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All Passion Spent
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All Passion Spent > September 2019 All Passion Spent- Part 2

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Charlene Morris | 1204 comments Mod
Discussion for Part 2. Please realize if you haven't finished the section; there could be spoilers.


Charlene Morris | 1204 comments Mod
Just to double check, did all of part 2 happen in one afternoon?


message 3: by Ginny (last edited Sep 08, 2019 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments Charlene wrote: "Just to double check, did all of part 2 happen in one afternoon?"

Interesting point. Yes. All the remembering happens in one afternoon, as Deborah (aka Lady Slane) reviews the past sixty years or more of her life.
For the first time in her life – no, for the first time since her marriage – she had nothing else to do. She could lie back against death and examine life. Meanwhile, the air was full of the sound of bees.
But no, the section covers sixty or more years, and, even though she asserts that she is not a feminist, this is one of the most powerful feminist tracts I have ever read.
Is it not for this function that they have been formed, dressed, bedizened, educated – if so one-sided an affair may be called education – safeguarded, kept in the dark, hinted at, segregated, repressed, all that at a given moment they may be delivered, or may deliver their daughters over, to Minister to a Man?
A life lost. I think the expectation of what marriage means hasn't really changed all that much. The main change is that women today expect and are expected to have paid employment, but still must Minister to a Man.
For a life of her own, he had substituted his life with its interests, or the lives of her children with their potentialities. He assumed that she might sink herself in either, if not in both, with equal joy. It had never occurred to him that she might prefer simply to be herself.



Marilyn | 210 comments Charlene wrote: "Just to double check, did all of part 2 happen in one afternoon?"

Since she kept moving her chair into the sun, I took it to be an afternoon.


Marilyn | 210 comments Ginny wrote: "even though she asserts that she is not a feminist, this is one of the most powerful feminist tracts I have ever read."

Why do you think she claims to not be a feminist?

In Part 2 she looked back and saw a life in which she gave up her dreams and her sense of self for those of her husband. But Sackville-West wrote:

"Yet she was no feminist. She was too wise a woman to indulge in such luxuries as an imagined martyrdom. The rift between herself and life was not the rift between man and woman, but the rift between the worker and the dreamer. That she was a woman, and Henry a man, was really a matter of chance. She would go no further than to acknowledge that the fact of her being a woman made the situation a degree more difficult."

I wonder what the term feminist meant to Sackville-West. She definitely acknowledged inequality.


Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments I think their is a war--well, a dissension--going on between Deborah, who, when given time to reflect, is deeply resentful; and Lady Slane, who would like to believe that there was something satisfying and creative in her life of submission. She really doesn't want to believe that the fact of her femaleness resulted in the stifling of her self. Of her very soul, really.


Marilyn | 210 comments She started with not loving Henry and not accepting his proposal but everyone assumed she did so she married him. Then she spends a long afternoon thinking about how much she loved him and what she did because she loved him. I think in her advanced years she didn't want to resent it so she justified it.


Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 60 comments Ginny wrote: "I think their is a war--well, a dissension--going on between Deborah, who, when given time to reflect, is deeply resentful; and Lady Slane, who would like to believe that there was something satisf..."

It made me feel sad when Deborah looked back at what she had hoped her life would be, and contrasted it with the life she had actually led. When I finished high school, it was not considered necessary for me to go to university because my family had determined that my role in life was to be wife and mother. I never married or had children, and I am still a black sheep in my extended family because of it. We are supposed to have come so far, but people (both family and society at large) do not like it when you choose to "color outside the kines".


Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments Suki wrote: "We are supposed to have come so far, but people (both family and society at large) do not like it when you choose to "color outside the lines". ..."

Deborah didn't manage to "colour outside the lines" until she was 87 years old, but it was still satisfying to read about her time that she made her own. (A house of ones own.) You've made me curious, Suki. What do your "colourings outside of the lines" look like?


message 10: by Suki (last edited Sep 29, 2019 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 60 comments Ginny wrote: "You've made me curious, Suki. What do your "colourings outside of the lines" look like?"

Nothing really radical, Ginny, but I come from an orthodox, religious, highly conservative family. I never married or had children, but I've lived for many years with a man who is a companion/best friend but not a romantic partner. I support myself through freelance writing work, along with writing computer programs and dabbling in building customized computer systems (this really distresses the family because girls aren't supposed to do tech, that's only for men). I do lots of repairs on the house, things I'm traditionally supposed to run to men for help. It's nothing earth-shattering, but I just don't fit my family's female ideal. I think it upsets them because they don't understand me and they can't predict or control my behavior. I don't drink, do drugs, or have emotional outbursts, so there's no tidy explanation for my refusal to conform. I also don't go to church with them, and no man makes my life choices for me. They just don't understand why I don't want to be like them; everything about me is completely alien to them and their way of living. Women are expected to get married, have LOTS of children, and defer to men in everything.

I related a lot to Lady Slane because if I had been born in an earlier time I would probably have been forced into a life I didn't want, just like she was.


Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments Suki wrote: "I related a lot to Lady Slane because if I had been born in an earlier time I would probably have been forced into a life I didn't want, just like she was.."

Thanks so much for this response. I found Lady Slane fascinating. She had many regrets, yet wasted none of her remaining hours in despair. And she had to jettison most of family to do this. Finally she found freedom.


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