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Visible Empire


An epic novel—based on true events—of love, grief, race, and wealth.
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Discuss Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard:
Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

Created: 08/07/19

Replies: 16

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1946

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Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite his infidelity, chronic drinking, and general wallowing with P.T. Coleman? Did your feelings about Robert change over the course of the novel, and if so, at what point(s)?


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

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 29

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

Surprisingly, I did feel sympathy for Robert throughout his bizarre behavior. The crash impacted him in so many ways that I think he was literally "thrown for a loop." I want to believe that he really loved Lily, but was just a weak person. P.T. Coleman might have been a sympathetic character, but I found him loathsome and was frustrated by his manipulation of Robert.


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

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 47

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

Yes, I thought Robert was a good person despite his unfaithfulness and his other weaknesses. My feelings about him didn't really change that much later in the story.


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

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 97

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

It was a little bit hard to feel kindly toward Robert. He did have losses from the plane crash and it seemed like he had feelings of inadequacy from being what Lily called a self-made man. I felt a little better toward him when he straightened up and went back to his wife. Although he was almost 20 years older than her, she was much more emotionally mature.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AmberH

Join Date: 05/09/18

Posts: 30

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I definitely felt sympathy for Robert. After the crash, he was reeling with his entire life being totally out of control. Having an affair before the crash was not good, of course. However, it did seem like the affair and the crash really helped him to reflect on the person he had become and drove him to want to change for the better. Without both events, I don't know that he would have gotten to this point. Hopefully in the book world, Robert and Lily become closer.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 69

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I found that I didn't have much sympathy for Robert. I didn't understand why he was feeling so distanced from his very pregnant wife. I was almost always feeling concerned for his wife and impatient with him.
I was so happy at the end of the book that he was able to go back to his wife, who I found to be the most admirable character in the book


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

Join Date: 10/16/16

Posts: 40

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I did not have sympathy for Robert. He left his pregnant wife for his mistress.


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

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 157

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I thought Robert was irresponsible at the start of the book and he continued to be irresponsible even after he decided to reconcile with Lily. I didn’t like Robert’s character.


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

Join Date: 07/18/18

Posts: 20

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I accept the fact that Robert suffered but I feel he was selfish and easily led by Coleman. He did, however, decide to return to Lily, but I'm not sure their future relationship would be happy. They would both have to work at it.


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

Join Date: 04/16/19

Posts: 13

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I never felt any sympathy for Robert. I felt sympathy for his wife.


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

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 157

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I found it interesting that Robert had no obvious guilt about the affair he was having with Rita, yet he was consumed by guilt about the death of Rita in a plane crash on the way home from a trip HE pressed her to go on in the first place. And he pressed her to go because he did not have the courage to end the affair with her.

I found Robert to be selfish and self-centered. He made the tragedy about himself and ducked his responsibilities to his wife during her last months carrying his child. Lily's loss was further compounded by the truth about her parents' finances being revealed.

He reminded me of the one guy in a group of friends that everyone loves to be around but wishes would hurry and grow up. He made Rita responsible for ending the affair. He made Raif responsible for cleaning up a financial mess. He made Piedmont (indirectly) responsible for the emotional well-being of Lily. He made Lily responsible for their child. So sympathy, no.

I was not surprised though when he ended up back at home with Lily. At the same time, where else was an irresponsible person supposed to go other than to the one who was stronger and more in control.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 235

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

My feelings for Robert were mixed. The betrayal of adultery isn't something I take kindly. I was angry that he left his very pregnant wife to try to bury his guilt and problems with a cad like Coleman. When he realized he really did love Lily and wanted to be with her, I wan't sure that was for the best. However, he seemed to come full-circle by the end of the book and really work at mending the relationship to form a real family.


Posted Aug. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 78

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I never felt sympathy for Robert. Gong back to his wife din’t redeem him for me. I felt very sympathetic towards his wife. Will he really change?


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

Join Date: 12/04/17

Posts: 15

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

No! I didn't like Robert and I thought less of him when he went back to his wife. I "sort of" felt a little sorry for his wife but that too was as far as it went!


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

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 53

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I had the feeling that Robert was overwhelmed with his life. Conflicted over his infidelity, abandoning his pregnant wife. I really didn't think he was a "good" man and part of me wishes that his wife didn't take him back.


Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 401

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RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

Robert was an 'okay' kind of character. He wasn't an evil man, but not strong enough to do the right thing when it was really needed. I wasn't impressed with his infidelity with his pregnant wife or his choice of Coleman as a buddy. Would he have gone back to his wife if his girlfriend had not been killed? Hmmmm.....


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 36

RE: Did you feel sympathy for Robert despite everything? Did your feelings about him change over the course of the novel?

I did not feel sympathy for Robert. His troubles were all of his own making. He needed to be more honorable in his actions early on.


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