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BC Discussion of An Inconvenient Wife

I'm going to do it a little different this morning and put all the prompts in one post. Please feel free to start new posts with anything you would like to discuss!

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The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it?

Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed?

Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Lucy? William? Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? Is there an ultimate villain in the story? Who is it? Why?

In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy? Do you believe he truly loves her? Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal?

Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not?

 

P.S. Sorry for the wonky formatting. I pasted from and email and don't want to retype it all. I think you can still tell what I was going for Smile

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Re: BC Discussion of An Inconvenient Wife

  • xojo1xojo1 member
    Sixth Anniversary Combo Breaker

    What are your general thoughts of the book? Did you like it? I had really wanted to read this book, but I was not as happy with it as I thought I would be. It made me mad. For the way women were viewed and treated, but also because I think that Victor was manipulative. I think I would have liked it much better if Lucy and Victor had not ended up being intimate. I was not happy about that. 

    The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it? I don't think anyone if ever justified in murder. I realize divorce was not what it is now, but I do think she had other options. But, I say this as someone who was raised in the late 20th century. I think that culture does play a large role in morals, so I can not say how I would feel if I were of the same culture as Lucy.

    Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed?
    I think in some ways women are still seen as not necessarily inferior to men, but not as up to par. Particularly in corporate management. Although, we have come a long way, there is still work to be done.

    Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Lucy? William? Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? Is there an ultimate villain in the story? Who is it? Why?
    As I mentioned, I did not like Victor. I was leary of him from the beginning, but once he crossed that line with Lucy, I cringed in every scene he was in. I wouldn't say I like Lucy, but I didn't not like her. I sympathized with her. I did like William, but I didn't dislike him like I disliked Victor. What William was doing was wrong, but I think that he was mostly a product of his time. To some extent, I have to enjoy the characters to really enjoy a story. In this story I would point to the culture of the upper class in the 19th century as the villain. A lot of what happened just wouldn't happen today (or would be much less likely) because of how culture has changed.

    In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy? Do you believe he truly loves her? Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal?
    I don't think William is morally wrong when I look through the lens of the 19th century up until the point where he put her in an asylum for having an affair. That's just how things were done. I think he believed that he loved her and believed that what he was doing was out of love.

    Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not?
    No. I don't think anyone deserves that fate.

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  • I am going to reply separately since I am posting from my phone and don't have paragraphs. So #1. Overall I disliked the book. I thought it was well written and it elicited emotion from me, but I didn't like it. Mostly bc if how Lucy was treated, which I know was probably the norm for the time. I just couldn't believe how they blamed everything on her uterus! I actually found the medical parts interesting (though backwards) and am assuming they were historically accurate. I also was shocked at the blatant inferiority of women.
  • What are your general thoughts of the book? Did you like it? I thought it was really rather strange. I didn't dislike reading it, but I wouldn't necessarily say I liked it either. It was a lot different than I expected it to be.

    The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it? Murder is never justified. I also think that Lucy was wrongly aquitted. I think she was completely in her right mind when she did it. It was also premeditated, and I know Victor was in on it. Really, for that matter, I think she was in her right mind all along, and she was using her "frailty" to have a reason to get out of the house.

    Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed? Like Jo said, in the business world, I think that it's much harder for a woman to move upwards in a career. I think that women in the private industry still make less money than men also. And think about buying a car or a house - men typically get a straight answer, where the salespeople will try to walk all over a woman. Yes, we vote and we work, but I think there's still a lot of differences.

    Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Lucy? William? Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? Is there an ultimate villain in the story? Who is it? Why? I think that Victor was very manipulative, because he wanted a prime subject for his thesis. However, on the same note, I think that Lucy was just as manipulative, if not more so. While William wasn't an overly likable character, I think he was the least villainous and least manipulative out of the three main characters. The ultimate villian was Lucy. I think that she made it all up (her fits, etc). I think she wanted her independence and she was willing to get it in any way possible. Think about the ending scene on the ship when Victor comes in and she thought that she would keep him around - until she tired of him. Is she going to get rid of him the same way she got rid of William? And then she'll be in a new world and will be able to start a new history for herself... I think that Victor's "treatments" (which, by the way, are very strange - sex therapy??) I don't think Victor ever figured out that Lucy was manipulating him as well, and I think he enabled her to take the actions she did (killing William, pleading temporary insanity).

    In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy? Do you believe he truly loves her? Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal? I think William really did love Lucy. His actions were directly related to the way he was raised. He build a house for her, thinking that she would be happier. Everything he did was in an effort to make her better/happy. I even think that when he committed her to the asylum, he did it because he was made to believe it was a nice place and would help her. He was never permitted to visit her there, so he never really knew what the conditions were like.

    Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not? Nobody deserves to be murdered.
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  • #2. I don't think she was necessarily justified in her actions though I can see how she possibly felt she had no other choice. And while I was reading it, I did feel a little like "take that william" when she killed him. I totally get that she felt trapped. It makes me wonder if her peers felt the same way and she was the only one who was brave enough to take action. Or maybe she was just a renassiance woman? I think culture does play a big part in morals but at the same time I think the big things like murder tend to be pretty standard across all cultures.
  • What are your general thoughts of the book? Did you like it? I wasn't sure if I would like it when I started to read it, but in the end I did like it and thought it was a good book as a whole.

    The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it? I think that Lucy was justified in her actions when she started to draw again and speak up for herself because it seems that all her life she was dictated on what is and isn't appropriate behavior.  I know it is the 19th century but I feel that she knew the way she and other women were treated was wrong and wanted to change that. I do believe that the concept of right changes as culture changes because we would still be living in the women do as told era if it didn't change.

    Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed? I agree with Jo and say that women's lives have changed in the sense that women are not only seen as wives and homemakers, but also as breadwinners, but we also still need to work on being an EQUAL sex with men when it comes to pay, and jobs and things like that.

    Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Lucy? William? Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? Is there an ultimate villain in the story? Who is it? Why? I found that I actually liked Victor because he was able to bring out the side of Lucy that she had to keep hidden all of her life.  I wouldn't say I loved the fact that they became intimate but I think it helped show how wrong it was for a woman to enjoy life and sex in the 19th century and how they were supposed to be there to fulfill a man's needs and that is all. I liked Lucy because I felt that she wanted to make a change and stand up for herself and the women around her.  She wanted to go against the norm and if it wasn't for people like her in centuries before us, we would all still be living in that type of era. I did not like William because I felt that he was using her after finding out his past in the end.  He wanted to be "in" with the high society and used Lucy to get there.  The way he treated her made me mad and I was happy that she had the affair with Victor. I don't think William really loved her.  I think he used it as an excuse to dictate actions to her. 

     In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy? Do you believe he truly loves her? Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal? I don't think that William was morally wrong for dictating Lucy's path because that was the times then.  Again I do not believe that he truly loved her and he used his manipulations against her because she knew she was wrong for feeling the way she was about him, their friends, and the society as a whole. I think he knew it made her feel guilty and he was too afraid that she would leave him and he would no longer be in high society anymore.  He was more concerned with status than he was with her health.  

    Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not? In a way, yes, I do think he does deserve his fate because I feel that Lucy had no way out.  She was stuck living in this hell that she couldn't get out of and probably never would. She would be constantly living her life in fear if she had not killed William.  Could she have just run away?  Probably not, someone would find her and send her back to that asylum and be returned to William who would treat her worse than before. 

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  • #3. I think there is still some degree of women being inferior. I don't think people nowdays are as blatant about it like they were in the book. Like salaries for example. I just saw a thing about PAs salaries. Male PAs make more than females. Yet there are far mire females PAs than male.
  • I thought victor was manipulative. I thought he almost treated lucy like his "frankenstein" saying he created her. He was using her for his own gain. Did he really love her? Maybe. Lucy was manipulative also. At times I felt sorry for her and didn't blame her for her actions (excluding the murder). I too am really curious about the last lines if the book. I wouldn't be surprised if she ditched victor when they got to america. William. I think he wasn't manipulative. He was just a product of his time. I think he truly loved lucy.
  • Kasi80Kasi80 member
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    What are your general thoughts of the book? Did you like it?  I didn't exactly like it.  It wasn't a horrible read but I was pretty annoyed with the main character's personality.

    The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it?  Lucy was not justified in her actions by killing her husband nor by having an affair but at the same time I can see why she did it. 

    Culture plays a huge part in dictating morals and what is considered morally right or wrong but it doesn't exactly mean that everyone's morals have to be exactly the same.  The cultural morals are guidelines for society.  If everyone did exactly what was expected of them by their society then there never would be any change and there needs to be change and morals and lifestyles have to change for society to prosper.  Of course within each culture there's sub-cultures and the morals of those sub-cultures may defer from society's.    

    Yes, the concept of right changes as culture changes.  For example, tattoos were taboo back in the day in our culture but now it's not so much.  It's more accepted by society as a whole than it was 50 years ago or so. 

    Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed?  Women's lives have pretty much changed all around since the nineteenth century except that of the nurturing role.   Women are still the primary caregiveres of children.  Within certain subcultures women's roles have stayed relativiely similar to those of the women of the nineteenth century.

    Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Lucy? William? Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? Is there an ultimate villain in the story? Who is it? Why?
    I was weary of Victor.  I was never quite sure what his motives were.  Victor was likable at times and sometimes sympathetic but again, I was never quite sure of him.  He seemed sneaky.

    Lucy was sort of annoying.  I guess I felt this way because I was never in her position nor was I ever one to be submissive.  I put up a fight and she didn't.  This of course is most likely due to the society she was brought up in.

