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Prior Discussions > 1. Family

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John Seymour | 1858 comments Mod
1. A person’s family significantly influences, for better or worse, how they perceive the world. In what ways did each of Timothy’s family members influence his approach to life as a young adult?

message 2: by Gina (last edited Jun 11, 2016 04:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gina Marinello-Sweeney His sisters and father embrace a worldview of selfishness and personal gain, which influences Timothy toward the beginning of the story. But, in the back of his mind, Timothy holds onto something that is more meaningful. One of my favorite parts of the book was the thematic thread pertaining to St. Anthony of Padua, the Patron Saint of Lost Articles. As Timothy's mother lays dying, she gives her son a St. Anthony necklace, telling him, "He helps find people who are lost." I found this to be a beautiful variation on finding "lost articles". The richness of the symbolism struck a chord with me as Timothy refused to part with the necklace even when its full meaning was unknown, even in the most dismal of circumstances when he was "lost". While this may be attributed to loyalty to his mother, I still had a sense that there was more to it. When Timothy finds shelter in a church named after this great saint, its significance deepens, allowing its full meaning to be revealed. The climax of this thematic thread is nothing less than a work of art as a broken promise becomes a new promise restored and renewed.

message 3: by Jill (new)

Jill A. | 666 comments Timothy's worldview pretty much mimics his father's, even though he suspects it's pretty shallow. His sisters are shallow gossips primarily interested in status. Timothy despises them without seeing how much he resembles them.
His mother seems to influence him most after her death (and his own near-death); during his life, she's too weak to stand up to her husband about much, though evidently she did make sure Timothy received his sacraments.
The family member with perhaps the most influence is Stevie, who isn't tainted by these materialistic values. He's playful, but the way he looks up to Timothy calls forth some responsibility and protectiveness, even if not enough.

John Seymour | 1858 comments Mod
I agree with Jill. I especially like her observation "Timothy despises [his sisters] without seeing how much he resembles them." Tim is afraid of his father, but also mimics his father's worldview.

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