Chocolat Question #3 ~ Vianne

by Joanne Harris

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:49 pm

Good point, es! Vianne is willing to face her fears but not Reynaud. He simply retreats even further trying to control them.
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Unread postby Gypsylee » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:22 pm

Well, well, I'm back! Third day in a row. Has to be a record for me lately!

I agree with everyones comments so far and it's hard to add anything to them.

Viannes role is to evoke change. She deliberately tries to stir people out of their sleeping state.

I liked Vianne exceedingly. She is fun and pretty much carefree, even though she does have her own demons she is dealing with. At least she is trying to deal with them and learn unlike Reynaud.

It was also hinted to, but not clearly stated, that she might have been a witch. So she had the uncanny ability to "read" other people.
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Unread postby Raven » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:23 pm

She is the good witch, he is the bad. She is light, he is dark. She is wearing the white hat, he is wearing the black hat. She is the heroine, he is the bad guy. She is strong, he is weak.

She is a bright light in the dull drab town. You may even say she is the beacon. The light house again!
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:35 pm

Wow! Noodlemantras…. You blow me away with the Deppth of your answers. I especially like how you have juxtaposed these two opposing characters, Raven.
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Unread postby Gypsylee » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:45 pm

Raven wrote:She is the good witch, he is the bad. She is light, he is dark. She is wearing the white hat, he is wearing the black hat. She is the heroine, he is the bad guy. She is strong, he is weak.

She is a bright light in the dull drab town. You may even say she is the beacon. The light house again!


Perfect description! :writer2:
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Unread postby Sioux » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:08 pm

Wow. I'm blown away by the comments so far, and agree with them all.

When I think of Vianne, I immediately think of Spring. I can see Lansquenet in the throes of a religious winter, and here she comes, smiling and not judging, a breath of fresh air. I think the townspeople are feeling the need to do a little 'housecleaning'. That catalyst analogy was right on the money.

I don't think the Vianne is a witch, necessarily, just someone who is very good at reading people. If you study and watch people long enough, you can get an idea of what they're like. Vianne's life took her all over the world, and she was able to observe many different types of people. She's just really good at reading them. She's just been around the block.

I am enjoying this discussion thoroughly. :disco: :dance:

:pray: :chill:
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Unread postby PhD » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:07 pm

Wow! I don't think I have anything original to add! I am glad that someone (sorry, I forgot who) brought up that while Vianne is wonderful, she does have her own demons....her own worries. I think the Spring analogy is a good one... she brings life to the little village.
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Re: Chocolat Question #3 ~ Vianne

Unread postby H2H » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:43 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Let’s discuss Vianne. What is her role in the story?


Without reading everyone's posts...I will say that she is the yin to his yang.
She is just the opposite of him in every way. I don't want to say good vs evil because that just seems to reflect a negative connotation. I didn't like him but he was the way he was...I don't think he meant to be evil...if that makes any sense.

So she was just the anithesis to his personality.
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Unread postby H2H » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:49 pm

Endora wrote:A quick answer which maybe I'll come back to: I think she starts as a catalyst, that is she speeds up a reaction that would have taken place naturally but does not necessarily take part in it. She is not changed by the reaction, but her action will only take place in very specific conditions.

Can you tell I've been helping my daughter revise her science?


:rotflmao:

But very well said!
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:00 pm

I pretty much agree with all of the analyses of Vianne: that she brought a breath of fresh air to the town and to herself eventually, as well. But to begin with, I thought she was rather judgmental herself in seeing all of the townspeople on their way to church in such a negative light. I might have watched the same people and considered them to be pious. Of course, it turned out that they truly were a mislead bunch, and maybe she was able to know this because of her gift of having insight into people.
Maybe off subject, but I think this book was written in a bit of a folk tale style where all of the characters are very broadly drawn.
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Unread postby stroch » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:46 pm

I keep thinking about her relationship with her mother, and whether she was really her child or had been kidnapped.

it is revealed late in the book, and it made me re-think Vianne. She has a lot more fear and insecurity than her outward behavior indicates.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:58 pm

Betty Sue, hope you are enjoying it out here. The weather is great now. And I hate typing on laptops. I don't like the keys one bit.

Stroch and Betty Sue, we will be discussing at a later date both the issues of Vianne and her mom and that of writing style.
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Unread postby Theresa » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:07 pm

I think that Vianne's role in the story was as a counterpoint -- a contrasting but parallel theme -- to Reynaud's position in the town. Like Raven said, the two characters were opposites in many ways, dark to light, good to bad; but they also led parallel lives. As I said yesterday, both carried childhood secrets and attempted to control their lives with rituals -- Reynaud with Lenten denials and Vianne with her mother's Tarot cards.

As the story progressed, I saw Vianne usurping Reynaud's position in the town. She became the “priest” to the townspeople – her willingness to befriend the outcasts and the way that the chocolate shop became a church of sorts, with secrets being confessed and absolved over cups of hot chocolate. Tolerance and acceptance, the ideals of the church, were practiced by Vianne and ridiculed by Reynaud. Even when Armande was dying, Vianne was -- in a way -- giving Armande last rites while Reynaud was kept out.

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Unread postby H2H » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:21 pm

theresa wrote:I think that Vianne's role in the story was as a counterpoint -- a contrasting but parallel theme -- to Reynaud's position in the town. Like Raven said, the two characters were opposites in many ways, dark to light, good to bad; but they also led parallel lives. As I said yesterday, both carried childhood secrets and attempted to control their lives with rituals -- Reynaud with Lenten denials and Vianne with her mother's Tarot cards.

As the story progressed, I saw Vianne usurping Reynaud's position in the town. She became the “priest” to the townspeople – her willingness to befriend the outcasts and the way that the chocolate shop became a church of sorts, with secrets being confessed and absolved over cups of hot chocolate. Tolerance and acceptance, the ideals of the church, were practiced by Vianne and ridiculed by Reynaud. Even when Armande was dying, Vianne was -- in a way -- giving Armande last rites while Reynaud was kept out.


Wow! :idea:
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:22 pm

theresa, I like your idea that Vianne and Reynaud switched positions in the town...again the mirror image.
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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