    William was an a-hole.  I think he married her for her money and that was all.  He was a controlling SOB.

    I think you need to connect with at least one character or aspect of the book in order to enjoy it. 

    In the end the villian was Lucy.  She learned to speak up for what she wanted but she didnt learn how to act on it.  Instead she resorted to murder rather than handle her situation in a civil manner.  Also, in the end she was using Victor.  Yes, he used her but in doing so he taught her how to use and manipulate people which I think she will continue to do.

    In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy? Do you believe he truly loves her? Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal?  William wasn't morally wrong in dictating Lucy's path because it was the norm for that society.  He should have gone about it in a better way but his actions showed his love was false.  If he loved her he would have listened to her.  He would never have had her committed.  His manipulations showed that he was after control of her money. 

    Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not?  No.  He deserved a wake up call but not death.  Lucy should have left him.  Who cares about the social stigma that would have attached to her.  She didn't like her friends anyway.

     

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  • What are your general thoughts of the book? Did you like it? My first thought is that I'm thankful I wasn't alive in the 1800s as I would've been miserable in Lucy's shoes beind so restricted and thought of us a lessor human for being female.  Did men really think women were dumber and their brains not as intelligent back then?  Crazy.  I'm on the fence on this book on whether or not I liked it.  I think I'm letting my judgement of the characters cloud my view on the story itself.  While I don't like the oppression of women in the book, I couldn't put it down, and think overall it was a good book.

    The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it? I don't think Lucy was crazy or had anything wrong with her.  I think cheating on your husband is wrong regardless of the circumstances and I think she totally knew that, but was so desperate to be free of him and the contstraints of her life that she just didn't care.  I think she felt killing her husband was her only "out" and I definitely wonder if Victor planted that seed in her subconscious when he hypnotized her in the asylum.  I think she knew darned well what she was doing and she's lucky she got away with it.  Yes, her culture was oppressive and she was drowning in it, but I don't think it warranted taking another's life.

    Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed? I still think we aren't paid the same salaries for the same work/education level.  We're still on some subliminal level expected to clean house and cook dinner while the men work to earn a living to some degree.

    Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character?  I think he took advantage of Lucy for his own self promotion in his industry. Why or why not? What about Lucy? I felt sorry for her. William? Was a greedy douche.  I think he totally used Lucy to gain his wealth and boost his own social standing. Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? No, as I thought this book was good and I hated Victor and William. Is there an ultimate villain in the story? I think there are several depending on your vantage point. Who is it? William is a villian for using his wife to gain wealth and social status and hiding her away to protect them both.  Victor is a villian for using Lucy to promote his career. Lucy is a villian for commiting adultery and killing her husband and getting away with it. Why?

    In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy?
    No, I think that is just how it was in the culture for that time period.  I think he truly thought he was doing what was best for her and their marriage. Do you believe he truly loves her? No, I think he used her for social status and money and if she was truly crazy he feared he'd lose it all and go back to where he came from. Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal? I feel he was more concerned with himself and making a good impression on others than Lucy's true well-being which, to me, is not love.

    Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not? Eh, i don't think anyone deserves to be murdered in cold blood despite the circumstances.  The whole two wrongs don't make a right thing.
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  • What are your general thoughts of the book? Did you like it? I HATED this book.  The only reason I finished was because it was for book club.  Although I do have to say that the last sentence (paragraph? I finished it a month ago and it's back in the library) made up for a lot of it.

    The life of a woman in the nineteenth century, especially among the upper class, was fairly constricted. As a product of that culture, was Lucy justified in her actions? What part does culture play in dictating what is morally right? Does the concept of right change as culture changes? Should it? She was not justified, but I interpreted the ending as indicating that she was insane.  I can't tell if she became that way because she was so repressed, or if it was innate.

    Women's lives have changed a great deal since the late nineteenth century. In what ways have women's lives not changed?
    I think we still have to deal with the idea that we have to take care of all the home stuff, even though a lot of us are independent and work outside the home, too.  As far as work goes, some men still look down on women and it seems we have to work harder to prove ourselves in some male-dominated fields.

    Do you find Victor a likable or sympathetic character? Why or why not? What about Lucy? William? Do you need to like the characters to enjoy a book? Is there an ultimate villain in the story? Who is it? Why?
    He was weak and annoying.  I think I do need to like at least one character to like the book.  There all villains in different ways, but only Lucy sees herself as such.

    In the nineteenth century, men routinely dictated the course of women's lives. Is William morally wrong in dictating the path for Lucy? Do you believe he truly loves her? Do his manipulations show his love as real or unreal?
    I think that was the way it was back then, so in context I don't think it was morally wrong.  I think he liked the "idea" of Lucy, and the money and status that came along with her position in society.  I think his love was real for him.

    Does William deserve his fate? Why or why not?
    No.


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