ATD Question #30 - The Final Question

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ATD Question #30 - The Final Question

Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:53 pm

This is our last ATD question. :-/ Join us for Sweeney Todd week beginning Monday. :sweeneyrazor:

Do you think Arturo has evolved since we saw him last in Wait Until Spring, Bandini?

A question you can answer without having read Bandini: Do you think Arturo changed for the better by the end of the ATD?
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 nebraska » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:26 pm

Saved the easy question for last, did you? :banghead:

It seemed to me that Arturo was very much the same angry child in a grown up's body in ATD. In Wait Until Spring he was caught in a really bad situation of his parents' making, and he responded as one might expect a child to respond in order to survive and protect himself. In ATD, his situation was mostly of his own making and he responded in much the same way he responded as a child -- except there was more mental stuff and less actually acting out (except where it came to Camilla). He was still self-centered and swung wildly between feelings of self-loathing and feelings of grandiose pride.

We saw one or two instances of personal growth in ATD -- with Vera, with his letter to Sammy, and with his inscription to Camilla. These were times when he appears to be concerned about someone other than himself. He also was appalled by the killing of the calf. I guess we have to be content with baby steps for Arturo. Even though he had shown concern for others, he certainly congratulated himself for what he did.

Liz and DITHOT, thank you for leading this discussion. I think it has probably been a difficult one for you. You definitely outdid yourself on the tidbits!!!!!!! Guess I should go now and put Ask the Dust in storage and pull out my copy of Sweeney Todd for a quick refresher!

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Unread postby suec » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:07 pm

:lol: They have been particularly difficult questions, this time round! You have pulled out some rabbits from some hats though - especially with these additional quotes you have found for us! But that's great - I think! I missed much of the ST discussion last time round, so I am particularly welcoming this one. I will have to read it again, and I am itching to read my copy of Public Enemies which has arrived too.

But many thanks for a fascinating discussion!:bouquet:

Yes, I think Arturo has evolved but I agree that the steps are small ones. There are so many echoes from Bandini that I suspect he may be doomed to keep on making the same mistakes over again. I am saddened by the fact that he doesn't appear to really knuckle down to helping others until the last ditch. I mean, he appears to have added to Camilla's problems really. And sending her money is inadequate. But the epiphany when he doesn't send the letter is a wonderful moment. That he is appalled by the treatment of the calf is a good sign. Shame he can't be as horrified by cruelty to humans. And he needs to live more in the moment, rather than concentrating on finding ways to write about it.
"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 Liz » Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:19 pm

Thank you both. I've really enjoyed this discussion and had a lot of fun with the tidbits. But most of all, I've enjoyed all of your answers. They were all so well thought-out and insightful and, at many times, raised more questions for discussion....which I found quite challenging.

I do believe Arturo evolved since we saw him in Bandini, but with baby steps, as you say, Nebraska. I think he really was trying at the end when he searched for Camilla and took her to Laguna. And I liked his symbolic gesture at the end. But will he ever rid himself of that pride? I would love to read the rest of the series to see how he turned out, but I don't have the time. :-/ Maybe some day. :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 gemini » Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:48 pm

I was about to put on my thinking cap and write my answer before reading any others but in the end I got lazy and started reading what Nebraska posted. It seems everyone so far agrees on the baby steps. Nebraska has really thought this one through and I must say I agree with each point she makes so much that there is not much sense repeating it. Suec said
There are so many echoes from Bandini that I suspect he may be doomed to keep on making the same mistakes over again.

