Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

by Brian Selznick

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Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:46 am

Why would Isabelle be friends with a boy like Etienne, who was apparently so much older?
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby IngridN » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:57 pm

Both Isabelle and Etienne are frequently found at the bookstore of
Mr. Labisse and I think that there Etienne found out that Isabelle loves the movies but that Papa George does not allow her to see any movies.
Etienne works at the movie theatre and as he says:'I always take pity on people who love the movies'.
That's why he sneaks her in every now and then, and that's how they became friends.
"We are always the same age inside." Gertrude Stein

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:00 pm

I wondered how Isabelle became friends with Etienne. But reading on they had several interests in common - books - movies. We didn't get much background on Etienne - just a kind caring friend who liked Isabelle and Hugo and liked to do kind gestures for them. He certainly played an important part of the story as it went on and especially the ending. With his keen interest in books and reading and researching - could he have possibly had a hint of Papa Georges past?

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby Boo-Radley » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:54 pm

To tell you the truth when I first read of the friendship between Isabelle and Etienne, my momma alerts went off right away...because of the age difference between them. I understood that a young girl like Isabelle would be drawn to a handsome, interesting and slightly mysterious young man like Etienne and of course if this was a different kind of story, I think there could be the potential for danger in her having him as a friend. But, in the context of this story I can see that Isabelle would want to befriend/have a crush on Etienne beyond the obvious reasons because they share of a love books and films; which Isabelle probably could never have in common with boys her own age.


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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:48 pm

The descriptions from yesterday and today are great! How the author used this character as a catalyst to move things along was very well done.
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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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:54 pm

Yes, I think he was more of a catalyst than anything else. And if he had been younger, his character would not have been as useful. It is true that probably most boys Isabelle’s age would not be interested in books. It worked. I just had that burning question in the back of my mind.
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: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:55 am

I agree that he was a device to move the story more than a full blown character. I was disappointed in a way because I think there was much more to this young man than we had a chance to know. I think the love of books gave him a connection to Isabelle.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby magpie » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:03 pm

nebraska wrote:I agree that he was a device to move the story more than a full blown character. I was disappointed in a way because I think there was much more to this young man than we had a chance to know. I think the love of books gave him a connection to Isabelle.


I agree, nebraska. I thought Etienne was someone older that both Isabelle & Hugo looked up to. It's a shame we couldn't find out an interesting history to the character--the elements were there, his knowledge of movies at such a young age, the patch over his eye . . . .
I'm having a thought here. . . .
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:22 pm

I suspect Etienne's story would make a good book of it's own!
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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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby Buster » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:52 pm

Do you think he wore the eye-patch in honor of The Man in the Moon (who certainly would have needed one when he removed the rocket)? :bigwink:

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:40 pm

I had not thought about that, Buster. Interesting question! :cool:
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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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #9 ~ Speaking of Etienne...

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:36 pm

Nothing seems to be an accident when it comes to Mr. Selznick. So it wouldn’t surprise me if the patch was to honor the Man in the Moon.

Good catch, Buster.
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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