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This Must Be the Place
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Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Created: 07/20/16

Replies: 14

Posted Jul. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story, and if so, why?


Posted Aug. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
asha

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 44

RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Oh Absolutely. Language and it's nuances plays such a huge role in Daniel's understanding of people around him.

He parses words and phrases. His entire characterization is based upon his falling back on linguistics.
His knowledge of language (and having a kid that stammers), helped him win Claudette's affections...


Posted Aug. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Linguistics are what brought Ari and Claudette into his life. I think it was a very well-thought-out occupation for the author's main character to have. His conversations with himself and others were full of great subtlety. He most certainly was able to find easy employment where ever he was.


Posted Aug. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ednaj

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 3

RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

I agree that it was "a stroke of genius" for Daniel to be a Linguist. People communicate in so many different ways and often we don't really mean what we say. He needed to be flexible in the way he understood why people said the things they did. It ties into the idea of life being one of major changes.


Posted Aug. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 70

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

It was enjoyable to read the various descriptive words...all similar yet each one evoked a different reaction/emotion.


Posted Aug. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darlene

Join Date: 08/03/16

Posts: 3

RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

I liked that he was linguist. He paid more attention to the language of others which made me pay attention to characters choice of words.


Posted Aug. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 183

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Daniel was nerdy and self absorbed. Being a linguist made him nerdy in and interesting way and it also explained why he got off on tangents thinking about what people said and how they said it. It explained a lot about his personality.


Posted Aug. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 188

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

I also liked that he was a linguist. Of course it was helpful in connecting with Claudette and made him more involved in the meaning behind words. Interestingly enough a current YA book has a character who is a linguist, which adds an interesting twist to the story.


Pegh
Posted Aug. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

It certainly was an important plot device, as it gave Daniel a way to connect with Ari and Claudette that was plausible. I think it was a good way to reveal his character also: he is a man with strong social needs, a warm heart, but he has been repressed (as it seems his mother was) and this gives him a way to attend to people while keeping an intellectual detachment. It fits in with his very humorous way of putting things (he could always make Claudette laugh, and his voice captures our attention right at the start). It also makes him, perhaps, more self-conscious about speaking his heart, as we see him many times, and especially in the last chapter, mentally rehearsing and fretting over how he can say to Claudette what he left unsaid for years. His linguistics background points to the theme of how important what we say and how we say it is to our relationships with others.


Posted Aug. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 23

RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

I also think that Daniel's avoiding putting into words his emotions and history is the ignitor for all of the tension and plot movement. When he could not talk to Nicola about his response to the abortion, their relationship falls apart. When he could not speak to Claudette over the phone to explain his 'side trips' he let her draw erroneous conclusions and almost fatally wounded their relationship.


Posted Aug. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

I think the author was using irony in making him a linguist. The man who knows all the words and meanings, but can't ever say what he really means! He is so flawed.


Posted Aug. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 279

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Thanks for that insight, JoyceW. I hadn't thought of that at all, but completely agree with your comment. Makes total sense.


Posted Aug. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

I agree with most of the answers above. It was definitely a way for him to meet Claudette. I think I liked JLPen77 answer best.


Posted Aug. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

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RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Thanks, NancyH!

I liked Joyce W's comment too -- it is ironic that a linguist has trouble communicating with the people closest to him. But I think the irony here isn't just for its own sake, but is meant to emphasize that good relationships, and communication, come from the heart, not the intellect. "Knowing" something about language doesn't mean "understanding" what people need to hear or what they are saying, often non-verbally. Some very well-educated people lack the wisdom that comes from empathy (what today we call "emotional intelligence"). Daniel's relationship with Ari begins with his empathy and concern, not with his professional diagnosis. That is what initially appealed to Claudette. He shows those qualities right through the novel, despite his failed relationships and decisions. In the end, he is able to bring those qualities to his critical visit with Claudette-- to distance himself from his own needs enough to recognize what she needs to hear, and so he begins to rebuild his marriage.


Posted Aug. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 33

RE: Why do you think the author made Daniel a linguist? Do you think his profession was important to the story?

Being a linguist was ironic, as Joyce W says. He really doesn't express himself that well and fails himself when really good communication is needed.
Also, linguistics is such an unusual, complex and abstract field that it tells us a great deal about Daniel's mind that Linguistics would be his chosen profession. His tendency to abstraction is a hindrance in his life. His fascination for the complex is also highly obvious.


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