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How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

Created: 07/22/15

Replies: 8

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

Marc and Ralph see the world in vastly different ways. How do these two men compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs about parenting, fidelity, and personal boundaries drive their behavior?


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 do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

These characters are so well developed -- I admire the writer's ability to give such a complete vision of what each man is. Neither are fully corrupt, neither are saints, both are pretty much misguided in their interactions with others as they view the world as theirs with others just occupying the outside boundaries, to be dealt with one at a time if absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, I know some people who have these same characteristics. They survive, unscathed, if they match up with someone like themselves, who has no expectation of anything else from them. Friends and family unlike them either continue to be emotionally abused through relationships with them or cut the ties and move on.....thus just confirming their low opinion of others. Vicious cycle .....


Posted Jul. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

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RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

In both roles they are both pretty much the same. They are both failures. For each of them the world revolves around them and them alone and their families are just accessories necessary to maintain their status.


Posted Aug. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeant

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 17

RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

In many ways I think Marc and Ralph are more similar than different. Ralph is more open and easy about life in general and certainly about his penchant for women and his laid back approach to parenting. On the surface, Marc is a faithful husband and a caring attentive father. Yet, he has "lust in his heart" for Judith and would have acted on his lust had he not been interrupted at a crucial moment. He had concerns for the whereabouts and safety of Julia long before he was willing to act on those concerns and begin the search for her. Marc seems to have a certain degree of scorn for Ralph as a father and a husband, yet he is willing drift toward the behaviors he finds distasteful in Ralph. In a sense both men are actors -- Ralph on the stage and Marc going through life acting as a loving husband, attentive doctor and good father.


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

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

Marc and Ralph seem polar opposites- one is rigid, the other as lacks as possible. One a dr, the other an entertainer. Both seemingly love their children, but both fail them. Marc is too dismissive, while Ralph is too permissive.


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

Join Date: 06/19/13

Posts: 12

RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

Neither really give much weight to the interests of their wives and children except as it relates/reflects on themselves.


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

Join Date: 07/30/15

Posts: 2

RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

I agree that both were fully developed characters. I have read and liked the Dinner also and found that all of the men were similar in their ethics. They were all wealthy and felt privileged and somewhat above the law or the ethics of others. By their standards, they did not seem to feel any remorse about their behavior. I think by their standards, both Marc and Ralph would feel that they were good fathers and husbands. I thought Ralph was the basically better man although he was too lax with his children. I despised Marc from page one. He was so puffed up on himself and jaded. He was a good father until his desire for Judith took over. He seemed a good husband too except, again, for wanting a fling with Judith.


Posted Aug. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 78

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RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

Great comments, all. And you have convinced me to read The Dinner.


Posted Aug. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

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RE: How do Marc and Ralph compare as fathers and as husbands? How do their beliefs drive their behavior?

I,too,agree with some of the comments above that they seem more similar than different. Both men have tremendous failings, are extremely repulsive at times, and occasionally have moments of decency. For both men, their beliefs are reality and form their excuse for doing whatever they want: this attitude of privilege with money can be found all around us. After all, it bought easier duty for some young men during periods of military draft, it buys college entrance for kids who would actually be way down the list, and animal hunters use their exorbitant fee as an excuse for killing. The list goes on and on. Marc and Ralph seemed very much American, and I often had to stop and marvel that this book was a translation.
When I had read only the first few pages of the book, I found the Marc so irritating that I was not sure I would be able to finish the book. However, i realized that i wanted to know what was really motivating the character and considered the fact that the author had done a good job by eliciting this reaction in a reader. The more I read, the more I liked the story-- not to be confused with liking the characters. I think both fathers loved their children but were not really "into" the parenting role so much, except for Marc's reaction with his older daughter towards the end. (I don't want to be too specific and create a spoiler.)


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