The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts

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Liz
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The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:07 am

Page 10:

“The smile folded from his [Vikram's] eyes as he got into the taxi. I watched him away, worried for the danger in what he was: an optimist ruined by love.”

How is that dangerous?
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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Re: The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:40 pm

The issue is vulnerability. Love means opening yourself to other people, vulnerable to whatever havoc they may want to create. It doesn't matter if it is mother/father, daughter/son, best friend or lover. If you love you are open to wonderful things and to tremendous hurt.

The same is true for optimism. Always looking on the bright side, always expecting the best of people and situations, can also leave you vulnerable to being used and hurt and disappointed. Optimism may help you survive uncertainty and darkness, but it can also leave you crushed when things turn out badly.

A combination of the two things would be a double whammy.

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Re: The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:53 am

At the same time the definition of the true optimist lies in the ability to always see the sunny side, always start the day with conviction that the best is bound to happen. I wonder if Lin was expressing some unconscious envy with regard to Vikram? I think Lin himself went from a total "realist" (of the darkest sort) to a budding optimist himself by the end of the book. I know that "transformation" of Lin made me rather queasy.

How many of us are truly optimists, you know? Sometimes I get called a "Pollyanna" by friends but my own weather eye is muddy. I assume both the good and the bad have an equal likelihood of occurring.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

Unread postby Liz » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:14 am

I agree with all that's been said. And I would add that I've known Pollyanas who were ruined by love. I think there are too many people out there that expect too much from love. Love is not perfect. And optimists might get too disappointed if love doesn't go the way they want. Whereas those who are not optimists, like myself, are more willing to accept the drama of love. We just don't expect as much.
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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The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:41 pm

I think at that point in the story, Lin was still very cynical about love and relationships, so was very worried about his friend.

I think optimism is a good thing...one should always have hope in whatever they do or any relationships they may have. Why else would you be in those relationships if you only saw failure ahead? I think even Lin was hopeful that he and Karla would be able to work it out eventually, but he wasn't going to hold his breath while he waited.

Being optimistic isn't the same as being stuck in Pollyanna's world, either. People who only see life through rose-colored glasses are often hit the hardest when bad things happen. That's what I think Lin meant by the quote.

As humans, we need both hope and fear to keep our bearings straight. Fear teaches us caution and gives a sense of balance to the hopeful side. While we want things to be good at all times, fear teaches us they won't be and thus we are somewhat prepared for the letdown.

And hope gives us a reason to proceed so we don't let fear guide our lives.

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The Mountain Shadow Question #7--"...an optimist ruined by love.” How is that dangerous?

Unread postby Liz » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:39 am

SnoopyDances wrote:As humans, we need both hope and fear to keep our bearings straight. Fear teaches us caution and gives a sense of balance to the hopeful side. While we want things to be good at all times, fear teaches us they won't be and thus we are somewhat prepared for the letdown.

And hope gives us a reason to proceed so we don't let fear guide our lives.


Keeping the balance. I totally agree, Snoop.
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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