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Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

Created: 04/30/12

Replies: 13

Posted Apr. 30, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

In the post WWII era, combat fatigue, or what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was a dark secret. There was little therapy, and no support groups existed. Do you think in that era Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems? Should she have insisted they have a child? How much do you think she regrets not having one? Would you have blamed her if she left him?


Posted May. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 121

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RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

Considering how little was really available to her, I think she did pretty good handling her problems on top of the secret she was keeping. In that era, there was not all the psychological services available to assist the returning vets and their families as there are today. Plus, as one of the other questions pointed out, in that era, it was better to suffer in silence than to lean on cry on the shoulders of your friends.


Posted May. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

According to the statistics I've seen, for every service man or woman who dies in combat in times of war, two more commit suicide once they're safely back home. PTSD is all-consuming. It has an impact on every aspect of a person's life. Claude lashes out at Babe, viciously at times, and she's able to hold back her anger out of love for him and knowing she can't ever feel what he feels, and hasn't seen what he's seen. I agree, she did remarkably well.


Posted May. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 22

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

I think lisag answered this question very well. Attitudes and support mechanisms were quite different 60 years ago. Many older WWII veterans are just now beginning to relate the helplessness they encountered. Most "handled" it with anger, much like Claude.


Posted May. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

Yes Judy, I agree with you. Even the wives of vets from that era are beginning to be more open to sharing their experiences. What i hear from some of these older women is how much he communication between those deployed and those waiting at home is different. Now emails etc fly back and forth many times on a daily basis. Can you imagine writing a letter every day and waiting weeks for a response? I can't. Even with all the changes in technology our men and women are coming home with even greater wounds -- and even with more support and help --- there are countless tragidies amongst our troops.


Posted May. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
malindan

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 36

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

I think Babe did remarkably well. Even today PTSD is so difficult for vets and their families to deal with. I felt that Babe was loyal and loving. She chose to respect Claude's decision to not have a child and wisely so. She realized that his damage was too great and that a child wouldn't make it better for him and therefor herself either. She was able to create a fulfilling life for herself in spite of the difficulties and she and Claude were able to find some semblance of peace in love eventually.


Posted May. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethw

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 9

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

One of the problems that compounded the problem was that Babe was compelled by her loyalty to Claude to keep the problems secret. Not only were there no resources to help, but the culture at the time compelled her to suffer in silence.


Posted May. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethw

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 9

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

No. She had no resources.


Posted May. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Santa Fe Cowgirl's Gravatar
Santa Fe Cowgirl

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 26

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

I think Babe was my favorite character! She was very strong and a loving person. During WW ll, there was no Such thing as PTSD....no treatment. I remember my uncle who was in the Navy never talked about his WW ll experiences. You were supposed to suck it up, I guess! Be strong! Well, he was strong and came through it, but not all men had the strength to do that. By the end of the book, Babe and Claude had worked through his problems mostly. I think Babe coped as best she could.


Posted May. 14, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

Babe was my favorite character, too. I think she'd have made just the most wonderful mother, better than the other female characters, ironically. I liked her mostly because I admired her. From the first scene, when her empathy came out, I thought she'd be a great person. And she was.


Posted May. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 121

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RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

I agree with lisag - Babe would have made a great mother. Amy spent a lot of time with her Aunt Babe and Uncle Claude. She confided in Babe. Babe had compassion for people.


Posted May. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
ediem

Join Date: 03/14/12

Posts: 5

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

I also agree - I think Babe was doing the best she could and what she had been taught to do her whole life. Suffer in silence.

Babe would have made a great mother, I found it interesting that Ellen Feldman didn't explore Claude & Babe's feelings about not being able to have a child of their own.


Posted May. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 109

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RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

Babe did a great job with what knowledge was available about veterans (none) during that period. And possibly a great job even if information was available. My brother was a medic during WWII, and altho he later became a doctor, he also became an alcoholic. His way of dealing....


Posted May. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
EllenFeldman

Join Date: 05/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Considering the era, do you think Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?

Thank you, Suzanne, for the story about your brother. I cannot tell you how many e-mails I have had from readers telling about their fathers and uncles and grandfathers who came home from the war, seemingly all right on the outside, but who ended up living an impaired life, perhaps secretly, due to their psychological wounds. I saw some of this growing up, and it was one of the inspirations for the book.


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