Inamorata Question #21 - Walter

by Joseph Gangemi

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Endora
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Unread postby Endora » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:21 pm

The point that he seems as cynical about an afterlife as Finch is an interesting one, Liz.
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QueenofKings
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Unread postby QueenofKings » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:38 pm

suec wrote:Also, he offsets what I know from the historical background, which does suggest she is a fake. I find him quite believable. Maybe because so much of how he is presented rests solely on dialogue. Oddly enough, the novel really came to life for me when he 'appeared'. Also, I think he is a truthful character who exposes what is hidden about others. I didn't want - and still don't want - to believe he really is a dead spirit, because it goesn't go well with my own beliefs about these things, but what the heck! This is fiction!


It's funny that you mention that the novel came to life for you when Walter appeared. I felt that too. And at the time, I couldn't figure out why, but I think what you say about him being "a truthful character who exposes what is hidden about others" is dead-on, in that respect. And even though I believe in spirits and life after death, I didn't really believe that Walter was one of those.

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:28 pm

There was certainly nothing shy about Walter! I think the story picked up a bit too when he came on the scene. Maybe it was the mystery of it or the inensity and threatening manner of his character. I think the ambiguity of him adds to the story as well since we are left to wonder when he disappears.
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Unread postby SamIam » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:53 pm

I really like your list of reasons Endora, and I agree with the multiple personality explaination and the conspiracy one. I think it was more the multiple personality one because it is very possible that she could have imagined him. We may never know. :cool:
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:19 pm

Liz, I sure tried to get some symbolism out of that passage about Walter going to the other side of the mountains but finally had to just believe that the Walter part of Mina's personality just came up with something Walter-like to say as he went on his way. Yes, it's interesting that if he is a real spirit he doesn't know if there's a heaven or not.
DITHOT, I agree that my multiple personalities theory doesn't account too well for some of the weird goings on in the room. I just tell myself that Mina's Walter side must have come out and made some pretty clever plans for these things to occur...
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Unread postby Theresa » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:30 pm

I believe that Mina made Walter up – that he wasn't a real spirit, or a manifestation of a multiple personality on Mina's part. Walter never appeared until after she and Crawley were together and Crawley was the one interested in spiritism and metaphysics. And he went away after Mina got what she wanted – pregnant. What better way to tell your husband that you're pregnant with someone else's child than through a spirit figure that the husband is afraid of?

I think she created Walter to either hold Crawley's interest in her or maybe to hold Walter over Crawley as a possible threat, since Crawley was genuinely afraid of Walter. From some of the things that Gangemi hinted about in his writing, there was a sense of a sadomasochistic or possibly a codependent relationship between Mina and Arthur. Walter's presence might have given Mina the leverage she needed to stand up to Arthur. Or not.

I do agree with everyone who said the story really began to move when Walter appeared. Every thing up to that seance was like an introduction -- and the story really started when Walter made his first appearance. Gangemi did a fine job of making us want to believe that Walter was real.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:18 pm

Yikes! After all of my championing of the splintered personality theory, it just dawned on me that my interpretation of a remark near the ending (which I'm sure we'll get into later) doesn't square with that theory! So that puts me in camp #2. For the moment I believe that Walter is a true spirit, and...ummm...let's see, ...he hasn't quite earned his way to the wonderful City of God over the mountain so he's off to investigate what's over there since Mina no longer needs his help. Yeah, that's it! :eyebrow: (Mr. Gangemi, feel free to send me a message with help! :-O )
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:39 pm

Betty Sue wrote:Yikes! After all of my championing of the splintered personality theory, it just dawned on me that my interpretation of a remark near the ending (which I'm sure we'll get into later) doesn't square with that theory! So that puts me in camp #2. For the moment I believe that Walter is a true spirit, and...ummm...let's see, ...he hasn't quite earned his way to the wonderful City of God over the mountain so he's off to investigate what's over there since Mina no longer needs his help. Yeah, that's it! :eyebrow: (Mr. Gangemi, feel free to send me a message with help! :-O )


I think I know what remark you mean, Betty Sue; and you're right--we will get into it later.

Theresa wrote:I think she created Walter to either hold Crawley's interest in her or maybe to hold Walter over Crawley as a possible threat, since Crawley was genuinely afraid of Walter. From some of the things that Gangemi hinted about in his writing, there was a sense of a sadomasochistic or possibly a codependent relationship between Mina and Arthur. Walter's presence might have given Mina the leverage she needed to stand up to Arthur. Or not.


So you are saying, Theresa, that you don't think Crawley was involved at all? It's possible. Then Mina would have used ventriloquism to produce Walter because she would have had to be fully aware--I think--to plot such a scheme. Or Walter was real--which is the way I'm leaning. :eyebrow:
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:01 am

But if Walter was real, Liz, why would he bother with all of the seance stuff? (I'm assuming that by 'real' you mean alive.) Why wouldn't he just openly support his sister and stay in her life? :-?
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:35 am

Betty Sue wrote:But if Walter was real, Liz, why would he bother with all of the seance stuff? (I'm assuming that by 'real' you mean alive.) Why wouldn't he just openly support his sister and stay in her life? :-?


No, I mean real as a spirit.
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 dharma_bum » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:32 am

Teresa summed my thoughts nicely. I want to look at the narrative that rationally and logically... but here’s my dilemma. Who was her accomplice? Mina had ambition and a motive for vengeance against Crawley—the death of her first child and Crawley’s sadistic behavior—but did she have the imagination to create Walter? I not so sure.

If Walter was Mina’s creation to free herself from Crawley with all the benefits of his wealth and social standing intact… why bother with Stanlowe at all, unless she really did want him to tend her garden? I like Stanlowe as an accomplice, but...

If Walter was Mina’s creation… where did she learn to speak fluent Tagalog? (Pike as her accomplice? Now that’s scary!)

Endora… I’m going with Walter hitting the road and taking Pike with him.
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SweetSam
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Unread postby SweetSam » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:03 am

It's the first time in awhile that I'm rejoining this discussion, even though I've been reading the threads all along. I tend to think that if Walter was not a real spirit (and I'm still undecided :-O ), Mina may have had more than one accomplice.
Just my :twocents:. :eyebrow:

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:15 am

SweetSam wrote:It's the first time in awhile that I'm rejoining this discussion, even though I've been reading the threads all along. I tend to think that if Walter was not a real spirit (and I'm still undecided :-O ), Mina may have had more than one accomplice.
Just my :twocents:. :eyebrow:


I think so too, SweetSam.
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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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:29 am

I keep going back and forth with each arguement because each one has merit and faults! :perplexed: So for now I am firmly and squarely on the fence...
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 suec » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:32 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I keep going back and forth with each arguement because each one has merit and faults! :perplexed: So for now I am firmly and squarely on the fence...


What did I say - that I had climbed down from it? Well, I think I am back on it again. See, I definitely agree with theresa's take on it. Very much so. I just can't see how she did it. Perhaps Pike is the accomplice; after all, he translates for Finch, and is perhaps the least likely suspect in some ways because of his apparent loyalty to Crawley.
And then I return to the idea that it doesn't matter what the explanation is, because I think it is really about what is inside the characters. Also, because it is something that can't really be proved or disproved, as it really does come down to belief in the end.
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