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Visible Empire


An epic novel—based on true events—of love, grief, race, and wealth.
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Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

Created: 08/07/19

Replies: 13

Posted Aug. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

Pittard offers us many perspectives--including the collective voice, "everyone"--but she centers the narrative around Robert, Piedmont, Anastasia, and Ivan & Lulu. Why do you think she chooses these characters to drive the story?


Posted Aug. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 211

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

I think they represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds, ages and societal placement in order to show how
this crash affected everyone in the city even though the actual number of residents lost was not large relative to the main population. The fact that they were mostly all from the privileged and leadership group from the city left the city somewhat adrift in "management" for a moment, but in some ways, it might have presented an opportunity for the city to let some new ideas and personalities come forward to lead.


Posted Aug. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 184

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

Pittard's choice of characters give readers several avenues to understanding the full story. Not everyone reacts the same way to a tragedy. Too, the losses were different. Some adult children lost parents; some young children lost one parent. And there were other iterations of loss. Pittard gives herself an opportunity to explore various losses including one imagined one with Anastasia's story. That reminded me of a woman who pretended to be part of the 9/11 tragedy and received all sorts of help until she was exposed. Of course, Genie knew from the beginning that Anastasia was lying, but she was pulling her own con.


Posted Aug. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
colleenf

Join Date: 08/07/18

Posts: 15

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

I feel like she wanted to give the readers a different prospective from different backgrounds and class.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

In this way she could show a varied point of view and varying responses to the same tragedy depending on the character of the individual. Although Raif was not a major character, he seemed to be a pivot point for the whole story and as far as liking a character, I liked him best.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rorya

Join Date: 09/18/13

Posts: 20

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

It's like the movie "Rashomon." Here is this one event, but each witness sees it differently. In this way, Pittard can approach the deadly plane crash from these different perspectives and explore different issues that interest her.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 173

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

I thought her character choice allowed us to view a cross section of Atlanta at the time of the crash, it was interesting to see how the tragedy affected some greatly and many not at all.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

Good question. I asked this question as I read the book. I understand the motivation for Piedmont’s story in 1962 Atlanta and how Lily fits in as the injured party in a love triangle but I can’t figure out why the other characters were in this storyline.


Posted Aug. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 13

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

It wasn’t very apparent to me and that may be one of the reasons i didn’t enjoy the book. The story arc with Piedmont was the only one that reflected the times but that one had some major flaws - at least for me.


Posted Aug. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

I felt that the author chose 5 different voices to show a broad experience to this shared event, not everyone experienced it the same way.

I agree with peggyt that Raif was an interesting character and I wanted more from him!


Posted Aug. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 13

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

i think she chose the five characters for their diversity and hoped that would give the reader some insight into the mood of Atlanta. I don’t really think she succeeded. Except for Piedmont’s story, the story arcs left me cold.


Posted Aug. 20, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 52

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

That’s an interesting perspective, rorya. It seems plausible to me, too, that the author chose these particular characters as a way into exploration of topics/issues she wanted to further develop. Thanks for that!


Posted Aug. 20, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 386

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

These five acted differently for their own personal reasons. Robert felt very saddened and guilty because he had talked his mistress into going on the trip. He felt her death was partly his fault. Piedmont met Lily and fell in love. Without all of the circumstances after the crash he would have never met her. Anastasia now had the opportunity to make up a story about family on the plane, and was able to be taken in my Genie. Actually clueless as to why the author wrote the short chapters about Lulu and Ivan.


Posted Aug. 20, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: Why do you think Pittard chose the five characters she did to drive the story?

This is a tough one for me to answer. I think there were secondary characters that might have made for a stronger story had they been the focus. I think the connection to the historical event might have been stronger as a result, and I don't think the plane crash was really necessary. The author could have easily presented all these characters using something entirely made up. Lulu strikes me as the kind of person who would unravel if something went wrong at one of her ladies' luncheons. :)

In the big picture, Lulu and Ivan really were the two characters most focused on the plane crash in their every day life. EVERY DAY. EVERY CONVERSATION. The stories of the rest were related, but the crash wasn't the focus in their chapters. Things happened in the characters' lives because of the plane crash- -like Piedmont was sort of "in the right place at the right time."

Death/loss doesn't necessarily make people pull together. Not everyone questions their reason for still being alive and how best they can use that gift. I think there were a lot of characters who reacted very selfishly and used the tragedy to manipulate others. When there is a big tragedy happening in a city, a country, or the world, each individual person is also living their own personal tragedy. Bad things happen, and we all react (or don't react) differently.

But.... Piedmont wasn't really affected by the loss of 120 rich white people, and Anastasia stood to gain quite a bit (initially) without feeling an ounce of sadness about the crash. So...


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