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Black River
Four starred reviews for this debut that will turn readers' hearts inside out.
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Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 4

Posted Jan. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?

Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him (when they see his hands and the scars on his arm) and how he perceives himself (when he wrestles with the loss of his ability to play the fiddle). What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?


Posted Jan. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?

Loss of control, being at the mercy of Williams, a level of embarrassment and humiliation. He was overpowered. The visible damage left behind. The loss of his ability to play his fiddle. Difficult to pinpoint the most profound when it's all profound.


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?

As a victim of a violent crime, there are a lot of emotions that go through your head during the crime if it is an extended amount of time. Loss of control is exactly right and afterwards, long afterwards, I'm sure Wes felt there was something he should have done differently to stop Williams and save his friend and himself. I'm sure this is amplified by the fact that he was a correctional officer and was supposed to be in control. The paralyzing anxiety of what will happen next, when will it stop and for Wes, will I ever play again is excruciating. As we saw when he donated blood, there are little everyday events that can trigger that anxiety. Which is worse? For Wes, initially it seemed the loss of control but at the end it seemed like the anxiety. It's hard to tell. It seems like a see-saw sometimes.


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?

I think loss of control was the greatest impact on Wesley. He lived his life 'being in control' of his feelings, actions and the convicts who were under his charge. Everything was turned upside down when he was the prisoner and the tortured. His faith was tested, his principles were stomped on, his very soul was assaulted. The anxiety he felt after seemed a very reasonable reaction. He was experiencing heavy duty PTSD. But, perhaps, the most profound impact was his loss of confidence - the doubt and fear that replaced his confidence in himself.


Posted Feb. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 164

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RE: Wesley's reaction to Williams's torture seems to be divided between anxiety about how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. What do you think was the most profound impact of the trauma?

I think it was the inability to make music, because I think for Wes this was his way of connecting with his father, his sense of himself, and with his faith -- the closest he could get to the God he wanted to believe in. It was also a vehicle and expression of the deep spiritual connection he had with Claire, and so his inability to play his song for her as she was dying was an even more painful experience of his yearning for faith. The way the author wove all these layers of meaning into her characterization of Wes is amazing.


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