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Migrations


A breathtaking page-turner and an ode to our threatened world.
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Do you think Franny is right to blame herself and plead guilty?

Created: 08/05/21

Replies: 9

Posted Aug. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Do you think Franny is right to blame herself and plead guilty?

Why does Franny take responsibility for the deaths of Niall and Greta? Do you think she is right to blame herself and plead guilty?


Posted Aug. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 106

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

It was important to her to be responsible but she took the ability to judge based upon the circumstances away from the judge/jury and just didn't explain. I think it was too much to suffer and it was too sad that she didn't trust that people would understand her loss and that she had suffered terribly.


Posted Aug. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mceacd

Join Date: 07/03/18

Posts: 18

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

Franny had fallen apart; pleading guilty allowed her to be in a separate albeit difficult space in order to come to terms with herself. Given the entirety of her history and situation, her choice was understandable, even reasonable.


Posted Aug. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rachelh

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 46

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

I think in that moment Franny felt the weight of every time she let Niall down, and wanted to atone for all of her leaving as well as the accident itself. I'm not sure that there was a right or wrong, but I think she did what was best for her.


Posted Aug. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 124

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

I'm not sure there is a right or wrong here. Just Franny's overwhelming guilt at having left Niall so often and for so long and her need to be punished for what she saw as abandonment.


Posted Aug. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lar

Join Date: 06/14/18

Posts: 10

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

I don't thing right or wrong is the correct way to look at this situation as mentioned in another comment. It just shows how fragile she was and how much she had suffered in her life. She felt it was the right thing to do, but others would look at it differently. She felt alone and had nowhere else to go.


Posted Aug. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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charlaw

Join Date: 09/06/16

Posts: 19

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

I think she felt hopeless and helpless. She didn’t really care what happened to herself.


Posted Aug. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 305

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

I think that due to Franny's mental state at the time, she did what she thought was right for her. It seemed to me that Franny had been blaming herself for the loss of those close to her since her childhood beginning with her mother. In fact, her mother reinforced Franny's "responsibility" when "she would say to me most mornings that if I ever left her that would be it, the final curse, and she would give up". Right before the crash, Niall gives Franny what she needs, telling her it is ok to travel, but Franny believes her wandering will ruin them- -and then, she is left alone again.

From a young age, Franny felt she did not belong. Her mother left, she didn't know her father, her grandmother didn't seem to understand her, she lost her baby, and now Niall. I think she connected all of this loss to a deficiency in herself. The worst punishment for a free spirit , a wanderer, or a "bird" is a metal cage.

Franny's imprisonment raises questions in my mind about the justice system as a whole and how mental illness is often ignored in criminal cases. I'm not suggesting that a person with mental illness should be free from the consequences of his/her actions, rather I would advocate for more resources and options for "rehabilitation"- -never mind that Franny's own lawyer indicated that this was a horrible accident, not an intentional crash that led to two deaths. In her last session with her psychiatrist before Franny's release on parole, she acknowledges to herself that it was her self-destructive desire that led her to plead guilty and her self loathing that led to her suicide attempt and catatonic state. I assume this was also the reason she allowed herself to be beaten by other prisoners. Is prison really the best place for a person like this? Is a one time a week session with a psychiatrist really enough time for a person to heal from lifelong trauma? But a guilty plea is quick and easy in an always overburdened system.


Posted Sep. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia C

Join Date: 01/28/21

Posts: 8

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

The deaths of Niall and Greta, like that of her mother and stillborn daughter, were not really her fault, in that they were accidental, unintentional. However, like those deaths before Niall’s and Greta’s, she blamed herself entirely. Therefore, by pleading guilty and saying their deaths were intended, she sought to be punished for all of the deaths she had experienced in life, most particularly that of her daughter. The fact that she spent much of the beginning of the book looking for her mother, not acknowledging or accepting that she had died, shows how traumatizing it was for her, particularly because she found her mother after her mother had committed suicide. Clearly she believed she caused her stillborn daughter’s death, and then she felt guilty not only of causing her beloved husband’s death but also for not being with him the moment he died. She sought to be punished for all of these things.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 114

RE: Do you think Franny is right to ...

I don't think Franny was guilty of murder. But I think in that moment, she did purposely drive into the other car. She wasn't in her right mind when she pled guilty. She had suffered the shock of Greta's death, Niall's death, and being half frozen, not to mention she was also injured in the crash. I think more attention should have been paid to the state she was in when she confessed.


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