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The Guest Book


"An American epic in the truest sense…"
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Discuss The Guest Book by Sarah Blake:
Evie teaches her students that "history is sometimes made by heroes, but it is also always made by us.” Do you agree with her? How do the characters in this novel shape history?

Created: 07/02/19

Replies: 4

Posted Jul. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2082

Evie teaches her students that "history is sometimes made by heroes, but it is also always made by us.” Do you agree with her? How do the characters in this novel shape history?

Evie teaches her students that "history is sometimes made by heroes, but it is also always made by us...The people at the edge of the photographs. The people watching—the crowd. You." Do you agree with her? How do the characters in this novel shape history? And whose history do they shape?


Posted Jul. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 3

RE: Evie teaches her students that

Yes. We all make history through our contacts with others and the choices we make in our decisions. The Miltons' made history with their choices of whom to risk friendship over. Kitty's refusal to take in Elsa's child put him in harm's way and sentenced him to death under Hitler's regime. Ogden's choice to accept business with the Nazis allowed that regime to fuel its agenda of war and persecution/death of the Jews.


Posted Jul. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 379

RE: Evie teaches her students that

Not all heroes become famous and well known. Everyday people do heroic things that affect other people and places. We all leave some kind of mark behind us. We all help to make a difference.


Posted Jul. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 3

RE: Evie teaches her students that

Yes, the Miltons affected history. Odgen supported the Nazis through financial support and Kitty in her denial of refuge to Elsa's son, throwing him in harm's way, i.e., he was eventually imprisoned and died as a victim of the Holocaust. As to the "people at the edge of the photographs" this is all of us who as bystanders don't do or say something to confront racism and discrimination. Silence affects history. There is a book written several years ago entitled Hitler's Willing Executioners which posited that the German people willingly allowed the extermination of Jews by either internally denying it (silence) or knowing about it (because this author contends all Germans knew what was going on) and allowing it to happen. There is an irony to what Evie says as she tries to avoid her family's past while her husband keeps trying to out it front and center in Evie's life.


Posted Jul. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marthas

Join Date: 03/02/17

Posts: 17

RE: Evie teaches her students that "history is sometimes made by heroes, but it is also always made by us.” Do you agree with her? How do the characters in this novel shape history?

Yes, of course we each make our own history, good or bad. The characters in the book had their own opinions about life and the Island. Later generations had to determine what to do with the Island and what might be the after effects to their decisions. They also disagreed with each other. It's hard to think we are making a certain history when we are in the midst of it, but we are.


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