Chocolat Question #33 ~ The end

by Joanne Harris

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Chocolat Question #33 ~ The end

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:41 am

The title of today's question has a dobule meaning. It is the final question of our discussion :bawl: but it also deals with the ending of the story. Noodlemantras, as always, you have made this a wonderful discussion with your insightful and witty answers. :cool: I hope you are all reading Good Omens and plan to be with us in August for our next discussion. :noodlemantra: In the meantime...

We will be taking next week off for the 4th of July holiday and to prepare the Good Omens tidbits. We will be back on Monday, July 10 for our next Monday Night Thread and the first tidbit. Liz and I hope to see you then!

So without further ado, the last question...

Do you think Vianne and Anouk stayed in the village or moved on?


P.S. Remember to send in your questions for Joanne Harris by July 10. You can send them to our email address: jdzonbc@yahoo.com or send them to us in a private message. :writer:
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 Betty Sue » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:15 pm

Like Vianne, I could go either way on this, but it seemed like she was going to leave Lansquenet, which was now no longer in need of her inspiration. This time she was leaving as a wiser and freer person than ever before, however, and possibly would be able to settle down at her next stop. She knew Anouk and her next little bambino deserved this. Since she had no desire to let Roux know about his child and Roux was settled in with Josephine, I don't think she would want to stay in town. But since she's rid herself of the Black Man and learned the value of close friendships, I think she'll want to stay put, at least for a bit longer next time.

And many :thanks: , Fearless Leaders, for another wonderful discussion! And so happy you managed to fit in a Johnny break! :cloud9: :cloud9:
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Unread postby Bix » Sat Jul 01, 2006 3:55 pm

I agree with what you've said so well, Betty Sue. But I wanted to think that Vianne's plea at the end that this time the wind would go on without her and Anouk indicated that she would be strong enough to stay there. I know she knew how much Anouk needed and thrived in the stability - and that it certainly would be better for the new baby also. I think somehow she and Roux and Josephine could have come to some sort of understanding based on what they had all gone through together and the level of friendship they had attained. Vianne and her baby were no threat to Josephine and Roux really. But I like your idea that, if she did have to move on, she was better equipped to build a stable life for her family the next time.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:09 pm

I really go back and forth on this one. I think she wanted to stay for Anouk and for the friendships she had made but then she started feeling the pull of the wind. I wonder if the baby was her way of taking that part of the her life with her to settle somewhere, maybe the next town. I really can't decide, so I'm looking to you all for some presuasive arguements!
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 Liz » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:16 pm

I agree with Betty Sue, that she moved on. She couldn't resist the wind. I think it was in her nature not to be tied down. I'm not sure that she could ever stay in one place very long. I think this time, though, she had mixed emotions about it because she realized that it would have a negative affect on Anouk. And I think it could have created many problems for Josephine if she stayed and had the baby there.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Unread postby nebraska » Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:12 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I really go back and forth on this one. I think she wanted to stay for Anouk and for the friendships she had made but then she started feeling the pull of the wind. I wonder if the baby was her way of taking that part of the her life with her to settle somewhere, maybe the next town. I really can't decide, so I'm looking to you all for some presuasive arguements!


I am sad it took me so long to finish reading this book and I missed the discussion, but I will try to go back now and read some of it. I am like you, unsure what to think. I cannot imagine her staying there and having Roux's child right under his nose.......surely he would know who the father was......but then maybe they could work it out ....... I, too, am waiting for a persuasive answer. My gut feeling tells me she left.....

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Unread postby Bix » Sat Jul 01, 2006 7:25 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I wonder if the baby was her way of taking that part of the her life with her to settle somewhere, maybe the next town.
I like that thought, DITHOT. I guess if I really had to choose, I'd say she left also. But I don't have any persuasive arguments one way or the other.

Just wanted to be sure to say thank you to DITHOT and Liz for another thought-provoking and interesting discussion. I'm so happy for you and all the ONBCers who got to meet or at least see Johnny. You do us proud!

:bounce: Oh, boy! Can't wait for Good Omens tidbits to begin!!!
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

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Unread postby luvdepp » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:10 pm

The last question already? Wow. This discussion went by so quickly! Thanks Liz and DITHOT for another great discussion. I'm really looking forward to Good Omens and the tidbits should be very interesting!

I think the end of Chocolat is very ambiguous. I think Harris wants us to wonder about what Vianne's choice will be, to stay or to move on. As I was reading the last paragraphs, I started out thinking that she would definately be leaving. But by the end of her musings, I was pretty convinced that she wanted to stay. Whether she did or not, we don't know. Unless Joanne Harris decides to write a sequel to Vianne's story.
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby Raven » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:37 pm

I was hoping she would stay like in the movie, but I feel she may move on, in the book. But this time for a different reason and at her own free will, not because someone was chasing/theatening her or the wind was calling or pushing her. This move would be her last.

thanks Liz and DITHOT, great work both of you! And Good Omens came today, so I will pick it up on July 5th!

Hope everyones Holiday is a good one!
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Unread postby gilly » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:03 am

I thought the same luvdepp :disco: First of all I thought she was definitely going,but then there were her reservations,about the constant travelling.....In the end,I thought she stayed...but there's no knowing for how long. :cool: .
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Unread postby ibbi 3 » Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:45 am

I would think she was staying. Maybe because she realised she was kidnapped and therefor no longer needed to listen to the wind . She was happy with the children and dealt with her demons and was able to settle down.

Thank you Liz and DITHOT ~ I've read all threads but as I was not around all the time , and because of all the bright answers allready made , there was nothing for me to add. But I enjoyed reading !
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:23 am

Ibbi, we're glad you enjoyed the book and that you participated when you could. Goodness knows it has been a wild month. :-)
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 DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:13 pm

Raven wrote: I was hoping she would stay like in the movie, but I feel she may move on, in the book. But this time for a different reason and at her own free will, not because someone was chasing/theatening her or the wind was calling or pushing her. This move would be her last.


I guess that is where my thinking is. She now felt she could settle down since she had vanquished most of her demons. It could be her choice to go or to stay without the pressure of her past.
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 » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:00 pm

I think she goes. Guillaume's handshake seems to foreshadow it and serve as a goodbye. She reflects on the move as inevitable and although the last thoughts suggest an alternative, they are more of a request. She doesn't seem fully in charge.
In addition, changing oneself is hard - at least I find it so. It can be done, but it requires full attention and the absolute application of the will over habits. So much goes on under the surface of the thinking brain. With the baby on the way, staying becomes harder. It isn't just a question of staying with friends, she would have the father there too. I think that is too big a leap for her at that point. I think, in fact, that may be precisely why she becomes pregnant in the first place, without realising it. Like I said, the wiring in the brain follows its own routines and impulses.
On the other hand.. it does end with the possibility of doubt. I like that. That she has the choice for once. That is the main thing.
I am sorry that I missed much of the discussion. I've had a lot going on, one way or another. But I have enjoyed the bits that I could!
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:10 am

Since I already read the next book I know she did not stay. But I did get the impression she stayed for a bit she didn't leave for a while, but left under her own steam not becasue she felt she had to.


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