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For Today I Am a Boy
"A sharply written debut novel. A coming-of-age tale for our time."
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How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

Created: 05/27/15

Replies: 15

Posted May. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?


Posted May. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 39

RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

She seemed to feel free after her husband's death. She was finally learning to drive at the end of his life, and committing small acts of rebellion by using outside decorations, of which her bedridden husband was unaware and would not have approved. She wouldn't be the type to actually come out and say "I'm glad he's dead," but the fact that her behaviors and personality changed quickly shows that she was hiding her true self for many years. She was subservient to a man who didn't respect her, but once he died she was able to truly live.


Posted May. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I agree with Rebeccak. I think she blossomed after her husband's death and starting creating her life in a manner that was more aligned with her desires. I did wonder what would have happened if she started speaking up more with her husband.


Posted May. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

Peter's mother was so devoid of feelings that I wouldn't have expected her to react. For so many years she kept her feelings bottled up, whether to keep her husband satisfied and to keep the peace in this house, that she became a nonentity. As time passed she began to find her true personality again.


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

She was free at last to have a life. During her marriage she wasn't much more than an unpaid housekeeper. I cheered when she learned to drive.


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I agree with Rebeccak also. I think the children's dysfunction partially comes from the complete subjugation of their mother to their father. They had no idea how to react to her once she had feelings and a personality. I really don't think any of them knew how to interact well in relationships because of the family hierarchy.


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I agree with Rebeccak and tracyd. Remember how surprised Peter was when he heard his mother laugh? I can't imagine growing up in a household where your parents didn't express joy.

There was discord in our house between my grandfather and grandmother. I didn't know until many years after his death that he was such a tyrant to his wife, but I do remember that the first purchase she made after his death was a red dress. It had never occurred to me that no woman in our family wore red. He had told her when they married that only whores wore red he had beaten her when she wore a red coat.


Posted Jun. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindaj

Join Date: 03/18/14

Posts: 20

RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I think she was glad. What did she have? What would she miss? NOthing. As for her reaction, I'm sure that happens in many marriages with the death of a spouse.


Posted Jun. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 50

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I agree with other readers that she probably felt relieved and almost happy that she could finally be herself and start living her life. How sad that this is reality for so may married couples. I cannot imagine a life like that. I count my blessings every day!!


Posted Jun. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 63

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I agree that she felt free. I was surprised that she had all that in her. Although there was foreshadowing with her kitchen gods. Her true spirit emerged.

A common experience I don't think there is one. Some abused wives see their husbands as saviors others may shut down, or cling to the children. There are a whole list of possible emotional responses.


Posted Jun. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

Peter's mother most likely had some sadness over "what might have been" but living with this dominating heartless man it was impossible for her to have a life - feelings - hopes - joy, etc. When he died, she felt great relief & began to discover who she was. She has a lot to overcome but it does seem she was making progress -- driving the car, laughing...but she has much to learn i.e. the customs event.


Posted Jun. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

Freedom. Relieve. Obvious she was able to live life on her terms, be her own person. She seemed happier. Thrilled to be out from under a tyrannical thumb. I'm sure in similar situations, the reaction is shared.


Posted Jun. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

I think Peter' mother was relieved when her husband died. However, she came from the same background as her husband. He expected to dominate his family, and she would have expected him to do so. I didn't really see why she was so unhappy. Her husband always had a job and they had food and a place to live. I guess she missed her culture


Posted Jun. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

"Death is special," Mother said. "Your father understood that."
Helen answers, "We're supposed to be honoring him," she said. "Not you."
(To Helen and Peter she screams), "Get out of my house. Both of you. I gave up everything for you. He made me give up everything for you, you ungrateful, useless children. You garbage. You faggots and whores" (156).
I thinks she respects his way and wishes to honor him because that is what is expected, but I think she also found her voice and in the end. She does worry about Bonnie and does attempt to get to D.C. to help Helen.


Posted Jun. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 72

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RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

She remembers in one section how she had been thrilled with his dominance. That showed what a strong great man he was. But it wore her out year after year the unfairness of it all and being in a different more free culture for woman must have opened her eyes. I think it was a great relief when he died. I think this is a common reaction for many woman in her circumstances. I agree with all the comments previously written even the one about Death is special because she still was deeply attached to her Chinese culture. She enjoyed speaking Cantonese after forty years of living in Canada.


Posted Jun. 22, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 46

RE: How do you think Peter's mother felt about the death of her husband? Do you think her reaction is a common one?

The readers have said it well. She was free. While she may have had some feelings for him they were not obvious. In today's society she probably wouldn't have been so subservient.


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