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Sailor Twain
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The book's themes

Created: 04/18/14

Replies: 7

Posted Apr. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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The book's themes

What themes does the author explore throughout the novel?


Posted Apr. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 35

Muses and Legs

I am really curious about what people thought about the use of legs and muses. So the wife seems like she was a muse- she was in a wheelchair, symbolic of the mermaid? And of course the mermaid was a muse and she too could not use her legs, symbolic of the wheelchair? I thought the parallels between the two women were interesting, especially because they come to a crescendo at the exact moment where his true love must be clear. Thoughts?


Posted Apr. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 279

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RE: The book's themes

I hadn't thought about that angle, N*Starr, but you're right, there certainly do seem to be parallels between the two women in Twain's life. Which makes it all the more interesting that it ended up being the mermaid he was obsessed with, while his wife was certainly more attainable (and wasn't using him for anything). I'm going to have to give this one some thought!


Posted Apr. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 35

Unattainable

I know, Kimk, What does that say about him or the ending that he is obsessed by the unattainable- both because she is "using" him and also because she no longer wants him? Yet, when he had her- he had a moment (I am not biblical, but it did smack of Lot looking back to see his wife) where he couldn't obtain the mermaid either.


Posted Apr. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 279

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RE: The book's themes

I think that's why I found the book so sad and disturbing. He was "split" like the others, and his bad, mermaid-obsessed side killed his good, wife-loving side, meaning he has no hope of wholeness even should the mermaid be destroyed (I think). It definitely wasn't a happy ending.


Posted May. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyk

Join Date: 02/16/13

Posts: 17

RE: The book's themes

Thank you all for the comments above. They provoke thought.


Posted May. 08, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
edie

Join Date: 04/05/12

Posts: 44

RE: The book's themes

Oh my, so many! The theme suggested by the the captain's name, "Twain"--double or two natures residing in one person that can tear a person apart. We see this in Captain Twain, in Dieudonne, and in his brother.

The theme of freedom versus captivity and the types of prisons we build for ourselves vs those imposed on us by other. Twain is a prisoner of his moral code that stifles creativity and a prisoner of his passion that gets throws a monkey wrench into his moral standards. Lafayette flaunts his freedom to use women to satisfy his needs, but is a prisoner to South and cannot leave his ship. Pearl is a prisoner in her wheelchair, Miss Camomile is prisoner to the low opinion of women in the late 1800's, but makes her own freedom by defying social opinion. South who freely wields power over her victims is herself a prisoner to her father's curse.

The theme of complexity in human nature, the nature of love and the story itself that is symbolized by the nesting Russian dolls: We experience layers of meaning, layers of revelation, and layers in most of the main characters; and are forced to seek clues to deeper and deeper meanings as the tale unfolds.

Hidden meanings in names: Twain of course with the added twist of its rhyming similarity to "Cain" in the scene where we see his brother Abel's gravestone. Like the biblical pair, the one brother is loved and accepted by their father, the other is not. Dieudonne's name means God-given or Gift of God puzzling at first when we see his wanton behavior, but slowly revealed as more accurate as the story unravels.

I'll quit here or my husband will have to go without his lunch!


Posted May. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
candaceb

Join Date: 03/30/14

Posts: 36

RE: The book's themes

Thank you Edie for your insights- very helpful to me. I didn't see the novel in this way-- I don't think I took it as seriously as I normally would a non-graphic novel.


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