ALWD Question #7 ~ The Others

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Raven
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Unread postby Raven » Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:57 pm

I am not going to be popular with my opinion, to me Maureen is the sheltered one, the sad one, to me she has used Matty to stay away from life. and I think the others may be better off, at least they know some of the world.
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Unread postby Endora » Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:01 pm

Gilbert's Girl wrote:
Sands wrote:I'll also say here that I don't find Maureen more sympathetic than the others at all, which is interesting since I have a disabled son myself. In many ways I'd say her situation and problems are actually more simple, and the solutions too. But is this the right place to get into that or should we save it for later? Don't want to jump the gun.


Actually I think I do find that she is also the books weak point as I don't find what she does is very realistic, but then we could be getting in to a whole other territory about sterotypying.


Simple because her choices are limited, Sands?
I actually fing M. an irritating character, as she seems to me to be too portrayed too simply. Would a woman in that position be so accepting? Has the situation ground her down so much? There seems to be no sign of the rage she should feel against her life.
(off topic a bit, but don't you think of Gilbert Grape when you think of Maureen? The part where he's asked what he wants, and he just doesn't know waht to ask for apart from to be a good person?}
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Unread postby Raven » Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:23 pm

Endora wrote:
Gilbert's Girl wrote:
Sands wrote:I'll also say here that I don't find Maureen more sympathetic than the others at all, which is interesting since I have a disabled son myself. In many ways I'd say her situation and problems are actually more simple, and the solutions too. But is this the right place to get into that or should we save it for later? Don't want to jump the gun.


Actually I think I do find that she is also the books weak point as I don't find what she does is very realistic, but then we could be getting in to a whole other territory about sterotypying.


Simple because her choices are limited, Sands?
I actually fing M. an irritating character, as she seems to me to be too portrayed too simply. Would a woman in that position be so accepting? Has the situation ground her down so much? There seems to be no sign of the rage she should feel against her life.
(off topic a bit, but don't you think of Gilbert Grape when you think of Maureen? The part where he's asked what he wants, and he just doesn't know waht to ask for apart from to be a good person?}


I actually knew a women that seemed very similar to M, but was not in the same situation. she was very passive, I felt like mowing her down, slapping her, just to get some kind of response other then one she thought people would like to hear. I have never felt violence towards another person out of shear frustration as I did for that women, and though we became friends it was because I decide that I needed to be taught patience and to learn to keep a civil tongue.

though being passive-aggressive is a way to cope also.

probably more info then you needed.
"In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid

and the envious."

John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:12 pm

fansmom wrote:DITHOT, will we be discussing Maureen again?


Thanks for asking! Yes, we will be discussing each of the characters individually and we will also discuss Maureen's relationship with Matty. I think where I was going with today's question is the fact that Maureen seems to resent the others a bit because they don't have her sense of duty to people or the church, or share her depth/burden of caring for others. She may or may not be correct about that but she preceives the others as luckier than her because they don't have such a burden.

I hope that helps. I hate to steer the answers too much but we hate to lose a couple of furture questions as well!
:-?
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:20 pm

I want to answer Endora's question. This morning I thought of Gilbert Grape myself. It's an interesting comparison. Let's remember to talk more about that when we get into Maureen and Matty.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:29 pm

Endora wrote:
Gilbert's Girl wrote:
Sands wrote:I'll also say here that I don't find Maureen more sympathetic than the others at all, which is interesting since I have a disabled son myself. In many ways I'd say her situation and problems are actually more simple, and the solutions too. But is this the right place to get into that or should we save it for later? Don't want to jump the gun.


Actually I think I do find that she is also the books weak point as I don't find what she does is very realistic, but then we could be getting in to a whole other territory about sterotypying.


Simple because her choices are limited, Sands?
I actually fing M. an irritating character, as she seems to me to be too portrayed too simply. Would a woman in that position be so accepting? Has the situation ground her down so much? There seems to be no sign of the rage she should feel against her life.
(off topic a bit, but don't you think of Gilbert Grape when you think of Maureen? The part where he's asked what he wants, and he just doesn't know waht to ask for apart from to be a good person?}


Yes, yes that what I was trying to say, but also I agree with Raven too that she has used Matty as an excuse.

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Unread postby fansmom » Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:46 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I think where I was going with today's question is the fact that Maureen seems to resent the others a bit because they don't have her sense of duty to people or the church, or share her depth/burden of caring for others. She may or may not be correct about that but she preceives the others as luckier than her because they don't have such a burden.
Isn't her sense of duty to people and the church rather convenient? When we first meet her, she's about to commit one of the most grievious of sins, and she knows it. She has also ensured that Matty is so isolated that he has no one else in the world, but she is ready to abandon him, (whether he'll understand it or not). I don't know whether that's a sin, but it seems callous to me.

