Monday, March 12, 2007

From Brooke!

I'm posting for your other High Priestess, the fabulous Miz Brooke, who, due to Blogger silliness, will not let her switch to new Blogger. Please stop by and say 'haaallo' to your other Fearless Leader!

Hello everyone! I thought it was about time for an "official" book
discussion, being that we're almost halfway through March! Before I start
though, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has started and
contributed to their own mini discussions- they have been great and your
project ideas are phenomenal!

I have been kicking around a few ideas for discussion, and somewhere
between my recent dreams of unrequited love and wondering where they are
coming from, a curiosity formed in my mind. I think most of us are far
enough along in the book for discussion, possibly finished and if not,
that's OK too, because this may give you something to think about while
reading...In regards to the characters in the novel, is there any
particular one that you relate to most? Is there a character that really
stands out in front of the others? Do you think that there is a little bit
of all of them in each of us? If you break them down, you'll find
certain character traits that are unique to each individual. I am curious as
to what everyone thinks and feels about this. Have you been having
your own personal insights resulting from reading this book? Obviously
there is no right or wrong answer. This book tends to reach everyone in a
different sort of way- it's definitely reaching me through my dreams.

Please leave your comments for all to read.

Thanks ladies!



Lana said...

Personally, I identify the most with Morgaine. I think she is a strong character torn between what she wants to do and what she has to do. The whole "duty" thing. I also can identify her with her feeling abandoned by her mother. I was a bit irritated when Igraine married Uther that Morgaine was left by the wayside, so to speak. Aurthur also became the "favorited" child and Morgaine just sort of was left to care for him.

In a way, this is how I felt growing up. My mother abandoned me "in a way" and favorited my younger sister over me.

These are just my opinions and observations.

Brooke said...

Thank you for sharing Lana. I think it's fascinating how this book strikes different chords in all of us. I'm sorry to hear about your relationship with your mom. I think the character that stands out the most for me is Lancelot, and not in a good way. I've had a Lancelot in my life and know what havoc "characters" like this can wreak. Reading about his smarmy ways totally gets under my skin, which is why I think I've been having these dreams recently of the unrequited love...that I thought was requited! Down with Lancelot!! haha!! Talk about taking a character to heart!

Linda said...

How fascinating this is to read - I've had a different reaction to Morgaine, and she is definitely the character I think about most. I feel bad about her treatment from Igraine, but as I read along I get more and more frustrated with her inability to take action on behalf of Avalon. When things get "tough" she tends to run away (first to Morgause, then to the fairy country). The breaking point for me was when she couldn't even convince Kevin to take Viviane's body to Avalon. Everyone else, it seems, does try to do what's right (at least in their mind) - even Gweniffver (sp?), but Morgaine sees what's happening to the religion of the goddess in Britain and just wastes her time as a waiting-woman. ask me how I *really* feel! :)

knitwhit said...

I didn't identify with any of the characters. And their motivations/reasonings never rang particularly true. I suppose I liked Mordred and Merlin the best. I did like Merlin's attitude that it was all one God, although his refusal to see that Christianity didn't intend to allow any other religion to exist annoyed me. I agree with Linda about Morgaine running away. I wanted to shake her. Viviane felt she was doing the right thing for Avalon, but even as high-priestess what gave her the right to play with people that way? And her plan backfired.

I think that's why it had been so long since I read the book, and never read any of the others in the series. I really didn't care for it, although certain elements/phrases were beautiful.

ctlynn said...

You know who isn't > standing up to my second reading so far? Viviane! Yes, my favorite heroine from the first time I read this book (I loved the strength of a woman leader) and now I am seeing so many similarities between her and the priests...their adherence to doctrine/ritual, their smug assertions that their way is best and others are inferior... I guess I need to hunt for a new favorite. Maybe the 16 years that have passed have changed me more than I thought.

Morgaine is definitely the most fleshed-out. We see her weaknesses as well as her strength and we accept them both and love her despite her shortcomings. I totally empathize with her when she gets depressed over her looks, the requirements the sisterhood demands of her, etc. That's an eternal, internal struggle for women!

When you finish Mists of Avalon, I recommend "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See, which I just finished this morning. More of women who struggle through a male-dominated and often painful world, obesessed with daily rituals. A very good read! It's set in 1800's China.

Melanie said...

Hi all,
Although this is my first time reading the book, and I am only to the point where Arthur and Morgaine have slept together, I really wanted to get in on this discussion.
I found myself up half the night thinking about what I have read thus far. I have to say that so far each of the characters have struck me in some way..I would not necessarily say that one pulls at me more then another though.
I think each character (so far) identifies with a different aspect of my own personality/womanliness.
With Igraine..I have felt that lonliness..That feeling "trapped"..and I think she had a lot of courage to stand up to Gorloise, and a lot of faith to listen to Viviane and the Merlin. But then..true love can do that to you. =)
With Morgaine..someone already mentioned the "duty" over the "want"..what woman has not felt that? The scene where she is spending the day with Lancelet..and she feels attractive with him.. and then to have that shattered by them finding Gwenhwyvar..I totally got that. It broke my heart.
And Viviane..the struggle she has to be a leader in a male dominated world. She also has the "duty" angle. And her desire to love and be loved.."there are times when I think I would give it all for one look from any human being such as Uther gave Igraine at their wedding." Well, I know for myself it is difficult to juggle career and relationships.
There are also things I do not like about each of them..and I think this makes them more "real" to me as well.
I am interested to read on and see if my opinions change. =)

Pixelle said...

I'm not sure who I "identify" with yet. I, have, however, realized that I do not have the fortitude nor the inner strength to do what Igraine was called upon to do. I don't think I could it. I'm also wondering if that is why our fates are unknown to us. Could you do something even if you know fate decreed it? I like to think I could, but at the end of the day, could?

Ann said...

As I read the book, I found myself identifying with almost every character in some way or another. Mostly, I felt I am most like Mrgaine, but then I would also get incredibly frustrated at the way she jsut wouldn't handle things. Almost like Hamlet in his hesitations.I think I liked Merlin's character most of all. I wish he had had a stronger part to play in the whole situation. THen it may have turned out better. At first, I liked Viviane best, but then as time went on, I was very frustrated with her. I think she and Morgaine both didn't have a realistic view of what was going to happen, whereas Merlin did. And so did Kevin. I was appalled at his being okay with Viviane taken to Glastonbury, but then the more I thought about it, it just seemed to make sense.
The book has really hit me from the religious side of things. I'm still pondering some aspects of it all.
Maybe I'll post more about it after I've mulled it over some more.
That's what I've been thinking about mostly after reading the book.