TPAOL #5 ~ Mutz

by James Meek

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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:59 pm

Angelina, you struck a chord with me......Samarin was wild like fire, yes! Exciting, alive, vibrant, seductive......while Mutz was, for lack of better word, boring. Dependable, predictable....I don't know if all women feel that way, but I understand the attraction to the hot and wild dangerous man compared to the one who walks the straight and narrow. Isn't that a part of what attracts us to Johnny? He is not the ordinary guy next door.

I wonder what would have become of Anna and Balashov under other circumstances. She was content with him, happy, even though their early life was ordinary. Maybe his betrayal and becoming that super good and holy man gave her a taste for rebellion as a sort of backlash.

I had a lot of sympathy for Mutz and his love for Anna, especially since I think he realized early on that he would never have her....

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Unread postby luvdepp » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:22 pm

Great answer KYwoman. I think it fits perfectly with the personalities involved. I'm with you Lady Jill ~ my mind has a hard time wrapping itself around some of these in-deppth theories, but it's certainly fun and thought provoking to try.

I think Mutz was the solid, dependable, and yes maybe a little boring of the three men. Anna was not attracted to him like she was to Samarin and Balashov because unlike them, he wasn't exciting and dangerous, or unattainable in Balashov's case. Like nebraska said, women sometimes tend to be attracted to those men who aren't best suited for them, or those seen as dangerous and exciting. She used him because he was there and she needed the attentions of a man. He wanted to take care of her and keep her safe. Mutz needed to feel useful and needed. He didn't feel able to take care of the men he was in charge of. The world around him was out of his control and with Anna, he thought he would be able to keep her safe.
"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 Linda Lee » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:24 pm

I don't know if all women feel that way, but I understand the attraction to the hot and wild dangerous man compared to the one who walks the straight and narrow. Isn't that a part of what attracts us to Johnny? He is not the ordinary guy next door.


I think we all understand this attraction isn't it called the bad boy syndrome? The desire to be the one to tame him, or course not completely, the element of danger is somehow very attractive.


I wonder what would have become of Anna and Balashov under other circumstances. She was content with him, happy, even though their early life was ordinary. Maybe his betrayal and becoming that super good and holy man gave her a taste for rebellion as a sort of backlash.



I, too, wonder what would have happened to them under other circumstances.I don't think I would call their early life ordinary ~ he did rescue Anna rather dramatically from the Cossack. I think he also had the aura of danger as a dashing cavalry officer. Though I do agree they seemed to be settling into a more or less ordinary life as a family.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby Xaxis » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:32 pm

KYwoman Interesting way to unwrap or wrap up the characters! (Now, I'm hearing Neil Diamond in my head.. why is that Kywoman?) :sing:
I'd love to hear you analyze, Anna.

What's up with everyone really being attracted to a man who ate a another man? :biglaugh:
Anyway, I'm going to think about this some at get back here, later.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:06 pm

Angelina, thanks for bringing the bad boy syndrome to our attention.

As scary as it is, boring men are not as attractive to me either. And I do think there is an element of wanting to tame a wild man.....but not entirely, as Linda Lee said.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Unread postby suec » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:45 pm

He isn't extraordinary in the way that the other two are - and he doesn't appear to have their confidence with women either. Matula sums him up quite well, as being like a man in the crowd in Vienna, but without the crowd, and without Vienna. His standing is low. Balashov has become a leader in his community; Samarin is admired by the men. He doesn't have the vision and the dream that they have. He has the ordinary guy's view of events: "It is was when people tried to turn their dream words to deeds that things became difficult". He sees things as they are. But he can take action, to save himself and others. He dreams of going home: his idea of paradise, I suppose. He values the old order and is still clinging to its values. He doesn't welcome change. And he loves order, categorising, systems, organisations, the very opposite of Samarin. But at the end, he wants to be remembered. Samarin, on the other hand, also wants to leave his mark on the world, but in an abstract impersonal way, to leave his thread of clothing on the barbed wire fence, as he puts it. When it comes to the crunch, when he fears death, Mutz also wants his achievements, but they are for people, not ideas. What can be seen and felt and touched, to borrow a phrase from Samarin.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Unread postby Depputante » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:49 pm

Ahh...another angle: Mutz ImageSamarin , both outcasts in their own ways. However....

Liz wrote: As scary as it is, boring men are not as attractive to me either. And I do think there is an element of wanting to tame a wild man.....but not entirely, as Linda Lee said.


Linda Lee wrote: I think we all understand this attraction isn't it called the bad boy syndrome? The desire to be the one to tame him, or course not completely, the element of danger is somehow very attractive.


Nebraska wrote: Angelina, you struck a chord with me......Samarin was wild like fire, yes! Exciting, alive, vibrant, seductive......while Mutz was, for lack of better word, boring. Dependable, predictable....I don't know if all women feel that way, but I understand the attraction to the hot and wild dangerous man compared to the one who walks the straight and narrow. Isn't that a part of what attracts us to Johnny? He is not the ordinary guy next door.


