Slaves of Solitude

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Slaves of Solitude

Post by Stefanie on Sun May 31, 2009 9:19 pm

I know several people have mentioned they are behind in reading and that's fine. I thought I'd get the thread set up so when everyone is ready, we can jump in! study

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Re: Slaves of Solitude

Post by Rebecca H. on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:30 am

Thanks Stefanie! I'm too tired to write a post on the book tonight, so I'll try to get to it tomorrow. But I do have the energy to jump in here and say that I really loved the book! It was dark and sad, but I like books that are dark and sad in ways that are realistic, that feel like they are saying something truthful about the dark side of human experience. I really liked the main character and the way she processed everything that was happening to her. But more later!

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Re: Slaves of Solitude

Post by Rebecca H. on Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:52 am

Hmmm ... I'm trying to think of questions I have about the book, but my main reaction is that I really liked it, and I'm curious what that says about me! Students sometimes say I assign really dark reading, and I tend to dismiss that idea, thinking that much literature just isn't happy, because life generally isn't happy. But maybe I really do like dark books in ways many people don't!? I'm not sure. I wonder if the book is less famous than it could/should be because it's so claustrophic and dark. There is some lightness at the novel's end, but that doesn't necessarily make up for a novel full of gloom.

Anyway, as I thought more about the book, I admired the way Miss Roach thought so much about language and was so sensitive to it. It's like war infects even the words we use, and there's no escaping that.

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Re: Slaves of Solitude

Post by Grad on Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:04 pm

I wonder why Thwaites was so hateful toward Ms. Roach in particular. (Like, did she remind him of some old love who snubbed and then dumped him?) I don't remember being provided with too much info about his background (or maybe I missed it). Was it just that he was one of those people who needed a victim and she was so surfacely placid but tightly corked that he sort of sniffed her out - like a shark sniffing blood in the water? Was there anything at all redeeming about the old snake?

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Re: Slaves of Solitude

Post by iliana on Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:48 am

Stefanie, thank you for starting the discussion!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. One of my favorite parts was what Dorothy W. pointed out, the way in which Miss Roach thinks about the people, what she should have said, etc. She really analyzes everything and I felt so bad when she had some things worked out in her mind and they didn't quite go as planned. I thought that seemed very real.

Now Grad you mention why did Mr. Thwaites pick on Miss Roach. I just assumed he found someone who he just knew he could bully. Miss Roach was probably too nice and he knew she wouldn't cause a scene at the tea rooms so he took advantage of that.

The other character who I thought was not very nice either was Lieutenant Pike. I was a bit surprised really at how Miss Roach seems to excuse him and focuses more of her anger on Vicki. Granted, Vicki, deserved that but still the Lieutenant was not sincere.

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Re: Slaves of Solitude

Post by Grad on Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:14 pm

The book reminded me of the movie, "Separate Tables" - an old one starring David Niven and, I think, Deborah Kerr. People living together in a boarding house, but isolated from each other as well. The characters in Slaves all seem so alone. Except for Pike, none of them seem to have a plan for their lives; they just sort of drift from one day to the other, accepting whatever is put on their plate. I liked the book, but was left feeling sorry for them a little.

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Re: Slaves of Solitude

Post by Grad on Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:08 pm

I agree with what Stefanie said about Prest. Hamilton appears to hold out some hope that perhaps he and Ms. Roach will at least become friends. I'd like to believe they find some sort of companionship in each other.

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