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Evening in Paradise


"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives ...
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Discuss Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin:
"Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

Created: 11/04/19

Replies: 9

Posted Nov. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1974

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"Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

In "Itinerary", why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Was this necessary? What did you think of the selection of women who were asked to meet her? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?


Posted Dec. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 120

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RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

She was making a long trip with many stops and although she was not a child, she was a young woman. Or maybe it was a social thing or to avoid boredom for her. I never took a flight until I was an adult but my daughter did, so I can relate to how the parents might feel. Even though a flight attendant is supposed to look after your child, you still feel anxious.


Posted Dec. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 224

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RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

I think the narrator's parents wanted to let her know that she was not totally alone on this long trip. Having people meet her gave her a sense of safety and company on her journey.


Posted Dec. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lole

Join Date: 11/30/19

Posts: 25

RE:

I think the three women were representative of three parts of her life. The parents may have thought they had arranged to smooth her traveling, but that really wasn't the result. Each brief visit raises questions about her father, his business, her mother.

Ingeborg was only doing a favor--and not doing it well--for her sometime lover's daughter. Self-centered, she failed to meet the plane, her conversation seemed geared to pry about Eduardo, took a phone call rather than talk with the girl, and put her in a taxi to re board alone. Mrs. Kirby is cold and distant, while her enebriated husband disparages her father. She dreaded seeing Aunt Martha--her mother disparaged her, her parents fought over her father's generosity toward her--but she was welcoming, affectionate and comforting.

My first trip away from home was going to college. I got on a plane, sat next to our State Representative and chatted about the federal government and my expectations for college until we landed.


Posted Dec. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 72

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RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

I think, besides wanting to make sure she made each connection safely, they also wanted to keep an eye on her, and make sure she didn't get into any trouble.

Being 72, I never took a solo flight as a child, nor did my children, but my grandchildren certainly have. It's always anxiety-provoking!


Posted Dec. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 206

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RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

I wondered whether they arranged to have these particular people meet her so that she would find out things about her parents that they couldn't bring themselves to tell her, but then I tried a less cynical tack and thought that maybe they were for a change behaving like normal parents who just wanted their daughter to be protected on the trip that had so many stops along the way. For myself, I took my first (and it was my first alone as well) flight at age 21.


Posted Dec. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 57

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RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

Her parents were trying to look out for their daughter by having friends or relatives meet her on the trips with many stops. I never had the opportunity to take a trip alone on a train or a plane as a child. I sincerely doubt that my parents would have let me go alone - if they could not take me, they would have had someone else take me as a chaperone.


Posted Dec. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 162

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RE:

I recalled in the story, "Andado", that Laura did not tell her friends she was going to Don Andrés' fundo without her parents because they would think it improper. A chaperone was arranged as a security measure against inappropriate situations. As I read "Itinerary", it seemed to me this was a continuation of a Chilean custom. Girls and young women were chaperoned.

I read nothing else into it because I didn't have a positive picture in my mind of Laura's parents. (I assumed the narrator was Laura.) They didn't strike me as doing something to keep her safe, care for her, or nurture her. I based my opinion of them on the first story. Her father didn't even come to the airport to say good-bye, and her mother didn't acknowledge her when the plane returned to the gate for a delay. Parents who look after their daughter don't behave that way, in my opinion.

Each visit along the way reinforced how I felt about her parents. Maybe they thought providing their daughter with chaperones would reflect well on them or appease their guilt. It wasn't ever about their daughter.

I took my first flight alone when I was in the fifth grade. I flew to Chicago with my dad. He then put me on a plane to California. My aunt and uncle met me at the gate. We called my dad as soon as we could to let him know I had arrived safely.

On my second trip, I flew from Detroit to Miami and then on the Medellin, Colombia. There was no one to meet me in Miami. I had very specific instructions from my father on what to do. It never occurred to me that I would need a chaperone. Obviously, it didn't occur to my dad either! The only "danger" I faced was getting off the second flight in a city other than Medellin, wondering where in the heck my dad was, and trying to make a payphone call with quarters instead of pesos! That trip had a happy ending!


Posted Dec. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 40

RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

I think her parents were attempting to provide some safety and reassurance for their daughter and some peace of mind for themselves. It was a long trip with many stops and opportunities for things to go wrong, especially for a first solo flight. Someone, anyone, at each stop might have made her feel less alone.


Posted Dec. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 379

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RE: "Itinerary": Why do you think the narrator's parents had someone meet her at each airport transfer? Do you recall your first trip away from home without your parents?

For safety reasons.


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