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 Discussion Point #8
captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 10 2007, 07:48 PM


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Originally Posted by Karen 3rd June 2004



The book was set in modern times, the 1990s when it was written.
What do you think about setting in the late 1950s? How did that
affect the story, what did it allow us to feel? What about the
charcters.....how differently did we feel about them when the story
took place in the 50s rather.....than when the same things happened
to them in the 90s?? Questions.........I have many questions about
this.






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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:22 PM


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Cathy


For the most part, I have no idea how to answer this question!
But having been brought up Catholic, there was one thing that
occurred to me right away- the movie occurred before Vatican II.
Since I was born in the late 50's, and my mom was Protestant so
we were never really that strictly practicing as Catholics in my
family, I barely remember the changes as they were made. But I
vaguely remember things like hour-long Latin masses, women
having to keep their heads covered in church, and the like. In the
late 60's, I went to a Catholic summer sleepaway camp for 2
summers, and they were still being somewhat strict about some
issues such as not being allowed to eat (break the fast) in the
morning before mass/ communion. So I wondered if *part* of
the shift of the story to the late 50's was just to make it a little
more believable that a little French village would be quite
conservative about Lent before Vatican II. In today's world, I'm
sure there are many people who observe Lent quite strictly, but it
may be less likely to apply to a whole village than it would have
in the 50's. So that was my only thought.

Oh, well, I guess there's one additonal thought- Hound Dog
would have been a modern hit, then, so that was a cute little nod
in the movie- the priest being in touch with modern times




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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:22 PM


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Anne


Crikey Karen, you could have asked an easier one on your first day
back!! Well, my opinion, for what it's worth, is that in the book
Reynaud, although wanting to control the village, didn't actually
achieve his wishes as much as he would have liked, which would be
fitting in the 1990s. In the film he had far more control, which I
feel would have been odd in the 1990's as people are now less likely
to obey without question than they were in the 1950's. In the 1950's
they would have still been influenced by WWII, where everybody would
have been programmed to obey orders from a superior, which is what
Reynaud was regarded as in the village, during the film.




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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:23 PM


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SuzieboozieluvsJD


Ok, call me crazy, but I am not sure the time periods would have
made that huge of difference. Simply because I was in Europe in the
1990's, and those were still sleepy little villages, very tight
knit, and in the center of almost every village I can remember is
the church.




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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:24 PM


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Helen


I thought it more appropriate in the 1950s. I went through 12 years of catholic school. In fact I started school in 1959. My parents were very active in church affairs, yet the priest didn't run out lives like Reynaud did in the book. We had/have friends and relatives that didn't go to church. Friends and relatives that were divorced. Friends and relatives that praticed other religions. The church affairs were the center of my parents and their friends main social life, yet no one cared if someone else went to church or not.




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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:25 PM


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Ellen


I love the 50's. Things were so much simpler back then. People
were friendlier, more helpful and not as self absorbed. I liked the
setting of the movie. Except in the case of Josephine. Spousal
abuse was very hush hush back then. IMHO, poor Josephine was looked
at by the townspeople as almost "deserving of what she got".
Nowadays, Paul would have been in jail and then counseling. He
would have had to accept his fate. I'm glad that the compte made
him responsible for what he did. I liked that fact that Josephine
and Roux ended up together in the book. That seemed more believable
than Roux and Vianne. As for Armande, a spunky woman is the same in
any setting. I loved her. In the book, I kept waiting for her to
sue her daughter in order to be able to see her grandson!




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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:26 PM


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Karen


The scary thing is that spousal abuse is still rampant and so very
many women are trapped in marriages or relationships and have
children and the abusive husband holds the children over her. They
break down their self reliance and self repsect and alienate the
wives just like "Serge" did in the movie. I volunteer for a family
violence shelter here in Dallas and it is so sad, shocking and
frightening that in this day and time that women are still afraid to
speak out. THat mentality still exists on many levels. BUT you are
right, if the woman can get away, then the abusers are now punished
and made, by the courts to get therapy. I learned that immediately
after a woman flees the household, she is at her most vulnerable, as
the abuser is now sen for what he really is and he will try to kill
her. The part where the Compte tried to help Serge was one of the
things I found very intereting, he did try to let him know that this
behaviour was not going to be tolerated. On any level.




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jeppody
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 02:27 PM


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Helen


This is why I prefer today over the 50s. There was a pretense of simpler times, but I don't think that was the case. You mentioned Josephine. That sort of thing occured in the 50s and women had to take it. How about pedophilia?
Or if a woman was raped she kept quiet about it or she was told it was her fault. If any of these problems were brought out in the open the victim was blamed for airing dirty laundry. Then of course there was the question of women working after marriage.





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