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The Lion Seeker
"Here is the South African novel I've been waiting for." - Lynn Freed
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Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

Created: 08/24/14

Replies: 10

Posted Aug. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

Rively decides to keep the truth about the story of the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac. Is this the right decision? Why or why not?


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Hulananni

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 42

RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

No, I believe life would have been less difficult to understand if he had been told the truth earlier in his life.


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

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RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

I am not sure that right and wrong are the correct way to look at her actions. Family members throughout time have kept information from each other for a lot of reasons. I think that Rively felt that there was no point to telling him. His actions had already left him feeling awfully guilty and knowing the "facts" was not going to change anything.


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 129

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RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

I think if Isaac had known the truth he might have acted differently. I can understand why Rively kept the truth to herself, but it never seems to make things any better.


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

I'm on the fence. I see Rively's point but..unsure if it was the correct course.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

Sometimes keeping the truth from family members or from the ones we love outside the family has dire consequences. I think when we choose whether or not to divulge the truth, we must prepare ourselves for what results will come of the truth or from not telling it. Some things are better left unsaid? I feel that truth wins out. I think Isaac would have done better in life with the truth.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 12

RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

I like what Avrom said: "What did you think? That the truth would never come out? You ask me why. Because new truth cancels old lies and I felt it was time. There's been too many lies around Gitelle for too long." (522) I think he's right, that the truth can mitigate the effects of past lies - not sure if others would agree? So I think Rively should have told Isaac.


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 74

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RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

Yes, what purpose will it serve? To make Isaac feel worse, alienate him more? The truth doesn't change the outcome. Isaac needed truths earlier in his life.


Posted Sep. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

Not sure it would be right to judge Rively on what she perceived as the correct way to handle this knowledge. I think the whole family was dead wrong in how they treated Isaac with kid gloves, not forcing him to stand up and face reality from the beginning. A lot of heartbreak could have been avoided for all the characters if Isaac had "grown up" a lot quicker. His mother probably treated him differently because she had given up her other son and wanted to make up for that loss by heaping more "love" on this one. Unfortunately, her version of love was also poor parenting and Isaac suffered by her not stepping up and being more proactive with him.


Posted Sep. 10, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 37

RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

Rively learns of the fate of the family in the book's epilogue, more than 20 years after 1941, long after Isaac's horrible decision with the money. By this time, Isaac was living in South Africa, doing well, caring for his father. What could the revelation have accomplished at that point other than to awaken terrible memories and guilt? I agree with Rively's decision: Isaac doesn't need this. "Life is forward. Life is now". Similarly, I don't think Avrom should have had the lawyer tell Gitelle the truth about the money. No good came of that decision.


Posted Sep. 12, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
roberts

Join Date: 08/20/13

Posts: 31

RE: Is Rively right to keep the truth about the rest of the family in Dusat from Isaac?

As the previous post notes, Rively learned of the massacre long after the fact when she and Isaac were well into adulthood. Isaac was intelligent and curious and, with his commitment to family and his resources, it is possible, and maybe even likely, that he would have undertaken at least some cursory investigation of his family's fate. He certainly would have known that the Lithuanian Jewish community had been liquidated. The information that Rively had could have brought closure to Isaac, and while I do not question Rively's motives, I do disagree with her decision.

Related to Devina's question is the question of whether there is a difference among Avrom's decision of whether to share with Abel and Gitelle the fact of Isaac's fraud, Gitelle's decision of whether to share with Isaac the true identity of Avrom and Rively's decision regarding the family's fate. I wonder if in each case the decision maker acted not for the benefit of the unknowing party but for his own benefit. When we are less than honest is it really for the protection of others or for our own protection, and when we disclose what will be hurtful do we act out of a sense of duty or morality or to injure?


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