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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 suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

Created: 08/07/19

Replies: 15

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice if you were in his position?


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

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 176

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

Because of the way Piedmont felt about Lily, when he knew he would be in trouble for such feelings. I think when he later saw Lily and Robert together, he would not have felt comfortable interacting with them together.


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

Join Date: 02/15/17

Posts: 24

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

I thought Piedmont’s decision was a very mature one. He was always uncomfortable with the feelings he and Lily shared. Then after seeing the two of them together, he knew there would never be a place for he and Lily in society at that time.


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

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

I felt like his time with Lily was like something that occurred in a magical bubble and when he left the pool house, he knew that could never be the same.


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

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 76

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

When Piedmont walked away from Robert and Lily it was a gift to Lily. He had really cared for her and could see that after the birth of her child, Lily would choose to have her husband and her marriage. Piedmont would only serve to complicate the possibility of Lily's choice being successful. His was a thoughtful and mature choice.


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

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 173

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

His unselfish choice made it possible for Lily and Robert to move forward. Piedmont knew there was no future with Lily and to pursue a relationship would have been harmful.


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

Join Date: 10/16/16

Posts: 40

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

He loved Lily and wanted the best for her. It was also very dangerous for him to be in a relationship with a white woman.


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

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 52

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

I think Piedmont’s feelings for Lily were so new to him and tender that he felt he wouldn’t be able to retain his composure if he put himself in a situation with Robert and Lily together. And of course he knew the relationship was not real...it was temporary and just based on very rare circumstances.


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

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

Piedmont understood the reality and ramifications of continuing any relationship with Lily. It was too dangerous for him to risk the contact.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 435

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

A relationship between a white woman and a black man was very dangerous. Piedmont kept thinking to Emmet Tillman throughout the book. The threat of death over such an occurrence was very real. He did the right thing by just walking away.


Posted Aug. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

The responses are very interesting to me because I didn't think for a moment that Piedmont refused to see Lily because of his love for her. When Piedmont left his mom's home after the school rejection, he hadn't had a lot of personal experiences with racism. He listened to his roommates in the evenings, but for the most part, Piedmont kept his head down, minded his own business, and tried really hard to get along.

By the time Piedmont left Lilly's poolhouse, he had been beaten by two policemen, robbed, threatened with his life (after saving a life) at a hospital, listened more intently to Michael and Jeremy, and (sort of) participated in a robbery. I think Piedmont chose not to see Lily because by this time he believed in self-preservation more than anything else. Due to the relationships he developed with both Robert and Lily over the course of the novel, Piedmont was given a second chance. I don't think he wanted to jeopardize that. i wondered if it was also possible that he didn't see Lily and Robert as just people any more; he saw them as white people.


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

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

I admit I was a bit surprised by this turn in the story. We hear a lot of Piedmont's story in this book, but I'm still not sure I completely understand him. I agree with acstrine that his perceptions had changed regarding Lily and Robert. I also agree with Marcia S as there were several times he mentioned Emmet Till and he didn't want to end up like that.


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

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 169

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

I suppose it would have probably been too painful for Piedmont to see Lily and Robert together, especially knowing the feelings he had for Lily. Also, I think he was trying to start things over in his life and probably didn’t want any reminders of what had happened in the past with both Robert and Lily.


Posted Aug. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
skagitgrits's Gravatar
skagitgrits

Join Date: 02/24/17

Posts: 47

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

Seeing Lily again would have been too painful for Piedmont. He wasn't the inexperienced young man he had been...he had experienced brutal racism and had become aware of the danger he placed himself in if he were to be seen around her again. A loss of innocence story, I believe.


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

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 386

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

He was in love with her and it would be painful for him to see her with Robert. Also, he probably believed that being reunited with Robert would be the best life for her.


Posted Aug. 24, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
wendyf

Join Date: 05/11/11

Posts: 50

RE: Why do you suppose Piedmont chose not to see Lily and Robert at the end of the novel? Would you have made the same choice?

I think Piedmont had truly fallen for Lily in the short time they were together. He knew that due to the "norms" of society at that time he could not be with her. He didn't want to break his own heart any more than it already was nor did he want to make Lily feel uncomfortable. He did this for both of them.


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