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Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
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Something Strange and Deadly > Do you think Eleanor has a choice?

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message 1: by Epic Reads (last edited Aug 26, 2013 01:26PM) (new) - added it

Epic Reads (epicreads) | 54 comments Mod
“‘Eleanor, you have a choice,’ [Jie] said softly. ‘You always have a choice’” (p. 166, Something Strange & Deadly)

How do you think this quote relates to the overall theme of Something Strange and Deadly? Do you think Eleanor behaves as if she has a choice at the start of the book? What about at the end of the book? And do other characters behave as if they have a choice or do some see themselves as victims of circumstance?

The Observant Girl (theobservantgirl) This quote relates to the overall theme found in SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY that although society implements rules that people are expected to follow, that doesn't mean you have to follow them.

In this novel, Eleanor, in the beginning, believes that she doesn't have a choice regarding her future and what she's expected to do as a woman of her status and age. But as she spends more and more time with the Spirit-Hunters, she realizes that she can do what she wants, although she constantly thinks about how her mother will react to the things she does.

In the end, we find at the end of the novel that Eleanor makes a choice to help the Spirit-Hunters and do what is needed to defeat the necromancer. And although something happens with Clarence where he is no longer an eligible bachelor, it's evident that Eleanor chooses Daniel, a man that her mother disapproves of.

Regarding other characters, I believe some of them behave as if they have a choice while others don't. For the Spirit-Hunters, I believe they behave like they have a choice because they don't have to save the people of Philadelphia from the Dead, they do it because they know that without them, the residents of Philadelphia wouldn't stand a chance. While the characters like Allison and Clarence believe they don't have a choice because they are expected to exhibit proper manners since they are wealthy and of high status.

Susan (stdennard) | 11 comments The Observant Girl wrote: "This quote relates to the overall theme found in SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY that although society implements rules that people are expected to follow, that doesn't mean you have to follow them.


Nice!! Such good points. :D

Susan (stdennard) | 11 comments Sara (of the Page Sage) wrote: "Eleanor behaves like she doesn't have a choice at the start of the book. Her goal is clear: get Elijah back, save her family, and then go back to doing all the things young ladies are supposed to d..."

LOVE this. So, so true.

message 5: by Nara (last edited Sep 01, 2013 06:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nara (greengp01) **Spoilers for Something Strange and Deadly**

If we consider Eleanor, at the start of the novel, it is clear that she feels that she doesn't have much control over her life. She particularly feels the burden of her mother’s expectations of her to save the family fortunes by marrying someone rich, or by fitting in with the rich (e.g. Allison)- partly because her mother’s expectations are in line with society’s expectations of her, and partly because, in a way, she doesn't want to disappoint her mother. So she goes along with it all- the corsets, being courted by Clarence etc etc, although of course with her trademark snark:
"Yes, I imagine I'm the only person she'll listen to."
"Well, I'm impressed." A warmth eased through my body. Despite his perfect features, he was not so difficult to talk to.
"No doubt you'd do the same with your brother."
"Not precisely." I smiled ruefully. "To be honest, I don't take orders well."

After meeting the Spirit Hunters, though, she sort of gets a taste of freedom, and seeing the control they have over their own lives, she realises that she herself does in fact “have a choice” and will “always have a choice”. (And a damn fine choice she has in Daniel Sheridan :P)
How could I dream when I knew I could act instead?
There was still time to do what needed doing. Pinkertons, Clarence, Patience—none of them mattered. I still had a chance. A choice.

For example, consider her choice to remain with her mother rather than go with the Spirit Hunters: another person in the same situation may think they don’t have the choice- as they may feel as though they can’t abandon their only living relative- Eleanor actually realises that everything that has happened up until now has been, or has resulted from her own choices.
“The fault is not in our stars," I whispered to the ceiling. "But in ourselves. This was my choice.”

Also rather interestingly, while initially she didn't like being told what to do and feeling like she doesn't have a choice, after that taste of freedom, she absolutely hates it. Consider her mother preparing her for what appears to be her inevitable marriage with Clarence:
And I hated all of it. The serpent of guilt that lived in my chest now wound into my stomach. It writhed with something else too, something much darker. Powerlessness. Dread. My whole life rested within Clarence's hands, and with it laid Elijah's.

This is just part of my discussion, because it was WAY too long to put the whole thing here :P The rest can be found here: http://lookingforthepanacea.blogspot....

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