Angelina wrote: Our women have a proverb about the men like Mutz: “He’s a good man, but not the eagle”. ....And Samarin – he is like a fire, dangerous and attractive.


Bad Boy Syndrome,,,that's what I've got! :grin: Where were you guys yesterday, in question #4, when I was all alone supporting Samarin against Balashov !?!

If we were doing a popularity contest:
Balashov is #1, but then you'd pick #2 Samarin over #3 Mutz .... :eyebrow:

I've never heard that saying about Eagles, but I like Jack Sparrows! :disco:
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:08 pm

Where were you guys yesterday, in question #4, when I was all alone supporting Samarin against Balashov !?!


Sorry, Depputante, I was working - 12 hours, I'm afraid after one of those I only want to relax - no thinking allowed. I'll have to go back to questions 3 &4.

By the way, love your seesaw.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby suec » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:42 pm

I think with Samarin, it isn't just the wild and dangerous element that is appealing. He has walked across a sizeable chunk of Siberia and back, and will evidently stop at nothing at all to achieve what he wants: in this instance, apparently, to save Katya. There is something very primeval about the appeal of that. I feel it, anyway.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Unread postby Parlez » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:21 pm

Okay. I leave you Noodlemantras alone for a few hours and you start soaring with the eagles!
Since when did Samarin and his insatiable appetite start leading the popularity contest?? :shocked:

Not that I don't wholeheartedly agree. And I'll add, along with the bad boy syndrome, the mighty sexy Hero archetype. (that would be Jung, friend of Freud's) Balashov clearly looked the part as a dashing Hussar...Samarin had his moments if you believed his story at the trial...but Mutz? Not so much.

I think when Mutz was about to be shot is when he realized he'd passed up plenty of chances to act heroically, or to leave his mark as some have said. One more week might've done it, but then he knows himself better than that ~ he would've needed another one, and another one. He finds out too late that his real desire is to be 'memorable', but he spent the whole story being just the opposite.

The end of the story, IMO, brings a shift for everyone...like all of a sudden the veils are lifted and they all see clearly for the first time. Mutz is no exception; his final acts are quite heroic I think. Of course, nobody holds a candle to Balashov in that department as it turns out. That's when he shot up to the top of my list!
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:24 pm

Mutz does want to be remembered, he just isn't quite as flamboyant or obvious in his personality or methods. He reminds me of someone who just goes along putting one foot in front of the other, trying to do the right thing each day without much notice or gratitude. Sort of an everyman in the story.
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Xaxis » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:55 pm

Id = not circumcised = Samarain
Ego = circumcised = Mutz
Superego = castrated
= Balashov

'When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.' Hunter S. Thompson
“Know thyself” and “Nothing to excess” inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi.

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Unread postby Parlez » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:23 am

Xaxis, that'll about do it! :rotflmao:
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:29 am

Xaxis, interesting summary. :-O
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby gemini » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:48 am

Depputante wrote:Ahh...another angle: Mutz ImageSamarin , both outcasts in their own ways. However....

Liz wrote: As scary as it is, boring men are not as attractive to me either. And I do think there is an element of wanting to tame a wild man.....but not entirely, as Linda Lee said.


Linda Lee wrote: I think we all understand this attraction isn't it called the bad boy syndrome? The desire to be the one to tame him, or course not completely, the element of danger is somehow very attractive.


Nebraska wrote: Angelina, you struck a chord with me......Samarin was wild like fire, yes! Exciting, alive, vibrant, seductive......while Mutz was, for lack of better word, boring. Dependable, predictable....I don't know if all women feel that way, but I understand the attraction to the hot and wild dangerous man compared to the one who walks the straight and narrow. Isn't that a part of what attracts us to Johnny? He is not the ordinary guy next door.


Angelina wrote: Our women have a proverb about the men like Mutz: “He’s a good man, but not the eagle”. ....And Samarin – he is like a fire, dangerous and attractive.


Bad Boy Syndrome,,,that's what I've got! :grin: Where were you guys yesterday, in question #4, when I was all alone supporting Samarin against Balashov !?!

If we were doing a popularity contest:
Balashov is #1, but then you'd pick #2 Samarin over #3 Mutz .... :eyebrow:

I've never heard that saying about Eagles, but I like Jack Sparrows! :disco:


Wow! I stay away for a few hours and you all have a serious infatuation with bad boys. I think you all did a little too much imagining Johnny as Samarin. I do have to admit that while reading I didn't feel attracted to Balashov, even though he was described as a handsome gent, just because that spark of fire wasn't there. Even the good and faithful Mutz didn't appeal to me. Guess I'll have to join the bad boy syndrome.
"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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