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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:47 pm 
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gemini, I never got the feeling he was suicidal or he wouldn't have lasted so long with his outlook on life. He certainly checked out in a different way though!



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:02 pm 
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gemini wrote:
DITHOT said
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The money angle is a curious one. How much of him is just bored with life? What if he had a meaningful job that brought him some measure of satisfaction, would that have changed his outlook on life? (Or maybe it's just a literary device to allow the character the freedom of not working.


I think his dropping out of life started before his inheritance. He dropped out of college after 2 years and said that he took whatever job turned up without checking whether it paid well or badly. Something must have clicked at that point in his life. He then went to personal ads to find a wife saving him a lot of wasted words. He couldn't be bothered with trivial chit chat or deal with preliminaries . That isn't very romantic. He describes her as foolish enough to believe in true love which is a pretty jaded remark for someone getting married. He had already dropped out of life at this point and was just going through the motions. Maybe even before when he stated looking at headstones after high school. A bigger problem than high school foolishness.


I agree, Gemini. This is the sociopath aspect of him--avoiding the chit chat and trivialities--cutting to the chase--getting down to basics. At least I see it as anti-social behavior.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:15 pm 
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Depputante wrote:
What makes him so jaded?
-- I'm kind of left wondering if he's high functhioning Autistic, or Asperger's. The lack of emotions, compassion, and the ticking off his list of life items off his list really makes me think so. Also the ability to highly focus on his 'life list' and be efficient at checking off those items.

BUT then, I don't see any functional obsession except that of the obscurity of death, which is very..non-functional, and vague and not really a part of the Autism thing.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Fence sitter!


I don't know anything about how the obscurity of death relates to non-autism, but I have to say I have been thinking all along about possible Asperger's. I am not an expert in this field but have known a few--some of them socially, through my child's school, etc. I think that with Asperger's there is a tendency towards social isolation and to not be fully attuned to the social cues.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:35 pm 
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Depputante wrote:
I think that 'more' needs to come from within, rather than dissociating and 'window shopping' about life. He hasnt' gotten that far either, although he is doing HIS best to find the something more, in the wrong way.
Right question, wrong path? Now, suddenly it seems similar to Shantram's "Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons." in a way. Yes? No? I don't know. I've also confused myself.


I couldn’t agree more, Depputante. It needs to come from within, and he seems to want it to come from window shopping, as you say. Right question, wrong path. Good analogy to Shantaram!

Parlez, you are taxing my brain. LOL. But being that you had the same motivation in working in Hospice might give us some clues to Antoine. I’m glad you mentioned the similarity to monasteries. I too was thinking that, for Antoine, HD was like a monastery in that he could escape real life. I believe that there are a few (not all by any means) people who choose the life of a monk or nun for that reason—to escape life.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:19 am 
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Very interesting discussion.
I first thought of Antoine a cynical and fatalistic. Also as has been mentioned I would say he is also arrogant to think anyone could experience all life offers at 18, a time when life is just beginning - so much to discover about ourselves and the world. He seems to completely lack emotion, he never involves himself in relationships even with his wife and children.

He had dropped out of life even before his inheritance allowed him to "retire" to Happy Days. With his "retirement" he seems to have assured himself of no surprises in his life.

You are right, Liz, part of Asperger's is lack of social skills. I have a great niece who has Asperger's and she had to be taught to reply to her school mates saying hello or good-bye. I don't know if Antoine's symptoms fit with this disease, as he seems to enjoy giving updates to the residents on the soap opera and seems to know how to interact with the residents. There are different degrees of the disease.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:33 am 
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Well, I just got back from my shift at the bookstore to find this
amazing thread of thought-provoking posts. Good job, mates!!
After reading through everyone's ideas, it seems to me Antoine
is, along with other things, a born contemplative. It seems he's always preferred
to sit and think and ponder and consider and observe and not act. The choices he makes
are really non-choices, his decisions are non-decisions. He's very mild about things in general,
and when he's expected to act (socially) he seems to resent it and/or not take it very
seriously...the sex, the marriage, the kids...they're just distractions from something more compelling,
whatever that is.
This is the stuff of which mystics are made, me thinks!
As someone said, a paradigm shift indeed....The guy's on a whole other level.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:17 am 
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Linda Lee wrote:
Very interesting discussion.
I first thought of Antoine a cynical and fatalistic. Also as has been mentioned I would say he is also arrogant to think anyone could experience all life offers at 18, a time when life is just beginning - so much to discover about ourselves and the world. He seems to completely lack emotion, he never involves himself in relationships even with his wife and children.

