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How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Created: 07/22/15

Replies: 12

Posted Jul. 22, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Ralph Meier is a famous actor, well-known for his television and theatrical roles. How does his celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?


Posted Jul. 26, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cameronr

Join Date: 06/02/15

Posts: 12

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Some people are just charismatic, regardless of celebrity, and it sounds like Ralph was one of those guys. And the fact that he was a celebrity and had $$$, I'm sure made him even more appealing.
I think that was the the root of Marc's feelings for Ralph ... he was, too, was drawn to Ralph but also hated Ralph for being everything he wasn't. Marc was too worried about what others thought of him to take the risks necessary to potentially be the life of the party.
I also think this is partly why Marc had the affair with Judith --> who he considered to be one of Ralph's 'possessions'. He wanted what Ralph had.
I'll say it again, Marc is the worst.


Posted Jul. 26, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robinn

Join Date: 12/06/14

Posts: 28

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Ralph appears to be above it all. He has his own set of rules and runs the show. He is one of the more obnoxious characters in the book. He is cringeworthy.


Posted Jul. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Ralph thinks he is more of a celebrity than he is. I would say most people probably have a pretty good idea of what he is really like but ride along in his wake for the fun/money/excitement it provides. They use him like he uses others.


Posted Jul. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

I agree with cameronr. Look at the different expectations we have for celebrities, be they actors, musicians or athletes. They feel that they are above the rules and can't be expected to abide by them. Add politicians to my list.


Posted Jul. 29, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 262

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RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

This question relates to the likability of the other players in the novel. We all know people like this--those that trip and fall over themselves to pick up crumbs left by some famous or rich person. Ralph was a perfect bully who enjoyed his thuggishness and the other people were happy to serve him. Disgusting reality.


Posted Jul. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gdlenehan

Join Date: 06/22/11

Posts: 16

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

People have a tendency to overlook Ralph's bad behavior because of his celebrity status. Also he is financially able to do what he wants and enjoys as a result of his profession.


Ladyonthelake
Posted Jul. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

His celebrity status was evident but he was so egotistical that in pursuing power he had no respect for anyone with whom he had contact. The perfect example was the run-in with the group of girls in the bar. Or his lewdness at all times. He was not a normal person. An ugly man.


Posted Aug. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

I think it's worthwhile to note Ralph's acting skill. The audience was hushed during the Shakespeare and Marc, who (oddly) hated theatre, realized he hadn't looked at his watch throughout. Perhaps he had never seen good theatre before. Regardless of any envy or resentment, Marc was seized by the good acting and didn't even notice the time passing. So we have to keep in mind that Ralph's celebrity was earned. The man was a good actor. He isn't just a cheap celebrity who paid his way to the top. He acted and acted well so he knows he has value. He probably enjoys acting and values good scripts. This enhances him as a person and widens his outlook. I can see how Marc, who is rather a sham of a doctor, would resent a truly good actor.


Posted Aug. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Ralph didn't seem to have a responsibility to any of the other characters- his celebrity seemed to give him an out, he could be mr movie star, and they could swim in his wake. He was the one every one knew, every one wanted, and they...could know him, naked by the pool or grilling fish. Gross, honestly, but he felt like he was it, and those around him were lucky to know him. I mean...no? He's grilling naked? All the time? Around teenage girls? What the hell is wrong with this guy?


Posted Aug. 05, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Do you think the naked grilling is more common in such a liberal country? Maybe no one notices. I remember my young teenage son visiting friends in Majorca. The women all went topless. Locals didn't even notice and my son was bug-eyed. So Ralph is bigger than life and thinks he is the be-all and end-all but his behavior may be less outrageous because of the liberal country.


Posted Aug. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cameronr

Join Date: 06/02/15

Posts: 12

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

I wonder the same as Frances.
This book was not set in America nor were the characters American (save Stanley). And the author, Herman Koch, is not American (did we read a translation?? My mom has borrowed my book so I can't check).
I know that European countries are not as conservative about nudity, etc. as Americans tend to be.
Is there someone out there on this discussion board who can address this? I would be interested in hearing their opinion.


Posted Sep. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
roberts

Join Date: 08/20/13

Posts: 31

RE: How does Ralph's celebrity affect his relationships with the other characters in the novel?

Ralph's celebrity and his excesses go hand in hand and feed upon each other. The loud mouth, the glutinous eating and limitless drinking and outsized behavior were all encouraged by the public's adoration. Stanley was part of the same world as Ralph and was non-plussed by Ralph's life style. The two celebrities shared a symbiotic relationship with each benefitting from the talent of the other.

Marc, on the other hand, was repulsed by Ralph and his celebrity, but he was willing to endure Ralph in furtherance of his pursuit of Judith. I do believe, though, that Marc's underlying hatred of Ralph led Marc to conclude, without doubt, that Ralph was involved with Julia's rape, and ultimately to perpetrate Ralph's death.


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