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When She Woke
"Jordan blends hot-button issues such as separation of Church and State,...
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Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

Created: 10/21/12

Replies: 27

Posted Oct. 21, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

Do Aidan's flaws prevent him from being a sympathetic character? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the book, and if so, how? Were any of the important characters in When She Woke completely unsympathetic?


Posted Oct. 23, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 94

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

No. In a way he was a product of his environment but that's not an excuse for ill treatment of others. I like to think he was suffering in a whole other realm of self punishment, but he seemed to recover quite nicely from his short bout of self incrimination and remorse. I do believe that how you treat others eventually comes back around to you in some way ..... so still waiting to see that outcome for him!


Posted Oct. 23, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 136

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I have absolutely no sympathy for Aiden. He was spineless and self-serving. I found him very unsympathetic, a victim of no one's actions but his own


Posted Oct. 23, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
alexandras

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 7

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

That's a complicated question. I think more than anything, I pitied Aiden. He was so self-involved and so wrapped around the idea that everything that happened to Hannah was God's way of punishing him, that he failed to truly see what had happened to Hannah. He wasn't a bad man, he was a decent man who made bad decisions and in the end couldn't see the forest through the trees.

I pitied him as a character because he would never learn, never grow and never be able to see how myopic his life was. And by blaming himself for this and saying it's a punishment, he forces Hannah to comfort him, when she should be the one being comforted.


Posted Oct. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
ylhoff

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 17

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

No. There is something so wrong with religious leading men who stray ... and usually to the detriment of the woman involved. I wanted to smack him.

I admired Hannah for growing up finally and closing her heart to him on her own terms.


Posted Oct. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 136

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I agree, ylhoff. I am always leery of charismatic men in religion. Religion tends to go hand in hand with emotion so followers, especially women, are much more vulnerable to influence. And women, more then men, tend to interpret tenderness as love. At least, it seems that way


Posted Oct. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
alexandras

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 7

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

Just because someone is a religious figure, we can't hold them up on a pedestal and think them infallible. Aiden was a man, just like any other man, he was weak and he made mistakes, In the end, he spoke out against Chroming and told the world about his affair, knowing that it was going to ruin his career. I respected that. Had he turned away from her and pretended like it never happened, I would have taken more umbrage with him.

I also think it's important for our religious leaders to show their faults. No one is perfect, no one is above sin. It humanizes them and shows that we can all be redeemed.


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
carmen s

Join Date: 04/27/11

Posts: 33

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I didn't care for Aiden. I was really glad he was there in the end, I was afraid he was going to betray her.


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I felt sympathy for Aiden because he lived his whole life feeling like he was serving a penitence for something he had done in his youth. In that way he was similar to the chromes.


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

Aidan was weak-willed and self-absorbed, not to mention a colossal hypocrite. He essentially abandoned Hannah to her fate without taking any responsibility for his role. It's true that he didn't know she was going to have an abortion, but once she had been arrested, the decent thing to do would have been to acknowledge his involvement. Instead, he pleaded with the court for mercy, helped her father find a halfway house, and secretly gave her money. Once he finally made up his mind to leave his wife and run away with Hannah, it was too late. Nevertheless, I had some sympathy for him, which is a testament to Jordan's ability to write well-rounded characters.


Posted Oct. 26, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debrap

Join Date: 10/26/12

Posts: 14

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I felt NO sympathy for Aiden. It was obvious that he was a very weak individual..although he expressed deep misgivings of his faith and how it shaped his actions in particular towards Hannah, he only trusted the world's opinions or how it would impact his position in the Church/State. It is so reminiscent of the many stories that have happened in the real world about religious figures and scandal.


Posted Oct. 26, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I disagree with DebraP that Aiden had misgivings about his faith or that he only trusted the world's opinions. I think that he truly believed in his faith but that because his version of faith was headed by an angry and vengeful god, he only saw one path that he could take. Once he believed that God had sanctioned his relationship with Hannah he was willing to give up everything to be with her.

I think that the only character who was truly unsympathetic was the man who pretended to be with the Novembrists but then sold girls into prostitution so he could pay for his house remodeling. Hannah feels some compassion for him because he grew up believing that his mother loved her cause more than him, but I couldn't find myself agreeing with this sympathy.


