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message 1: by Ceo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ceo I found the ending of this book to be very dissapointing. Does anyone know why he would chose to leave Carol and her husbands relationship so up in the air at the end? I feel like I will never know what happened with them now.

MisterFweem It's on purpose, I'm sure. He leaves everything up in the air. Will she continue trying to "reform" or will she give up? Will she lower her defenses and become more friendly with the citizens of Gopher Prairie or won't she? Will she develop a deeper relationship with Will or will the relationship fade, even though she's home? The entire book is focused on the ambiguity of the age, which has continued to this day -- we don't know what's going to happen. It goes back to the conversation Carol has with the "generalissima of suffrage" in section eight of chapter 38, and with her brooding over whether her life is a "story" in the preceding section. She doesn't get an answer as to whether her life is a story, nor does the generalissima offer any solid confirmation, for or against her plans. Ambiguity is the theme of this novel.

Silverpiper This is a theme that runs through his novels. Life is not always about neat, tidy endings.

MisterFweem I agree with that. I think that's one of the reasons he got the attention of the Nobel committee -- his was such an unusual approach in American literature.

Juliet I felt like it was pretty much resolved. She went away for a while to DC, tasted liberation, decided she missed "home," and went back. She was not 100% thrilled, but she was no longer as dissatisfied as before.

She also had another child, a daughter. That kind of bugged me because she (and Lewis) had railed for so long about children being the assumed but not real answer to women's dissatisfaction. Though he never suggests the daughter is some kind of panacea, by virtue of the fact of the daughter's birth and Carol's acceptance of a lot of the things that had bugged her about G.P. before, the correlation does seem to suggest that the second child has soothed her, as has spending some time on her own.

Will isn't all bad, and he is attached to her, and his grown-up-ness about saying he'd like her to come back but didn't pressure her was, I thought, admirable. So in a way I'm glad she didn't chuck him entirely. But in real life, I don't think spending a year in DC and tasting office life would be enough to satisfy anyone who craves expressing their real inner soul and having someone respond to that expression in an equally true way. So I don't think the ending was vague and uncertain; I thought it was wimpy. But I did think it was a resolution.

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