Chocolat Question #17 ~ The Black Man

by Joanne Harris

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:01 pm

I think I saw him as the collective archetype of fear. Whatever your fear is you see the Black Man until you face the fear and conquer it.
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Theresa
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Unread postby Theresa » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:30 pm

I think the Black Man represented several things...I agree that fear and guilt were both part of it, but I also think that doubt played a part.

On page 42, after Vianne's mother had tried to confess to the priest and he had attempted to convince her to give up Vianne:


I understood he had almost convinced her to leave me behind. After that she often asked me if I was happy with her , whether I missed having friends, a home. . .But however often I told her yes, no, no, however often I kissed her and said I regretted nothing, nothing, a little of the poison remained. For years we ran from the priest, the Black Man, and when his face returned time and again in the cards, it would be time to run once more, time to hide from the darkness he had opened in her heart.

The priest planted the seed of doubt in Vianne's mother that she had done the right thing -- so she ran from it, never having to make the decision on what to do. Vianne grew up in that atmosphere, always doubting her role in any place she stayed -- and always with the guilt that she was doing to her daughter what her mother had done to her, uprooting her from any home or friends.

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es
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Unread postby es » Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:52 am

for me I think the Black man represent limits,limits in life and limits on freedom (controll) limits in your choices.

I also agree with the monster under the bed thing,it only goes away if you are confronting it rather than running away for the man/whart he represents.

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es
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Jun 16, 2006 9:25 am

theresa wrote:I think the Black Man represented several things...I agree that fear and guilt were both part of it, but I also think that doubt played a part.

On page 42, after Vianne's mother had tried to confess to the priest and he had attempted to convince her to give up Vianne:


I understood he had almost convinced her to leave me behind. After that she often asked me if I was happy with her , whether I missed having friends, a home. . .But however often I told her yes, no, no, however often I kissed her and said I regretted nothing, nothing, a little of the poison remained. For years we ran from the priest, the Black Man, and when his face returned time and again in the cards, it would be time to run once more, time to hide from the darkness he had opened in her heart.

The priest planted the seed of doubt in Vianne's mother that she had done the right thing -- so she ran from it, never having to make the decision on what to do. Vianne grew up in that atmosphere, always doubting her role in any place she stayed -- and always with the guilt that she was doing to her daughter what her mother had done to her, uprooting her from any home or friends.


A little different spin on it. :cool: But I agree. I can't wait to get into the topic of Vianne and her mom. :bounce:
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Unread postby gilly » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:43 am

For me ,The Black man represented ignorance and persecution and fear, which solidified into Reynaud,when she met him..But,it's as if she knows Reynaud= The Black Man,before she's met him..He is like a feeling/intuition Vianne has..She expects The Black Man to materialise..It's hard to explain,but on one level,there may always be a Black Man in Vianne's life..
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