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The Visionist Discussion pt. 3

by 11 April 26, 2014

shakerdetail Hello book clubbers! I hope you guys are still enjoying reading and following along with our discussion! Don't forget to comment your thoughts. We really would like to have a chain of discussion going on amongst us, so if you're digging it, or have some thoughts about the novel, please share! Although we didn't have a lot of action take place in this reading (115-146), there was quite a bit of character development. We finally know why Simon is the cynic he is,  and why he is indentured to work for Hulburts, the "genesis of [his] corruption." Man it is a doozy. When it comes to revelations like that, I'm always so frustrated because I just want to yell at the characters to stand up for themselves! I logically understand why he can't (being afraid of the ruin it could cause his family), but emotionally it makes me so angry. In many books we find that the evil characters get to continue to win because of their dark hearted ways, while the pure ones suffer silently. Was anyone else angry he succumbed to this indentured life?  Simon's two sections in this reading really help put into perspective the role he is actually playing in the novel. I, at first, was afraid he wanted to track down the remaining Kimballs to punish them, but now it's apparent that he feels a pull to save them. Which to the reader right now seems like it wouldn't be a big task, but he foreshadows just how dangerous it will be when he says "I am placing my faith in fire and I cannot be sure it is any more dependable an ally than ice." What a great parallel he sets up between failing to save Millicent and hoping to save the Kimballs. Do you think he will rescue the Kimballs? Where is May? Will this allow him to break free of his servitude? We also learned more about the past between May and Silas. How he told of her father's death, and the joy he expressed in doing so. Do you feel it's implied that Silas had raped May, not that she had secretly wanted to elope with him? This conversation also leads to Peele revealing to Simon that there's actually a boy in the family as well. And that scene with the woodchuck and the dog.  Why do you think she wanted to include that scene of animal violence? The bulk of this reading was centered around Simon, but we do have a nice Polly chapter interjected. As our book clubber Mandy Ellis pointed out in the first discussion board, Polly's chapters are all in third person rather than first. The more we begin to see Polly and her role in the story, I think it's less about trying to strip away her identity, but rather to elevate us out of the story, to observe this being the same way the Shakers would. It's revealed in this section that Charity is the girl she has always seen in her visions: "for she knew Charity to have been the girl who had walked through the fields of her dreams." So rather seeing "Mother" like the Shakers would hope, the only woman she's moved by in these visions, is Charity. I wonder what would happen if Polly said that? Would they strip away her title as visionist? I like that Charity is also being much more tempted by the forces of the outside world, and letting books!!! offer her an escape that she very much so needs. Lastly, Polly's section ends with Elder Sister Agnes saying it is time for them to talk together about her visions. What do you think is going to happen there? Do you think Agnes will suggest for her and Charity to separate more? Are the Shakers not noticing how much they favor one another?  Thanks for reading along ladies, can't wait to see your thoughts on this! melinda-sig



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