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Unread postby Liz » Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:12 pm

fansmom wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I think where I was going with today's question is the fact that Maureen seems to resent the others a bit because they don't have her sense of duty to people or the church, or share her depth/burden of caring for others. She may or may not be correct about that but she preceives the others as luckier than her because they don't have such a burden.
Isn't her sense of duty to people and the church rather convenient? When we first meet her, she's about to commit one of the most grievious of sins, and she knows it. She has also ensured that Matty is so isolated that he has no one else in the world, but she is ready to abandon him, (whether he'll understand it or not). I don't know whether that's a sin, but it seems callous to me.


It's definitely an inconsistency and made her character less believable to me. Thus I find her comments about the others less convincing.
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Unread postby QueenofKings » Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:13 pm

fansmom wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I think where I was going with today's question is the fact that Maureen seems to resent the others a bit because they don't have her sense of duty to people or the church, or share her depth/burden of caring for others. She may or may not be correct about that but she preceives the others as luckier than her because they don't have such a burden.
Isn't her sense of duty to people and the church rather convenient? When we first meet her, she's about to commit one of the most grievious of sins, and she knows it. She has also ensured that Matty is so isolated that he has no one else in the world, but she is ready to abandon him, (whether he'll understand it or not). I don't know whether that's a sin, but it seems callous to me.


It's good that you brought this up, fansmom, because to me that part of Maureen is a contradiction. One would be led to think that her involvement in the church has given her the strength to be so accepting and calm about her situation day to day. And she uses that passivity to make it seem that way. But then as you point out, she's about to commit that grievous sin, and in my opinion what lies below the surface in her mind must be truly more tortured than anything she shows on the surface. And maybe the church is convenient for her to go to, but her callous actions show that her faith is not really strong.

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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:11 pm

QueenofKings wrote:It's good that you brought this up, fansmom, because to me that part of Maureen is a contradiction. One would be led to think that her involvement in the church has given her the strength to be so accepting and calm about her situation day to day. And she uses that passivity to make it seem that way. But then as you point out, she's about to commit that grievous sin, and in my opinion what lies below the surface in her mind must be truly more tortured than anything she shows on the surface. And maybe the church is convenient for her to go to, but her callous actions show that her faith is not really strong.


I agree with you, QueenofKings, the church should stand as a sense of stability in Maureen's life. It's funny that she doesn't use it that way. It's contradictory that she finds herself on a roof top, ready to do herself in, rather than praying or what have you. I suppose with her disabled son, she doesn't feel like she could help him anymore than she has. Which is a sad thing, because I would think Matty would need her more than ever. Its still not too clear to me why she would committ suicide.....maybe I need to read some parts over....help me out someone!!! :banghead:

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:13 pm

Hannah, we will get more indepth with Maureen soon. :cool:
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:17 pm

Maureen has been pretty well sized up by now!! Just want to say that I feel that the others are better off than she in that at least they are more spirited! 'Twas glad to see some others didn't have too much sympathy for her either. I felt badly that she felt so imprisoned, but was wondering what was wrong with me when I had more respect for JESS at times than the sweet Maureen! Her lack of spirit was just frustrating! She felt that the others always knew what to say. What!!!?? The other three certainly had no trouble (and little restraint) in expressing themselves but frequently regretted what they'd said and constantly were apologizing. And, yeah, we do usually assume others (even ones on the verge of suicide?) have their acts together better than we do. It does take more getting out in the world than Maureen has done to realize the folly of this. It took living in my first college dorm for me to realize this.
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Unread postby Bix » Mon Nov 07, 2005 7:14 pm

I don't think Maureen so much resented the others their lack of a sense of duty as she envied them for that. She'd like to be able not to care so much too. I think there is also a class factor at work here. Maureen is working class and not worldly at all and I think she does see the other three as somewhat exotic. I also think that when she talks about the church, it is not so much about religion as it is about the set of rules that guides her life. The church just IS and it is a governing force in terms of how she lives her life, but not a comfort or salvation. Does that make any sense? And the church is pretty much her only social activity also. So, the others, even though she realizes they are not happy either, are at least very much more interesting than she feels she herself is. I don't think I quite said what I meant to, so I hope it doesn't sound too confusing. :-/
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:30 pm

Bix, that made perfect sense! She sees a set of rules that govern her life that the others don't have and I think she wishes that she could be like them and not have to live by those rules. So in effect the others have more freedom than she does and are therefore more interesting.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby dharma_bum » Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:09 am

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Bix, that made perfect sense! She sees a set of rules that govern her life that the others don't have and I think she wishes that she could be like them and not have to live by those rules. So in effect the others have more freedom than she does and are therefore more interesting.

Yes, but I don't think that she was being honest with herself when she said those words.

Duty to Matty and church gave her a moral high ground no one dared challenge. The burden of Matty was so obvious, no one saw that Maureen’s pain was more about her own unrealized life. Maureen used self-righteousness and martyrdom to hide her loneliness the same way Marin used self-deprecation to hide his.

It’s much easier to dismiss what you don’t what in life than to is to make the things you do want real.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."
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