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Force of Nature


As atmospheric, tense, and explosive as her New York Times bestselling debut, ...
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The title "Force of Nature"

Created: 01/12/19

Replies: 6

Posted Jan. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Borntoread

Join Date: 09/04/18

Posts: 16

The title "Force of Nature"

The title "Force of Nature' clearly refers to the strong presence of the wild, natural setting in the book. Some readers have commented that the foreboding setting almost functions as another character in the story.

"Force of Nature," however, could also refer to the human nature of the main characters: their personalities and individual morality. Do you think the individual nature of the main characters is a theme in the book, and if so, why?


Posted Jan. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Borntoread

Join Date: 09/04/18

Posts: 16

RE: The title "Force of Nature"

I think the personal nature of the main characters is an important theme in "Force of "Nature." For example, it is Alice's nature to be smart, aggressive, mean, and bossy. The third sentence in the book says, "Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you," and Alice's actions during the hike are often mean and bossy, especially to Beth and often to Lauren.

On the other hand, Lauren's nature is to lack confidence in her abilities: at work, as a mother, and as a hiker/camper. Even when she thinks Alice is wrong, she is slow to challenge her.

Alice's meanness and Lauren's lack of confidence collide at a dramatic moment in the book, when Alice and Lauren confront each other from p. 294 on. Lauren says to Alice, "I have changed. You're the one who's still the same...You were a bitch at school, and you're even worse now."

Alice laughs and responds, "You are kidding yourself...You are who you are. It's just your nature...Your daughter is just like you."

At that, Lauren is goaded into a shoving match with Alice that ends in Alice's injury.

Lauren's lack of confidence and Alice's mean criticism of Lauren lead to a tragic result. The different natures of the two women is the crucial factor leading up to this confrontation.

To me, the title has this dual meaning: the force of the wild setting in shaping the events of the book, and the important differences in Alice's and Lauren's individual natures that lead to their disastrous fight and Alice's injury. In a way, the two meanings mirror each other (and, of course, mirrors are another theme). Overall, this book is full of rich meaning and rewards close reading.


Posted Jan. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: The title "Force of Nature"

Just as the novel's title reflects on the reaction/interaction of the natural world with each individual character, all the characters in this novel reflect the Force of Nature in their interaction/reaction to one another. This, I believe is probably true in most situations in our daily lives and as a result, while the title initially appeared to refer most to the natural forest situation the women were thrown into, as I continued to read and the plot developed, I believe the force of each women's nature was really at the heart of the novel's message/theme.


Posted Jan. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 215

RE: The title "Force of Nature"

I agree with both of the above responses and don’t know if I can add anything more! At first glance the reader assumes “force of nature” refers to the environment and the elements but upon further reflection you realize that the phrase also refers to the characters’ individual natures.


Posted Jan. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Loveslife

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 50

RE: The title "Force of Nature"

I believe the title "Force of Nature" refers to both the physical world in the book which is constantly interwoven with the emotional and mental forces of nature of the characters that create the rising tension and suspense. The choice of the author to alternate between characters perspectives also lends to this closely mixed physical and mental world.


Posted Jan. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sarahh

Join Date: 03/05/12

Posts: 23

RE: The title "Force of Nature"

There are so many great responses already that address the dual meaning of the title. I think the other interesting duality is, how much do we really control? Our own nature, our personalities, our flaws, and the consequences they can have is a force not just upon others but also upon ourselves. What would it take for us to change the trajectory of a storm??? Just some musings that came up from this question.


Posted Jan. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shannonl

Join Date: 12/04/17

Posts: 42

RE: The title "Force of Nature"

The "Force of Nature" refers to both the physical character that plays such a compelling part of Harper's book but it also refers to the "natural" relationships between blood relatives, coworkers and friends and the "nature" of those relationships.


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