Happy Days Question #1 - Antoine

by Laurent Graff

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:42 pm

I didn't think of the comparison of Antoine and Sebastian either while I was reading Happy Days (although it makes a great discussion question!). :cool: I do see a lot of similarities in their personalities that you both have already mentioned. The main difference to me is that Antoine seems to be searching for a greater explanation on the meaning of life for man in general as opposed for just himself, which seems to be what Sebastian is mostly interested in. A very thought provoking question!
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Unread postby gemini » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:42 pm

DITHOT said
The money angle is a curious one. How much of him is just bored with life? What if he had a meaningful job that brought him some measure of satisfaction, would that have changed his outlook on life? (Or maybe it's just a literary device to allow the character the freedom of not working.


I think his dropping out of life started before his inheritance. He dropped out of college after 2 years and said that he took whatever job turned up without checking whether it paid well or badly. Something must have clicked at that point in his life. He then went to personal ads to find a wife saving him a lot of wasted words. He couldn't be bothered with trivial chit chat or deal with preliminaries . That isn't very romantic. He describes her as foolish enough to believe in true love which is a pretty jaded remark for someone getting married. He had already dropped out of life at this point and was just going through the motions. Maybe even before when he stated looking at headstones after high school. A bigger problem than high school foolishness.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:47 pm

Good point, gemini. Hmmm...there goes that theory. :lol:
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Unread postby gemini » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:53 pm

Bix said
And, Lady Jill, Harold & Maude is one of my top 10 movies. I've seen it many, many times and I didn't even think of it while reading HD. I'm surprised I didn't, but I guess it's because Harold and Maude were finally such a joyous, life-affirming pair and Antoine and Mirielle were not. DITHOT, I'd heard that Cat Stevens had a new album, but I've not heard it yet.

The way I remember Harold and Maude was, it was a love story. Harold really loved Maude because she was so full of life and vice versa. Nothing like Antionne and Mirielle. What's the name of the new album? I thought he was still off doing his Buddhism type thing. (I forgot where he went off too but it was some religious journey)
Sorry- correct my own post..He converted to Islam not Buddhism.
Last edited by gemini on Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby rainbowsoul » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:54 pm

The money angle is a curious one. How much of him is just bored with life? What if he had a meaningful job that brought him some measure of satisfaction, would that have changed his outlook on life? (Or maybe it's just a literary device to allow the character the freedom of not working... )


Funny - the only significance i put to the money was that the having of it allowed him a measure of freedom that most people do not have - the freedom to do and to choose rather than to work.

Maybe I really missed the point there? :lol:

He dropped out of college after 2 years and said that he took whatever job turned up without checking whether it paid well or badly. Something must have clicked at that point in his life. He then went to personal ads to find a wife saving him a lot of wasted words. He couldn't be bothered with trivial chit chat or deal with preliminaries .


He seemed to almost going through the motions of what was expected by society of him. Did his search for meaning in his life start then? He seemed to be looking for something to give his life purpose
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Unread postby Depputante » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:57 pm

What makes him so jaded?
-- I'm kind of left wondering if he's high functhioning Autistic, or Asperger's. The lack of emotions, compassion, and the ticking off his list of life items off his list really makes me think so. Also the ability to highly focus on his 'life list' and be efficient at checking off those items.

BUT then, I don't see any functional obsession except that of the obscurity of death, which is very..non-functional, and vague and not really a part of the Autism thing.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:11 pm

gemini, I agree that Harold and Maude was definitely a love story! The new album by Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam is called "An Other Cup". I've only heard one song but I liked it.

rainbowsoul, I wouldn't say you missed the point at all. I think we are just trying to figure it all out!

Depputante...fence sitting is a familiar activity for me at ONBC. I read one argument and think...OH that's the answer...then I read another and think the same thing. :lol: That's what makes a great discussion!
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Unread postby Depputante » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:14 pm

What would be the sense of discovering the meaning of life if you had already thrown your life away?
Because he's only 35, he thinks he hasnt' thrown his life away at all ! I think he would try to do the same thing even if he didn't have any money. He'd spend his afternoons on the bench, then walk home.

THe guy is either Genius or has a big problem. But then again, they say Bill Gates, and Einstein both have Asperger's. That ability to really focus and be efficient at it. But both of them focused on the Functional items. Not Death, or Life.

