Monday, February 4, 2008

ILE ~ a look at Part 1

Okay, I have finally finished reading Part 1. (You ask how I could post questions when I hadn't even read the assigned section? Easy. I found questions online and posted only those that referred to pages within Part 1.) Now, sigh, I look at the questions in light of what I've read ... and I don't have answers.

How do Lucia’s early relationships shape the person she becomes?
I don't know. She seemed to live an idyllic life at Pasiano, thinking it belonged to her family, unaware that her parents actually worked for the owner ... and even the owner (the countess) thinking of Lucia like a grandchild. I'm confused. Maybe I'm confused because I need to sort out which scenes in Part 1 happened when Lucia was a child (a 14-year-old "child" who regularly climbed into bed with Giacomo) and which scenes told me about the mature Lucia playing mind games with "Seingalt." Maybe I need to re-read all I've read, marking the passages as "now" and "then"? But, sigh, I kept falling asleep when I tried to read it the FIRST time around. Maybe I'm just not interested enough in how he did/does/will get her into bed ... or not. And somehow that's where this whole story seems to be heading:
In his embrace, I felt the odd union of perfect safety and unrestrained appetite. (p. 66)
What does the Countess of Montereale give Lucia that her own mother cannot?
I don't know ... maybe schooling Lucia to become the wife of a diplomat?
The countess, who had been midwife to the frolic-some birth of our relations, was only too pleased to be god-mother of our future happiness. ... Toward this end, she asked her husband ... to extend Monsieur de Pompignac's appointment. With his work accomplished and Adriana's wedding behind him, the teacher had already packed his bags when he received the happy news that his employment at idyllic Pasiano was to be extended. He seemed quite confident of being able to manage a rather different sort of instruction with his new charge: In the coming autumn and winter, the countess had ordered, he was to school me in the manners of gentlefolk and make of me a wife befitting a diplomat. (p. 67)
Lucia says of men, "Most aim to please with little understanding of our pleasure. ... More than anything, men want that which has been withheld. A happy certainty is no match for a mystery denied. Given a choice, a man will always take the unknown" (pp. 8–10). What is Lucia’s opinion about men?

I definitely get the feeling she doesn't think highly of most (maybe any) of them: "There is nothing a man can say to a woman that I haven't heard before" (p. 8), she thinks. And on the same page: "Some women live for sweet talk. I would rather go without. But how is a man to know that? Most aim to please with little understanding of our pleasure." It was to Seingalt himself that she said, "Give it up, sir ... You have met your match" (p. 10).

No comments: