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Archived 2011 Group Reads > Mists of Avalon 11: 534-591 (Chapters 6 -9)

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Apologies, I haven't quite finished with this section yet and the discussion is up late, again! But here are some discussion topics to get you going. I'll post more as I catch up, but feel free to introduce your own ideas.

1. Does Morgaine's part in the marriage of Lancelot and Elaine seem out of character to you? What do you think are her motivations?

2. Is there any significance to the fact that Lord Pellinore's dragon is a real creature? If so, why does Bradley present it this way?

message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie 1] yes, almost like jealous and definitely conniving like morgause. i'm not really sure...maybe she thinks lancelet will be happy and forget about gwen. i also don't think that she likes that gwen gets everything she wants included lancelet, the man that morgaine has always been attracted to, she did learn from viviane after all.

2] i didn't really see any significance...who doesn't enjoy a good dragon story, what do you think?

message 3: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catsmeeow) AH! I wrote this huge response that got deleted!

But I also didn't really know what the significance of the dragon story was.

I think that Morgaine's part in the marriage of Lancelot and Elaine show her growth into accepting Viviane's views. She compares it with when Viviane manipulated her and Arthur together. I think that as the story progresses, Morgaine may end up also acting as if the ends justify the means

I think the rest may be spoilers if you haven't finished the section yet...

But I think that even the fact that Morgaine accepts her coming together with Arthur as ok, and even sees how she was expected to gain control over Arthur after it happenned, show that she is returning to the beliefs of Avalon and the Goddess and rejecting the taboos established in Christian society.

In fact, she even breaks the incest taboo again when she sleeps with her stepson Accolon and thinks "I am his father's wife and of all women I am the one most fobidden to him. I am more forbidden to him, in this Christian land, than I was to Arthur." Taboos establish order in society and separate what is allowed and ordinary from what is forbidden and sacred. When taboos are broken, it is an act against the establishment of the society and is threatening to the norm. It's interesting that after she does break the incest taboo again, this is when she starts to get her spiritual power again.

message 4: by Amanda (last edited Nov 07, 2011 07:47AM) (new)

Amanda I really enjoyed your bit on the Accolon relationship I think you are spot on. Avalon is revolting against the conservative norms by breaking its taboos and making itself distinct. It might also be that Avalon is trying to preserve its dwindling bloodstock by attracting like and like.

The fact that Accolon and Morgaine hooked up wasn't too big a shock, but what about her marriage? I must confess that I still don't understand why she agreed. It would have seemed more believable to me had she told Arthur what she thought of him rather than submit to a Christian marriage. Very strange.

Regarding the dragon, I might have been reading too much into it, but to me it was a reminder that this is a magical realm very different to our own. So far the fantasy elements (excluding the sight) have been so downplayed that we could almost be reading a historical novel. It also comes at a point when Avalon seems its weakest (Merlin and Kevin's gentle acceptance of Christian authority), perhaps symbolising the final death of a mystical Britain after a long decline (people refused to believe the dragon was real before Lancelot saw it with his own eyes).

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