House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

by Woody Guthrie

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House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:37 pm

Let’s discuss HOW Ella May and Tike love each other.

What do you think of how each loves the other?

What is your opinion about the type of love that they have?
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: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:33 am

I had a feeling that kept nagging at me that Ella May was a little too good for Tike, a little more than he really deserved. At the same time he seemed like such a normal male creature, he also seemed more immature and self-centered than I wanted him to be, while Ella May seemed so good hearted and pure. With that said, I think the love they shared was innocent and deep, and almost "newlyweddish" with its teasing/flirting playfulness. I imagine they will always be together although the rest of the world might not find either one of them to be romantic or outstanding in any way. Ella May looks at Tike through lenses that distort with love and make him a better man in her eyes than he actually is in reality. But then, I think that how real love is, which is a fortunate fact for most of us.

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Re: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby shaman-art » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:52 pm

Agreed!

"Newlyweddish" is a good description. I go the impression that everything was still very fresh, not the routine of a couple that's been together for years.
Ella May comes from a wealthier family and she's better educated than Tike, but still she decided to marry a guy below her social standing and to work with her hands and to live in a ramshackle hut. For Tike it must have been like winning the lottery, but on the other side he's flirting everything female with a pulse.
Nowadays I wouldn't be surprised if even with a child the love would be gone one day.
Back then I think a couple like them would stay together because it would have been the only way to raise a kid.

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Re: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:31 pm

One of my favorite lines in the book is on page 65 when Tike is trying to tell Ella May that they would not be allowed to rent the following year, that they’d have to live on the shares. She asks, “Just what then are we doing?” and Tike replies, “Glad you said, ‘we.’” Tike smiled to himself. “I think I like the sound of that word better than any other one I ever heard anybody say.” He closed his eyes shut and said upward to the wall, “We.”

It’s that wonderful notion that as long as you have each other, everything will be ok. Love is all you need. Yes, “newlyweddish”. :yes: It’s a young and blissful love where the good qualities of the other person still obfuscate the bad. I think Tike still has Ella May on a pedestal and Ella May, for her part, might see some of Tikes flaws, but mostly she sees a good-hearted, strong man who’ll do anything in his power for her.

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Re: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby Liz » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:44 am

I thought the way they loved was interesting and complicated.

It seemed that Tike loved her very much (or thought he did). He seemed to need her and cherish her.

Pg. 31:
It happened at all times when all Tike’s hopes, wants, cravings, and troubles, accidentally or all on purpose, all came together in one solitary, single thought, usually and quite naturally his one single thought was about the person on earth that he loved most. It had been a dozen girls at the farms and the ranches around. It had come when friends and relatives from towns and from other farms brought their children out for a visit. It had happened when he was thinking about his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters. He had had it a hundred times or more while he was going with Ella May, and he had felt it even plainer, more real, since he had been married to her. The sight of her doing her work about the place would cause him to fall into his vision. When she was away at town or at some of the neighboring farms he thought about her so plain that everything in his world came to him at the same instant. He actually saw a living thread of connection between every thought that he had every thought, everything that had ever happened to him, and every cell in his brain, every memory, was very plainly connect up one with the other, and another with that, and so on.

To me it seems he is saying here that she permeated his being, that she was the love of his life, the one he could not do without. He had a connection with her like no other.

And although, he seemed to be very willing to go have a roll in the hay, as it were, with any other hot blooded woman who happened to catch his fancy, the woman he really loved was Ella May. So, to him it transcended sex. And I don’t think he thought sex equated to love at all.

Ella May surprised me with her casual attitude about Tike’s lust for Blanche:

Pg. 168:
Over and over, he had asked her if she would get mad at him if he was to roll Blanche in the hay. And over and over Ella had shaken her head and said, “If you feel that you need the practice, go ahead.”

Granted, she had prefaced this with her disbelief that he had actually cheated or was really planning to. But I think that she felt that it was normal for men to stray, but Tike would always come back to her.
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: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:59 pm

I think the kind of love that couples feel when they are hoping their love will result in children is a different kind of love. It really is tied up in generations and fertility, in emulating the bounty of the earth. I remember when I was newly married feeling that my husband and I were parts of a giant vine, that we were connected to generations past and future because of our joining. It's lust with the future in mind.

Guthrie deliberately used a lot of earth-based symbolism in his story of this couple's love and particularly in both their lovemaking and in the birth of their child. I think he did it to show how people are part of the Earth, part of Creation. But maybe he also did it because this was the season of love he was in the middle of himself.

I liked Tike's graciousness as a lover. I liked Ella's ability to be passionate, to want him physically and be assertive about that want. Guthrie drew two truly whole people.
"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: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:48 pm

I kept wondering what attracted Ella May to Tike in the first place. Whatever it was - she loved him deeply and shared his passion for love making. When times get hard - it is good to have someone who loves you so completely that for some blissful minutes (or much longer in this case) you can forget the cruel world and enjoy each other.
Then Tike threw a curve when he wanted "a roll in the hay" with Blanche. Where did that come from?? I believe Ella May loved him more than he loved her!! But Tike needed her more.

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Re: House of Earth Question #9 - Ella May & Tike

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:59 pm

This book is a quick time shot at a couple's life. Guthrie is interested in catching the essence of a time and people -- how they think about life, how they speak to each other. The characters are very well drawn if you think about it.

As Blanche seems to understand, guys waiting for the women to give birth often get a little screwy in the head. Guthrie is showing us the insides of folks, the whole range of thinking that a body will do in a crisis situation. So much of what Ella says is also off the wall, under the influence of the birthing process.

Tike is guy who says what's on his mind, that's all. He didn't seriously mean it, and when Blanche dropped the bomb on him -- he retreated in confusion.

We all think so many different things, good, bad, crazy, off the wall, insanely beautiful, deceitful, selfish etc. If an author sets out to draw a couple of people as fully as possible, he is going to have to draw dark and light and everything in between. Dark is not bad. Dark is simply dark.
"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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