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Little Nothing


A stunning, provocative new novel from New York Times bestselling...
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Discuss Little Nothing by Marisa Silver:
Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

Created: 08/09/17

Replies: 7

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

As a baby, Pavla acquires many pet names, from the affectionate ("little mouse") to the derogatory ("thing," "foreshortened object"). Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

As her parents, the school mates, and villagers came to know Pavla as a person, her appearance became less important. They "saw" her for who she was as a person. I think that was realistic. We no longer see faults when we know the true person. Unfortunately for Pavla, once she is "treated" and thrust into the world, she is again an oddity and is treated as one.


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

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 112

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RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

When she was first born she was an oddity. Her parents were ashamed. They wanted to hide her from the village. Once she started school her classmates made fun of her. But then because she was so smart they started to accept her. Once she was accepted then the mothers of the other girls realized Pavla had a beautiful face and they wished that their daughters had a face as beautiful as hers. When people saw her attributes then then looked past her dwarfism.


Posted Aug. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nanl

Join Date: 09/28/15

Posts: 23

RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

Certainly the perception of Pavla changed during her childhood. Her parents initially were horrified and ashamed to have produced such a baby. She was shunned by the children at school and by the community. This changed as she displayed her intelligence and character and her beauty was recognized. This was probably the most believable transition in the book.


Posted Aug. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 16

RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

I could not get over the transition we were asked to accept with the stretching of her body to a normal size. I was horrified by the methods used and really felt it was a flaw in the story. I much preferred her transition to a beautiful dwarf and to a wolf and to nothing but a spirit at the end--those I could imagine without compromise as the reader.


Posted Aug. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

Join Date: 02/04/16

Posts: 77

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RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

I agree with others that perceptions of Pavla changed as her intelligence and personality emerged. At the same time, it seems that was short lived, or perhaps it's better to say it was incomplete. She was viewed as misshapen by her parents. To me, that was the saddest part of the book -- that they let her physical being overshadow. While they were limited as characters, I did not think that was realistic.


Posted Aug. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 125

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RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

Yes, I think it's realistic that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood as she goes from appearing as an unattractive dwarf to being perceived as a beautiful and exotic dwarf until her parents allow Smetanka to change her using the stretching apparatus. People change in appearance as they move through the stages of life and moving through childhood, young adulthood and on through adulthood is a pivotal time.


Posted Aug. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: Do you think that the perception of Pavla changes during her childhood, and if so, why? Do you think the shift is realistic?

Yes, the perceptions of those who came to know her as a person changed, starting with her parents, then classmates and townspeople. At the same time, in her world (and in ours, still) her "otherness" was still something that set her apart from most people's definition of normalcy. Her parents were convinced that she wouldn't be able to find a husband, and to protect her for the time when they wouldn't be around, they turned to "doctors." I have to respectfully disagree with the idea expressed that this was a "flaw" in the story. Horrifying, yes, but for a reason. Pavla stands for all of the ways that society (any society) treats those considered to be "other." From that symbolic standpoint, her transformation after the stretching -- and eventually, into an animal -- was realistic. It was one of the devices the author used to make the novel into a fairy tale, an allegory, dealing with psychological/spiritual truth.


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