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The Twelve-Mile Straight


An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the...
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Discuss The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson:
How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

Created: 07/11/18

Replies: 13

Posted Jul. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

The novel is narrated by an omniscient voice. How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I liked reading the individual's perspectives. I think it made the story well-rounded as I really understood each character's own motives, good or bad. I did not agree which each person's motives, but I saw what drove them to do the things they did.


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I must admit that at times I was confused as to the speaker. It would have helped mento keep a list of characters and their traits.


Posted Jul. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 223

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I liked the changing perspective. It gave insight into what motivated both the "good guys" and the "bad guys," and helped make sense of what turned into a very complicated set of relationships.


Posted Jul. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 124

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I did not find it to be a problem. I think it added to the multiple story lines.


Posted Jul. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 93

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

It made the bad guys more human. They did not become all bad or all good characters. It is more like real life. The characters are more gray. You could also understand why bad characters turned out the way they did.


Posted Jul. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

This added a great deal to my pleasure in reading, my understanding of this time and place, and my esteem for the author. She did not turn her characters into caricatures or take the easy route of having "good" and "bad" characters. Every significant character was presented with understanding, as a complicated mix of qualities, even those whose actions were despicable. Taking a character such as Juke, she shows how his supposed friendliness with black people was, on its flip side, a deep conviction of his entitlement to their bodies and souls, even though they were supposedly free. And yet he himself is not really free, despite his hard work, due to his ignorance.. This was a very effective way to highlight the real problem, for that time and still for our time: the collective guilt of sustaining a racist and misogynist caste system, its cost in human lives.


Posted Jul. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 49

RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

In some ways it made the story more interesting, in others confusing. It's always fascinating to understand another persons motives.


Posted Jul. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 125

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

The first chapters lay out the fact of Genus Jackson’s death and the subsequent telling of parts of the story by each character paint the entire picture. Once I identified the various perspectives, I enjoyed the reading experience. I had to read a few chapters before I picked up the flow.


Posted Jul. 31, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaB.

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 67

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I enjoyed reading from different perspectives even though it could be challenging to keep track at times. I thought it added to the book and made the characters more believable.


Posted Aug. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
skagitgrits

Join Date: 02/24/17

Posts: 9

RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

For me, the multiple perspectives added dimension to the story and provided a fuller understanding of the motivations and needs of the characters. All of them were more alike than they could fathom and the motivations were the same of each though characterized differently.


Posted Aug. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 197

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I enjoy hearing the perspectives of multiple characters in a story, for that technique gives the reader a better idea of the individual's character, personality, and motives. It also allows the reader to evaluate which perspective(s) are most credible and honest in view of the character's background and past experiences as he/she deals with and confronts life and its circumstances.


Posted Aug. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickic

Join Date: 09/15/14

Posts: 35

RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

It reminded me how important it is to hear and try to understand what others are thinking and perhaps why. When able to do so I think it prevents unthinking responses and negativity.


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: How did it affect your experience as a reader to hear the perspective of multiple characters, even characters considered to be villains?

I like reading a story from multiple perspectives. Whether from a 'good' or 'evil' character a story flourishes when multiple accounts are given.


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