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Paul_Hochman
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Erica and Chris

While I can't claim credit for this thought, I certainly found it interesting enough to address here with the group. Is ERICA symbolic of AmERICA and is CHRIS symbolic of CHRIStianity? What do you all think?
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bentley
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Re: Erica and Chris



PaulH wrote:
While I can't claim credit for this thought, I certainly found it interesting enough to address here with the group. Is ERICA symbolic of AmERICA and is CHRIS symbolic of CHRIStianity? What do you all think?




It would seem that way.

Changez (changes)
Erica - America
Chris - Christianity

Hadn't really thought of it too much until you brought this up. Only noticed Changez.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Erica and Chris



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
While I can't claim credit for this thought, I certainly found it interesting enough to address here with the group. Is ERICA symbolic of AmERICA and is CHRIS symbolic of CHRIStianity? What do you all think?




It would seem that way.

Changez (changes)
Erica - America
Chris - Christianity

Hadn't really thought of it too much until you brought this up. Only noticed Changez.




I hadn't thought of Changez/Changes, which he certainly does. Interesting.
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bentley
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH

[ Edited ]

PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
While I can't claim credit for this thought, I certainly found it interesting enough to address here with the group. Is ERICA symbolic of AmERICA and is CHRIS symbolic of CHRIStianity? What do you all think?




It would seem that way.

Changez (changes)
Erica - America
Chris - Christianity

Hadn't really thought of it too much until you brought this up. Only noticed Changez.




I hadn't thought of Changez/Changes, which he certainly does. Interesting.




Thought of another one maybe..Wainwright (Wayne Right) ???..or are we reaching again?

He seems to know what to do and when to do it. Good old affable Wainwright. I loved his trying to help Changez by asking what is going on with the beard thing. He said, "It is not making you Mr. Popular around the office". Changez makes a comment about his culture, etc..and Wainwright talks about jerk chicken I think and says that "he doesn't go around smearing it all over his face". I laughed at that as well as Changez's mother telling him to be clean shaven when he returns because he looks like a mouse (the father and brother are just trying to have a beard to stop folks from noticing their bald heads)...lol.

Given this theory of yours about the names...I was thinking about Chris and the possible connection that you or someone made to Christianity. Chris died and Erica is still trying to keep Chris alive in her mind etc. What are the connotations here. You have Erica going downhill in health and well being and she represents America maybe and then you have Chris Christianity as dead.

Changez said that after 9/11 he thought that America and Americans were going backward rather than forwards and were trying to conjure up a past time which should have been shown in black and white (with the flags everywhere in addition to the emphasis on duty and honor like they were renewed concepts). I found these comments interesting and revealing. I also recall how I saw cars with flags everywhere and I have to admit he had a point. Flag companies in America must have doing a brisk business post 9/11. It was almost as if patriotism was shown by how many flags you had around you.

PaulH, how do you reconcile the theory you introduced with what some of the analogies might represent? Curious? Did you or the person who came up with the theory have any hypotheses?

Message Edited by bentley on 05-02-200705:10 PM

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH

[ Edited ]
Thought of another one maybe..Wainwright (Wayne Right) ???..or are we reaching again?

He seems to know what to do and when to do it. Good old affable Wainwright. I loved his trying to help Changez by asking what is going on with the beard thing. He said, "It is not making you Mr. Popular around the office". Changez makes a comment about his culture, etc..and Wainwright talks about jerk chicken I think and says that "he doesn't go around smearing it all over his face". I laughed at that as well as Changez's mother telling him to be clean shaven when he returns because he looks like a mouse (the father and brother are just trying to have a beard to stop folks from noticing their bald heads)...lol.

Given this theory of yours about the names...I was thinking about Chris and the possible connection that you or someone made to Christianity. Chris died and Erica is still trying to keep Chris alive in her mind etc. What are the connotations here. You have Erica going downhill in health and well being and she represents America maybe and then you have Chris Christianity as dead.

Changez said that after 9/11 he thought that America and Americans were going backward rather than forwards and were trying to conjure up a past time which should have been shown in black and white (with the flags everywhere in addition to the emphasis on duty and honor like they were renewed concepts). I found these comments interesting and revealing. I also recall how I saw cars with flags everywhere and I have to admit he had a point. Flag companies in America must have doing a brisk business post 9/11. It was almost as if patriotism was shown by how many flags you had around you.

PaulH, how do you reconcile the theory you introduced with what some of the analogies might represent? Curious? Did you or the person who came up with the theory have any hypotheses?

