Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

by Gordon Dahlquist

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Liz
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Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:40 pm

Pg. 464. Caroline to Miss Temple:

“You mustn’t judge Mrs. Marchmoor harshly. She does what she must do for her larger purpose. As we all are guided. Even you, Miss Temple. If you have peered into these extraordinary books then you must know.” She gestured toward Miss Vandaariff’s dressing closet. “So many are so tender, hungry, so deeply in need. How much of what you read—or indeed, what you remember—was most singularly rooted in painful loneliness? If a person could rid themselves of such a source of anguish….can you truly find fault?”

Why would someone give themselves up to the process willingly?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:10 pm

Many people feel loneliness and anguish in their lives. Even knowing the solution to these feelings could be achieved through long efforts of self investigation, one would be tempted to blindly follow the easy way out. Who would want a life of complete bliss? Life isn't that way - we learn from mistakes, hardships and disappointments. This is called growing and becoming a complete person. The women in the book - Caroline, Angelique and others that submitted to the process may have felt that there was no other choice for them. Miss Temple seemed to have a better grip on her choices.

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:22 pm

There are a lot of organizations that people voluntarily join to feel part of a larger community, and in doing so, give up much of their personal freedom. Religious cults and the military are two that spring to mind.

I used to work with a (very emotionally needy) woman who joined a church that literally told her who to marry, and then told her she had to stay with him no matter what because God had joined them together. She didn't have the glamour of turning blue, but she gave up most of her free will when she joined that church.

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:33 pm

I agree with your comparison of religious cults fansmom. Jonestown comes to mind - where all the followers drank the poison kool-aid. That is parallel to looking into the blue glass don't you think? This demonstrates a weakness of their own minds and hoping for something more satisfing in their lives even if they don't really know what it would be.

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:11 pm

Great answers so far. :cool: Good analogy to religious cults.

I think that those who feel that there is no hope in their lives would be willing to forgo a blissful “process” that would make them feel good. Such individuals may feel that they have nothing to lose and they see no way out for themselves. I can see a prostitute finding the process as a way out (although the process itself seems a tad like prostitution in that one gives over one’s body to someone else to do with what they wish). But I don’t really get people like Lydia. She had money and position and was to be married. The only thing I can figure is that she felt she had no choice because in Victorian times men generally had power over women—including fathers and husbands.
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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby Linda B. » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:47 pm

Liz wrote:Great answers so far. :cool: Good analogy to religious cults.

I think that those who feel that there is no hope in their lives would be willing to forgo a blissful “process” that would make them feel good. Such individuals may feel that they have nothing to lose and they see no way out for themselves. I can see a prostitute finding the process as a way out (although the process itself seems a tad like prostitution in that one gives over one’s body to someone else to do with what they wish). But I don’t really get people like Lydia. She had money and position and was to be married. The only thing I can figure is that she felt she had no choice because in Victorian times men generally had power over women—including fathers and husbands.


I have to say, of all of the women, Lydia really annoyed me the most. That said, she may be the most closely drawn to what life was actually like for women. Women, at that time, only existed if attached to a man. A woman like Rosamond would have been quite a rarity. I think even Miss Temple would have been a rarity - and I know she seemed to have an unending source of money - but I would bet it was a letter from her father, that made it so.

As to the idea of unending Bliss - I'd like to think most aware people would not want it - just to find out what is around the corner from troubles. As Johnson said (I'm paraphrasing), "People do not live from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope." The process, it seems to me, would take that away.
"It's OK to be different, it's good to be different, we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color."

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby gemini » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:48 pm

Why would someone give themselves up to the process willingly?
My first impulse answer was along the lines of what DITHOT said, that for someone like the prostitutes this may have seemed a way out of a life gone wrong, and they would not fear the lack of inhibitions that might bother some women. It was their chance at a reprieve.

Like some of you mentioned it was Lydia Vandaariff that puzzled me the most. She was in line to inherit her fathers' vast wealth, but even in her position it seemed her father would be choosing her husband so as to assure who would control his estate after him. I think she may have trusted in her father, and then lost hope when he seemed indifferent once he was controlled by the cabal. When Celeste finally meets her, she has already been compromised by the process so she may have had hope at one time. They don't really tell us if she went willingly.

It seems that Miss Temple may have even been in trouble had she not been rescued from the first process. She was able to pull away from the glass books with her will power, but she may not have been able after undergoing the first process at it affects your will. We do know the the Compte was wrong, she was not going willingly even before her rescue.
This, in itself, may be the answer to our question. If you have a life that you treasure, you would not willingly give it up for any reward if it meant giving up your freedom.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:57 pm

Lydia annoyed me too, Linda B. She seemed resigned to the process when Miss Temple met her. And she seemed resentful of her circumstances and quite fearful of the Comte, but not enough to resist. And that is what irked me about her….that she seemed to have given up. But at times, she seemed to be enjoying herself. :shocked:


gemini wrote: This, in itself, may be the answer to our question. If you have a life that you treasure, you would not willingly give it up for any reward if it meant giving up your freedom.

That may be the key, gemini.
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: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby trygirl » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:00 pm

All of you have given such good answers that there's hardly anything left for me to say. But I agree with fansmom's religious cult comparison and organizations like it. People like the Cabal prey on others' loneliness and vulnerability. The ones who so desperately want to belong to something or someone. Or those who choose to escape their station in life such as Mrs. Marchmoor, Angelique, or Miss Poole. They gave themselves over to the process because those devils had convinced them that the "grass was greener on the other side...that all their dreams would come true."
But it's not just loneliness that drives people into the hands of those like the Contessa and the Comte. It's also low self-esteem which we could attribute to any one of the prostitutes or feelings of inadequacy and ambition which we could assign to Roger Bascombe. There are lots of sad reasons. And unlike a lot of you, I understood why Lydia gave herself over to the process, perhaps willingly in the beginning and by force and duplicity in the end. She was merely well kept property. She thought by submitting to the process, she would finally take control of her own destiny or at least that's what she hoped. She was young, spoiled, and naive. And I think she just wanted to escape her controlling father...a lot like Miss Temple in that respect. And it didn't matter that she had money, and stood to inherit, no one listened to her.
In the end, that's what people want. They want someone to listen to them, to be heard. To feel truly a part of something important...to matter. Thou to be fair to everyone who gave themselves over, I don't think they truly understood the effects of the process, or of what they would become...walking glass books, drones, etc. They just wanted to numb the pain of isolation, of loneliness, of neediness. It's all really sad when you think about it. But the good news is that I'm finally done reading the book...so thank heavens for small favors. :chill:
I'm not a brand, I'm more of a variety. - Johnny Depp

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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:16 pm

trygirl wrote:But the good news is that I'm finally done reading the book...so thank heavens for small favors. :chill:

And that is an accomplishment in itself. :highfive:

I agree with you that she was young, naïve and SPOILED!
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Re: Glass Books Question #16 ~ Searching For Bliss

Unread postby Beatrix » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:31 pm

Well it seemed like the characters who gave themselves over willingly, wanted more than what they needed. I think of Roger, and how he wanted to have a title and money. Mrs. Marchmoor and Mrs. Poole wanted to have a higher position within the cabal. Basically, I thought the characters gave themselves over for money and power and maybe to clear their conscience.


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