Eleanor & Park Eleanor & Park discussion


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Questions About E&P (may contain spoilers)

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Loony I'm still going crazy over this book. And I have some questions that I would want to clarify for the sake of my sanity...

So. It was Eleanor's stepdad, Richie, who wrote her those sick notes. If that's the case, who dumped Eleanor's clothes in the gym locker's toilet? Richie entered the school? He was allowed to enter the school?


Elena N No, it was definitely Tina and her friends.


Bailey I agree with May. I still think it was Tina and her friends. I think that's why neither her or Park thought it was her step dad. There were just multiple people who were extremely rude to Eleanor.


message 4: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 27, 2013 05:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rebecca The Gym clothes were the "mean" girls but the notes were her Step-dad. I think she didn't notice the notes until after gym so she always thought that it happened in gym.


Loony So Tina just hates her? I cannot keep up with her bipolar attitude towards Eleanor though.


Rebecca Yes they just hate her- she is different (dresses funny, over weight ect) and alone ( not many friends and, because of the social segregation, her only friends aren't accepted by the kids on her bus either) all of that makes her an easy target... they are bullies but they aren't all bad- which we see at the end of the book.


Kaleigh Tintin wrote: "So Tina just hates her? I cannot keep up with her bipolar attitude towards Eleanor though."

Yeah. I think that Tina disliked Eleanor in the beginning just because Eleanor was different but I think she began to hate her more when she saw Eleanor with Park and became jealous. However, I do think there was good in Tina and she did help Eleanor in the end probably because she could relate to the abusive step dad situation. Either way, I kind of liked Tina at the end.


Kaleigh Why do you guys think Eleanor hated the make-up so much?


Bailey I think she didn't want people to like her for stupid things like being pretty. It made her feel like she maybe wasn't good enough without it.


Loony Kaleigh wrote: "Why do you guys think Eleanor hated the make-up so much?"


I guess it's because of her stepdad. He was really verbally abusive, and maybe she thought that every time she'd prep herself, Richie will tell her that she's a s**t. although Eleanor gives zero crap about him...

Yeah, she just didn't want to be the "trying hard" girl.


Sophie My question is, did Richie rape or sexually assault Eleanor before the book began, before he kicked her out/she ran away the first time?

When she's telling Park about the notes and who wrote them, we don't actually get to see what she said. It just says she told him "everything" and started from the beginning. This made me think that there was more to the story than just the notes, especially since Eleanor is so worried about being around Richie and there's that weird, creepy thing with the bathroom having no door so she always tries to take a bath when he's not around. I got the feeling that he had done SOMETHING when she was younger, even if it was just making some sexual comments at her. Ugh, I hate even thinking about this.

Anyway, I think Richie is one of the reasons Eleanor doesn't want to wear makeup. Park thinks to himself that it seemed like she'd rather be ugly, and I think that is a little bit true. She doesn't want Richie to notice her or pay any attention to her, and deep down she is afraid he would take more (sexual) notice of her if she was prettier, so she wants to be ugly. That's how I see it, anyway.

But I do think part of it is what she said: she doesn't want to look like she's pretending. She'd rather be a proud outcast than try to fit in and fail. I understand that too. I was the weird kid wearing weird clothes when I was younger, and I relate to that part of Eleanor a lot.


Sophie Also, I realize this is a somewhat ridiculous question, but what happened to the gray cat? (Obsessive cat lady here.)


Kathleen Tintin wrote: "I'm still going crazy over this book. And I have some questions that I would want to clarify for the sake of my sanity...

So. It was Eleanor's stepdad, Richie, who wrote her those sick notes. If t..."

it was her step dad Richie who wrote the notes but that girl who hated her dumped the clothes


Readingmom Sophie wrote: "My question is, did Richie rape or sexually assault Eleanor before the book began, before he kicked her out/she ran away the first time?

When she's telling Park about the notes and who wrote them,..."


I don't think he had sexually assaulted her yet, but I got the impression that he was verbally abusive, possibly slapped her once or twice, and had definitely said inappropriate things. In addition, nothing sexual had to have happened yet - it was obviously something he thought about quite a bit, and as a result, there would be a tension in the air when he came home. Even if Eleanor wouldn't admit to herself what she and her mom were frightened might happen, instinctively, she felt uncomfortable being vulnerable around him - being naked, showing her curves, being pretty, etc.

