Chcocolat Question #16 - Advice From Vianne

by Joanne Harris

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Chcocolat Question #16 - Advice From Vianne

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:24 am

In reference to Page 174--What do you think of the advice Vianne gives Josephine not to run away?
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:10 am

There are a couple of passages from Vianne here that I noticed:

"Start running away, and you'll be on the run forever," I told her fiercely. "Stay with me instead. Stay and fight with me." (pg. 175)

And...

"No." I looked at her. "You have to stay here. You have to fight him face to face. Otherwise you may as well never have left him." (pg. 176)


While Vianne is telling Josephine what she belives to be true and what she sees as the best course of action for her, I think she is giving herself a pep talk as well. She is trying to muster the courage to stay and fight her own fears instead of running from them as she and her mother always did, running from The Black Man (who has his very own question coming up tomorrow! :-O )
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:53 am

I think it's great advice! It's not easy to face one's fears, but the only way to get rid of them is to battle through them. Most of the characters in this story had fears to face, and those that faced them fared well.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:20 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:While Vianne is telling Josephine what she belives to be true and what she sees as the best course of action for her, I think she is giving herself a pep talk as well. She is trying to muster the courage to stay and fight her own fears instead of running from them as she and her mother always did, running from The Black Man (who has his very own question coming up tomorrow! :-O )


Good point, DITHOT. I had not thought of it as a pep talk for herself also. :cool:
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Unread postby Endora » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:25 pm

I thought that one of V's greatest fears was the loss of her daughter, the idea that she would no longer rely on her. She didn't seem to realise how she used her daughter as a kind of emotional prop. I wonder if this was more a fear than the black man. But to me, it didn't seem like she faced up to this.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:11 pm

I thought she faced up to that, Endora. She at least realized she had the fear. The reason I say that is because she thought about it a lot. However, I don't think she made any effort to deal with it.
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Unread postby luvdepp » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:05 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:There are a couple of passages from Vianne here that I noticed:

"Start running away, and you'll be on the run forever," I told her fiercely. "Stay with me instead. Stay and fight with me." (pg. 175)

And...

"No." I looked at her. "You have to stay here. You have to fight him face to face. Otherwise you may as well never have left him." (pg. 176)


While Vianne is telling Josephine what she belives to be true and what she sees as the best course of action for her, I think she is giving herself a pep talk as well. She is trying to muster the courage to stay and fight her own fears instead of running from them as she and her mother always did, running from The Black Man (who has his very own question coming up tomorrow! :-O )


Thanks for posting those quotes DITHOT. I don't have my book and they refreshed my memories. I think what she said to Josephine could be viewed as a pep talk to herself. And I agree with what she told her about facing her fears. Running away doesn't usually solve the problem. Although, in the case of spousal abuse, I think getting away is probably the safest course of action if you are in physical danger. Josephine felt save with Vianne and therefore could stay close and deal with the situation. Regarding the fear of losing her daughter, I think she was in a way, very dependent on their relationship. Kind of a safe harbor to Vianne through all the moving and changes in their lives. Even Vianne needed that bit of security. More to say on Vianne and Anouk, but it's probably an upcoming question?
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:12 pm

luvdepp wrote: More to say on Vianne and Anouk, but it's probably an upcoming question?


luvdepp, not a specific question but there will be one on Vianne and her mother so I think we will probably cover Vianne and Anouk in that question. Thanks for asking! :cool:
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Unread postby Bix » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:20 pm

I absolutely agree that Vianne's advice was as much (or more) for herself as it was for Josephine. I don't think it is an accident that she says, "Stay with me instead. Stay and fight with me." instead of "Stay with me and fight."

I think this passage is one of the most telling ones about Vianne's fears and insecurities. She knows the advice she is giving to Josephine is the right advice because she has lived running away all her life, but she is so conflicted about her own motives that she says, "Was this the price of my remaining? To send her out in my place? And what choice had I really given her?"

And when Vianne says, "You have friends here. . .And even if you don't realize it yet, you're strong." she is saying that to herself also. When Josephine finally makes the decision to stay, it is a victory for both women and both will benefit from it.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:08 pm

Very good points, Bix. You guys just amaze me at what you pick up on. That's what is so great about these discussions--that we can look at things slightly differently and can share.

And Luvdepp, the safety issue was my problem with her advice--at least initially. I tend to think that when there is spousal abuse involved--especially in a small town like that, where there is not much support for the woman--the best thing to do is just split and start a new life. That's what I would have done.
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 gilly » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:35 am

And it's always easier to give others advice and not do it yourself. :-O .
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:36 am

This is true, Gilly. What's the old saying? Do as I say but not as I do.
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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