Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
H is for Hawk
Winner of BookBrowse's 2015 Nonfiction Award.
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

Created: 03/20/16

Replies: 5

Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1336

Expert

What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

On page 129 Helen puts forward the idea that "we carry the lives we've imagined as we carry the lives we have and sometimes a reckoning comes of all the lives we have lost." On the following page she quotes T. H. White: "Sometimes a reckoning comes of all the lives we have lost." (p130). What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?


Posted Apr. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mschreiner

Join Date: 02/14/16

Posts: 1

RE: What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

White is dealing with his own self sabotage. He is an alcoholic. He grew up in a very abusive home. Helen is dealing with grief and depression over the loss of her father. I think both White and Mcdonald try to bury their problems by training goshawks.


Posted Apr. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 53

Expert

RE: What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

For me, they are both 'derailed' from normal life. They are both isolated and they have both chosen to be isolated to some degree. But they can both feel love and desperately need to love and nurture another being. Sometimes I felt reading this that White's training of his hawk was a foil for Helen's. I felt reassured that the process was healing her, although I wasn't sure that was the case for TH White.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

Expert

RE: What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

Agree with Kate B, they are both dealing with unhappiness in their lives. By throwing themselves into the grueling work of training a Goshawk they could put aside personal feelings and forget for awhile their troubles. It was their therapy.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

Helen's abrupt death of her beloved father threw her into a deep, depression grief cycle. She worked herself out of it with the training & life with Mabel. She also had a supportive family & friends. Since she was involved in falconry before her father's death, it does not seem unrealistic that in her time of deep need she'd turn to her love of the birds.
On the other hand, White came from a dysfunctional family - abusive & non-supporting. He had trouble with his teaching & he had no one to teach him about training Gos. Helen had much more to draw on for her successful training. She could build on her positive progression in training whereas White had failures to build on failures. White was a tormented man; his era was not supportive & alcoholism in the beginning helped him ease the pain before it became part of his problem.
White & Helen are similar in their "loss" & the hawks connect them.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 63

Expert

RE: What is White reckoning with? What about Helen? How similar are they and what connects them, beyond training goshawks?

Who am I? this is the question that challenges both Helen & White? What do I do to change who I am? Helen's therapist helps her come back into the world without a father. Poor White lives at a time when homosexuality never has a chance. Is that where some of the harshness towards his hawks bubbles from. Both were teachers a career that can be very isolating. Nature was a place where they both experienced freedom, safety & fear.


Reply

Please login to post a response.