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Cruel Beautiful World
Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance...
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Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

Created: 08/04/17

Replies: 22

Posted Aug. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

Leavitt is deliberately unclear about what really happened to Lucy and if William was really culpable. Why do you think she left it open-ended? What do you think really happened—and why?


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lauriew

Join Date: 08/11/16

Posts: 15

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

The author wanted us to draw our own conclusion and keep the suspense alive for the rest of the story.
I think Lucy was accidentally shot. William was angry she was leaving and also scared she had the gun. When he tried to take it away from her it went off. He got scared and ran. I truly think William loved Lucy in his own way. He may have been controlling and abusive, but I don't think he wanted to kill her.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rosieglitter

Join Date: 10/16/16

Posts: 17

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy because she wants to let the reader make up their own mind. I think that William killed Lucy because he knew he was losing control of her and knew it would only be a matter of time before he was found as a kidnapper and he was terrified of going to prison. I think he thought that killing Lucy was his only means of escape.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 32

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

With Lucy, it was for the reader to make the conclusion. I feel this ties into the critical thinking moments of this book. I feel that William kill her. Why? William has Narcissistic personality disorder. How do I conclude this? I spent 12 plus years in abusive relationships plus other fields in the criminal justice system, friends in it, friends out of it, and a friend killed in one. After I healed from leaving, I spent a year volunteering at a domestic absur shelter. Sadly, no matter how much you heals, the wounds can come open easily. True, every person is different with how they heal.

My friend that was killed always said her boyfriend could never hurt her. She meet with him ( at his home with his patents there. I think it why she felt safe)and told him that she was leaving. He stabbed her around 40 times. His parents heard this and did nothing. Why? His mother was being abusive. Sadly, my friend died when her daughter was still a baby. Her daughter was less then a year old. With many narcissistic, a person leaving them could cause them to snap. They feel like they are being abandoned. Or they do not want any else to have them. He loved her. Which is so messed up. He was like the ultimate boyfriend.

Yes, it could have been accidental shooting with Lucy. I prefer to think that, then believe the possible naked truth.


"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Steve Jobs
Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

The author left it up to the reader to decide Lucy's fate. I believe that William killed Lucy because he could not bear to be without her. He was growing more and more abusive as the story went on, spying on her, controlling her, hitting her. After he bought the gun, it was just a matter of time before it was used by one of them. Whether William actually does do the killing, he is guilty. He is a sick man, with no help.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bookdogs

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 3

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I absolutely believe William killed Lucy. It was even mentioned a lamp was knocked over, however, William said Lucy knocked it over. William was obsessed with Lucy and didn't want anyone else to have her if he could not keep her.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 71

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

The author was not specific about exactly how Lucy died because life isn't simple. In many ways it doesn't matter whether it was accidental or on purpose...all the actions leading up to that point made it pretty inevitable. William was damaged by his father and spoiled by his mother, and kept running from one catatrosphe to another without accepting and facing consequences until there was one he could not run away from...


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 4

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think the author wanted readers to come to their own conclusion (or not) about whether or not Lucy's death was an accident. And I think it was more effective this way...especially since William later commits suicide. The issue of his guilt didn't really matter one way or another after that. My impression was that the story William told when confronted by Charlotte was pretty close to the truth.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 57

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think the author left this unclear because this contributes to what the she likes to call a "never-ending-story." We, the readers, may continue to discuss "who did it" until the end of time if we choose. Actually, I agree with what others have said already - it really does not matter what occurred. Something of this nature was going to happen as William became incredibly controlling and the introduction of the gun left no doubt that at some point, one of the two would use it to harm the other.
Personally, I agree with jennie r above - I felt William's tale of the events to Charlotte was pretty accurate, and that his own suicide was finally his way with dealing with his own inadequacies/mental health. He knew all along that his thinking and action was not appropriate - he was living in a fantasy world - perhaps the result of his own upbringing.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I feel the author wanted to involve the reader in the conclusion. This also leaves room for a sequel.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
norahp

Join Date: 04/27/13

Posts: 22

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

This is interesting--it never occurred to me that there might be a sequel! What do other people think? Any particular character you'd like to read about further?


