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The Removes


A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of...
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Discuss The Removes by Tatjana Soli:
The Removes is filled with examples of human nature at its best and worst. How does the theme of good and evil play out in each character? In the story as a whole? In American history during the frontier period?

Created: 08/22/18

Replies: 2

Posted Aug. 22, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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The Removes is filled with examples of human nature at its best and worst. How does the theme of good and evil play out in each character? In the story as a whole? In American history during the frontier period?

The Removes is filled with examples of human nature at its best and worst. How does the theme of good and evil play out in each character? In the story as a whole? In American history during the frontier period?


Posted Sep. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 48

RE: The Removes is filled with examples of human nature at its best and worst. How does the theme of good and evil play out in each character? In the story as a whole? In American history during the frontier period?

This is a very deep and difficult set of questions but I’ll give it a shot. Custer was good in that generally he was a brave and good leader except for his big failure at the end. He also had numerous failings in his personal life but I would characterize those as more bad behavior than truly evil. Custer did not really help Anne but used her for publicity. That verges on evil. But of course, Anne is a fictional character so how do we know what he would have done in real life?
Libbie was a devoted partner to Custer and a hard worker in all the difficult situations she was thrust into in her life with him. She was head strong and self willed but she also accepted all of Custer’s philandering and even the hint that he gave her syphilis because there was a reference to both of them being given mercury and that was a common treatment for syphilis at that time. Those things were not good but they were typical for that time. The worst thing I recall that she did in this story was not trying to help Anne get her children back.
Anne was mostly a victim but she did try to raise her children well and she was a friend to Neha. I thought the worst thing she did was not shoot her uncle when she had the gun. That was cowardice but not evil. Besides it would have changed the ending of the story, but for the better I think.
The U.S. government was determined to take the lands of the Native Americans and rob them of their dignity and frequently of their lives. This had been going on for decades by the time these events occured. That was evil on the part of our government.
In the end, the individuals were flawed but mostly not evil. The government and the military, not so much.


Posted Sep. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 123

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RE: The Removes is filled with examples of human nature at its best and worst. How does the theme of good and evil play out in each character? In the story as a whole? In American history during the frontier period?

This novel is filled with both articulated and unarticulated aspects of good vs. evil. Some examples are subtle and others are absolute. Absolute evil and rage were visible in Josiah despite his belief in himself as a minister of god. The way Anne was treated by the Indians was cruel but I would not call it evil. Evil was the determined effort at genocide wrought at the hands of the United States government. Evil was seen in the sadistic actions, often fueled by anger, by both the Indians and the whites during war. Custer wasn't evil because, in order to be evil, one needs a North Star or moral center, both of which Custer lacked. He was an opportunist filled with hubris, a legend in his own mind. The most evil thing I discerned in this novel was the act of genocide at the hands of the United States government.


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