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How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

Created: 10/13/14

Replies: 14

Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

How does Mary Elizabeth's death affect Rosanna? How does it change her relationship with the children who follow?


Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mainlinebooker

Join Date: 09/28/14

Posts: 7

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

I believe it deadens her response to her future children. She is never able to care for them or bond with them as she never explored her grief.


Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jank

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 1

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

I think it affects her deeply. Rosanna had already been through post partum depression, and the death of Mary Elizabeth deadens her feelings even more. She did not have the energy or passion for the children following the death - except for Lillian. I think her life was so difficult that it just wore away at her.


Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
emfremont

Join Date: 03/12/14

Posts: 14

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

The death overwhelms her and numbs her to all the emotions of the people around. She doesn't participate the way she had.


Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

She got religion. After Mary Elizabeth died, she felt the need to seek out a new church, perhaps looking for spiritual reawakening, trying to assuage her guilt at losing Mary Elizabeth.


Posted Oct. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mystinamarie

Join Date: 12/19/12

Posts: 37

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

I think Mary Elizabeth's death affects Rosanna deeply. The rest of the novel she seems a hollow shadow of her former self.

What struck me about the death was how different it would be under today's circumstances. She would have had the ability to either phone or drive to professional medical help in a much more timely manner. And even if it had been too late, our advanced knowledge would have provided much-needed answers for her grief. She was never given a cause of death or a reason. I think without these, she naturally blamed herself and always questioned "why?" and "what if?" Also, nowadays we recognize the severity of mental illness, depression, grief, and have resources for counselling, support groups, and literature on the subjects.

Rosanna did not have the above available to her, so she handled her grief in the best way she knew how. She sought support and strength through religion. And I think she used this as a way to "punish" herself with her strictness because she was never able to not blame herself. I think not knowing a definitive cause also affected her emotionally from bonding with future children. Part of her kept that numb and the children at arm's length so she would not get too attached or feel that level of sorrow, pain, and grief again. Early in the book she said she knew deaths were sometimes just casualties of farming, like it was a known fact. She had that in the back of her head but until she lost a child on a farm, she maybe didn't fully realize the repercussions of hardening yourself to that reality.


Posted Oct. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

Rosanna felt responsible for the death and retreated from the world. Only when she found religion and was saved did she feel absolved and go with her life.


Posted Oct. 19, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemaryk

Join Date: 08/29/11

Posts: 36

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

It so devastated her that she never really recovered.

As others have pointed out, it made her hold back from the next children (the exception being Lillian); she tried finding meaning in life through religion. . .but the death just took too much from her.

It was a shocking scene.


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
malindan

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 48

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

As the others have pointed out the death affected Rosanna tremendously. She never really returns to the person she had been before the death and she punishes herself by not bonding with her other children (except Lillian). As a character in the story she is much diminished. Her life was not an easy one and depression and grief were not kindly looked upon which caused Rosanna to retreat within herself. Religion is the only acceptable way she has to deal with her guilt and grief.


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judym

Join Date: 10/29/11

Posts: 22

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

Rosanna grew more distant from her children, probably from life in general. She became religious which was her only way of getting by.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 57

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RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

It did cause her to withdraw and as her life went on, bearing more children, never did she interact with them in the way that she had prior to the death. Lillian was special, but not even in the same way as Mary Elizabeth. After she lost that little girl religion was the only thing that kept her in the world. I was amazed by her husband's acceptance and willingness to participate in that - as if he knew, too, that without it he would lose her altogether.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiaarnaud

Join Date: 04/18/12

Posts: 35

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

Mary Elizabeth's death seemed almost supernatural to me. I remember as a child my mother telling me to stay away from windows and not to run the water during thunderstorms. But of course we never experienced something like that, so I'm inclined to think of it as an old wives' tale that such a thing could happen.

But it does happen in the book, and it makes Rosanna withdraw into herself. I saw her becoming more religious as she tried to grapple with the aftermath. Maybe I read this wrong, but the religion didn't really seem to stick over the long term. Wasn't there that experience where the family walked out of church partway through the service? Perhaps Rosanna had gotten all the comfort she was going to get out of it.


Posted Oct. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

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RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

I think she punished herself by not allowing herself the simple joys in life that she had enjoyed before the death of Mary Elizabeth. I think going to church and becoming religious was part of being the humbled person she felt she needed to become as penance for allowing her daughter to die. She had been proud of her looks and her children before the accident. Afterwards she tried to hide her natural beauty and emotionally cut herself off from her children.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Krystal

Join Date: 08/14/14

Posts: 6

RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

It affected her more than anything else I think. She never let it go. Mary Elizabeth was her favorite and to lose her was such a blow, especially so suddenly. I think she blamed herself in some way for her death and she turned to religion as a way to alleviate her guilt. She seemed to feel that because she wasn't following the church at the time, she was being punished. Mary Elizabeth's death also caused Rosanna to distance herself from her other children that she had later. She was never close to Claire and considered her to be Walter's child.


Posted Oct. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: How does Mary Elizabeth’s death affect Rosanna?

Rosanna changed after Mary Elizabeth's death. She could not understand how this could have happened to her child, was it her fault, the fault of the storm or God. She went about her normal work on the farm, but rarely left home. It was not until she saw that Billy Sunday that she wanted to leave. Rosanna thought he might have an answer for her and he did. She turned to religion.


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