That was my interpretation. I thought she was more scarred emotionally that her mother had allowed Ritchie to kick her out, and part of her was scared that her mother would allow Ritchie to do whatever he wanted, even if she wouldn't verbalize everything she was frightened Ritchie might do.


message 15: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary I strongly wondered reading the book whether the younger sister Maisie was the one being abused, and Eleanor was really a scapgoat in the family.

Some things this would explain:
Ritchie keeping Eleanor in a continual state of fight or flight (too distracted to help the other kids out)
Ritchie throwing Eleanor out of the house for a year (again, no one around to defend the younger kids).
Maisie sucking her thumb at 9 years of age.
Eleanor's fear for Maisie after she left.


message 16: by Nadaa (new)

Nadaa I think he abused maisie... and the younger ones i think ben a lot too.


Sammy Young Sophie wrote: "My question is, did Richie rape or sexually assault Eleanor before the book began, before he kicked her out/she ran away the first time?

When she's telling Park about the notes and who wrote them,..."


I don't think he had sexually abused her yet, however as Eleanor says a few times she'd noticed him looking at her in a certain way that suggested he was thinking about it. And what with him abusing her, her mother and her brothers and sisters physically she wouldn't put it past him to abuse her sexually. And seeing the notes he had wrote on her books suggests that he thought sick thoughts about her. I think what is meant when Eleanor is telling Park everything from "the start" is that she's telling him about Richie abusing her mum and physically and verbally abusing her and her brothers and sisters.
And the reason she doesn't want to be naked (have a bath in front of Richie) is for the obvious reasons - she doesn't want to be naked in front of a man who treats her this way and she worries too about the thoughts she knows he is having about her.
I also think the reason she doesn't want to wear make-up is that it makes people notice her more and she is afraid of being noticed in a sexual way. Hence the reason she cries when she notices Park and his mum staring at her - she's terrified of Richie seeing her that way. It's also the reason why she doesn't want to be pretty as Parks mum puts it.


I also think there are suggestions that Maisie might be sexually abused by Richie, for example Eleanor's desperate need to get her out of the house and away from Richie above any of her other brothers and sisters. AS well as Eleanor's panic when she notices Maisie sitting on Richie's lap. As well as this I think Maisie's urge to wear make-up is a suggestion that she may be abused (as make-up tends to be used to make a woman feel more sexually attractive) Which is a strange thing for a nine year old (I think that's what age Maisie was) to want, and a huge step in sexual maturity for her to take.


message 18: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary The timing of the story was key to the way it was written. All the sneaking around to see each other was because Eleanor's family had no landline, and cell phones were nonexistent at that time.

If E&P dated now, he would simply buy her a cheap or disposable cell phone and text her to meet.

The music of the 80s was also key to the story. Music was precious because you might hear a song and not know who wrote it or performed it or where to find it again. Now you can google a line of the lyrics and know immediately what the song is and who did it.


David Blue why didn't eleanor read park's letters?


K Whatsherface Saurabh wrote: "why didn't eleanor read park's letters?"

I think it was just to hard for her.

I think she was afraid of good news and bad news. I think she didn't want know that he missed her, or to hear that he was moving on. It was painful for both of them when she left. I think she wanted to remember it how it was without all the changes that come with time.

I mean, what if in the letters he says how much he missed her and how are it is to go on. Shed feel horrible and sad. more horrible and sad then she already did. Or he gave him a play by play n whats been going on. That would be telling her life is going on without her. She was already thinking a lot about him and I think she was trying to make her life work.


message 21: by Loony (last edited Mar 19, 2014 11:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loony Assuming Eleanor comes back to Park's town... do you think she's prettier already? I mean, I'm not saying Eleanor's ugly because she's beautiful in her own quirky way. But do you think she already changed the way she dresses or ditched the necktie? (Because I assumed that she used to dress in loose clothes because that was all she had. She basically had no choice. But when she lived with her relative, I'm guessing they bought her good clothes already.)


Loony Sophie wrote: "Also, I realize this is a somewhat ridiculous question, but what happened to the gray cat? (Obsessive cat lady here.)"

I hope Maisie got the cat.


