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The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
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Archives > Part Four (Chapter 11 - 13) - TPotE

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Meghan | 423 comments Mod
1. While in Spain, Jack is offered the hand of a wealthy merchant's daughter. How are Aysha and Aliena similar? How are they different? Why does Jack make the decision that he does?

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
2. Philip is preaching the story of Job when Jack and Aliena return to Kingsbridge. Why do you think Ken Follett chose to include the story of Job? What omens does the tale hold for Kingsbridge?

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
3. William Hamleigh sees absolution as a "get out of hell for free" card. Waleran Bigod uses his position in the church to help William take his revenge on Jack and Aliena. How have faith and religion been twisted to justify the plans and ambitions of each main character? Is God's will responsible for the various stories in this novel, or is it simply man's will at work?

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Um, I've finished Part 4, but I've also had a few glasses of wine, so I'm not sure how hard I want to think right now. I may want to wait before I answer some of the above questions. One comment I wanted to make earlier was that I'm amazed how well the people communicated with each other about the different outcomes of battles, etc. What sort of intelligence processes did they have? It certainly would have been easy for someone to plant false information. Also, the power of the church was pretty amazing.

I was very happy when Aliena located Jack, and I almost wish the book had ended then! I like happy endings!

I think faith and religion always has been and always will be twisted to justify the plans and ambitions of man. Tough to say in any case what is the will of God and what is the will of man. Must they be separate? There is some place in the Bible (I'm no Biblical scholar) where they mention that God used for good what one meant for evil.

I don't think Waleran ever really uses his position to help William. I think he uses his position to improve his own position, and he makes William think that he is acting to help William.

Although I remain annoyed that Philip's inflexibility doesn't allow Jack and Aliena to live together, overall I am pleased that Philip does continue to pursue the will of God. That doesn't mean that he isn't influenced by his own ambition and will, and I have noticed that we don't hear as much of his inner debate regarding this, I still think that his behavior is on a more noble plain than many of the other characters.

I confess that I went to Wikipedia and was a little dissapointed to learn that Kingsbridge and the Kingsbridge cathedral are fictional. I also was disappointed that I didn't learn the mechanism of the Weeping Mary!

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Aw Robbie - it's like learning that unicorns don't exist. I'm sorry! heh

Isn't the Weeping Mary have to do with something like the wood that is used holds a lot of moisture, so in the morning (like dew drops), water "bubbles" up to the surface, making it look like the statue is "weeping"? I'm not sure where the heck I came up with that. I may be mixing up my Bill Nye with a past acid trip (kidding).

Don't think too hard though. The questions were more as guidelines to get conversations going.

But all-in-all, are you enjoying the story?

Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Yes, I am enjoying the story! Fortunately, I'm on vacation now (well, really a conference, but it's in Florida, and they structure it so the sessions end around noon or a little after), so I've had some time to read. I think you're right about the Weeping Mary, especially since it's critical to have the statue go from heat to cool quickly. I had just hoped to see it in writing. The "crystals" also probably have someting to do with it, by cooling faster than the wood and concentrating the condensation there.

I think probably the Job story is represented in both the story of Kingsbridge and the story of Jack and Aliena. The author uses that to give the reader some hope for the future of the story.

I also see elements of David and Goliath--too transparent to be accidenetal--when Jack is using his sling and hits William right in the head with it, causing a retreat. Jack destined to become king? Or, is one of his offspring going to be a "savior" of some sort?

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Oooh good question! I honestly don't remember, but maybe your answer comes out in the sequel. It's suppose to take place 200 years later.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
And I'm totally jealous of your Florida "vacation". Get some sun for me!

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Robbie had great comments (especially the one about David and Goliath) so I don't have much to add. I think that the story of Job was very appropriate. But I am trying to think of what Follett's intent might have been, since he has said he does not believe in God. Because I am reading this thinking that God probably has really good things in store for the people on Kingsbridge, and that Philip is destined to do great things for Christ, and that all of the misfortunes have been the devil working through William as a sort of spiritual attack.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Sarah - I saw this and thought, "how did I miss this comment" but then I looked at the date and was like "doh". I missed a lot. Glad you read the book though.

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