Chocolat Question #8 - Guillaume

by Joanne Harris

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Raven
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Unread postby Raven » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:01 pm

Endora points out that everyone even Armande and Guillaume, are likeable characters they are not perfect, only human! :cool:
"In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid
and the envious."
John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys

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PhD
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Unread postby PhD » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:09 pm

Like many of the characters in the book, I could identify with Guillaume. The decision to put a beloved pet 'to sleep' is a tough one. Yes, he was selfish to let Charly go as long as he did, but I understand. It's difficult to know when you should do that. The dog can't tell you how he feels, and a one good day holds more weight than several bad ones in the decision making process. Besides, I think he learned from his experience with Charly. I think his role in Armande's life (or the end of it) showed that he had learned a bit about the importance of dying with dignity.

GUillaume seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and to see things for what they really were, instead of what the church or Reynauld said they were. He didn't often speak out, or act out, but he knew what was what, and he could stand his ground when he needed to.
"Because, you know, it seems to me that, I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal"

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:48 pm

Endora wrote: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.


The devil's advocate is always welcome, as far as I'm concerned. (don't take that the wrong way :lol: ) It makes the discussion interesting and exercises our brains.

I think that when you are in the middle of a situation like that it is hard to think rationally and objectively about it. And, unfortunately dogs can't talk and tell you how they feel. As Bix pointed out, he admitted he kept Charly alive too long. And I think he felt bad about it. And in giving the dog chocolates and sugar he probably thought he was improving his quality of life while the dog was still around. If it was cruelty it was "accidental" as you said. I'm guilty of feeding things to my dog that probably are not prolonging her life--but she's sure a happy dog.
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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Unread postby Gypsylee » Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:45 pm

Liz wrote:

I'm guilty of feeding things to my dog that probably are not prolonging her life--but she's sure a happy dog.


But lasagna Liz?

I liked Guillaume. He was quiet, gentle but seemed stronger than some in standing his ground. I related to him and his dog. I am guilty of the same thing.
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:06 pm

Gypsylee wrote:
Liz wrote:

I'm guilty of feeding things to my dog that probably are not prolonging her life--but she's sure a happy dog.


But lasagna Liz?

I liked Guillaume. He was quiet, gentle but seemed stronger than some in standing his ground. I related to him and his dog. I am guilty of the same thing.


:biglaugh: :shhh: Made an impression on you, huh? I thought all dogs loved lasagna. Wait a minute..... I guess that would be cats (Garfield).
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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Unread postby Gypsylee » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:06 am

Liz wrote:
Gypsylee wrote:
Liz wrote:

I'm guilty of feeding things to my dog that probably are not prolonging her life--but she's sure a happy dog.


But lasagna Liz?

I liked Guillaume. He was quiet, gentle but seemed stronger than some in standing his ground. I related to him and his dog. I am guilty of the same thing.


:biglaugh: :shhh: Made an impression on you, huh? I thought all dogs loved lasagna. Wait a minute..... I guess that would be cats (Garfield).


Speaking of spoiling a dog........by the looks of my dogs you'd think I fed them all kinds of fun stuff, but all they get is that dry boring stuff. If I fed them like Guillaume fed his dog, or you too Liz for that matter, they wouldn't fit through the door.
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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rustyred
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Unread postby rustyred » Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:08 am

Guillaume- a sweet innocent and beguilling gentleman who was really a loney, loney man who lived in the past -wishing for his hearts desires while refusing to accept what was staring him in the face - an old and sick companion.
For any pet lover it is always a heart rending choice:
the selfishness of keeping the infirm animal alive or to let
it go.

He was a cutie - how could you but adore him - he
lives in all of us
Do you like me........now?

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Unread postby fansmom » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:07 pm

Guillaume and his dog, as sweet as they were, seemed to me to be written to foreshadow of Armande's choice, and to make us think of quality-of-life and end-of-life decisions. I think he also served to point out the hypocrisy concerning those decisions in the community (and especially in the priest).

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:44 pm

fansmom wrote: Guillaume and his dog, as sweet as they were, seemed to me to be written to foreshadow of Armande's choice, and to make us think of quality-of-life and end-of-life decisions.


I had not thought of that connection, fansmom. It does make sense! :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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