ALWD Question #25 ~ Changes?

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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ALWD Question #25 ~ Changes?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:55 am

By the end of the ninety days how has each of the characters changed?
Or have they?
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 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:19 am

I’m not sure they changed so much as freed themselves from being stuck in a moment. They all still had essentially the same emotional baggage—the weight didn’t changed—but each seemed marginally better prepared to manage it going forward.

It’s so much easier to dismiss the things you don’t want (life, in their case) than it is to make the things you do want real… that’s how I would define change and none of them were quite there yet.
"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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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:01 pm

Good point, Dharma... :cool: It's easier to walk away from something than really put in the effort required to change it.
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 Bix » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:41 pm

I agree that they were not truly changed at the end of the story so much as they had each begun to take steps to move ahead with their lives. One change I do see, though, is that through their interaction with the others, each has become much less self-centered and selfish by the end of the book. I think they all learned to think of others at least a little bit. JJ's tenderness with Maureen, Maureen's going to see Cindy on Martin's behalf, Jess's organizing the intervention and her realization that her parents had done all they could for her and even Martin, in his self-examination after the intervention and his getting the job tutoring Pacino. Again, that might come under the category of moving forward rather than change, but I think they are all a little bit different person by the end of the 90 days.

I'm off to watch the Longhorns trample the Buffs on our way to the Rose Bowl! Hook 'em, Horns!
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Unread postby lumineuse » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:49 pm

Excellent responses, dharma & Bix. I can't think of a thing to add, except this (for you, Bix):

Go, Big Ten!!!!!!
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Unread postby Endora » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:58 pm

dharma_bum wrote:I’m not sure they changed so much as freed themselves from being stuck in a moment. They all still had essentially the same emotional baggage—the weight didn’t changed—but each seemed marginally better prepared to manage it going forward.

It’s so much easier to dismiss the things you don’t want (life, in their case) than it is to make the things you do want real… that’s how I would define change and none of them were quite there yet.


There's a line in The Libertine about a situation like this, where it's pointed out that it's much easier to be against things than to stand up for something. That's the place I think the four of them are at. They can't really move on, they haven't got to the positive yet. But as you say, have decided to live with what they've got, have gained the ability to ignore the worst. A kind of progress.
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Unread postby lumineuse » Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:36 pm

That's a very cogent point, Endora. It is much easier to be critical than it is to be creative. It's much easier to be reactive than it is to be proactive. I think that is a challenge we all face.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:20 pm

lumineuse wrote:That's a very cogent point, Endora. It is much easier to be critical than it is to be creative. It's much easier to be reactive than it is to be proactive. I think that is a challenge we all face.


I agree, Lumi & Endora, as it is also easier to dwell on the negative. Two examples would be the news--very little of it is positive. The other is my hometown book club. I notice that when we all like the book, we don't have that much to say--which happened this past month.
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Unread postby suec » Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:17 pm

Their attitudes to their problems change. Jess: "If you're walking somewhere, and you come up against a brick wall, then you have to retrace your steps. But then I sort of found a way of climbing over the wall. Or I found a litttle hole I could crwal through" p294
And Maureen "Sometimes you just need to give things a tiny little jiggle" p 290. She is talking about the earrings here, but it applies to them all. Her circumstances haven't changed so much. She still has Matty. But now she has a little job and the quiz team. Her life had been so lonely before, so isolated. The little she does mention about human contact beforehand seems to have been about getting it wrong, with that misunderstanding. She doesn't have much more now, but it does mean she is a bit less isolated. Whereas Maureen hadn't been asking for very much from life, JJ seems to have wanted rather a lot. He learns That he can play music, even if it won't give him the life style he wanted, so he is more realistic. Jess gets herself a nicer young man. Though it never was so much about him. So little has really changed for her - Jen is still missing. But Jess has matured in the meantime, and learned to think of others more. And she has more support now from others. They have all had to step outside their own problems and gain a different perspective, which has put their problems in perspective. They have taken small steps but very significant ones. Martin talks about the first small step on the road to self-respect and he can finish the sentence about what hard is now. Hornby has chosen an interesting outcome for him, I must say. JJ sums it up "Things had changed. They hadn't changed very quickly, and and they hadn't changed very dramatically". Just enough to make the difference.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:32 pm

Good answers all around! :cool: As you say suec, their actual life circumstances have not changed dramatically but I think they have changed the way the perceive their lives and altered their attitudes. They are realizing they are not completely stuck where they thought they were. I have less hope for Martin than the rest. His reaction to the student he was tutoring struck me as the same old Martin. He wanted the credit but didn't want to do the work. pg. 221..."So what do you do? How does one begin to like oneself enough to want to live a little longer? And why didn't my hour with Pacino do the trick? I blamed him, partly. He didn't want to learn. And he wasn't the sort of child I'd had in mind, either. I'd hoped for someone who was remarkably intelligent, but disadvantaged by home circumstance, someone who only needed an hour's extra tuition a week to become some kind of working-class prodigy..."

Bix wrote: I'm off to watch the Longhorns trample the Buffs on our way to the Rose Bowl! Hook 'em, Horns!


Holy Bevo! 70-3!
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 Betty Sue » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:05 pm

The answers have been very perceptive and I find myself agreeing with all of them. The four had changed enough to move on; some more than others. As I reread the ending, I was looking for some real hope for Martin and , like DITHOT, I felt that he was still being a Hugh-Grant-I-don't get-it character. I felt Maureen had changed the most. She had learned that just getting out in the world could open all kinds of wonderful possibilities, and she had regained her faith. JJ was on a good path by pursuing something he loved, and Jess had the lack of approbation from her parents off of her back. Also, both of them were young enough to find many ways to grow. As I'd mentioned before, I'd expected the most of Martin. Maybe working with Pacino will gradually cause him to be more sensitive of others so that he has something to contribute to his family and society... :hope:
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Unread postby lumineuse » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:38 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:[Holy Bevo! 70-3!


OK - I get that it is Texas football ya'll are referring to. May I remind you that we also have football up here? PA is a big football state as well - ya know - Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly - pikers like them. I don't know how ya'll got involved in the PAC, but it's the Big Ten for this girl all the way.

On that note, I hail from Bloomington Indiana (IU), hugely successful in basketball - pretty bad in football. The year we moved to Pennsylvania, IU went to the Rose Bowl, against USC. Guess who the star for USC was? OJ Simpson! I hated him then!

Anyway.... as far as this year's Rose Bowl goes - GO BIG TEN!!!!
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:05 pm

lumineuse wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:[Holy Bevo! 70-3!


OK - I get that it is Texas football ya'll are referring to. May I remind you that we also have football up here? PA is a big football state as well - ya know - Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly - pikers like them. I don't know how ya'll got involved in the PAC, but it's the Big Ten for this girl all the way.

On that note, I hail from Bloomington Indiana (IU), hugely successful in basketball - pretty bad in football. The year we moved to Pennsylvania, IU went to the Rose Bowl, against USC. Guess who the star for USC was? OJ Simpson! I hated him then!

Anyway.... as far as this year's Rose Bowl goes - GO BIG TEN!!!!


And I just assumed Joe Montana was from San Francisco. :dunce:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby lumineuse » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:19 pm

Nope, Liz - Joe Montana grew up and played high school football in Pittsburgh. I have a friend who went to school with him.

Oh... and I forgot to mention Joe Namath!
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:22 pm

lumineuse wrote:Nope, Liz - Joe Montana grew up and played high school football in Pittsburgh. I have a friend who went to school with him.

Oh... and I forgot to mention Joe Namath!


Pennsylvania grows a lot of them. :-O
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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