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2012 Book Discussions > The Corrections - The Generator (June 2012)

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Stuart | 19 comments Discussion for anything up through chapter five.

message 2: by Silver (new)

Silver There was a part of me that wanted to like Denise as there were some aspects of her personality that I could relate to. In some regards she seemed like a strong independent woman, and I admired her in her position as a chef, which even in this day and age is a difficult field for woman to get into. But I could not reconcile myself with the adultery issue.

message 3: by Casceil (last edited Jun 22, 2012 10:01PM) (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Denise had many flaws and showed terrible judgment. What I did like about her though, was her reaction when she realized just how bad father's condition was, and that her mother had not been exaggerating or being unreasonable. Denise reacted to that by rallying around her mother and trying to get her mother that one last Christmas that meant so much to her. Denise also recognized the importance of getting Chip there, and worked on him until he came. I loved her e-mail to Chip, starting with the sarcastic comment about the way he deserted the lunch party on Saturday, and continuing:

"Since then, Dad's fallen off the cruise ship and been pulled out of icy water with a broken arm," [and assorted other injuries], he and Mom have been helicoptered to New Brunswick, I've been fired from the best job I may ever have, and Gary and I have learned about a new medical technology that I feel certain you would agree is horrifying and dystopic and malignant except that it's good for Parkinson's and and can maybe help Dad.

Other than that, not much to report.

Hope all's well wherever the fuck you are. Julia says Lithuania and expect me to believe it."

(from p. 431 of my copy).

message 4: by Silver (new)

Silver For me, I do not see Denise as being all that bad if it was not for the inclination to entering adulterous relationships which is a biggey. But beyond that there hasn't thus far been anything in particular that I have disliked about her. Perhaps she does seem a tad bit snobbish at times.

message 5: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Well, I did think putting out a cigarette behind her ear to show off was a tad gross.

message 6: by William (new)

William Mego (willmego) The adultery is clearly a sexual pathology, not just being naughty. She has difficulty with adult relationships (ah, shall we utter those worn words, "Daddy Issues"?) Franzen goes into extensive detail to describe every 'adult' relationship in her life. I think he's trying to tell us something.

The cigarette behind the ear thing is more to do with the chef world. Franzen clearly knows the basics of the chef world, and about female chefs, he uses as much inside terminology as he can muster ("In the weeds", etc.) to show us so. The ear thing is essentially a who's-got-the-bigger-balls contest, common in the chef world, and for a woman, you must win those without fail, or else be resigned to being the little pig at the trough. You won't move up on the line (promotion) or be trusted with interesting or challenging tasks, you'll be talked down to, passed over in station by every new teenage boy, and constantly suggested to become a pastry chef. I'm familiar with this because my girlfriend is a chef.

P.S. - She never lost.

message 7: by Silver (new)

Silver I never made the connection in my mind between St. Jude (where Alfred and Enid live, and their children grew up) and St. Jude (the actual saint) until Robin brought it up, but that realization I think does shed new light upon everything.

message 8: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Will, I didn't know that about the chef world, so thanks for enlightening me. Your P.S. says "She never lost." Were you referring to Denise or your girlfriend? Or maybe both?

message 9: by William (new)

William Mego (willmego) my girlfriend.

message 10: by Kevin (last edited Jun 29, 2012 09:44AM) (new)

Kevin Stuart | 19 comments When Chip was trying to recall if Denise had said that she was a lesbian he said that it would explain some things about her. I was trying to think back if there were any clues back when her first lesbian relationship started since I wasn't surprised when I found out, but I couldn't pinpoint anything for sure. Did anyone feel like this was hinted at before? If so, what exactly was it that suggested it? Maybe it's just that the last three books in a row that I've read have had a homosexual character and I'm just starting to expect that plot device.

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