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An American Marriage


A masterpiece of storytelling, and a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.
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Discuss An American Marriage by Tayari Jones:
Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Created: 04/09/19

Replies: 13

Posted Apr. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1974

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Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Big Roy explains that he and Olive never had children of their own because Olive feared that he would not love Roy as much if he had his "own" children. Do you feel she had the authority to make that decision? And do you feel she was right in making that decision? 


Posted Apr. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 120

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Olive was wrong about that because Big Roy had a lot of love to give and maybe having siblings would have made Little Roy less self-centered and not so much of a mama’s boy.


Posted Apr. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 157

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

I think Olive needed to do what was best for her at the time.


Posted Apr. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 235

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

I didn't agree with her decision to deny Big Roy a biological child. He loved Roy as his own and wouldn't have loved him less if another child had been born. I don't 'think Olive gave Big Roy enough credit when she denied him that.


Posted Apr. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
oraj

Join Date: 05/10/18

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Yes, I do think Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding no more children. She wanted her new husband's full commitment to her son. More children would displace her son's importance to the new husband.
As a mother of two sons marrying my second husband I was looking for a man who would be satisfied with my two sons.

Mrs. J


Posted Apr. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
xandrabk

Join Date: 04/16/19

Posts: 18

RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

I don't think Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy. I understand her desire for Big Roy to dedicate himself to her son and her nervousness about him maybe treating another child of his own differently from her son, but it is pure selfishness. It wasn't fair for Big Roy to not have the opportunity to raise a child of his own.


Posted Apr. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 231

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

While I certainly can understand Olive's concern and reasoning, I guess I believe those sorts of decisions should be made in tandem in a marriage. If Olive could not trust Big Roy's commitment and/or potential to love equally, perhaps she should have thought twice about marrying him. He had a right to a child of his own if he wanted to father one - thank goodness he was such a good man and came to feel as if Roy was his own.


Posted Apr. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 54

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Authority? Big Roy must have given her or let her have that authority. Right? Was it the right decision? I say if a wonderful man can't love all children in a family equally, he's not so wonderful. She robbed them all of an opportunity for more love. Olive was bossy and Roy was easy-going.


Posted Apr. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 174

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

A woman has the right to make any decision about her body, especially regarding childbearing. I wish she had discussed this more and trusted Big Roy's capacity for love. However I have seen so many step-children suffer once a parent has their "natural" child, no matter how loving the parent was before - and I understand her views on this matter. If anyone could have managed to share his love equally I think Big Roy would have been that parent. I found Olive controlling in this marriage, but as they say, "it takes two to tango...".


Posted May. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lilliantpr

Join Date: 01/23/12

Posts: 42

RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Again, marriage consists of two people. In this case, Olive is making a crucial decision on her own that affects both parties involved. Even though I find this a little selfish and I don’t agree with her decision, her feelings are somewhat understandable. It does Big Roy a disservice to assume that little Roy wouldn’t receive as much love if a biological child was introduced.

I think that Big Roy showed his loyalty when he gave little Roy is name even though he was not his biological son. Also, having so much love to give, another member added to the family of his own blood, would have been more than a blessing to all of them. I think Roy would have been a little different if he would have grown up with a sibling.


Posted May. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 72

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

Olive was unfair to both Big Roy and Roy by making a selfish decision not to have more children. Unless she and Big Roy discusses this thoroughly before their marriage, this was not her decision to make alone—she had a marriage partner. Like some others, I think Roy would have been less cocky and self-centered if he had had a sibling.


Posted May. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 59

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

I think that Olive should have discussed her decision with her husband. The fact that she didn't leads me to believe that Big Roy may have been more committed to the marriage than Olive was.


Posted May. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 20

RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

This is a tough one...I think Big Roy would’ve been a great father, but ultimately feel it was really Olive’s decision to make. Did she make the right one? I think for her it was.


Posted Jun. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 89

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RE: Do you think that Olive had the authority to make the decision regarding having children with Big Roy? And do you feel she was right in making that decision?

I tend to think that that women should have the choice regarding what to do with their bodies and obviously having a child is one of those decisions. However, I don't think she really gave him as much credit as she might have = a mutual decision would have be preferable.


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