Jessica Jessica's Comments (member since Mar 14, 2011)

Jessica's comments from the Chicks On Lit group.

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Jun 27, 2012 11:24AM

2996 My thought was why would the mother of the 13 year old try to lessen her punishment to begin with? I would be telling the judge to be as strict as possible so she learns her lesson. The fact that the mom was willing to do anything to get the punishment curtailed proves the daughter is part of the entitled generation.
Jun 18, 2012 12:35PM

2996 or is it about fate? Can't control it no matter how hard you try?

Here is a story about a kid who asked living authors about symbolism and if they intended to do it. Interesting read.
Jun 12, 2012 10:14AM

2996 A couple of thoughts about book interpretations. They are, just that, interpretations. Everyone could read the same passage and possibly have a different interpretation. We do know though, that things are not just placed in the story for no reason. If you have a reoccurring theme (clocks not working, in this case) then we know there is something important about that and thus it is not just that no one wants to reset the clock. There is an old saying in fiction writing: if there is a gun on the wall in the first act, by the third act it will be used. In other words, these details are listed for a reason.

As for proving which interpretation is correct, if it is logical and the text supports it, then it is "right". If someone wants to discuss the opposite point, they are welcome to present that theory. That is what makes textual analysis interesting.

And for the point of how do we know what the author was getting at . . . we don't care. The author is only in control of his/her book as long as they are writing it. Once they publish it, it is now the readers' to do with as we will. For example, JK Rowling might not have intended to make Harry a Christ figure, but he is, whether she wrote it that way on purpose or not. Another common saying in fiction analysis: the writer is dead (said even when the writer is alive to mean figuratively).

So, in contrast to the idea that time is used to represent the passing of the old ways and the characters' attempts to hold onto them, I could say that I believe learning about the passing of time is a key point in our childhood. We don't think about time until we begin to grow into an adult, and then we become fascinated by this new thing that is suddenly controlling our lives. To become functioning adults, we learn to accept time. We learn to tell it, accept that it only goes in one direction, and do our best to make good use of it. Thus, since the characters are all struggling with time, I think we see that they have not matured. They are still unable to understand and function within normal time constraints, thus, they are not fully functioning adults. Benjy suffers this developmental stunting because of his physical disability; he is literally incapable. Quentin is emotionally incapable of understanding time. He tries to physically deal with it by smashing the watch, but, of course, that does not work and he hears it still ticking even though it is no longer able to tell time. He keeps slipping backward into another time when the emotional triggers happen. He is unable to function as an adult and we see him give up completely. Jason is stunted by his rage and perceived wrongs. He cannot let go of what happened almost 2 decades previous to his narrative. What does he care about the clock being a few hours off when he is living in the past? Since none of these characters are able to fully develop into adulthood, they are doomed. They cannot live productive lives since they never learned to deal with the concept of time.

So, since my idea is not illogical (saying they are aliens would be illogical) and the text supports it (the examples fit for each of the characters), it is "right", but someone else could focus on the misuse of time representing the old and new south or even a completely different idea of what the problems with time add to the story.
Jun 11, 2012 09:13AM

2996 Probably the only thing he loves more than his anger is his money. He steals from his mother, sister and niece and then flies into a rage when it is all stolen back.

Here is an interesting question I faced. Me and my husband (who read this a while back) were discussing the book and I kept presenting all sorts of theories he thought were outlandish. For example, I thought perhaps Jason was illegitimate because his mother keeps saying thank God he is not a Compson. My husband told me that is a saying meaning the mom is glad he is not so much like his father and that side of the family. He said it is a southern thing that he grew up hearing about himself and his siblings ("there's more Edwards than Strickland in you"). It made me realize that in addition to the setting and the obvious vernacular dialogue, Faulkner is really immersing the story in southern American culture. Do you think this book is easier to understand if they have a link to that culture?
Jun 11, 2012 06:29AM

2996 I wonder if part of Jason's anger is resentment. Obviously Caddy and Quentin were close and he was the left-out, younger brother. I think he is angry about all the events of the past.

All of the children have issues with time. Obviously we know Benjy is incapable of distinguishing any time at all. Quentin is obsessed with it as he constantly hears the ticking watch. And Jason cannot seem to let go of the past; he keeps going back to the job he lost because of Caddy even though it has been almost two decades since that happened.
Jun 08, 2012 10:20AM

2996 I wish we could "like" comments too. Vered put it brilliantly.
Jun 08, 2012 10:14AM

2996 I'm a little behind in the reading, but I'm going to catch up this weekend. Don't worry, I will be back to put in more comments.
Jun 04, 2012 11:21AM

2996 I have seen The Paris Wife around and it looks interesting. If that was the August read, I'm sure I could get it read in time and would discuss.
2996 I read an interesting article about 50 shades. The original fan fiction manuscript was taken down from Archive's site. There is some speculation about if this is a way to cover plagiarism on the part of James. Since we were talking about that, I thought I would link you to the article.
May 31, 2012 10:46AM

2996 I kinda like the writing style because it is getting clearer and the pieces are being put together. It is like a mystery or a puzzle and as long as he clears things up, I am in it for the ride.

