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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:
Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

Created: 02/10/18

Replies: 8

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1485

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Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

Before the war began, Marianne was charged with being "the Commander of Wives and Children." Do you think she upheld her duty? A passionate and deeply moral woman, Marianne was certain she always did the right thing. Do you think she did? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?


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

Join Date: 07/28/14

Posts: 14

RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

I believe Marianne did her best to uphold her duty. It was a tough job and know we would all make similar mistakes under such the trying times of war.


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

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 84

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RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

I believe that she did her best. Three women of different backgrounds living under one roof would be difficult under any circumstances. In post war Germany it had to be extremely difficult.


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

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 38

RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

She was always certain she was doing the right thing and those that came between her and her sanctimonious ideals were dealt with. Her "duty" was self imposed after all, and in her zealousness to commit everyone to her way of thinking she was not a good protector nor was she a good friend to either. Friendship entails trust, empathy, understanding and loyalty. Marianne ran short on several of those traits.


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: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

She did her best, it was a self-imposed duty, and she could have just focused on her own survival but did not. She protected them and gave them hope and sanctuary and a transition into a new life. Admirable, especially when it took courage and a willingness for material sacrifice. But she wasn't a true friend, because she could not accept their full humanity or her own (at least, not until near the end of her life). She couldn't forgive Benita for seeking love with a former Nazi, nor Ania for having been married to one. She expected others would conform to her own judgment, without examining her history of privilege or her own experience of unrequited love, looking more closely into her own motivations and reactions. She assumed her way was always the moral high ground and that she knew what was best for others. "Noblesse oblige" isn't the same as giving without strings attached.


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

Join Date: 09/03/15

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RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

She tried very ardently to live up to the expectations that Albrecht and Connie put on her. She tried hard to mold the other women's personalities into what she thought was correct. Life was a learning curve for all of them under the most difficult of circumstances. Although she did all she was capable of, she was never able to have compassion for the human foibles of Benita and Ania. She took too literally the title which was put on her.


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

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 196

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RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

Marianne took her "assignment" seriously and tried to do what was best for her small family of wives and children -- but her sense that she was always right led her to overstep. I didn't think any of her behavior was malicious, but her confrontation with Herr Muller clearly destroyed his relationship with Benita, and her condemnation of Ania destroyed her personal relationship with someone she thought was a real friend. In that instance her deep-seated sense of what was right caused much pain and harm. To her credit, she realized her mistakes and tried to make amends.


Posted Feb. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyl

Join Date: 07/13/16

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

I believe that she always tried to do what she believed was best for everyone. She could have used a little tolerance and consideration of others past experiences. Marianne definitely took her duty seriously and was a very courageous woman in carrying out her obligations.


Posted Feb. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jillw

Join Date: 02/15/18

Posts: 6

RE: Do you think Marianne upheld her duty to be "the Commander of Wives and Children"? She was certain she always did the right thing. Did she? Was she a good protector and friend to Benita and Ania?

I think Marianne did what she thought was required by the "Commander of Wives and Children." That being said, she did try to take care of the women but she interjected herself too much in their lives She wanted them all to be like her and therefore live under the same "rules and regulations"


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