Mar 16, 10
Read from March 07 to 16, 2010
** spoiler alert **
In The Plains of Passage I feel like there are some pretty deep identity issues. Although Jondalar loves Ayla, when he's with her I feel like he kind of gets lost in her. He always wants to be with her, but when he was alone at the Wolf Women camp, he seemed to be more himself then I've seen in a while. At this point he's really used to being with Ayla- sleeping with her, eating with her, hunting with her, etc. He used to love flint knapping, and when he was with only the other men, that showed through. He got lost in the tools he was making like he always used to.
I think that whenever someone is in a relationship they have to be careful not to lose themselves. When you always want to be with someone and do what they're doing it can be easy to stop doing what you want to do. Many people will give up virtually anything for the one they love, parts of themselves included. When you're really committed to someone, giving up a hobby looks like a small price to pay.
Still, giving up those hobbies can ruin your life. Couples that are most happy are those that are similar, but different. When people love each other but have their own interests, they work well together.
I think that Ayla and Jondalar were a good example of this. When they lived with the Mamutoi they did things together, but also pursued their own interests. But now that it's just the two of them, they're forced to do exactly the same things. Although Jondalar lets Ayla cook and Ayla lets Jondalar make tools, they're virtually living the same life.
This is taking a toll on their relationship, and I think that Jean M. Auel is trying to make a point. When you love someone it's easy to get lost in them, but it's also necessary to have your own life. When forced to spend all your time with someone it's harder to stay on good terms.
Ayla and Jondalar never used to argue, and now they're constantly fighting over little things. They both regret it when they do argue, but it's not really under their control. Having your own independent interests and life makes a relationship better, and people have to know that their mate will love them even if they don't give everything up. Life is about sacrafices, but it's also about doing what you want to do.
End of Book Response
Wow, that was an exciting ending. Why does Ayla think that the cave is her home? I know she's had some problems with having a home and family, but is she just making that up? Or imagining it? Why should this cave that she's never been to before seem familiar?
Whether Ayla's imagining it or not, there's definitely something to be said for feeling at home. The expression "there's no place like home" comes to mind, and that can kind of be threaded through all of the books in the series. Everyone likes to be safe in their own house, and Ayla's not an exception. If she finally feels like she's where she belongs, that's amazing.
Does everyone have somewhere where they belong? I know that I love getting home in the evening and being able to relax and know I'm safe and comfortable. Safety is an important issue, and it can be really hard if you don't have a place where you feel safe. Everyone needs to be comfortable somewhere.
Ayla hasn't really felt safe anywhere since she was with the Clan. That was her only permanent home, and it didn't last. If I were in her shoes, I would be desperate to find somewhere that I belong. Maybe she is feeling that way, and it's making her delusional. But still, she may be nervous about meeting Jondalar's family, but I think that she does feel safe. If she feels safe, it will make it all that much easier for her to stay with the Zeladonii.
I think that being safe is really important in everyone's daily lives. If you don't feel safe, how can you be yourself? That sort of relates to all issues in life. If you don't express your personality, there are no issues. When you show people who you are, you open yourself up to being hurt, and that can cause problems. Although it can get you hurt, being open with people can end up giving you good results.
The only person that Ayla's truly open with is Jondalar, and he's also the only one who can really hurt her emotionally. She feels at home with him, no matter where they are. Although Wolf protects her even more than Jondalar does, Jondalar makes Ayla feel safe, and that's important in their relationship.
Safety can also lead to love, like it does with Ayla and Jondalar. There's something attractive about feeling comfortable, so a lot of times comfort leads to love, or at least strong feeling. This feeling can be towards a place, like your own home, or a person, like you spouse.
It's important to be comfortable in life, and it can make life easier and more enjoyable. If you can't be safe and comfortable, life really isn't worth it. I think that this might be part of what The Plains of Passage is trying to say, and it's an important part of life.