Message Edited by bentley on 05-02-200705:10 PM






No. No real hypothesis. They just threw the names and their symbolism out for speculation. My own thought is that Chris/Christianity has died in a sense. It still thrives in it's current state, but perhaps the original message of Christ and the early Christians has been skewed. Just a thought.

Message Edited by PaulH on 05-03-200708:23 AM

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bentley
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH

PaulH that is interesting. I do not think of Christianity that way; I do not think the concept or the events die; but the way people are or are not following the commandments or whatever makes them who they are may be flickering. Maybe that world of "right and wrong" has been undermined and maybe dead.

So many times I see a wrong is argued as an exception so it is ok. Things have become so outlandish; you wonder how far adrift things can go.

Another thought, Erica made Chris a god in her mind who died; just like Christ on the cross. Chris lived on in Erica's mind. I know we are stretching here.
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Mariposa
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH

Christianity(Chris)lives on strongly in America (Erica)'s mind. And after 9/11, it is easier to live in the spiritual world of Christianity(Chris) than in the real world of America(Erica). Then what of America(Erica) 's apparent suicide?

Is America committing political suicide through its policies and behavior?

Lizabeth
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bentley
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH


dianearbus wrote:
Christianity(Chris)lives on strongly in America (Erica)'s mind. And after 9/11, it is easier to live in the spiritual world of Christianity(Chris) than in the real world of America(Erica). Then what of America(Erica) 's apparent suicide?

Is America committing political suicide through its policies and behavior?

Lizabeth




Lizabeth..I was sensing the same things and wondered how PaulH and others felt. Frightening more perhaps because all of us have read The Road. Yes, political suicide and some of the policies of some of our leaders (prefer to have this remain nameless here) are propelling us to certain conflicts that most of us don't even realize we were in or having.

Remember Chris is dead in the novel but I guess thoughts of him linger...but what about Erica (or America)? Is the motivation here to show a country in decline or dying..I hope not or is committing suicide like one of the characters?

Interesting discussion.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH



bentley wrote:

dianearbus wrote:
Christianity(Chris)lives on strongly in America (Erica)'s mind. And after 9/11, it is easier to live in the spiritual world of Christianity(Chris) than in the real world of America(Erica). Then what of America(Erica) 's apparent suicide?

Is America committing political suicide through its policies and behavior?

Lizabeth




Lizabeth..I was sensing the same things and wondered how PaulH and others felt. Frightening more perhaps because all of us have read The Road. Yes, political suicide and some of the policies of some of our leaders (prefer to have this remain nameless here) are propelling us to certain conflicts that most of us don't even realize we were in or having.

Remember Chris is dead in the novel but I guess thoughts of him linger...but what about Erica (or America)? Is the motivation here to show a country in decline or dying..I hope not or is committing suicide like one of the characters?

Interesting discussion.




This certainly could be the case, and I'm really enjoying the speculation, but we never really know Erica's fate for certain, which then leaves America's fate open-ended as well, no?
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bentley
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Re: Erica and Chris (Spoiler) PaulH


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:

dianearbus wrote:
Christianity(Chris)lives on strongly in America (Erica)'s mind. And after 9/11, it is easier to live in the spiritual world of Christianity(Chris) than in the real world of America(Erica). Then what of America(Erica) 's apparent suicide?

Is America committing political suicide through its policies and behavior?

Lizabeth




Lizabeth..I was sensing the same things and wondered how PaulH and others felt. Frightening more perhaps because all of us have read The Road. Yes, political suicide and some of the policies of some of our leaders (prefer to have this remain nameless here) are propelling us to certain conflicts that most of us don't even realize we were in or having.

Remember Chris is dead in the novel but I guess thoughts of him linger...but what about Erica (or America)? Is the motivation here to show a country in decline or dying..I hope not or is committing suicide like one of the characters?

Interesting discussion.




This certainly could be the case, and I'm really enjoying the speculation, but we never really know Erica's fate for certain, which then leaves America's fate open-ended as well, no?




We know that her clothes are neatly folded and she wasn't wearing anything else (she could have taken different clothes) and then she is gone. Never to be heard from again..her mother is in her apartment apparently dazed and grieving. And I think it is fairly certain that some harm befell her; just like Changez at the end of the novel. Things don't look good (she was saying goodbye to everyone she held dear..also not a good sign). My take is that both of them meet their fate.

I think that America's fate is open-ended..but can we make the necessary changes in policy needed or are our hands tied. BTW, not that I think that we have been wrong in all things..I don't but the way we use to operate on the world stage has changed and not for the better.
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x-tempo
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Re: Erica and Chris


PaulH wrote:
While I can't claim credit for this thought, I certainly found it interesting enough to address here with the group. Is ERICA symbolic of AmERICA and is CHRIS symbolic of CHRIStianity? What do you all think?




I'm surprised you missed the most obvious one, "Underwood Samson" as "Uncle Sam."

Of course, it might also be an apt nickname for the power of the written word, in which case Underwood is a typewriter and Samson a Biblical character with superhuman strength derived from his hair, not unlike our hirsute protagonist.

I think of Changez (whose name is pronounced something like "chinGAZE") as someone who holds his chin between his thumb and forefinger as he gazes at the stars while contemplating the state of the world:

"At one point I found myself gazing up at the ceiling as though I were gazing at the stars, and the two of us started to laugh."

Christopher has always been one the most popular baby names, especially during the period around 1970. So I don't necessarily see him as symbolic of Christianity and Erica symbolic of America. They seem to represent two slightly different types of Americans.

Erica describes Chris as having "Old World appeal," a phrase one normally associates with restaurants or quaint fishing villages rather than people. So there might be some intended symbolism, perhaps that he comes from old money or that he's conservative. And just because he likes European cartoons doesn't mean he's a cartoon version of a European, because Tin Tin seems like a pretty hip comic book.

But Erica seems to have some interest in things Eastern. When they meet she's wearing a Mao t-shirt and doing tai kwon do, and she helps Changez separate the "(zen) flesh from the (zen) bones."

He describes her "regal bearing," her "hair piled-up like a tiara," and compares her to "a lioness," so she either reinforces the Samson analogy or he sees her as American aristocracy, something like a Grace Kelley perhaps.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Erica and Chris

I'm surprised you missed the most obvious one, "Underwood Samson" as "Uncle Sam."

Of course, it might also be an apt nickname for the power of the written word, in which case Underwood is a typewriter and Samson a Biblical character with superhuman strength derived from his hair, not unlike our hirsute protagonist.

I think of Changez (whose name is pronounced something like "chinGAZE") as someone who holds his chin between his thumb and forefinger as he gazes at the stars while contemplating the state of the world:

"At one point I found myself gazing up at the ceiling as though I were gazing at the stars, and the two of us started to laugh."

Christopher has always been one the most popular baby names, especially during the period around 1970. So I don't necessarily see him as symbolic of Christianity and Erica symbolic of America. They seem to represent two slightly different types of Americans.

Erica describes Chris as having "Old World appeal," a phrase one normally associates with restaurants or quaint fishing villages rather than people. So there might be some intended symbolism, perhaps that he comes from old money or that he's conservative. And just because he likes European cartoons doesn't mean he's a cartoon version of a European, because Tin Tin seems like a pretty hip comic book.

But Erica seems to have some interest in things Eastern. When they meet she's wearing a Mao t-shirt and doing tai kwon do, and she helps Changez separate the "(zen) flesh from the (zen) bones."

He describes her "regal bearing," her "hair piled-up like a tiara," and compares her to "a lioness," so she either reinforces the Samson analogy or he sees her as American aristocracy, something like a Grace Kelley perhaps.




Great post, x-tempo. I hadn't thought of Underwood Samson as Uncle Sam, but it definitely fits the feel/tone of the novel.
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Re: Erica and Chris quiz



x-tempo wrote:I think of Changez (whose name is pronounced something like "chinGAZE")




I went with the plain French way of it (=change) :smileyvery-happy:

ziki
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USA

[ Edited ]
someone wrote: but what about Erica (or America)? Is the motivation here to show a country in decline or dying..I hope not or is committing suicide like one of the characters?




USA is not America...America is a continent. But if USA doesn't change the course, yes, it will most likely go down in a bad way, tsunami in its wake.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-07-200701:34 PM

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: USA



ziki wrote:
someone wrote: but what about Erica (or America)? Is the motivation here to show a country in decline or dying..I hope not or is committing suicide like one of the characters?




USA is not America...America is a continent. But if USA doesn't change the course, yes, it will most likely go down in a bad way, tsunami in its wake.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 05-07-200701:34 PM






True enough, ziki, but we, and the greater world, do identify ourselves as America/Americans, so I think the comparison can be made.
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Re: USA



PaulH wrote:smileyembarrassed:True enough, ziki, but we, and the greater world, do identify ourselves as America/Americans, so I think the comparison can be made.




I have no objection to the comparison being made.

ziki
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