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The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
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Archives > Part Five (Chapters 14 - 16) - TPotE

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Meghan | 423 comments Mod
1. In the novel, civil war has decimated the economy and morale of the country. How has history repeated itself since the 1100s? People like Aliena and Prior Philip fight to bring about a change. What other figures in history can you think of who have fought to repair the destruction of war?


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
2. When Jonathan asks Philip about his parents, he asks why God drives people to desperate acts like abandoning a child. Philip replies: "Once you start asking that question, you can end up in confusion. But in this case I think the answer is clear. God wanted you for himself" (p. 825). Do you think it was God, or Philip, who wanted Jonathan?


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
3. Describe the relationship between Philip and Francis. Do they act like true brothers, or more like political conspirators? Is Francis more loyal to the church, or to the ruler he is working for at the time? How does each brother use his role in the church to further his own interests?


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
4. From ruling a kingdom to overseeing the building of a cathedral to running a monastery, the question of who will lead is asked constantly throughout The Pillars of the Earth. Which of the characters do you think are the strongest leaders? The weakest?


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Responding to question number 2, I would say that Philip believes it is God's will. It was interesting to read the part where Philip is interpreting the stumbling blocks to builing a cathedral at Shiring as proof of God's will to block the completion of that church. There were just as many, if not more, disasters involving his own cathedral building, but, with the exception of the falling of the roof, he didn't interpret those as God's will for the building to stop. It annoys me when someone says, "the answer is clear" when they are talking about God or God's will.

This section sure ended all tidy, didn't it?


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
For me, that was the most frustrating part of who Philip is. He is so eager to point out how God is working for HIM and never sees his own mistakes. It's like he has blinders on. I have to admit, he personally drove me nuts. I believe his intentions are good but as they say, the road to hell...But then compared to Waleran he's a saint. I liked his brother better actually. Francis to me is my kind of monk! heh


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Yeah, Francis is a little more part of the "real world." We don't hear too much about his spirituality, though. He wants to be instrumental in who becomes leader. How is this better than what Waleran does? Is it because he doesn't seem to be promoting himself? His lack of materialism? Not involved in murder that we know of?

Has Waleran continued to pardon William?

How did you feel about Philip taking Remigius back? I thought it was a good example of mercy. But, it annoyed me that he seemed to take credit for it, rather than attributing it to God.

There are many ways in which Philip reminds me of my father-in-law, but for some reason, Philip doesn't annoy me as much. Maybe because I can close the book when I get tired of him.


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
I couldn't believe he took Remigius back! I'm so hard. I mean it's good that he did. He should. But the human in me was like "he's so going to screw you over."

I think Waleran will pardon William as long as it benefits him. It's his power over William to do his bidding.

And can I say I laughed out loud about your F-I-L? That reminds me of Joey (from Friends) putting scary books in the freezer when they get too intense. Then, for some reason, I just pictured you putting your FIL in the freezer when he got too intense!



Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Hmmm...well, we *are* thinking of getting a big freezer to put in the basement...

I thought the same thing about Remigius and was surprised Philip took him back. I thought it was a good "Christian" decision. That didn't really make me trust Remigius, but the Pollyanna in me hoped that Remigius would "turn good."


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
hee. The "bad" girl (what's the opposite of Pollyanna?) hoped Remigius would get his in the end. He just got under my skin and made me wish bad things. I don't know why, but I was kind of hoping the ceiling would fall on him or something (not kill him, but put him in an uncomfortable place for while).


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
I think the opposite of Pollyanna is "cynic", or maybe more accurately, "realist."


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
But that's not a "name". I want a name. Like Gary. Nothing against Gary. But come on. If you're going to call me Pollyanna, let me be able to call you Filbert or something! heh


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
I like Filbert. We'll call you Filbert!


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Coming to a conversation near you:

"Come on Gary, don't be such a Filbert!"

hee


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