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Circling the Sun
An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged...
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Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

Created: 08/26/16

Replies: 17

Posted Aug. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?


Posted Aug. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
stabs

Join Date: 07/13/16

Posts: 14

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

Not so much. Granted his wife left him with a very young girl to raise alone in Kenya, so he gets some for that. But he seems to have pretty much ignored her for several years, and only when someone else points out she's a little old to be running wild does he bring a "governess" which is really his mistress, so I'm not sure it counts. He pretty much exits her life around 16-17 with seemingly very little concern for her well being. So, overall, no, I don't have much sympathy for him. He could have made a much better effort at being a father.


Posted Aug. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kariner

Join Date: 07/20/16

Posts: 13

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

In the beginning I felt sorry for Clutt. He was left to raise a little girl alone. I think he did the best he could. And while the governess he brought in turned out to be his mistress; he was simply doing what he felt was right. He is not the first, nor will he be the last, single dad to get involved with a woman so his daughter could have a positive female influence.
However, when the going got tough and things went under he did abandon her. I'm sure he would of brought her with him when he moved if she hadn't of chosen marriage. It was clear he wanted her married off. The fact that he basically disappeared from her life was very disappointing.


Posted Aug. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 86

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I think so. Clutt was left to raise a young girl when Clara moved on and he looked after Beryl as best he could until he was able to marry her off which was a consideration that fit the norm during that time and place. He taught Beryl skills that helped her find unconventional work for a woman and she was able to move through a different world because of it.


Posted Aug. 31, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I liked Clutt even though he was not a great father. I couldn't believe that he allowed her lack of schooling. She was basically an uneducated woman when it came to "book learning." They had a difficult life in the wilderness, and it was the 1920's when education for women was not so highly sought after. He was good to teach her about the horses and how to handle them, which served her well throughout her life.


Posted Aug. 31, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 37

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I do. He was flawed and had many challenges in his life: raising Beryl on his own, losing his farm, starting over in Cape Town. Nonetheless, he did his best and had a strong bond with Beryl throughout his life. And, she loved him dearly. He had a hand in developing Beryl's independence and resiliency which served her well throughout the novel.


Posted Sep. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rebecca L.

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 35

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I sympathized with Clutt. I thought it was awful that he was abandoned by his wife, but especially that he was left with a young girl that he didn't necessarily know what to do with. I think that Clutt tried the best that he could but he couldn't replace what Beryl had lost, a mother. And even worse, he wasn't able to provide a mother that was able to love her, even when he tried to find a mother figure for her.


Posted Sep. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 76

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

Beryl's father was a lovable loser. He had good intentions but never seemed to fully realize them. He loved Beryl and only wanted what was best for her. He fumbled along the way, and in his ineptitude, he raised a wonderfully competent, independent daughter.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debrav

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 24

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I really don't understand why he did not take Beryl with him when he lost the farm -- instead leaving her no choice but to marry an unsuitable husband. It made me not like him very much.


Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I did, until he started trying to get Beryl married.


Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindac

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 3

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I never had positive feelings for him from the beginning. His first wife's leaving raised red flags in the first place! He really didn't know how to support and help either her or Beryl. They were viewed as external annoyances. Then bringing in the mistress sealed the deal! The only good thing was that he passed on many skills to Beryl that helped her survive.


Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

He was more sympathetic than Clara, but not by much. He did pass on survival skills to Beryl (or maybe because he mostly ignored her, she was forced to learn these on her own). But neither of Beryl's parents are exemplars of good parenting, even for the time and the environment.


Posted Sep. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barb23703

Join Date: 10/04/15

Posts: 53

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

It seemed he wanted and enjoyed his daughter, although we have not real evidence of that. Maybe Clara only wanted one of her children, but he did not seem concerned about her. It all seemed odd - he was raised in society and apparently had a status in society, but was very short sighted in thinking that his daughter should have some social graces. And then to marry her off to a virtual stranger when there had to have been prospects for her in England, or even to allow her to mature more before jumping into a situation could have been better. So he was either very weak and dictated to by the women in his life, very selfish, very short-sighted, or a combination of it all.


Posted Sep. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

Join Date: 02/04/16

Posts: 73

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I did not read Clutt as sympathetic. I thought he was much like his wife Clara... self-centered, weak willed, and irresponsible. WOW... I guess I did not like him ... as a man or a father! Loser.


Posted Sep. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 78

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I did feel sympathy for Clutt especially when he lost his beloved farm. He was not a particularly good father but in that era men were not usually a big part of the child rearing process so when his wife left him I think he did the best he could under the circumstances. I think he wanted what was best for Beryl even though he really didn't know that that was and just kind of trusted to luck that she would make the right decisions for her future.


Posted Sep. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 66

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RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

OK yes he was a loser in many ways. If I remember correctly he did read to Beryl & there was some evidence of education. Instilling the love & care of horses was a skill that took her far in the end. The marriage thing was awful on so many levels. Yet everything was caving in on him not that that is a good excuse.


Posted Sep. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amandaa

Join Date: 07/15/16

Posts: 7

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

I felt he tried his best when it came to Beryl and helped her develop her independence. I did not care for how he tried to marry her off and left her when he lost the farm.


Posted Sep. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: Do you feel Clutt was a sympathetic character?

somewhat. he was not a good father but perhaps he was unable to do so as a single parent. He did lover his daughter very much however.


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