Claudia Why, exactly did Eleanor have to run away in the end of the book? What was it that made Richie that angry?


message 24: by Roua (new) - rated it 5 stars

Roua Naasan Claudia wrote: "Why, exactly did Eleanor have to run away in the end of the book? What was it that made Richie that angry?"

He found out about Park.


Heimen Loony wrote: "So Tina just hates her? I cannot keep up with her bipolar attitude towards Eleanor though."

I can. Remember, when she was being nice to Eleanor in the garage she apparantly smelled like beer and marijuana. People act different when they're drunk/high, you know.


Heimen Mary wrote: "The timing of the story was key to the way it was written. All the sneaking around to see each other was because Eleanor's family had no landline, and cell phones were nonexistent at that time.

I..."


The first cell phone was from Motorola and that was in 1981. Sure, in 1986 it was not a common sight yet, but they did exist.


Heimen Loony wrote: "Assuming Eleanor comes back to Park's town... do you think she's prettier already? I mean, I'm not saying Eleanor's ugly because she's beautiful in her own quirky way. But do you think she already ..."

But who says she's coming back? Don't forget that Richie's still living there so she might not want to go back. And with Park having his drivers license, a car and responsibility, who says he doesn't move to St Paul (and eventually Eleanor moves in with him)?


message 28: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Rowell doesn't tell for sure, but I'm pretty sure Tina and her friends did that or probably any girl in her gym class since they all, excluding DeNice and Beebi, disliked her.


message 29: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon (I need this for an essay)
Would you guys say that the "price of love" is one of the main themes of this book? A bit unsure. I loved it so much though :)


Emily I guess so, but what would be price of love in this book, could you give an example? I don't think Park fought with that guy because he wanted to protect Eleanor, but I think he did want to take Eleanor away whether his parents let him or not because he wanted her to be safe. His price was accepting what ever his parents gave him as a punishment once he got back. But that is the only situation where 'price is love' may have a chance of being a part of the book. I don't think it was a main theme. Maybe more along the lines of 'don't judge a book by its cover'. because Park Hated Eleanor, he didn't like the way she looked or that she had to sit next to him of all people. but they feel in love, despite the way she looked on the outside.


message 31: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon Emily wrote: "I guess so, but what would be price of love in this book, could you give an example? I don't think Park fought with that guy because he wanted to protect Eleanor, but I think he did want to take El..."

thanks for that, it was very helpful. I guess it's not a main theme, but it's probably one of the underlying ones. And yeah, thats what I meant by "price of love" as in sacrificing something for the love of someone. Thanks!


Emily You're welcome, may I ask what your essay is about??


message 33: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon Emily wrote: "You're welcome, may I ask what your essay is about??"

We're doing Romeo and Juliet and the relation to "the price of love" it has and we have to find a related text that also deals with that theme.


Emily I did Romeo and Juliet almost 3 years ago. you could use The hunger games, Katniss loves her sister so much she is willing to go into the games and possibly die for her so she doesn't have to.
Sounds like a hard topic, maybe because I have never done that one.
Good Luck :)


message 35: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon Emily wrote: "I did Romeo and Juliet almost 3 years ago. you could use The hunger games, Katniss loves her sister so much she is willing to go into the games and possibly die for her so she doesn't have to.
Sou..."


Thanks :)


message 36: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon You know the bit when Park fights Steve, do you think Park was doing it more for him or for Eleanor?


Taishi Hamilton Annon wrote: "You know the bit when Park fights Steve, do you think Park was doing it more for him or for Eleanor?"

I think it was a little bit of both. If you get what I mean.


message 38: by Annon (last edited Jun 15, 2014 12:00AM) (new) - added it

Annon Taishi wrote: "Annon wrote: "You know the bit when Park fights Steve, do you think Park was doing it more for him or for Eleanor?"

I think it was a little bit of both. If you get what I mean."


Yeah I think so. Thanks :)


message 39: by Siti (new) - rated it 4 stars

Siti Doesn't anyone question what's the writer's motive on highlighting Park's attraction towards eyeliner? I just don't get that part or I am missing something out.


message 40: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon Siti wrote: "Doesn't anyone question what's the writer's motive on highlighting Park's attraction towards eyeliner? I just don't get that part or I am missing something out."