I like this Depp Dichotomy of Life 101. Very interesting. Kind of like a Paradigm Shift, and then not really taking a side. Thoroughly contemplative and confusing! Dance Till I Drop. :disco: :-O :mort3: :thud:
Last edited by Depputante on Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:17 pm

Interesting thought, Depputante. Would he have done the same thing regardless of his circumstances? Or if he had real worries in the real world. would he be too busy with life to indulge a great deal of time in such speculation?
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 gemini » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:59 pm

What would be the sense of discovering the meaning of life if you had already thrown your life away?
Because he's only 35, he thinks he hasnt' thrown his life away at all ! I think he would try to do the same thing even if he didn't have any money. He'd spend his afternoons on the bench, then walk home.

THe guy is either Genius or has a big problem. But then again, they say Bill Gates, and Einstein both have Asperger's. That ability to really focus and be efficient at it. But both of them focused on the Functional items. Not Death, or Life.

I like this Depp Dichotomy of Life 101. Very interesting. Kind of like a Paradigm Shift, and then not really taking a side. Thoroughly contemplative and confusing!


Antionne may have been seaching for meanings in life at 35 but he stayed there his whole life. I think that kind of means he threw his life away. In the end Antionne is old. He obviously continued his whole life at Happy Days since he is still there and it is now the Happy Days Vacation and Recreation Center and is owned by M. Revilli's grandson. He talks of having rheumatism and having been there so long he was part of the place. The give away is the title of the last chapter...All my life, I've let myself die.
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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:02 pm

Depputante wrote: I think he would try to do the same thing even if he didn't have any money. He'd spend his afternoons on the bench, then walk home.


I agree. I don't think Antoine was of a mindset to do anything constructive with his life, to drift, to watch, to benchsit. The money meant he could go do what he wanted without being a public burden.

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Unread postby Theresa » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:12 pm

I know that Antoine described himself as jaded, but jaded from what? I didn’t see where he ever involved himself in life to begin with, so how could he be worn out and weary from it? Even in high school he used to sit on the steps for hours, and all the things he did between high school and the retirement home were just because they were just things that should be done, not because he cared about any of them.

Even his obsession with sex when he was younger could be attributed to just plain old hormones. He didn’t care about the women, couldn’t be bothered to take the time to develop a relationship. So, he took the easy way out -- prostitutes.

I saw him very differently than he saw himself. I thought he was just an observer, never involving himself in life and reality. He saw himself as completely immersed in reality.

    p. 40 -- Aside from the outings and shows organized by the management, I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.
So to him, sitting on the bench watching the world go by wasn’t an escape from life, it was life.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:24 pm

gemini, I agree with your point about Antoine staying there his whole life and we will get into the ending of the book...I promise!!! I just don't want to do it on the first day of the discussion! :blush:

theresa, it is interesting that you should pick that particular quote...

p. 40 -- Aside from the outings and shows organized by the management, I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.


You will be seeing it very soon in the discussion questions! Great minds! :cool:
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:25 pm

Great answers, so far! You Noodlemantras are really getting into this discussion. :cool: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: I’m answering a few here as I go back and forth between here and the Monday Night Thread.

Bix, I agree he is kind of a weirdo. I can’t relate to his ability to divorce himself from life. If I divorce myself from life, I have, in fact, died.

Nebraska, I think that depression could be the key. He, instead of committing suicide has decided to check in to Happy Days. I suppose if life has done nothing for him thus far he doesn’t expect there to be any surprises in the future.


suec wrote:In a way, he reminds me of Sebastian, cycling after the funeral cars and attending funerals of strangers.


Good catch there, Suec. I hadn’t thought of that, but it is true. He’s just handling it differently than Sebastian.
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Unread postby gemini » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:40 pm

I am also jumping back and forth from the Monday night thread to Happy Days.

Liz said:
He, instead of committing suicide has decided to check in to Happy Days. I suppose if life has done nothing for him thus far he doesn’t expect there to be any surprises in the future.

Antionne answers the guy where he buys his headstone with ; No, not at all when the mans thinks he is planning on suicide. He says I have no intention of doing away with myself , wouldn't dream of it; on the contrary , I want to live to the end of my allotted days. He is 18 at the time so while planning his lack luster life he never considered the alternative.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers



Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.


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