Chocolat Question #23 - The Faces are Still the Same

by Joanne Harris

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Chocolat Question #23 - The Faces are Still the Same

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:29 am

On Pg. 180 Vianne thinks about the places she’s been.....

“But the people begin to look the same…the same expressions….The flat, hostile stare of the official. The curious look of the peasant. The dull unsurprised faces of the tourists. The same lovers, mothers, beggars, cripples, vendors, joggers, children, policemen, taxi drivers, pimps. After a while one begins to feel slightly paranoid, as if these people were secretly following from one town to another, changing clothes and faces but remaining essentially unchanged, going about their dull business with half an eye slyly cocked at us, the intruders. At first one feels a kind of superiority. We are a race apart, we the travelers. We have seen, experienced, so much more than they—content to run out their sad lives in an endless round of sleep-work-sleep, to tend their neat gardens, their identical suburban houses, their small dreams. We hold them a little in contempt. Then, after a while, comes envy. The first time it is almost funny: a sudden sharp sting that subsides nearly right away. A woman in a park, bending over a child in a pushchair, both faces lit by something that is not the sun. then comes the second time, the third; two young people on the seafront, arms intertwined; a group of office girls on their lunch break, giggling over coffee and croissants…..before long it is an almost constant ache. No, places do not lose their identity, however far one travels. It is the heart that begins to erode after a time. The face in the hotel mirror blurred some mornings, as if by too many such casual looks. By ten the sheets will be laundered, the carpet swept. The names on the hotel registers change as we pass. We leave no trace as we pass on. Ghostlike, we cast no shadow.”

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NOTE: This will be our last question for a few days. Tomorrow morning I will be on my way to join DITHOT & other Zoners in Southern California. We'll be back on Tuesday.
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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es
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Unread postby es » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:36 am

love this part,it really sais 2 complet different things.
first Vianne express the love of the traveling-life,the townpeople are al the same stereotype but then she tells about the fact that even the travellers are stereotypes who long to a life of securness.

I think the grass always seems greener on the other side.


Liz,have also a wonderful time and safe travelings.

greets,
es
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Unread postby lumineuse » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:47 am

That passage really puts me in mind of Nobody.

Liz and DITHOT, I hope you and the rest of our LA travellers have the best possible time, and a wonderful Johnny encounter. Hold the torch high for us, gals!
"Oh, good!........ No worries, then."

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:54 am

This passage was when I first began to connect with Vianne. I couldn't imagine enjoying a life of constantly being on the go and never making any permanent connections. Even the connection with Anouk seemed in jeopardy. I was happy that she began to notice and value the beauty and continuity of a simple everyday life. And she'll find....no lives are simple and everyday, but I think theres something warm and comforting about continuity.
Hope your dreams come true in Southern California! :cloud9:
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Unread postby QueenofKings » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:13 pm

That passage says a lot of things. Like es says, "The grass is always greener..."

I think if you travel around a lot rootlessly, things do begin to blur together. After awhile you do start to run into the same kinds of people because there is a pattern to even being free. The same people travelling around to the same places. The same kinds of people managing stores in towns and police in cities, etc. And if you do that for long enough, you start to feel like you might want to lay down roots somewhere and stop moving for a time. To maybe be doing something that makes a difference for yourself or others, to have a family, instead of being "ghostlike" and leaving no trace. I think it's human nature to want what we don't have. To free yourself from that is the trick and not easy to do.

Travel safe and have a great time, Liz! Many blessings to you and DITHOT everyone else from the Zone on their journey. :captainjack:

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Re: Chocolat Question #23 - The Faces are Still the Same

Unread postby fansmom » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:58 pm

Liz wrote:NOTE: This will be our last question for a few days. Tomorrow morning I will be on my way to join DITHOT & other Zoners in Southern California. We'll be back on Tuesday.
Really? That little trip is more important than keeping the ONBC up and running? Both of you are allowed to be gone at the same time? :eyebrow:

Seriously, have a fantastic time! Good luck and bon voyage! :goodvibes:

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Re: Chocolat Question #23 - The Faces are Still the Same

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:01 pm

fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:NOTE: This will be our last question for a few days. Tomorrow morning I will be on my way to join DITHOT & other Zoners in Southern California. We'll be back on Tuesday.
Really? That little trip is more important than keeping the ONBC up and running? Both of you are allowed to be gone at the same time? :eyebrow:

Seriously, have a fantastic time! Good luck and bon voyage! :goodvibes:


Oops. And I haven't even been a good little moderator today. I've been trying to tie up loose ends at home before I leave. But you guys have been holding down the fort quite nicely, I see.

I think the passage is about Vianne realizing that she needs to finally lay down some roots in one place. And I think she realizes that moving from place to place is not going to satisfy her. She needs to form friendships and ties in one place to have a more worthwhile life.
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 gilly » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:31 pm

That passage really hit home for me..A bit too close to home :-O I know where she's coming from.. about being different from others and justifying why you are different..that you feel superior to others because they don't have the same experiences..That's an easy trap to fall into....''Ghost-like..we cast no shadow''..That is so sad,but I think she is wrong there..We all cast shadows,however fleetingly.....EDIT..HAVE A GREAT TIME GUYS..BONNE CHANCE :bounce:
Life is beautiful.

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Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:15 pm

Thanks for the well wishes for our trip, Noodlemantras! :bounce: We will be back before the discussion continues if we have an encounter to share. :hope:
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 bluebird » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:54 pm

lumineuse wrote:That passage really puts me in mind of Nobody.


That was my first thought when I read it, Lumineuse. When Nobody wondered how all those same people got to the new city before he arrived.

But, unlike Nobody who was just young and confused, Vianne sounds so full of longing.

bluebird
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