He had dropped out of life even before his inheritance allowed him to "retire" to Happy Days. With his "retirement" he seems to have assured himself of no surprises in his life.

You are right, Liz, part of Asperger's is lack of social skills. I have a great niece who has Asperger's and she had to be taught to reply to her school mates saying hello or good-bye. I don't know if Antoine's symptoms fit with this disease, as he seems to enjoy giving updates to the residents on the soap opera and seems to know how to interact with the residents. There are different degrees of the disease.


Linda Lee, there are differing degrees, for sure, and different symptoms. I know someone who has it who you'd never suspect. It can be very subtle. And it is this person that made me think it was the case with Antoine. I'm wondering if there is anyone out there with experience in this area who can enlighten us here--to tell me if I'm really off base or if I'm on to something.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:27 am 
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Parlez wrote:
He's very mild about things in general,
and when he's expected to act (socially) he seems to resent it and/or not take it very
seriously...the sex, the marriage, the kids...they're just distractions from something more compelling,
whatever that is.
This is the stuff of which mystics are made, me thinks!
As someone said, a paradigm shift indeed....The guy's on a whole other level.


This could also be his motivation for disengaging from what's socially proper. It is not of importance to someone of such high spirtituality.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:29 am 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
[b
As an aside...Lady Jill and Parlez, I remember Harold and Maude too! Have you heard Cat Stevens new song?

What ? is he singing again? I heard he was trying to return to the US and they ( the authorities ) wouldn't let him in.
I love all his songs - they fit Harold just fine.
Now we're all dated.

I've enjoyed all your thoughts on Antoine. . . but in writing such a story, you do get a big part of the writer thoughts. When I first heard the story of Happy Days, I thougt, how sweet, the young fellow went to live with his elders to help them through they're passing. . .but the book doesn't come across as such. I guess I'm a romantic at heart.
Lady Jill

:blush: Opps. Found this info on another page. .Thanks.


Last edited by Lady Jill on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:38 am 
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nebraska wrote:
Depputante wrote:
I think he would try to do the same thing even if he didn't have any money. He'd spend his afternoons on the bench, then walk home.


I agree. I don't think Antoine was of a mindset to do anything constructive with his life, to drift, to watch, to benchsit. The money meant he could go do what he wanted without being a public burden.


The money. . .this reminds me of a quote by Johnny in a magazine of late, something about "the only thing good about having money is the freedom it gives you". . . perhaps this is what attacked him to this Antoine.

Lady JIll


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:52 am 
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Liz wrote:
Linda Lee wrote:
Very interesting discussion.
I first thought of Antoine a cynical and fatalistic. Also as has been mentioned I would say he is also arrogant to think anyone could experience all life offers at 18, a time when life is just beginning - so much to discover about ourselves and the world. He seems to completely lack emotion, he never involves himself in relationships even with his wife and children.

He had dropped out of life even before his inheritance allowed him to "retire" to Happy Days. With his "retirement" he seems to have assured himself of no surprises in his life.

You are right, Liz, part of Asperger's is lack of social skills. I have a great niece who has Asperger's and she had to be taught to reply to her school mates saying hello or good-bye. I don't know if Antoine's symptoms fit with this disease, as he seems to enjoy giving updates to the residents on the soap opera and seems to know how to interact with the residents. There are different degrees of the disease.


Linda Lee, there are differing degrees, for sure, and different symptoms. I know someone who has it who you'd never suspect. It can be very subtle. And it is this person that made me think it was the case with Antoine. I'm wondering if there is anyone out there with experience in this area who can enlighten us here--to tell me if I'm really off base or if I'm on to something.



