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If the Creek Don't Rise
A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.
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Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

Created: 10/09/17

Replies: 11

Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?


Posted Oct. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 78

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

Gladys had been beaten down so much that it was impossible to trust anyone. By keeping people at arm’s length, she could protect herself from loving and being hurt.


Posted Oct. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 37

RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

Some people can handle what life has dished out to them; others cannot. I’m not sure we ever know how we will respond to what’s thrown at us until we have to respond, however. Gladys had it rough from the get-go, so her meanness is understandable. Others around her had it rough too, but what we see in “If the Creek Don’t Rise” is that not everyone responded with outward meanness (although many did). Did Gladys know she was mean? Probably, since her foil/friend, Marris, was so starkly opposite.


Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
keizerfire

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 20

RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I think Gladys had given up on letting herself feel emotions, especially for others besides herself. Sometimes a hard life can do that to you, and make you a permanent cynic. I think she felt that what had happened to her was enough that other people should be able to live with the same hardships, and I think she would describe herself as practical and solid, although she was unbending and pretty much unforgiving.


Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 60

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I think Gladys did know she was being mean, but she no longer cared. Her bitterness and hurt eclipsed any compassion she might have felt. Instead she operated from a defensive position, trying to protect herself from more disappointment and hurt. She was rigid in her beliefs and could not empathize with others who may not agree with her or choose to believe something else. That rigidity undid her and those around her. There was little hope she'd ever change. But I don't think her hard life is all to blame. She suffered for her choices, but she also chose to continue that suffering to those she should have protected. Her choice to save herself from a bad marriage broke her though. I think she was afraid to ever put herself in that position again where her survival rested on another.


Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 72

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

Gladys most certainly knows she's being mean, but such action keeps her going. She's bitter and angry and scared, and when others around her - those who may have had an equally difficult time - reveal kinder, gentler natures or more positive reactions to their reality, Gladys takes pleasure in beating them down. Of Marris, for example, who has had an equally difficult time yet has a more positive outlook on life, Gladys says, "most days she's more happy than a body has a right to be." Marris tells us that as a young person, "where we lived looked the same inside as outside. Gray." This was just a beginning for Marris, and yet she manages to remain positive in her thought of and action toward others, including Gladys. Gladys cannot abide this anymore than she can accept the kindness of her "grandgirl" and seems to relish in treating her cruelly. When Sadie comes to help her, Gladys says, "I don't need you checking on me....This ain't your home no more." It is her way of maintaining her own sanity and controlling the continued pain and loneliness she has experienced all her life. She can watch those she hurts suffer, and this keeps her from focusing on her own loss.


Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 88

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I agree. I think Gladys would describe herself as someone who settled for less than she deserved and paid the price dearly.


Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 133

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I think Gladys was well aware of her meanness. She expressed as much frequently. I don't believe she felt entitled to that meanness - it just became a habit; a shield of protection against being hurt emotionally and physically over and over throughout her life. She couldn't face anymore hurt from her granddaughter's actions so she rejected her instead. I think she saw her granddaughter's fate in her own circumstances and could not reconcile it in her mind...could not face seeing that future.


Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 171

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I think Gladys was well aware of her mean behavior and took some pleasure in it. She knew that Marris would take anything she dished out and still love her. I think she would have described herself as "put upon." Life had heaped unhappiness and misery on her and she was only giving back what she had received.


Posted Nov. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickic

Join Date: 09/15/14

Posts: 24

RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I think Gladys was unable to cope with the countless adversities with which her life was littered. The most telling sentence with regard to Gladys was, for me, 'I sip on my jar of hooch I keep by the glider cause it softens my rememberings'.


Posted Nov. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 230

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RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

Gladys was very much aware of her meanness, she used it as a wall of protection around herself. She used it to keep Marris out and her grand daughter out. Two people who cared deeply for her. I think it began with not letting one in, least they find out about her husband. Then it just became her natural way. She believed she had it worse than anyone else and she was entitled to be mean.


Posted Nov. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jillf

Join Date: 07/30/13

Posts: 21

RE: Did you think Gladys was oblivious to her mean behavior? Why did she feel entitled to that mean behavior? How do you think she would have described herself?

I don’t think Gladys would have described herself. She would have said that it was a stupid question and given the person asking the brushoff. I would describe Gladys as broken. She was beaten dead down by life. She had built a wall to protect herself. There was no getting in and she wasn’t about to step outside


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