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The Removes


A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the ...
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What is the meaning of the book’s title?

Created: 09/13/18

Replies: 11

Posted Sep. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 668

What is the meaning of the book’s title?

Why do you think the author chose “The Removes” as the title of her novel?


Posted Sep. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
valeriec's Gravatar
valeriec

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 33

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I have been trying to figure that out....Title seems odd.


Posted Sep. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I asked myself this throughout the entire book! (And particularly as it pertains to Anne.) At first I thought it might have to do with the process Anne went through in removing herself from a white, settler's mindset to that of a Native American mother. And every time I thought of the title, it was Anne I was most often thinking of.

I actually looked the word up found this definition to be quite helpful: a degree of remoteness or separation.
*Life in the Great Plains was far "removed" from the gaiety and party like atmosphere in the northern eastern states after the Civil War.
*Libby and Custer underwent separations, emotionally and physically, throughout their married life.
*Anne underwent numerous degrees of separation from her old life-- first wanting to escape the tribe, finding work she could do to benefit herself and her children, raising her children, feeling love and care for a family in the tribe, being devastated by the savagery of the US troops, and missing her children and the life she thought she hated once she was returned to her uncle and the life she thought she preferred.
*Anne was forever removed from her old life, yet also removed from her new one.
*To some extent Custer removed himself from a warrior's mindset once he began to appreciate the beauty and pleasure of life in the open plains.
*I would think any person would have to mentally remove himself from any and all horrors witnessed during the Indian wars.
*Americans living on the east coast were far removed from those horrors and the cost (mentally, physically, emotionally) associated with them.

These are just a few examples that occurred to me!


Posted Sep. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

In the Author’s Note at the end of the book, she says the use of numbered Removes as chapter headings comes from the Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson. I looked this up and it was one of the first “best sellers” and was written by Mrs Rowlandson when she was taken during the Puritan era at the time of King Phillip’s War. Other than that, I just thought it referred to the fact that Anne was initially traded from one tribe to another and that the tribes were all nomadic so they did remove from one place to another.


Posted Sep. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 106

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I think the title refers to any and all who were "removed " from their normal circumstances and thrust into another life they had not anticipated; that would include of course both the Indians the white settlers and their respective leaders.


Posted Sep. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 54

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I appreciated the definition from others as to the meaning of removes. I, too, thought it referred to the life changes characters, all of them, had to make and how they dealt with them. It could refer to emotional situations as well as real life. Seeing families completely wiped out and the death and destruction wreaked on both Native Americans and intruders to their land would cause emotional separation.


Posted Sep. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suelizbeth

Join Date: 01/15/17

Posts: 19

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I think it means a distancing from ones usual circumstance, such as Anne, George, Libbie, Tom, et al, experience. It is also the removal of a way of life, for all concerned.


Posted Sep. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 132

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I think the title refers to more than one thing. Foremost, it means displacement or leaving one's home. it can also mean 'getting rid of'. Because the western landscape is remote, the title can also refer to separation from others due to this remoteness. Ms. Soli picked a word that has an anguished meaning. Synonyms for 'removes' include abolish, discard, eliminate, expel, get rid of, transfer, dislodge, displace, eject, expunge, purge. All of these words relate to the history of what the U.S. and its cavalry was trying to do to the American Indian tribes by taking their land and putting them on reservations. If they didn't acquiesce, they would be removed in one way or another. The title also refers, in a more oblique way to Anne and others kidnapped by Indians.


Posted Sep. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 209

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

Anne and Libbie both are removed from the life expected of others like themselves, one forced removal and one chosen. Anne is removed by force from the life of a Western pioneer woman. Libbie chooses not to marry men like her peers have married. Instead she chooses a man with whom she will live a truly unpredictable life.


Posted Oct. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 102

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I thought it referred to the Indians being removed from their land by Custer. I also thought it referred to Annie being removed from her family then removed from the indians and back with part of her family.


Posted Oct. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poniesnpearls

Join Date: 06/28/11

Posts: 71

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

Multi-layered title: people removed from their 'normal' lives, from their land and families. I kept thinking about the title as I read the book and didn't settle on one particular thing.


Posted Oct. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 150

RE: What is the meaning of the book’s title?

I agree with others that posted that the title was related to separation and removal. I felt it signified Anne's removal and separation from her family and previous life and that each section about her illustrated further "removes". When she was rescued, the removes became the separation from her children and the way of life she had become accustomed to. Even if one's circumstances are extremely difficult, if one is in the situation long enough, he/she becomes more and more acclimated. When one is separated from those circumstances, adjustment is required. I also thought that the title reflected the Custers separation over time from the Eastern way of life as well as from each other at times, both physically and emotionally. Libbie stated in the novel that she preferred to be out west in the wildness, rather than being back east. The tribes were also being subjected to removal and separation from their ages old way of life and the nation was slowly being removed from an pastoral environment to an agricultural environment and then to an industrial environment.


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