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Unsheltered


A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.
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What is the "precise balance of terror and mollycoddling" that Charles Landis manages? How, when, and why do you think people respond to this leadership style?

Created: 10/16/18

Replies: 3

Posted Oct. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

What is the "precise balance of terror and mollycoddling" that Charles Landis manages? How, when, and why do you think people respond to this leadership style?

What is the "precise balance of terror and mollycoddling" that Charles Landis manages? How, when, and why do you think people respond to this leadership style?


Posted Oct. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 34

RE: What is the "precise balance of terror and mollycoddling" that Charles Landis manages? How, when, and why do you think people respond to this leadership style?

The Utopian Village Landis controls appeals to people who feel secure if someone else "in charge" and making the decisions. Landis' arrangement to take back their property if their crop failed or they didn't get
the "Big house" completed made his investment super secure. Buyers often fail to ask enough questions.


Posted Oct. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 317

RE: What is the "precise balance of terror and mollycoddling" that Charles Landis manages? How, when, and why do you think people respond to this leadership style?

I think too many people are duped because they crave an illusion of prosperity, security and convenience. People cling to their illusions--what they want to believe must be true-- even when that means voting against their own self-interest.

The "package deal" of Vineland that Landis offers promises to provide for every need, to give them a picture-perfect neighborhood, and to protect them--but it comes with the hidden price tag of their vulnerability should they cross him in any way. In ceding control to Landis of everything they want to enjoy, they choose to ignore the fact they have also given up the right to think for themselves, even to be exposed to other sources of information. To the extent that they become accustomed to a level of comfort and security, the mollycoddling, they unwittingly give Landis the power to threaten them, should they not fulfill his demands, follow his intrusive rules, or should they ask for something he doesn't want to give them (like a fair wage for workers). It reminds me of a domineering parent or partner, the bully who is charming until you innocently challenge the illusion...which works as long as you are afraid of standing on your own, taking responsibility for yourself, being willing to sacrifice some comforts for a greater good.

This comes to a head with Landis's shooting of Carruth in a cold-blooded attempt to silence his opposition, yet even then people want to grasp at straws to let Landis off the hook for murder. Which actually did happen, Kingsolver tells us in her afterword. Sadly it is happening in our time as well. The kind of willful moral blindness that Rose exhibits, wanting to enjoy luxuries her husband can't afford even if it means his remaining silent about everything he knows to be true... all too convincing in light of current events.


Posted Nov. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AntoinetteC

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 26

RE: What is the "precise balance of terror and mollycoddling" that Charles Landis manages? How, when, and why do you think people respond to this leadership style?

A few thousand years ago Plato observed that democracy leads to dictatorship. I believe what he means by this is that it takes a lot of work/active involvement to play a part in a democracy--so it is oh so tempting to find a leader who will just tell you what to believe and how to vote rather than thinking for yourself.


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