I am a little uneasy :-/ about diagnosing Antionne's mental dysfunctions. I know there are some traits of many diseases that we all have and we'll be certifying ourselves if we get too deep into Antionne's problems. After watching Jack Nickelson in "as good as it gets" my mother and I decided everyone in our family had his compulsive disorder of checking locks and washing his hands for germs. I even have a little of that not wanting to step on cracks in the sidewalk. :freaked:
Thinking of some of Antoinnes humorous remarks about the elderly, make me think of a lot of things that have went through my mind dealing with my parents when they lived with me for awhile. :censored:



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:48 am 
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I'm not sure really. As I read the book, my opinion changed about Antoine. I started out feeling like he was a bit of an arrogant, selfish jerk (sorry), as you can tell I didn't like him very much, later I began to think that maybe he was in fact a hypersensitive person who saw and felt too keenly the absurdity, futility, ugliness and frustration about life and living, but he lacked the ability to balance that with how beautiful, abundant and joyous life can be as well. Maybe that's the point, maybe Graff wants each of us to see Antoine in our own way. Maybe I'm grasping for straws, and will now slink back to my corner. :lol:

Live in Depp
Boo



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Boo-Radley wrote:
I'm not sure really. As I read the book, my opinion changed about Antoine. I started out feeling like he was a bit of an arrogant, selfish jerk (sorry), as you can tell I didn't like him very much, later I began to think that maybe he was in fact a hypersensitive person who saw and felt too keenly the absurdity, futility, ugliness and frustration about life and living, but he lacked the ability to balance that with how beautiful, abundant and joyous life can be as well. Maybe that's the point, maybe Graff wants each of us to see Antoine in our own way. Maybe I'm grasping for straws, and will now slink back to my corner. :lol:


Don't do that, Boo. You always have an interesting insight to share. I do think he saw life as absurd.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:39 pm 
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A thousand years ago, Antoine would have made a great anchorite. From wikipedia--

"Anchorite (male)/anchoress (female), from the Greek ἀναχωρέω anachōreō, signifying "to withdraw", "to depart into the country outside the circumvallated city", denotes someone – prominently in earlier Christian and medieval times – who for religious reasons withdraws from the secular society and leads an intensely prayer-oriented and, circumstances permitting, Mass-focused life. The term is sometimes assumed to be interchangeable with hermit[1]; but it is important to retain a clear distinction.

"Walls were built into churches with one slit facing the body of the church, so the anchoress could observe Mass and be passed trays of food, and a barred window facing the outside world. The anchoress, placed there at her own request, would be walled in. Anchoresses never left their abode, ate little, and their principal engagement was the constant contemplation of God. An anchoress would make a higher commitment to destroying the sensuality of her body, thus increasing her connection to the divine, than someone engaged in any other religious position offered to women at the time. These women gained a reputation for wisdom and mystical power, and in some cases came to be visited by petitioners. . .

"Some worldly anchoresses became the founts of gossip for their communities and knew everything that was going on in the village, either by being told or observing it. Keep in mind that churches were centrally located, and someone walled into the side of one, constantly watching, would see much."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchorite

Some parallels with Antoine, who was there at his "own request." I also like the "founts of gossip" parallel to his keeping up with the soap opera. The problem is that without the spirituality, his self-sacrifice was pretty pointless.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:42 pm 
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gemini wrote:
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What would be the sense of discovering the meaning of life if you had already thrown your life away?
Because he's only 35, he thinks he hasnt' thrown his life away at all ! I think he would try to do the same thing even if he didn't have any money. He'd spend his afternoons on the bench, then walk home.

THe guy is either Genius or has a big problem. But then again, they say Bill Gates, and Einstein both have Asperger's. That ability to really focus and be efficient at it. But both of them focused on the Functional items. Not Death, or Life.

I like this Depp Dichotomy of Life 101. Very interesting. Kind of like a Paradigm Shift, and then not really taking a side. Thoroughly contemplative and confusing!


Antionne may have been seaching for meanings in life at 35 but he stayed there his whole life. I think that kind of means he threw his life away. In the end Antionne is old. He obviously continued his whole life at Happy Days since he is still there and it is now the Happy Days Vacation and Recreation Center and is owned by M. Revilli's grandson. He talks of having rheumatism and having been there so long he was part of the place. The give away is the title of the last chapter...All my life, I've let myself die.


:dunce: Don't know why I forgot about that final chapter! I guess I've been reading People's Act, and ...well...have two hats on at the moment.



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