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetr

Join Date: 02/05/14

Posts: 5

William murdered Lucy

The author wants the reader to draw his or her own conclusion regarding how Lucy died and what really happened on that fateful day. William killed Lucy. He had lost control of his life. He had been fired from two jobs and his life was swiftly unraveling. He was secretive and manipulative. He called his mother, but would not let Lucy call her family. He promised Lucy he would teach her to drive and take her to town to go out for dinner, but he never delivered on these promises. He manipulated her into thinking she had some say in their relationship, when actually, she had none. During the struggle which preceded the killing, William overpowered Lucy, wresting control of the gun from her and then in a rage, he killed her.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 62

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I'm torn. Part of me thinks that Lucy accidentally shot herself in a struggle over the gun with William. I'd like to think that William struggled to get the gun from Lucy because he knew it was loaded & that Lucy thought it wasn't loaded. It's more comfortable for me to believe that then to believe that he would rather kill her than let her leave.
Perhaps the author leaves it up to the reader as a way to reinforce the point that the truth usually depends on perspective. So...depending on each reader's perspective...the truth is different.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

The advantage of the POV narration style Leavitt has chosen is that each character gets to present the story from his or her own point of view. William and Lucy tell the story different ways, and since no one else was in the room, the reader is forced to evaluate the stories and draw a conclusion. My personal conclusion is that William, following an increasingly controlling pattern of behavior, shot Lucy to keep her from leaving him. With everything else going south for him -- job loss, the threat of jail, Lucy's increasing discontent and pressure regarding their living situation -- he lost it and shot her following a struggle for the gun. I totally understand the differing viewpoints listed above, however.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 58

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think William shot Lucy because he couldn't bear to lose her. She was his only safe and secure spot in a world that was increasingly rejecting of him. He shot her because if she left that would be the final and most unbearable rejection. He shot himself because he no longer had a "safe place" and so his answer was to reject the world that rejected him.
What a sad, sad story.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 124

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I suppose the author thought you would be more drawn into the story if you had to come ip with your own scenario. In my mind William was already quite disgusting because of his behavior as a teacher. He had to have total control of Lucy and when he lost that control he killed her.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 39

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think the ambiguity of Lucy's death was supposed to be a parallel to the Manson killings. The people who actually did the murders - the young, female family members - aren't the ones who came up with the plan. Manson was clearly the mastermind of the multiple killings, but he wasn't physically present at the notorious Tate murder. And while Manson was physically present for the other most well-known crime, the LaBianca murders, he directed his family members to commit the murders, and he didn't pull a trigger or personally stab anyone.

Additionally, when Lucy took the gun to scare William, I don't think it was loaded (page 213). She hoped he would assume it was loaded, but in order for Lucy to die, someone had to go load the gun with bullets from the other room. Therefore, I think it's clear that William murdered Lucy.


Posted Aug. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 30

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I never thought about the fact that the gun wasn't supposed to be loaded. That may have been a clue right there to strongly suggest that William had loaded the gun and killed Lucy. I don't think it would be out of character for William - he was extremely controlling.


Posted Aug. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 77

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think that Caroline Leavitt wanted to leave everything to our imagination not just Lucy's fate but everyone else too. The only thing finalized in the book is Lucy is dead but not how. Everything else is open to speculation.


Posted Aug. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 77

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think that Caroline Leavitt wanted to leave everything to our imagination not just Lucy's fate but everyone else too. The only thing finalized in the book is Lucy is dead but not how. Everything else is open to speculation.


Posted Aug. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeannew

Join Date: 04/23/11

Posts: 82

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

First off I have to say that I usually hate it when the author writes an ambiguous ending. That's what I'm paying for! The whole story! However, in this case it works well. I've read all the responses and still find myself unsure. I can see it both ways. But I mostly think that it was accidental and pretty much as William told the story to Charlotte. William struck me as mostly a coward and I don't know that he could have mustered up the courage to actually shoot her.


Posted Aug. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lerrgoo

Join Date: 03/02/17

Posts: 3

RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I love that the author lets the reader draw their own conclusions. I think he killed her and tried to justify his actions.


Posted Aug. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 183

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RE: Why do you think the author was unclear about what really happened to Lucy? What do you think really happened—and why?

I think keeping what happened unclear fit because it made the reader feel what Charlotte felt. Charlotte didn't know what really happened either. She had to judge William without really knowing what exactly occurred. If the reader had know what had happened there wouldn't be any tension when Charlotte found William and the reader wouldn't be surprised when William killed himself.


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