. And it's only later that someone reading the book will point out something you had no idea was there. I think this is true with Cain's "awakenings." He does away figuratively and metaphorically several times--from sleep, from laudanum states, and from wounds, to find himself in another place, both physically and emotionally. Interesting point.

Michael


Learn more about
Soul Catcher
.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys

Great thoughts on awakenings along Cain's journey, IBIS!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys

[ Edited ]
Thanks, Laura.

Now that I’ve finished SOUL CATCHER, I feel emotionally drained. I feel as though I've traveled both the physically arduous journey, as well as the emotional and psychic ones that the novel revealed to us in Cain’s heart and mind.

There was an "awakening" for me as well. The novel opened my eyes to the flexible moral framework of the world of slave catching in pre-Civil War times.

I wish I had put on my seatbelts. It definitely was a bumpy ride.

IBIS

Message Edited by IBIS on 11-10-2007 05:58 PM
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER

SPOILER


IBIS wrote:
Now that I’ve finished SOUL CATCHER, I feel emotionally drained. I feel as though I've traveled both the physically arduous journey, as well as the emotional and psychic ones that the novel revealed to us in Cain’s heart and mind.





I, too, felt a bit drained after completing the book. I think it was all the violence at the very end. Whew! I don't like to watch violent shows or gory shows (even the hospital or CSI or police shows) because I find them too upsetting, but I can usually handled reading about these things better. It is an emotional experience though.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER


Fozzie wrote:
SPOILER


IBIS wrote:
Now that I’ve finished SOUL CATCHER, I feel emotionally drained. I feel as though I've traveled both the physically arduous journey, as well as the emotional and psychic ones that the novel revealed to us in Cain’s heart and mind.





I, too, felt a bit drained after completing the book. I think it was all the violence at the very end. Whew! I don't like to watch violent shows or gory shows (even the hospital or CSI or police shows) because I find them too upsetting, but I can usually handled reading about these things better. It is an emotional experience though.


I take it you two have not read "The Road"? :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER

Vivian,

I'm terrified to read Cormac McCarthy. I thumbed through THE ROAD, and visited some of the threads when B&N Bookclub was discussing him. I even caught his interview with Oprah Winfrey. Hard to believe that such a shy, gentle-looking gentleman would have such a violent imagination.

There is a movie currently out NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and my husband had to bribe me with dinner out for me to accompany him to see it. And I spent half the movie covering my eyes.

What an incredibly evil story.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER


IBIS wrote:
Vivian,

I'm terrified to read Cormac McCarthy. I thumbed through THE ROAD, and visited some of the threads when B&N Bookclub was discussing him. I even caught his interview with Oprah Winfrey. Hard to believe that such a shy, gentle-looking gentleman would have such a violent imagination.

There is a movie currently out NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and my husband had to bribe me with dinner out for me to accompany him to see it. And I spent half the movie covering my eyes.

What an incredibly evil story.

IBIS


Any movie or book about any war, the civil war or some apocalyptic war (or what ever caused the world to be what it became in The Road) is going to be violent. But the thing is, some, as with this one or with The Road, there is something to learn, to take away with you from the book besides just a sense of violence. The stories, human relationships in these two, that go on in the midst of such violence brings us better understanding of others, what violence does to people and what not only their reactions but what our reactions to it can be. Some of the hardest books for me to read but the most interesting, have been stories about the holocaust. I am not talking here about the movies and books that are violent for violence sake, the ones that the kids seem to be so drawn to these days or the video games that sell out like crazy. When I saw Schindler's List, I didnt even know one thing about Schindler before this, and there were scenes in there that really tugged at my heart but the one that finally had me in tears, was at the end when he broke down, and was looking at any little piece of jewelry or anything he had and saying, I should have done more, this was one person maybe two, I should have done more. I lost it, he had such a revelation at that point that he didnt really let himself feel before that he nearly couldnt stand. He was doing good but he still didnt think about them in that particular way , out loud, until then. Cain's feelings were changing too about the "humanness" of these people he just allowed himself to make money off of before thinking of them as property.

The Road is utterly frightening (I like a good fright tho once in awhile too, I like horror movies but not "gorror" movies :smileywink:) . And it has some really frightening scenes because he is such a good writer. But the relationship of the father and son, just really tugged at my heart throughout, there is such love there. When that little boy, just a little boy, would ask his father real questions and then even if he knew he father was maybe not sure himself but wanting to make him feel ok, when that little boy would just hold his fathers hand as they went on down the road and look down in thought and just say, "Ok". That one word moved me in such a way, because its not only understanding but love in his father, that makes him say, OK, and just go on from there. And when he called him Papa all the time, thats always a word that gets to me, I never had a papa, a father yes, a papa, no. When I finished that book, talk about rung out! I actually sobbed, not got teary eyed, not cried, I sobbed, for many reasons, and thought about it for days. I know men who had the same reaction.

