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The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133) 
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Post The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)




Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:17 pm
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Post Re: The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
Chapter XIV was a long one, compared to the 3 and 4 page chapters we've been reading recently. And I've noticed that Doctorow's sentences have started stretching again, like the sentence that started the book. Structurally, though, he's keeping those long sentences simple, so it isn't distracting or too difficult to follow.

He's also drawing nearly all of the characters back together in a rather tight know. In particular, it's interesting that he's finding ways to cross the paths of freed slaves and their former masters -- or their former mistresses, I should say. At this point, I didn't really expect to see the Jameson's waltz back into the narrative. It was actually the name of their plantation, Fieldstone, that rang the bell for me -- until I read that word in this chapter, I didn't connect Mattie and John to the characters that kick-started the novel.

Speaking of mistresses, there appears to be a heavy emphasis on women in the novel. Most of the central characters are women -- certainly the strongest characters are. And Arly's monologue in this chapter on the divine splendors of the female sex (and sex with females) brings us around to a fairly ancient theme, the womb as the most basic of mysteries. In ancient literary and mythic traditions, that connects it to the root of civilization. That's a theme to watch for.

Immediate implications: looks like there's something of a dichotomy between Emily and Wrede. Wrede is skillful and soulful, but he's ultimately mending wounds, and with limited success, as his reservations over John Jameson's chances of recovery show. I'm betting that Emily Thompson will end up pregnant before the end of the novel, in which case she may be made to represent the human facility for starting anew. Another implication is that Arly's theology is as much pagan as it is Protestant Christian -- he's calling on earthier traditions: Sheela-na-Gig, Gaia kinda traditions.




Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:24 pm
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Post Re: The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
Finished up "Part 1" today. I wonder why Doctorow called it "Atlanta" rather than "Georgia". After all, the other two parts of the novel are named for states rather than cities, and roughly half of the first part took place in Savannah and the region between the two cities. For that matter, we really didn't see much of Atlanta, and that's a curious fact, given that Sherman set this city back a good fifty years with his march.




Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:43 pm
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Post Re: The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
I'm on page 125. My interest has waned and I've been busy. This week hopefully I can pick up this book again. As I mentioned earlier, the war theme really saddens me. And I voted for it, even if the vote didn't count!




Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:48 pm
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Post Re: The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
Quote:
I wonder why Doctorow called it "Atlanta" rather than "Georgia".
Maybe you'll have the opportunity to ask him. I'm working on setting up a chat with him.

Chris




Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:22 pm
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Post Re: The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
My take on Arly's call to religion, luck, providence and myth to carry the two through is simple enough. (Of course, please take into consideration I am an agnostic and I like to believe there is a higher power or mysteries we can not know, though I also do not deny the perfectly plain possiblity there is none.)

Anyway, this call to high forces is Arly's personal survival mechanism. Belief, even if erroneous, is often a strong method of getting one through difficulties.

I also think Arly has fun with this search for providence. Circumstances seem to have made him brave; in a sense his mind of steel is mentally playing his fate as a game.

Mad, I hadn't really noticed the theme of the goddess, the womb, women, or whatever exact term you wish to tag on this theme you discovered. However, I can see it now that you pointed it out!

Chris! A chat would be something! I'm ready to start South Carolina now. You might just have motivated me to really pay attention to this novel. ::80




Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:38 am
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Post Re: The March - Part 1 (pages 86 - 133)
"Another implication is that Arly's theology is as much pagan as it is Protestant Christian -- he's calling on earthier traditions: Sheela-na-Gig, Gaia kinda traditions." Mad

"I also think Arly has fun with this search for providence." Annette S.

I'm not seeing this at all with Arly or Will. On page 102 they steal from the church offering in order to spend a week in a whore house. ::204 Sounds like a couple of atheists to me. ::115

Edited by: LanDroid at: 1/5/06 10:59 pm



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