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Natchez Burning
Rich in Southern atmosphere and electrifying plot turns.
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Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

Created: 09/23/15

Replies: 13

Posted Sep. 23, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

Think about the sociological and political landscape in Natchez, Mississippi, from the turbulent 1960s as well as the present. Does this novel show any progress in these areas, or are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?


Posted Sep. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I am going to have to really think about whether or not there has been any progress past cursory surface scratching. On a personal level, I ddefinitely have had to overcome outdated beliefs. I think I am a better person now because of it.


Posted Sep. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

Yes, I believe they are. Some of them because they still carry these beliefs and some because they stood by and did nothing. I have certainly had to grow and change beliefs because of all the changes happening in our country today. It is good to take a look at yourself.


Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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viviant

Join Date: 10/26/11

Posts: 23

RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I think these characters are just like real humans, in that we are initially taught by our parents and families and learn from their prejudices and preconceived ideas. Most of us will grow and change as we're exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. Sadly, things like prejudice and hate are rarely outgrown if the person's beliefs are constantly being reinforced. These prejudices can't be changed with changes in law or societal norms, and it is that part of a person's personal history that is the hardest to overcome.


aka The Book Diva
Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

If the characters never leave the surroundings in which their early histories are developed, they probably won't evolve. The characters in "Natchez Burning" were stuck and grew comfortable in their beliefs. They felt the power of the known.


Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I am with viviant above on this one. The characters in this story who have never left their comfort zone of family, friends and place are not going to change. It usually takes moving on to college, a different place or a new social group to grow in understanding, tolerance and knowledge and the worst of these characters are right where they were when they were born.


Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 203

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I believe that most of the characters are locked into the way they were raised and taught by their parents. Without ever leaving the area they didn't really understand how life was away from there. Besides their fear and poverty there was the manipulations of the KKK and corrupt law enforcement. Most of them just wanted to survive without making waves and being noticed.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I definitely think that prejudices and beliefs come from family or other peers. It would take strong character to step back and admit that your beliefs may need to be changed. I think a lot of the characters in this book are kind of two dimensional, good or bad, so I don't think a lot of them will change, but there is hope that they will. I think in real life a lot of people have changed their beliefs since the 60s.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sarahh

Join Date: 03/05/12

Posts: 15

RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I love this question! I think we are all doomed to suffer from our personal histories unless we own our stories and our ability to write them. Most people don't but when they do, it's inspiring and life changing. Most people, like many characters in the book, do the best they can with what they believe to be true. Some people are stubborn and brave enough to go to another level of what is true, and these are the people who create change.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BamaCarol

Join Date: 04/16/12

Posts: 37

RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I believe that unless you can leave behind those who raised you to hate and believe in racism, you cannot completely change and will suffer from your own personal histories. Maybe not right away but life has a way of catching up with you if you try to hide things. My parents moved to Mississippi in 1963 and I lived there until I graduated from college but I was always taught that all people were equal in the eyes of God. I went to school with many races from the 9th - 12th grade as well as church and had them as good friends, still do. I believe you can grow and change from the way you were raised but it is much easier to do when you get away from your environment.


Posted Oct. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

It's difficult to escape your history, I believe certain parties must pay for their past affronts. Maturity has caused my ideals/beliefs to change. Knowledge, experiences have certainly caused my ideals/beliefs to change. Observing others as well.


Posted Oct. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Silly Lotus

Join Date: 10/07/15

Posts: 11

RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I think we all have to reexamine our ideas and beliefs as we grow. I think this book highlights the notion that we can't necessarily judge the decisions and actions of our predecessors from the view point of today. Having said that, there are certain moral truths that one can expect of all ages. No killing other people for example.

I thought the underlying concept of a grand conspiracy to be a little over the top (ie JFK, RFK and MLK). Friends and family in New Orleans have long expressed the view that the drug problem in town was exacerbated by the wealthy as a way to do a land grab. In fact, just yesterday, I heard on NPR that the city still has not built affordable housing 10 years after Katrina. So that part to me was perfectly believable.

I am interested to know what happens to Doc in subsequent books. Although the length was intimidating, I think the first volume was a very, very Southern book painful, in a way, like tearing a band aid of off old wounds.


Posted Oct. 09, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 77

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RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

Characters (and people in general) are not doomed by their personal histories. Education, growth in thinking patterns and concepts, maturity, change in environment, and many changing factors will bring about changes in one's perception, thoughts and beliefs. People rise above their origins all the time.


Posted Oct. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharalynnep

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 49

RE: Are the characters doomed to suffer from their own personal histories? Have you ever had to overcome your own outdated ideas/beliefs in order to grow as a person?

I actually agree with everyone on this but I know it is difficult to overcome beliefs you have grown up with. Children learn from their parents. Yes, it is possible to change but in doing so you must come to the realization that the people you loved were wrong in their beliefs, not perfect, and sometimes this is hard to do.


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