The thing is, sometimes out of the most violent situations, comes the most magnificent true meanings of being human. Not all stories end happy, The Road didnt, not for me. I would preferred a different ending to this one, wont say what here :smileywink: but those who are finished reading know what I mean but the fact is, its real. And I got to know some wonderful characters and the character of those characters lol. So it was a great adventure book,historical book, and love story book. I really liked this book. It would not have been the same without knowing the violence around all this.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER



vivico1 wrote:

I take it you two have not read "The Road"? :smileywink:



Believe it or not, I did. I even did the B&N discussion. I don't think I could watch the movie of The Road, if such a thing were ever to be made though. As I said, I can read much more violence and horror than I can watch.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER


Fozzie wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

I take it you two have not read "The Road"? :smileywink:



Believe it or not, I did. I even did the B&N discussion. I don't think I could watch the movie of The Road, if such a thing were ever to be made though. As I said, I can read much more violence and horror than I can watch.



I worry that if they try to do it as a movie, as I am told they are going to, that they will just turn it into an apocalyptic horror story. The cannibal scenes described, tho we did not read any eating, but you didnt need to, I am afraid they will turn it into just that, a zombie type (which they werent) flesh eating thing, instead of how it is in the book. There are a lot of books, that I would love seen made into a movie, I would love to see Soul Catcher turned into a movie! But some books, you just need to leave them as books, to me anyway.

Oh yeah,btw I read The Road a month after the club did it in here but went in there to try to discuss it anyway, since they said they would run it a second month. Not much activity AT ALL, the second month and all the threads I read from the first one, they tried to dissect every single thing he put in there, like it was all in code or something and it nearly took away from my experience of the book. I kept wanting to say, well maybe the bird was just a bird ok? type of thing lol. And when the author appeared on Oprah and didnt answer any of those types of questions, there were a lot of people upset LOL. I thought, this is a book you feel, stop looking for all these hidden messages and just feel. And I am not talking about things having a deeper meaning, or representing something else, those were there and worth talking about, but not looking for something in every line, instead of the story as a whole, or scenes as a whole.
I am glad I read that one without the club first and thats not something I have ever felt before about the clubs. I love this author monthly forum and I sure hope they dont do away with it for just talking to the authors for one week about ALL their books, like in dec. I like that as an addition to this, but I like discussing ONE book with you guys and I dont know any of those authors anyway to discuss their works, and since its not about one book, I have nothing to get, read and focus on to know what we are doing. This way, we get to know an author we hadnt known before, like Michael :smileywink: and discuss one book and I guarantee you, I will be buying others, but if it were just one week, and I didnt know his work and I go in there and they discuss them, all I am going to have I think, is a bunch of books spoiled for me before I got to read them or know the author. So I wont be doing any of those in Dec. and waiting to see if the author discussions this way come back in Jan. Granted it has been a bit slow lately, but these are holiday months and stuff and so what they are going to do in Dec, I understand.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Author
MichaelCWhite
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-08-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER

Hello,

The question of violence is one I find very intriguing. Here we live in, arguably, the most violent country in the world, with more murders, more people in jail, a war we started, and more movies and video games with gratuitious violence. I just gave a discussion about violence in literature, the ways that it can be used beyond that for mere excitement. I think two reasons stand out among several. First, violence in literature can show a time (slavery and the Civil War, in the case of Soul Catcher)of great physical turmoil and tragedy (someone mentioned the Holocaust as well). It can portray, for instance, the violence that was at the heart of slavery, not the sort of glossed over "peculiar institution" that we see in GONE WITH THE WIND. Slavery was physical, emotional, and psychic violence of the worst imaginable sort. But violence can also put someone like Cain in a kind of crucible, a position in which either the best or worst of a person may emerge. I think this is true of some of the great fictional characters in literature--the main character in THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, Frederick Henry in A FAREWELL TO ARMS, and more recently, the father in Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD. I think the comments about that book were right on the mark. I was fascinated by the bond and emotional intensity between the father and the son, the love despite being surrounded by such violence and ugliness. That alone made the book a wonderful experience for me.\

Michael


Learn more about
Soul Catcher
.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER-The Road



vivico1 wrote:

Oh yeah,btw I read The Road a month after the club did it in here but went in there to try to discuss it anyway, since they said they would run it a second month. Not much activity AT ALL, the second month and all the threads I read from the first one, they tried to dissect every single thing he put in there, like it was all in code or something and it nearly took away from my experience of the book. I kept wanting to say, well maybe the bird was just a bird ok? type of thing lol. And when the author appeared on Oprah and didnt answer any of those types of questions, there were a lot of people upset LOL. I thought, this is a book you feel, stop looking for all these hidden messages and just feel.



I read the whole book before going into the discussion and put a week in between my reading and the discussion, so my reading was not affected by the discussion. I think people were trying to dissect it because the author is so private and does not talk about his books or writing. I found the Oprah interview enlightening because I realized that he does work a lot on a subconscious level, like so many authors talk about doing. I am really glad I read the book. I doubt I would have if it hadn't been an Oprah pick, to tell you the truth. However, I usually like Oprah's contemporary fiction choices, so I took a chance. I don't plan to read any other books by the author though.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Journeys-SPOILER



MichaelCWhite wrote:
First, violence in literature can show a time (slavery and the Civil War, in the case of Soul Catcher)of great physical turmoil and tragedy (someone mentioned the Holocaust as well).

Michael



Yes, I have read a number of historical fiction books about the Holocaust, just trying to wrap my mind around that horrible time. I use historical fiction to learn about the everyday people and details of history.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Users Online
Currently online: 48 members 222 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: