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Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: East of the Sun: Early Chapters, 1 - 20


Julia_Gregson wrote:
I was very interested by this post.  I do agree that the women of this time all to a greater or lesser extent were neglected compared to the young women of today.  However,  would one rather be brought up with benign neglect, or have too much expected of you ? I'm very struck by how disappointing life could be for a young woman of today after being well educated and told that the sky is the limit to find that life really doesn't always give you what you want.  What think you?
eadieburke wrote:
 

What are the early impressions you get of love relationships in the novel?

 

It seems to me that in the 1920's a love relationship was a "hit or miss" experience. In East of the Sun, you have Rose who is traveling back to India to marry a cavalry officer she has only met a handful of times. She hardly can even remember what he looks like but she is hell bent on marrying him. It seems a lot of women in the 1920's were just afraid of never marrying and so just settled on the first guy they met and lived with the consequences of an unhappy marriage for the rest of their lives.

 

Do you immediately have a favorite character? If so, who is it and why?

 

My favorite character is Viva. All throughout the novel, she overcame a lot of difficult experiences and seemed to grow from each one right before the readers eyes. She managed to acquire the courage needed to pull through a lot of situations that looked very doomed.

 

What is your impression of being young in the late 1920s from the picture we get here?

 

Being young in the 1920's seemed a bit overwhelming to me. I really felt sorry for Rose and her fear of marrying someone she hardly knew. I could also feel for Tor because of her weight problem she seemed desperate for a relationship and seemed to settle for just anyone. Viva seemed so lonesome with her parents gone at such an early age. She needed a lot of inner strength to just make it day by day.

 

In what ways are the people in this young group blind to what they are getting themselves into?

 

The three young women in the story are really blinded by the 1920's society that never discussed sexuality in the open. Here is Rose who has no clue about how to use her birth control device and has no one to turn to because her friends are just as clueless. Tor has very low self-esteem and goes from one seedy character to the next. Poor Viva has no family to help her and doesn't have an idea about the responsibility of being in charge of other young people on this trip to India. Guy's parents continue to blame Viva for their son's bad behavior and he is never held responsible for himself.

 

 



I don't think that education has anything to do with how your life turns out. I think common sense is the better quality to have in order to survive in the real world. I knew someone who always told everyone how smart she was yet her personal life was in shambles. Her life was one bad decision after another. If a person can't realize that their decisions are the cause of all their grief, they will never be able to pick themselves up and make things work. It's having the insight to know that you are going down the wrong path and then finding out how to turn things around. That's what I liked about Viva- she had the inner strength to make it work!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Author
Julia_Gregson
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎06-03-2009
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Re: East of the Sun: Early Chapters, 1 - 20

I do agree that despite  the disappointments of childhood, one should like Viva, make a determined effort to move on.
I went to a play called 'Trying,' recently, in which a young girl (Canadian)  is told  to 'Lace  up your skates and hit the ice !'  

eadieburke wrote:

Julia_Gregson wrote:
I was very interested by this post.  I do agree that the women of this time all to a greater or lesser extent were neglected compared to the young women of today.  However,  would one rather be brought up with benign neglect, or have too much expected of you ? I'm very struck by how disappointing life could be for a young woman of today after being well educated and told that the sky is the limit to find that life really doesn't always give you what you want.  What think you?
eadieburke wrote:
 

What are the early impressions you get of love relationships in the novel?

 

It seems to me that in the 1920's a love relationship was a "hit or miss" experience. In East of the Sun, you have Rose who is traveling back to India to marry a cavalry officer she has only met a handful of times. She hardly can even remember what he looks like but she is hell bent on marrying him. It seems a lot of women in the 1920's were just afraid of never marrying and so just settled on the first guy they met and lived with the consequences of an unhappy marriage for the rest of their lives.

 

Do you immediately have a favorite character? If so, who is it and why?

 

My favorite character is Viva. All throughout the novel, she overcame a lot of difficult experiences and seemed to grow from each one right before the readers eyes. She managed to acquire the courage needed to pull through a lot of situations that looked very doomed.

 

What is your impression of being young in the late 1920s from the picture we get here?

 

Being young in the 1920's seemed a bit overwhelming to me. I really felt sorry for Rose and her fear of marrying someone she hardly knew. I could also feel for Tor because of her weight problem she seemed desperate for a relationship and seemed to settle for just anyone. Viva seemed so lonesome with her parents gone at such an early age. She needed a lot of inner strength to just make it day by day.

 

In what ways are the people in this young group blind to what they are getting themselves into?

 

The three young women in the story are really blinded by the 1920's society that never discussed sexuality in the open. Here is Rose who has no clue about how to use her birth control device and has no one to turn to because her friends are just as clueless. Tor has very low self-esteem and goes from one seedy character to the next. Poor Viva has no family to help her and doesn't have an idea about the responsibility of being in charge of other young people on this trip to India. Guy's parents continue to blame Viva for their son's bad behavior and he is never held responsible for himself.

 

 



I don't think that education has anything to do with how your life turns out. I think common sense is the better quality to have in order to survive in the real world. I knew someone who always told everyone how smart she was yet her personal life was in shambles. Her life was one bad decision after another. If a person can't realize that their decisions are the cause of all their grief, they will never be able to pick themselves up and make things work. It's having the insight to know that you are going down the wrong path and then finding out how to turn things around. That's what I liked about Viva- she had the inner strength to make it work!


 

Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: 1-20 Guy


Julia_Gregson wrote:
What is funny about the moaning bit, is that it was taken from real life.  When I was 17 years old and living in London for the first time, my mother insisted on staying in the flat with me for the first month.   One night, about three in the morning, I heard moaning from the flat upstairs. I woke my mother up and insisted she took care of the poor injured person.  When she refused, I thought, 'I hope I'm not that uncaring when I'm her age.' 

LOL!  :smileyvery-happy:

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: East of the Sun: Early Chapters, 1 - 20


Julia_Gregson wrote:
Can't comment on the healthy love relationship without a spoiler! However, the book certainly is a celebration of friendship between women.  I always think that the notion that women are really bitchy to each other is quite wrong. In my experience, women are often wonderfully generous to each other, great confidence givers and  friends. Obviously one gets it wrong occasionally, but that's life.   Do you agree ?

I am finding that I agree with you as I get older.  When I was 21, I would not have agreed.  Not that I didn't have good women friends then, but I felt more competitive with them, and all women, at that age.  I don't feel as competitive with women now, more of a camaraderie.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: East of the Sun: Early Chapters, 1 - 20


Julia_Gregson wrote:
I forgot to ask you to explain the Seinfeld sponge ?  I know who he is (very funny). We get his show over here, but am not a regular watcher. We watch the Daley Show.
Fozzie wrote:

I couldn't help but be reminded of Elaine from the TV show Seinfeld when I read about Rose trying to use the contraceptive sponge that the doctor gave her (pg. 152).  I hope this comment isn't lost on you, Julia.  I don't know if the TV show Seinfeld was shown in the UK.


The Seinfeld show was about the minutia of everyday life.  Elaine was one of Jerry Seinfeld's friends on the show. 

 

In one episode, Elaine read in the newspaper or heard on the news that they were going to stop making the contraceptive sponge.  She went into a bit of a panic because she loved that form of contraception.  She went to all of the drugstores and bought out their supplies, stockpiling them for herself.  Then she found herself really considering who to have sex with --- wondering who was "sponge worthy." 

 

Seinfeld was also famous for little phrases like "sponge worthy" that became part of every day talk.  Some examples would be the soup nazi, the puffy shirt, yada yada yada, etc.  I wish I could think of more.  Feel free to jump in here everyone.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Author
Julia_Gregson
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎06-03-2009
0 Kudos

Re: East of the Sun: Early Chapters, 1 - 20

Sponge-worthy is excellent.
Fozzie wrote:

Julia_Gregson wrote:
I forgot to ask you to explain the Seinfeld sponge ?  I know who he is (very funny). We get his show over here, but am not a regular watcher. We watch the Daley Show.
Fozzie wrote:

I couldn't help but be reminded of Elaine from the TV show Seinfeld when I read about Rose trying to use the contraceptive sponge that the doctor gave her (pg. 152).  I hope this comment isn't lost on you, Julia.  I don't know if the TV show Seinfeld was shown in the UK.


The Seinfeld show was about the minutia of everyday life.  Elaine was one of Jerry Seinfeld's friends on the show. 

 

In one episode, Elaine read in the newspaper or heard on the news that they were going to stop making the contraceptive sponge.  She went into a bit of a panic because she loved that form of contraception.  She went to all of the drugstores and bought out their supplies, stockpiling them for herself.  Then she found herself really considering who to have sex with --- wondering who was "sponge worthy." 

 

Seinfeld was also famous for little phrases like "sponge worthy" that became part of every day talk.  Some examples would be the soup nazi, the puffy shirt, yada yada yada, etc.  I wish I could think of more.  Feel free to jump in here everyone.