Friday, September 27, 2013

Chains, the final week.

Today is the end of our group read-a-long of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Please beware that the answers and questions could contain spoilers.
This week we read Chapters 37-the end, and we hope you’ll leave your comments and/or answers to the questions after the post.
If you’re interested in reading our thoughts on the first 10 chapters, go here.  For Chapters 11-24, go here.  For Chapters 25-36, click here.

 Isabel refers to chains quite a few times throughout the novel, and in this section, she says that Mrs. Lockton could not chain her soul.  How true do you think that would be over time — had she stayed in the Lockton household?  In what ways do you think she has been or is still chained?

I don't think Mrs. Lockton can chain Isabel's soul.  She is clearly obedient, but also looks for ways to break free.  This is a difficult time in our history, so to break free was a dangerous thought, not just an action.

 What did you think of Isabel’s recapturing her brand as her own, rather than as a burden on her — like how her father held his branding with pride as a part of who he was?
I was yelling BRAVO when she did this, what a great interpretation of something so horrid, and using it as power source.

Speaking of names, what did you think about Isabel’s new name, Isabel Gardener?

Again good for her, I hope this truly is a new garden for her.

 In terms of Lady Seymour, she seemed to be sympathetic toward Isabel and her plight, but it also seems like she still thinks of her property.  Did you have any opinions on her continued views in spite of the war and her daughter-in-law’s treatment of Isabel?

I see that Lady Seymour does sort of like Isabel, but she is still a person living in this "time" and to be different would not be permitted.  I think she would have been a good mistress to Isabel.

 Finally, what are your final thoughts on Chains?

I enjoyed reading Chains, and was very proud of the Isabel's accomplishments.  I can't help thinking that Ruth's  illness was presented to the reader to show the "human" aspects of the slaves and just how difficult their lives could be.  Above and beyond the obvious mistreatments, mental health and physical health were not considerations given to the slaves.  How far have we come... we still have many individuals who fall through the cracks.  It's a long battle.

Thank You so much for War Through the Generations for hosting this readalong.

Now this has nothing to do with Chains.  I'm not feeling very well, but thought I'd go for a short walk, and pick up some over the counter cold medicine.  So I do my choosing, and get to the check out counter and the "young" lady asks me if I'd like the seniors discount? huh!  I say, I must look worse than I feel, I nicely tell her I am not a senior, "well" she says, "we give discounts to people of over 65 and even 75"  I continue to tell her I don't fit into that category, well H__L she was not taking no for an answer.  So I say "you know, I could be very insulted that you think I'm a senior, it would suffice to have a little sign here  saying "it's senior day, show us your I.D. and get 20% off your purchase"  it would be more polite.  Well she was having none of that, so I say, "well, I'd be happy to get 20% off, when I'm a senior, but that's not today".  How would you feel?  I want to write her supervisor, have we lost our manners? completely. What happened to"never ask a woman her age".  When I was in retail, and it was a commission based system, we had repeat customers, you kept a little journal and when an item you thought your customer would like, and it was on sale, you'd call your customer and invite them to come on down. You'd never insist your customer was a senior, weather or not she was or not did not matter.  On seniors days we had a little sign at our cash, that informed the customer of the deal, or we'd say, "I'm sorry it's so busy in here today, it's seniors day, so we experience a greater volume of shoppers"  it was up to the customer if she wanted to be "a senior".  I feel 95 today so maybe I should go back... what do you think?


Nise' said...

Sorry you were feeling so icky and shame on the cashier for not listening! Glad you enjoyed Chains.

Donna said...

I would take the discount, LOL! I don't qualify at most places, but I ask for it anyhow and they give it to me. What the heck!

Serena said...

So glad you enjoyed Chains. I'm going to read the next one, Forge.

Wow, no manners at all. I would totally have taken the discount if she was that pushy, but the store should just have a sign about having senior discounts.

Anna said...

Thanks for joining us for the read-along. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I had the same thoughts about Isabel reclaiming the brand, though I'd predicted that from the start given the brand was an "I."

National Pet Day...

This is our pet cat, he lived with us for 18 years, adopted from a shelter, best cat ever. RIP Keahan