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Topic: *February RAL Discussion: Chapters 36-43*

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Subject: *February RAL Discussion: Chapters 36-43*
Date Posted: 1/27/2013 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Discuss!

OBVIOUS WARNING:  Since these are discussion threads, you can be certain there will be spoilers galore.  Your best bet is to stay away from a discussion thread until you've read the chapters it pertains to!  

Date Posted: 1/30/2013 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Agh! Lavinia married Marshall. What the heck was she thinking?!
Date Posted: 1/30/2013 7:18 PM ET
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I can't figure out why he wanted to marry her given his past.

Date Posted: 1/30/2013 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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I think on his part, Marshall was looking for that "good" that maybe he could be; should be. Also, Lavinia knew him; there was a comfortableness and probably a safety that was probably appealing to him. There may have also been some underlying motivations of control and power.

Now, as for what Lavinia was thinking, that is, indeed, the question!

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 1/31/2013 10:22 AM ET
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Maybe she was just so frightened by Mr. Boran that Marshall seemed like her "knight in shining armour".  Still, having grown up with him SHE should have known better!

Date Posted: 2/2/2013 8:50 AM ET
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Does anyone else think Lavinia is unusually naive?

Date Posted: 2/2/2013 10:25 AM ET
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Naive and pretty passive.

Date Posted: 2/2/2013 10:55 AM ET
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I think Lavinia was a product of her upbringing and circumstances. Orphaned, indentured and raised with slaves who had no choice, no hope & no rights and she saw beaten, raped, abused and over-worked. And, these were good people. Lavinia saw their goodness, their love and kindness; yet it didn't make any difference in their lot in life. So what's a young girl to think? I think any glimpses of inner independence or strength was probably smothered by the realities of her life.

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 2/2/2013 11:21 AM ET
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@Cheryl, I agree re passiveness. ... @Kelly, I agree that Lavinia saw the goodness in people. One need look no further than the fact that she married Marshall. But she often seems confused about the slaves' condition. Look at the hard time she gave Mama May over calling her "Mama." Then look at what happened when Marshall heard her call May mama. It's like she can't understand the brutality even tho she grew up with it.
Date Posted: 2/2/2013 12:28 PM ET
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... It's like she can't understand the brutality even tho she grew up with it. ... 

Very well put, Genie ... and I agree.

So, here's my question: at this point in the story, knowing what we do about Lavinia and her story thus far, do you think the author made a misstep in her development of Lavinia's character?

 ~Kelly

Date Posted: 2/2/2013 1:54 PM ET
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@Kelly, it may be too soon to judge, so I'd like to return to this question later. But her naïveté did give me pause around chapter 42. I'm like, really? After everything she's been thru and witnessed, her hurt and confusion over Marshall's use of the slave, Beetie (phonetic cuz I have the audiobook), seems overdone.
Date Posted: 2/2/2013 3:12 PM ET
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Great example to illustrate your point, Genie ... I had quite forgotten that incident ... and you're quite right. ~Kelly

 

Date Posted: 2/7/2013 9:15 AM ET
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LOL!  I just finished the book and was going through adding some thoughts and discussions other threads, and in the one right before this I also asked, "Why did Marshall marry Lavinia?"  My thoughts are in the other thread.

Obviously Lavinia was completely naive.  And I think you guys are right, given her upbringing as an indentured servant, she was grateful for just about anything and didn't understand (or want to understand) the horrible things that went on right under her eyes.  Also, it's possible that Lavinia was just sweet-natured, gullible and given to seeing only the positive by nature.  That was the way she was.  A bit of a Polly Anna.  Althought it proves to be her undoing, I think in many ways her nature was good many times for self-preservation.  Often, ignorance is bliss. 

Also, I think Mama had it right.  In Chapter 42 Belle  tells Will, "Mama says in some ways, Lavinia thinks like a child.  She don't always get what's going on.  She comes back here, wanting everything to be the same.  It's like she don't know that when she marries Marshall, she's gonna' take on his world.  Mama's trying to hep her see it right, but like Mama say, sometimes we got to live it out before we learn."

 



Last Edited on: 2/8/13 10:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/7/2013 9:17 AM ET
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Genie - You bring up a good point.  I like audio because I like to hear the proper pronunciation of names.  (I really need to read a Cornwell book or something that takes place in Wales so that I once and for all know how to pronounce many of the names!)  I read this book on Kindle, and I was pronouncing Beattie's name "Beetie" simply because they sometimes called her "Bea."  However, I noticed with audio that sometimes it drives me nuts to know how to pronounce something, but not how to spell it.  LOL! 

Date Posted: 2/7/2013 10:14 AM ET
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Thanks for the proper spelling, Shelley. It was driving me nuts not to know! ... >>Also, I think Mama had it right. In Chapter 42 Belle tells Will, "Mama says in some ways, Lavinia thinks like a child. She don't always get what's going on. She comes back here, wanting everything to be the dame. It's like she don't know that when she marries Marshall, she's gonna' take on his world. Mama's trying to hep her see it right, but like Mama say, sometimes we got to live it out before we learn."<< Thanks for copying this quote. I remember it and it is a defining moment for the character of Lavinia. It's one of the reasons I can believe - almost - in the extent of her innocence.
Date Posted: 2/7/2013 11:34 PM ET
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Last Edited on: 9/29/13 9:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2013 11:41 AM ET
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REK. that's such a good point about Lavinia mirroring Marshall's mother; especially given what happens to to her later on in the story.