Posted Oct. 26, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 102

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

In a way, I did feel sympathy for him because of what he missed in life. I generally feel sorry for those who go through life relying on blind faith. I was surprised he came to her in the end of the novel but he was not my favorite character in the book


Posted Oct. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 41

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I agree with ElizabethM that the only truly unsympathetic character was Stanton. He was despicable.
Aiden was somewhat sympathetic when telling of his thwarted desire for children, but then I wondered if he was telling the truth. He reminded me of Jimmy Swaggert and other televangelists who strayed and begged forgiveness but were actually self serving. He was happy to have money and power and a "girl on the side", but when the girl threatened his comfort he was eager to consign her to shame, poverty, danger and the demented ministrations of the Henley's to save his own skin (a deliberate use of that word!).


Posted Oct. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 88

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

None at all.


Posted Oct. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I found two characters to be completely unsympathetic: Cole (Becca's husband) and Mrs. Henley. Neither had any redeeming characteristics, as far as I could tell. Cole took Becca's already narrow existence and made it even narrower. Then he joined The Fist of Christ and started physically abusing her. It's likely he would have killed Hannah and Kayla if they had not been rescued by the Novembrists. Mrs. Henley was just plain evil. She enjoyed emotionally abusing the women at The Straight Path Center. And she did it under the guise of Christianity--cruelty masquerading as piety.


Posted Oct. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I have to expand my list of unsympathetic characters past Stanton because I agree with terrio that Mrs. Henley was not sympathetic at all. She was the most despicable kind of religious person, that kind that does not truly believe in what they preach but only uses it to exercise powers over others.


Posted Oct. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I have no sympathy for Aiden. He is so involved in doing what he thinks is right that he doesn't think about the effect that it has on other people I have not finished the book...if I change my mind by the end I will re-post but based on what I have read so far I don't expect to see that happen

Edit - I have finished the book and still have no sympathy for Aiden. I think he is only worried about himself and not the results his actions have on others.


Posted Oct. 30, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 33

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I felt sympathy for Aiden - obviously he showed himself to be a coward for most of the book, but by the end he had grown, and finally owning up at the very end was admirable. There were a number of characters who were completely unsympathetic: Cole, Stanton, Mrs. Henley were all despicable characters! All three were small and cruel.


Posted Nov. 01, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
catharinel

Join Date: 10/19/12

Posts: 16

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I never liked Aiden. He was a coward and I agree with Terrio about Clem and Mrs. Henley.


Posted Nov. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 38

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

No, I felt no sympathy for him. I felt he would continue as a womanizer as well.


Pegh
Posted Nov. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeannew

Join Date: 04/23/11

Posts: 26

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

From Alexandras: I pitied him as a character because he would never learn, never grow and never be able to see how myopic his life was. And by blaming himself for this and saying it's a punishment, he forces Hannah to comfort him, when she should be the one being comforted.

Exactly! This is what irritated me the most about Aiden. After everything Hannah's been though, she has to comfort him. All he can see is himself.


Posted Nov. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 28

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I never really saw what Hannah was attracted to in his character. I was equally surprised that she wanted to still go back to him after everything she had been through. Especially after her"revelation of God" thru Simone eyes!
I felt that Simone was the one person who helped Hannah break free from all of her old beliefs and views. Aidan was just a weak person who "felt bad" but did nothing to change the situation for Hannah.


Posted Nov. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 100

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I never felt any sympathy for Aiden. When he came to court to ask for leniency as her pastor, I viewed him as a hypocrite. I think he was a coward. She was young, naive, and trapped in a religion that determined her worth. Aiden took advantage of that. I was angry with Hannah that she even wanted to meet up with him again. (but I did understand why she did it).


Posted Nov. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jknapp

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 37

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I really thought he was weak and not because of his indiscretions. She grew as a character and he just stayed small. I really did not care for his character,


Posted Nov. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 41

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

This is slightly off topic, but...
Hannah was drawn to Aiden because he was rich, powerful and admired by everyone in her community. It was the classic weak, powerless girl with a powerful, rich man showing her attention. Of course she fell for his line. That makes him even more of a hypocrite as well unsympathic. Consider Monica Lewinski and Bill Clinton.


Posted Nov. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
alexandras

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 7

RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

Kate: I think that Hannah was young and naive and I think that her experiences showed her how naive she really was. I think she went back because she needed closure. She needed to see him, to have one more night and then to begin her new life.


Posted Jan. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 134

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RE: Could you feel sympathy for Aiden? Were any of the characters completely unsympathetic?

I didn't like Aiden and never felt sorry for him. He should have left Hannah alone in the first place. He finally owned up to what he did wrong, but I still didn't like him. I thought he was slimy, the kind of person who makes your skin crawl.


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