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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 feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

Created: 04/09/19

Replies: 8

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1815

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Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

When Celestial asks Roy if he would have waited for her for more than five years, he doesn't answer her question but reminds her that, as a woman, she would not have been imprisoned in the first place. Do you feel that his response is valid, and do you think it justifies his infidelity? Do you believe that he would have remained faithful if Celestial had been the one incarcerated? Does this really matter, and if so, why? 


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

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 83

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RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

He tried to turn that back on her by saying that what happened to him would never happen to her. That is likely true but he could not even wait a few days when he got out of jail before hooking up with someone else.


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

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 146

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RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

I don’t think Roy would have remained faithful to Celestial since he hadn’t remained 100 percent faithful to her throughout their relationship. He had kept phone numbers of some women acquaintances during their marriage and it seemed to me he maintained these connections just in case he wanted a little diversion. The total commitment wasn’t there from the beginning of their relationship.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 214

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RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

I don't think Roy would have remained faithful. He's always been a flirt and womanizer. Five years is a long time to live in the past and hold on to what was. He couldn't even remain faithful when he got out of prison. However, I was glad he and Davina became a permanent couple.


Posted Apr. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 90

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RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

Roy's response certainly was thought-provoking, but it didn't address the issue. Roy likely wouldn't have been faithful even in the marriage, let alone if Celestial had been in prison. At one point, he even told her in a letter not to wait for him (and once again, I couldn't find this part when I went to reread it), so he had an idea of how difficult the situation might be.


Posted Apr. 20, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 206

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RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

Like all who have responded to this question so far, I don't believe for a minute that Roy would have remained faithful to Celestial if she was the one imprisoned. He wasn't loyal before he was imprisoned so there was nothing to make me believe he would go forward behaving that way. As is pointed out above also, it didn't take him long after his release to wander. I didn't trust his response to Celestial at all.


Posted Apr. 22, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kkb

Join Date: 04/22/19

Posts: 3

RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

When this came up in the book, I had to ponder on it for awhile. It seems to me that a woman is expected to be there for her partner, but I couldn't see where anyone would blame a man for looking elsewhere. Roy was a flirt before and during their brief marriage, and I can't see him saying no to someone, especially after 5 years.


Posted Apr. 22, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 64

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RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

I have to agree, somewhat reluctantly, that Roy would not have remained sexually faithful. I think he was faithful to the institution of marriage, however, or at least believed he was. I don’t think it mattered to him whether Celestial carried on with Andre while he was in prison, just as his few days with Deirdre didn’t, because what mattered was his marriage. I find this puzzling, but I think Roy expected to have the kind of long marriage his parents had, without the same degree of faithfulness.


Posted May. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lilliantpr

Join Date: 01/23/12

Posts: 42

RE: Do you feel that Roy's response to Celestial when she asks if he would have waited for her is valid? Do you think he would have remained faithful if she had been the one in prison?

So he responds the easy way by saying "this wouldn't have happened to you in the first place."

He really didn't respond to her question because in his conscience he knew he would wait for her, because he believed in marriage, but not in a faithful way. The proof was his unfaithfulness to her before the events that led to his imprisonment. Even after he came out, he continued with this behavior but you would think that the years that he was separated from Celestial would make him want to present himself to her as a "clean" man. But not like that at all.


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