The Ginger Man Question #18 - Sin in the Park

by J.P. Donleavy

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

The Ginger Man Question #18 - Sin in the Park

Unread postby Liz » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:20 am

Pg. 316. I feel all sin starts in the park. Like marriage begins in the dark. And ends with the lights on.

How would you interpret this passage?
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.

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:33 am

Love is blind? My take on this passage is that new love begins in the dark, not knowing each other or how the relationship will go, not seeing any of the other person’s faults. Then as the relationship goes on reality creeps in until you see the other person warts and all. Sebastian says it ends with the lights on but I don’t feel it has to be the end. I think it can be a deeper understanding instead.
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!

User avatar
Endora
Posts: 16493
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion

Status: Offline

Unread postby Endora » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:56 am

Could you think of the park as a metaphor for freedom? The place people go to spend free time, to enjoy themselves? The idea that we do wrong when we are given the option to choose? There's probably more to this but I need to think some more, especially about the marriage part, which at the moment is saying to me that it begins in ignorance(of romance, or the sexual ignorance of a time when pre-marital sex was uncommon?)and ends in knowledge (lack of mystery, some sort of acceptance or stuck with it theme).
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:31 pm

Good answers so far. :-O I'm still mulling it over. :perplexed:
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.

User avatar
Bix
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:14 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Status: Offline

Unread postby Bix » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:39 pm

Great answers. I especially like your take on new love beginning in the dark as far as knowing the other person, DITHOT, and that progression into the real world or the light. As I thought about why he might say that sin starts in the park, I also thought about the Judeo Christian story of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden. Since there seem to be many religious references throughout the book, perhaps this is one also? And that sort of goes along with your idea of choosing to do wrong when one is given freedom of choice, Endora. But I think you nailed it pretty well, DITHOT.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:12 pm

Thanks, Bix but I'm willing to bet there are some other good interpretations out there! I like your idea about the Garden of Eden. I hadn't thought of that. :cool:
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!

User avatar
SamIam
Posts: 1120
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:15 am
Location: making grilled cheese
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby SamIam » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:15 pm

Such good answers. I think it's love conquers all. It can be blind too because it doesn't discriminate. Anyone can fall in love.
Ambition without inspiration is like a boat on dry land.

the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:22 pm

I agree with you, DITHOT, about love being blind and then suddenly you wake up to the reality. For him it was the reality of having a wife and a kid he has to support and that it is not all fun and games.

And I agree with you, Bix, that the park might represent the Garden of Eden, where all sin originated. And in this particular case, the park seems to represent freedom for him--"a breather" from Mary's appetite, as it were.

I think they are two separate thoughts, and I don't understand why he connects the two.
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.

User avatar
Endora
Posts: 16493
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion

Status: Offline

Unread postby Endora » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:49 pm

Is there anything behind the rhyming device, park and dark?

Bix, I never considered the garden of eden. Would you say he considered himself an Adam, a victim of women's temptation?
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

User avatar
PhD
Posts: 5754
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:34 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Status: Offline

Unread postby PhD » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:56 pm

I am in awe ladies! Ya'll are great!!! :notworthy:
"Because, you know, it seems to me that, I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal"

User avatar
Bix
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:14 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Status: Offline

Unread postby Bix » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:51 pm

Endora wrote: Would you say he considered himself an Adam, a victim of women's temptation?
Absolutely, Endora! Good point.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

User avatar
stroch
Posts: 1332
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: New Orleans

Status: Offline

Unread postby stroch » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:38 pm

Just before this passage, he says Mary thinks he is "able for it night and day with the lights off and on," and then talks about the horses and the big a****s the pounding produces.

I think he is still thinking about Mary and her appetite for sex, and the horse comment is about her -- she is a big woman.

I'm not sure if he really has a deeper meaning in the park phrase, it might be just a segue from the sexual allusions of the horses/riders to the marriage comment. I thought he he was saying that a new sexual relationship begins with mystery and and desire, and becomes stale and routine, a chore to be done.

He sure seems uneasy about his performance, and breaks up with her shortly thereafter.
I'll buy you the hat....a really big one.
St. Roch -- patron saint of pilgrims

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:57 pm

stroch, he does seem uneasy with Mary once he is the one being pursued as it were.

Endora, that is a very good point. He seems to see himself as a victim of life's unfairness in general, doesn't he?
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!

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:11 pm

Sorry to come back to this discussion so late. I've been without internet all afternoon and part of the evening.

Bix wrote:
Endora wrote: Would you say he considered himself an Adam, a victim of women's temptation?
Absolutely, Endora! Good point.


That could very well be. Poor Sebastian. :mwahaha:

stroch wrote:Just before this passage, he says Mary thinks he is "able for it night and day with the lights off and on," and then talks about the horses and the big a****s the pounding produces.


That could be the connection between the two--or at least where the dark and light imagery comes from. And maybe he's thinking about what a bad move marriage to Mary would be.
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.

User avatar
dharma_bum
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Villa Incognito

Status: Offline

Unread postby dharma_bum » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:26 am

The park was the place where Sebastian abandoned all of the responsibilities of adult life, wasn’t it—his studies, his child and his marriage. I agree with you all that he did somehow equate it with freedom, but freedom from confinement, almost like getting out of jail.

Darkness hides, light reveals. Darkness is kind and hides rough edges, but it’s also harder to find your way and easier to get hurt. Darkness holds mystery. Once the lights come on reality bites. Sebastian could never measure up in the harsh light of day to the post-war expectations of virtue and productivity.
"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."
—Johnny Depp


Return to “The Ginger Man”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest