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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 find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Created: 02/10/18

Replies: 14

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1480

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Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?


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

Join Date: 09/08/12

Posts: 35

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Absolutely. With all the turmoil in the Middle East and Northern Africa there is a tendency to make generalizations that all people are terrorists or political supporters. I am sure the characters created in the book exist in reality in these areas (and others) offering friendship and protection in violent times.


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

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 34

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

I believe that for many of us that insight has always been present. I believe that many of us do try to help and save other people and that many of us don't. More and more women are beginning to stand up and speak out. Perhaps from my "aged" perspective I find some of it a little tiresome and silly, but I applaud all women for uniting in the name of doing what is right, for accepting those who are different, for helping ourselves and those who are less fortunate, and for taking an active part and making ourselves heard. We have always been on that path, and it becomes less arduous to gain and hold our ground.


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 find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

It does. Understanding how seemingly good, ordinary people can go along with a movement like Nazism is very important if we in America today are going to resist a similar threat to our pluralistic, open society and protect our alleged democracy. In a way, the portraits of Ania and Benita are more helpful as a warning here, than is Marianne's example of resistance, because Marianne comes from a position of privilege that most Americans do not enjoy. She may suffer some of the consequences of war, but she is sheltered in a way the others are not. But she is an example of one quality we all need:the willingness to face reality and not look away, and the willingness to try to do what we can. And her failing, her readiness to judge the compromises others have had to make to survive, is also a message for our time. We need forgiveness and compassion as much as we need vigilance and courage.


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

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 38

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

I do not. We live in a time where things happen not in a vacuum as they did during the war, but very much out in the open. Because of social media's prevalence everywhere the repercussions of all actions, good or bad, are immediate. Choices that were made by human beings during wars as recently as the mid-20th century would not be relevant or practical today.


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

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 42

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Yes - even with 24/7 news and social media there is and unfortunately always will be turmoil in the world and individuals that utilize guerilla tactics, think of themselves as freedom fighters while others view them as terrorists. Today and throughout history people have a tendency to generalize / stereotype people living / from those regions, religions, etc. I am confident that there always have been / always will be brave and compassionate people that offer / will offer protection and friendship seeking to know the individual vs stereotyping.


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

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 7

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Absolutely. Minorities are being scapegoated. Fear is being sown every single day. Lies are being told and the truth is being called "fake news."


Posted Feb. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 11

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Yes, absolutely. robertaw put it correctly. Fear is everywhere, amid lies and truth mangled as fake news.


Posted Feb. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marie De

Join Date: 03/14/17

Posts: 4

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

JLPenn77 said it well. I think that the Ania and Benita do serve as a warning. The observation about Marianne’s privileged status is important, too.


Posted Feb. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 55

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RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Yes - so many times while reading through the pages of this book, I was reminded of what our current life is like in this unsettling period of time.


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

Join Date: 10/30/17

Posts: 5

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Absolutely. I think we're facing dangerous times with the division we face today in the US. Race relations, immigration, gun control and partisan politics are separating this country. There are followers and protestors that are unwilling to talk, let along compromise. The German people in this book out of fanaticism or fear were led to do unspeakable things. We cannot let violence or intolerance squash our voices. It's our right to ask questions and disagree but we must find a peaceful way.


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

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 85

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RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

I do. I think injustices to others have existed forever and in the midst are always those who step up, not always many, but some, even if it causes them harm


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

Join Date: 02/15/18

Posts: 6

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

I believe the women in the book reflect many instances which exist today, depending upon where one resides or what one experiences. Marianne wanting a normal life for her children, wanting to help others, living out her sense of duty. Ania taking advantage of a situation, for better or worse, to escape a harmful situation. Benita who finds a sense of purpose through her child and then finding she has nothing more to live for when her son goes away to school and she cannot find a job. I think there are a lot of lessons for today in the book.


Posted Mar. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarae

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 7

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Ania says near the end of the book that there was no atonement for all the lies she told herself (about the Nazis, those babies in the woods) instead of acting. She says she will pay for her inaction, her self-deception, for narrating away evil while staring it in the face. There’s a lesson for everyone, everywhere, at all times that evil grows in complacency. That we all should feel morally bound to speak up against injustice, tyranny, and evil in any of its forms.


Posted Mar. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynne z

Join Date: 01/06/18

Posts: 8

RE: Do you find The Women in the Castle holds insight for our own time?

Absolutely. Heed the warning signs from the current administration: ongoing lies, "loyalty", control of the media, blaming non-white immigrants, nepotism, personal alliances with dictators, shady business practices, lack of decency in personal affairs, etc.


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