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The Women in the Castle


A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the...
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Discuss The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck:
If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

Created: 02/10/18

Replies: 9

Posted Feb. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1485

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If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?


Posted Feb. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 37

RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

I don't think Marianne would have reacted well, but I think Ania and Benita would have been better for it.


Posted Feb. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 34

RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

We are who we are. People don't or can't ordinarily change their cores. We can alter, inhibit, change or tweak our attitudes, and adjust our personalities, but our natures remain the same. Marianne might have tried to be more understanding and would have perhaps in time reacted better, but her set of values demanded her reaction. She could not compromise her own sense of right and wrong, but she might have been able to adjust had her friends been more open and honest.


Posted Feb. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 37

RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

I think Marianne loved Connie. So, although I don't think she would ever admit it, Marianne was a bit jealous of Benita. And I think that played into how she responded to Benita. I'm not sure her being open about her love for Muller would have made a difference. Her own feelings about Muller and Benita were too strong.

I think Ania was probably right to keep her past a secret from Marianne.


Posted Feb. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 205

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RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

Marianne's strong sense of right and wrong did not make it easy for her to compromise, and she didn't naturally warm up to Benita or Ania in the first place; she took them in out of her sense of responsibility to her cause and to her husband, Connie and the other men whose circle she felt a part of. It was important to her that she was (she thought) helping the widows of those men. Jealous of Benita she may have been, but I think her anger over Benita's proposed marriage to Herr Muller did indeed come from her high-minded notion that a hero's widow should not be with a former Nazi, and she'd have been just as angry if she learned about it earlier. And she'd never have taken in Ania and opened up to her if she had known Ania (and indeed Benita) had been part of the Nazi system, even unwillingly.


Posted Feb. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianac

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 38

RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

The very same way she reacted not knowing the extent of their situations. Marianne held a belief that everyone must adhere to her way of thinking and was rigidly unmoving. Judgmental to a fault.


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 55

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RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

I think that she might have tried to understand, but being Marianne, it would have been difficult.


Posted Feb. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Debbie

Join Date: 10/30/17

Posts: 5

RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

The core of Marianne's being was based on duty and loyalty so no matter what, based on Connie and Albrecht's wishes, she would have taken care of families of the resisters. Although Ania was not one of the "widows", Marianne's sense of duty was well set by the time she found out about Ania's past. She also had strong feelings for protecting their children - I don't think she would have abandoned them.


Posted Mar. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 61

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RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

JLPen77, your comment is exactly what I would have said! I also think Marianne had a holier-than-thou attitude, which is very difficult to be around, and certainly doesn't invite or encourage openness and complete honesty from others.


Posted Mar. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gretchenm

Join Date: 06/04/12

Posts: 15

RE: If Ania had been more honest about her past and Benita been more open about her love for Herr Muller, how do you think Marianne would have reacted?

Marianne did not realize until later in life, in hindsight, how closeminded and frankly, controlling, she had been with the other women. But there was never malice behind her actions, only good intentions. I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that yes, had communication between the women been more open and honest she may have tried to understand their situations. Especially Ania 's because she too was a mother.


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