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Morningside Heights


A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-...
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Why do you imagine Arlo's first visit to Spence's sister Enid made such an impression on him? Why do you think he decides to return once more, years later?

Created: 09/23/21

Replies: 7

Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

Why do you imagine Arlo's first visit to Spence's sister Enid made such an impression on him? Why do you think he decides to return once more, years later?

Spence takes Arlo to visit Enid, Spence's sister who became permanently disabled as a result of a drunk driving incident. Why do you imagine his first visit to her made such an impression on Arlo? Why do you think he decides to return once more, years later, after his father's ceremony?


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 364

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

Arlo encountered a woman aged beyond her years. Yet, when Enid sang she had a beautiful voice. There was beauty within her limited walls.
I believe Arlo's visit to Enid after his father's death was a way to remember his father and pay homage to the sister his father loved. it was one last way to connect to his father.


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

When he first saw Enid he was too stunned to speak. She looked very old and smelled salty as a herring. He knew Sarah was afraid of her and would not visit but he was not afraid. He was overwhelmed by a quiet awe. He was glad that he had an aunt Then when she sang she had a beautiful voice and he danced with her. I think he returned later because he still wanted to connect with a family that he really never had. A family that he wanted to be part of.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 209

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

I think Arlo is a very caring "old soul." He actually had to take that role in light of his mother's capricious nature. We see this caring on full display with Enid. In many ways, they have something very fundamental in common. Where Enid "had it all" in terms of Arlo's definition of family, she destroyed it (albeit unintentionally) through her actions. Similarly, while Arlo has a chance to capture this very same family, he also destroys it through his actions, which I think are more self-protective.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbettet

Join Date: 10/01/20

Posts: 19

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

Neither of his parents ever put Arlo first in their lives. Enid is pretty much "abandoned" except for his father's visits, and Arlo must feel the same. Through Enid Arlo sees that his father is capable of sustained devotion which on some psychological level must help him. As time passes, Arlo connects and cares for her. She is family, but someone in his family that is uncomplicated and can't hurt or abandon him.


Posted Sep. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

At that point, Arlo was still looking for more family. Later I think he was still wanting to connect.


Posted Sep. 27, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
charlaw's Gravatar
charlaw

Join Date: 09/06/16

Posts: 23

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

Up until Arlo met Enid, his family ties were limited to Spence, Pru, Sarah and his mom. He wanted to meet Enid because she was a family member and she was there in NYC and therefore easy to meet. But, I also believe he was eager to meet her because he felt in some way that he could relate to her as like himself, Enid was cast off from the rest of the family.


Posted Oct. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrained

Join Date: 12/04/20

Posts: 50

RE: Why do you imagine Arlo's first...

Arlo saw beauty in Enid's voice. He knew that his father had diligently visited her and accepted her even with all of her unfortunate limitations. Perhaps he realized that while Spence was his own limited, unique personality, if he had loved Enid, perhaps he truly had feelings for Arlo. Enid becomes the parent substitute and she accepts what he has to offer her with no rejection.


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