I don't think the mother is really sick either. She comes across to me like a lot of the swooning Victorian women, a bit dramatic, where a headache will put them in bed for a week.

About the mother's illness, Benjy says he sees her sickness on the handkerchief, and Quentin says something about mother doing something with the handkerchief without dad seeing. At first I thought consumption and the blood is on the hanky, but then with Quentin committing suicide, I thought maybe the mother has some sort of drug/medicine on the hanky and is self-medicating to the point of hurting herself and that is the sickness Benjy sees. I'm sure I am off on some of that, but it was just something that caught my attention as I read.
May 30, 2012 12:44PM

2996 That's another good point Ruth. To Quentin the little girl could be someone's sister (and actually is as he finds out later).
May 30, 2012 10:58AM

2996 Irene,

I think that is him helping another lost soul. Obviously he feels lost and alone and so he recognizes that in the little girl. Often lonely hearts find one another, this one just happens to be a child. Also, there were issues in his childhood and so he is extra sensitive to the plight of a child.
May 30, 2012 08:57AM

2996 Quentin is resigned to paying the fine, but he is also very out of touch with his own life. I felt like he was planning his own death, so why care about the fine or keeping his friends waiting, etc.
May 29, 2012 09:59AM

2996 I know I am too intimidated to lead a book discussion and I am an English teacher at the college level so I can understand if everyone else is too. Julie leading the discussion on She's Come Undone did an amazing job IMO. Having a partner who would help me lead the discussion (like a mod or someone who is awesome at that sort of thing) might make me less hesitant.

As for getting involved in the discussion itself, Sometimes I do not read the book because the discussions are not very active. I have been disappointed in the past when I read a book for the group and then the discussion is lack-luster. That is definitely a personal barrier and I have worked to try not to get disappointed and take the risk on a new book.

I like having new books each month. Often I read the book just because we are discussing it.

I like that we don't have to worry about spoilers because it is specifically stated that the discussion is for people who have finished the book or don't care about spoilers.

Maybe we need more notice for upcoming reads since people are talking about time/availability. So in other words, if we already knew what books were up for july/august, people could be on the waiting list, asking friends to borrow, getting a jump on the read (and the discussion), etc. I know I would be able to plan around it better if I had more lead time. Heck, that might help with people leading the discussion too since they would have a while to come up with questions/talking points. Just a thought.
May 29, 2012 09:45AM

2996 I really enjoyed this book Julie. I felt there was just so much going on with the story-line, the characters, and the mental illness issues. I have already recommended this to my husband and I would do the same to any other serious reader. I say serious reader because for many people deep issues like the ones in this book are not what they find enjoyable when reading. I find that sad/disappointing, but it is what it is I guess.
2996 I agree Marialyce that Christian is a bully in some ways.

I have to say "beating" and "spanking" are two different things though. She is not tied up, she is not locked in. She is willingly bending over. She is counting, so she could have just as easily yelled "no" or "stop" or "red". She could also have just stood up and ran. He is not hitting her in the face or punching her or grabbing her and throwing her around. We can blame him but she shares just as much of the blame. If he is debasing her, it is because she is debasing herself.

I also agree with Marialyce that Ana is written as too naive for this situation or even for someone her age. With a roommate as sexually active as hers, Ana should know about oral sex if even only through conversation.
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May 22, 2012 12:48PM

2996 Donna,

I dont know what you mean by suggested reading, but goodreads generates recommendations once you rate enough books. I start there when looking for new books.
2996 Viola, I agree with you that inspiration is a great thing and people can use other works as a springboard for their creative expression. Visual artists did this all the time too. This is so close though that I agree it is infringement. I bet the lawyers gave it a close look and made sure enough was changed (although a judge might disagree if SM decided to push it).

Tera, if you are not a fan of sexualized plots, you probably won't like this one.
May 21, 2012 11:09AM

2996 There were so many interesting minor characters. The hippies did so much to broaden her horizons in a few short days. I also liked the hippy girl at college who is always trying to "fight the power" because she was not a stepford girl like the others so she was an outcast like Dolores. I liked Dolly a lot, and I am not really sure why other than she helped Dolores when she got there a week early.
May 20, 2012 12:02PM

2996 True it is confusing but I have not used any outside sources. I figured it was meant to be read from start to finish so that is what I am doing.
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