I think its to break down gender stereotypes.


message 41: by rikonani (new)

rikonani Annon wrote: "(I need this for an essay)
Would you guys say that the "price of love" is one of the main themes of this book? A bit unsure. I loved it so much though :)"

Truthfully, I think that the consequences (ex. eleanor running away, park beating up richie, etc.) were subject to their environment and the people around them. If this exact story took place in a different city, with a different park and a different eleanor, I feel the "prices" would be different, too. Same thing with romeo and juliet. If it wasn't for the original feud between the families, their demise wouldn't have happened. so to sum it up, it was less the price of love and more the price of condition.

good luck on your essay though!


message 42: by Annon (new) - added it

Annon Thanks! (Although my essay has to be on the price of love specifically, I'll still use this. Very useful!)


Helen Rhys This is probably a dumb question...

But...when Park goes to prom with "Cat from work", and says that "it was such a re­lief that he kissed her"

I dont get whay it was a relief?, if holding her hand felt like holding hands with a mannequin, whay was he relief that he kissed her?...


Sean Lin okay. I have two questions. I can't seem to find the answers in the book but keep hearing people talk about it.

1. Did Tina and Steve get married?
2. Did Eleanor's mom and siblings leave Richie?
3. Why was Park relieved when he kissed Cat? (during prom)


Helen Rhys Sean Lin wrote: "okay. I have two questions. I can't seem to find the answers in the book but keep hearing people talk about it.

1. Did Tina and Steve get married?
2. Did Eleanor's mom and siblings leave Richie?
3..."



i wonder the same thing, about the Kiss!


🌺🌺 Sean Lin okay. I have two questions. I can't seem to find the answers in the book but keep hearing people talk about it.

1. Did Tina and Steve get married?
2. Did Eleanor's mom and siblings leave Richie?
3. Why was Park relieved when he kissed Cat? (during prom)


----------*-*-*-----**--**-*--------------

1. i dont really know
2. yes she did . josh told his mom that eleanor's mom left richie's house with her children .
3 . im not sure but i though he was relieved because he felt the kiss was nothing compare to eleanor's and he was glad because after all this time his feeling for her havent changed .



my question are, why park's mom suddenly took him to take his driver license tes in case of any emergency. did she know in advance that something would go wrong ?


Sean Lin Airakarina wrote: "my question are, why park's mom suddenly took him to take his driver license tes in case of any emergency. did she know in advance that something would go wrong ? ..."

=

I don't think Mindy knew. Didn't park's mom and dad had a fight on the previous night? I think they were arguing about whether or not Park should get his license. I guess in the end his mom just secretly took him to get it anyways.

Maybe it was for Park and Eleanor's "date". You know, it was very obvious that his mom tried to get them to go out alone. and she teased him for being afraid to drive.


message 48: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Sean Lin wrote: "okay. I have two questions. I can't seem to find the answers in the book but keep hearing people talk about it.

1. Did Tina and Steve get married?
2. Did Eleanor's mom and siblings leave Richie?
3..."


1. I think Tina and Steve did get married because it says towards the end that they eloped (To run away with a lover, especially with the intention of getting married.)


message 49: by Solvita (last edited Jul 27, 2014 10:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Solvita I basically listened to the audiobook, it was an amazing experience but at the very last minutes, I was crying, hoping that there will be the voice that says ''Chapter fifty-something''...But the more I listened, the more upset I got about these few things.
1. I know, it was hard for her to open letters and she wanted him to stop but then why would she send a letter a year later? She could've called...

2. The time of the postcard's arrival was just... terrible. Imagine how Eleanor felt about Park's first kiss... and when or if she'd get to know that he had kissed that girl which he went to prom with, instead of her? She thought it might be too late, but one day late? Oh, nothing has punched me in the feels as much as this.

3. If she couldn't put her mind into worst and write him and if she couldn't bring herself to read the letters, she could've just called him and told him to stop or just tell him that she's doing okay and keep in touch...

Plus, Park could've went to see her with his car or whatever? Why didn't he do that?

Yeah, but really, nothing hurts me more than the 2. point. I finished listening to this book today and I am just filled with emptiness and feels, I keep reading other people's versions of the ending and it tears me apart.


Caitlin I have had this question since I finished the book...
In the end of the book and Park reads the letter Eleanor wrote it said something about there only being 3 words on the page...
What were the words? Any thoughts or ideas?


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