Chocolat Question #8 - Guillaume

by Joanne Harris

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Chocolat Question #8 - Guillaume

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:14 am

What about Guillaume?
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es
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Unread postby es » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:52 am

Sweet man,hanging on to his little doggie.
is the dog also a way of holding on on his old ways of living?

even a bit open minded no surprise that he and Armande are close.

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es
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:09 am

es, he was such a sweet man! I also think he was a bit of a rebel in his own quiet way. He didn't buy in to everything Reynaud was trying to tell him and he stuck to his beliefs and his friends. He was a nice counterpart to the other males of the village.

The technogremlins are certainly out in full force today! The board is really sloooooooooow. :banghead:
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:57 am

One of my favorites in the book and the film, such a kind gentle sensitive man.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:42 am

Guillaume was a favorite of mine, too. He was always a perfect gentleman (always called Vianne "Madame Rocher") and had compassion, humor, loyalty and strength. Vianne's mother feared losing Vianne, Vianne feared losing Anouk, and Guillaume feared life without Charly. I imagine a lot of us know what it's like to try to drag out the life of a fatally ill pet... He was faithful to his church but recognized that non-church member, Narcisse, was a better Christian than most of the church goers. And he was so sweet when Roux found him an adoring mongrel to be concerned that someone might have lost him, to want to put a sign in the window. Don't know why he wasn't a family man... :-/
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Unread postby lumineuse » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:47 am

Guillaume was just a heart-breaker to me. Maybe it's the pet-lover coming out in me. His love for Charly and the way that was treated so dismissively by Reynaud was certainly another example of that man's lack of understanding and rigid thinking. I found it interesting that after Charly died, even though he eventually adopted another dog, he seemed to be a little more involved with the people around him. Perhaps Vianne's acceptance of him and Charly enabled him to be less protective of himself.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:55 am

es wrote:is the dog also a way of holding on on his old ways of living?


Charly could be symbolic of that, but I don't know that Guillaume saw it that way. I think he and his doggie were just very close companions.

On the other hand, I do see Guillaume making some changes in his life--becoming a little bit more sure of himself after Charly passes away, finding the courage to stand up for Armande against Reynaud on pg. 278:

"I think she's old enough to do what she likes." and

Reynaud: "I'm surprised that you, of all people, can take her side in this"....."Life's full of surprises," said Guillaume.
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Unread postby San » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:34 pm

Just see that my earlier post is eaten by the board.

I like Guillaume a lot, he is so friendly. I think he fears being alone and that is a reason why he can't let his dog go. He can let his dog go when he realise that he have good friends. He is very loyal to his friends. I think that through the book he becomes stronger and stand up more for what he thinks.
He is a good person where Reynaud is a bad one.

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Unread postby luvdepp » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:39 pm

I think he was a sweet, caring man. A nice contrast to some of the other males in the community. The love he felt for his dog was touching and when he finally let him go, it was heartbreaking. I think he was a good friend to both Vianne and to Armande. He did seem to become more confident and better able to stand up to Reynauld as the story went along.
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Unread postby KYwoman » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:40 pm

Guillaume was a favorite of mine too. Such a kind soul. Charly was a great companion for him and as an animal lover too, I could relate to their relationship and his desire to have the dog be so much a part of his life. Reminds me a bit of a living version of Anouk's Pantoufle and the dynamics of their 'relationship'.

Liz, even when he finds the inner drive to take a stand for Armande, he still does it in a gentlemanly way.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:03 pm

KYwoman wrote: Reminds me a bit of a living version of Anouk's Pantoufle and the dynamics of their 'relationship'.

Liz, even when he finds the inner drive to take a stand for Armande, he still does it in a gentlemanly way.


Yes, he does. A class act all the way! :thumbsup:

I agree with you about Anouk & Pantoufle, too, which we will be discussing in a couple of days.
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Unread postby Endora » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:25 pm

Could you say that G. was weak because of his treatment of his dog, how he delayed having Charley put down? And what about how he continued to feed the dog sugar/chocolate? Was his kindness a sort of accidental cruelty? The sort of cruelty that comes from self-preservation? You could say he was doing these things to protect his own feelings rather than making the dog's best interests his highest priority. He was using the dog as a means to an end rather than as an end in itself, and that means to an end was the end of not facing up to his own lonliness. So, because the dog was treated in this way, maybe you could say that G. was not the gentleman that he appeared, because he was more sorry for himself than he was for the dog.

Note, as a sort of apology: Sorry I am being so negative about all the characters recently. I am rereading the book and also in the middle of some studying about moral principles, and it has resulted in me seeing everything in the worst possible light. I don't mean to offend, but rather to try to bring out a different way of thinking.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:57 pm

No apology necessary, Endora. It sounds like you have some heavy reading there. Opposing viewpoints are always welcome. :cool:

I think G was using Charly to protect himself but I can't say that he was doing the dog any harm, other than perhaps keeping him alive longer than he could have. Charly was old and sick and I don't think at that point what he fed him probably hurt him all that much. I think they gave each other comfort. If we look hard enough at even the saints we can find some questionable behavior I would imagine. He was certainly a gentleman when compared to the other townsmen, but I do see your arguement.
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Unread postby Bix » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:59 pm

You make some good points, Endora, but I think Guillaume owns up to his own selfishness in not having the dog put down sooner and understands that he was doing it to hold on to that companionship just as long as he could. Not that that excuses it, but at least he is aware of his own actions and failings.

I liked your earlier point, DITHOT, about Guillaume being somewhat of a rebel in his own quiet way. I think he was too and when he came under the "spell" of Vianne and her shop, I think he does become more self-confident and outgoing. I love that he and Armande strike up a friendship in the book. I think they did each other a great deal of good. I guess I should include Vianne in that triangle, as she benefited from their friendship as well as they from hers.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:34 pm

I also understand your point of view Endora, I think that irked me too, the fact that he kept the poor dog alive so long, but he did seem to think he was not really suffering as such and made that his excuse.


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