This pretty well sums it up for me. Its been great discussing both of our Fante books and I even read one more so far and probably will read the others. Just curiosity alone will make me want to follow Arturo the rest of the way.
Ok Lets change gears and start thinking Sweeney Todd.
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Unread postby Parlez » Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:38 pm

Aye, bring on the barber! :sweeneyrazor:
In the catagory of people changing, nobody beats Sweeney, eh?
I agree with what everyone has said about Arturo ~ baby steps indeed. Just enough, in fact, to make his story a hopeful (if not uplifting) one. I've enjoyed the discussion of both books, much more than I enjoyed reading them actually. Your tidbits made all the difference, Liz and DitHoT! :cool: Thank you all!!
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
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Unread postby Bix » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:22 pm

Well, as I said in answer to a question other than this one, I was really blown away by Arturo's writing the simple inscription "To Camilla, with love, Arturo". I really think that at that moment I finally felt like Arturo was getting what life really is all about and would be all right, especially since he refused to respond to Sammy's sarcastic inquiry and just got in his car and headed out to begin the rest of his life. Yeah, I agree it was baby steps and that many mistakes would be re-made, but all in all, I think he has matured and is beginning to take responsibility for his own life by the end of ATD.

I want to add my thanks to Liz and DITHOT and to the six or eight of you who really carried this discussion along. As you said, Parlez, I think I enjoyed reading the tidbits and the discussion way more than I enjoyed reading either book!

I love ONBC! :flashingheart: Okay, onward to the murderous barber and then the equally murderous gangsters!
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:13 am

I concur that Arturo has made at least baby steps (some great strides even, I think) since first we met him as a crazy, mixed-up kid in the first book. At that time he didn't have much more in the way of realistic goals than just to make it through till spring and not much regard for man nor beast (except, strangely, for his beastly father :eyebrow: ).
By the end of ATD he had shown signs of gaining self-confidence, loving unselfishly, breaking through as a successful writer, and becoming a productive citizen of LA. He had been through some hardships and ultimately handled them and seemed to be on a positive path with some definite goals.
Love how you called attention to his inscription in the book, Bix! I see what you mean, and it added to my good feeling about how he's evolved!
Many thanks to our wonderful, hard-working Liz and DITHOT and to everyone for the very interesting discussions! :bouquet:
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:17 pm

gemini wrote: Its been great discussing both of our Fante books and I even read one more so far and probably will read the others. Just curiosity alone will make me want to follow Arturo the rest of the way.

I think I will PM you to find out how he fared in the next one.
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 gemini » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:40 pm

Liz wrote:
gemini wrote: Its been great discussing both of our Fante books and I even read one more so far and probably will read the others. Just curiosity alone will make me want to follow Arturo the rest of the way.

I think I will PM you to find out how he fared in the next one.


No problem Liz but give me a little time for a lapse in reading material. I am reading a book unrelated to Johnny now and just received "Public Enemy". I do plan to read both "The Road to LA" and "Dreams from Bunker Hill", hopefully while Arturo is still fresh in my mind. I just finished "1933 was a bad year" and it was about a youngster named Dominic, very much like Arturo. It was similar enough that I think it was also about Fante's youth.
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:52 pm

gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:
gemini wrote: Its been great discussing both of our Fante books and I even read one more so far and probably will read the others. Just curiosity alone will make me want to follow Arturo the rest of the way.

I think I will PM you to find out how he fared in the next one.


No problem Liz but give me a little time for a lapse in reading material. I am reading a book unrelated to Johnny now and just received "Public Enemy". I do plan to read both "The Road to LA" and "Dreams from Bunker Hill", hopefully while Arturo is still fresh in my mind. I just finished "1933 was a bad year" and it was about a youngster named Dominic, very much like Arturo. It was similar enough that I think it was also about Fante's youth.


I was referring to "1933". I had forgotten that it wasn't about Arturo. Seems like you have enough reading to keep you busy for a while. I'm sure you probably need a break from Arturo, too.
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 Dec 16, 2007 10:16 pm

I think Arturo has changed but is still battling his demons. He is focused on something positive, his writing, and beginning to see things outside of himself (Camilla and Sammy). His struggle seems to be with his religious background and the temptations available in the real world. At times the story seems to have him take on the seven deadly sins through different characters and situations (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) and struggle mightily. Has he changed for the better? I would say definitely so.
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