>>7326790 except it's not, and thinking it is shows a clear lack of comprehension of not only edith's character but why their relationship was doomed from the start. unless you're talking about the inherent misogyny which stems from the setting. other readers calling edith a bitch because they're misogynists doesn't make the book itself misogynistic.
>>7326790 Errr Edith only comes off as a bitch if you want her to come off as a bitch. Even though our Era of lit or whatever tries to see things in shades of grey, we are so ready to see things in black and white. Wow, Edith did some bitchy things. Who the fuck doesn't? I still think the book succeeds in that I see her as an actual person. Despite the shitty things she does, I still see her as a fully fleshed out character.
>>7326451 ive posted this like eighty times but the only reason edith is an unsympathetic character is because the book is from stoner's POV.
imagine the book from edith's POV. you are sheltered all your life by your parents. this is beyond helicopter parent shit, they home school you. except its not even schooling really, your parents see you as nothing more than a product to be sold for a good bid, so the skills you learn are for your decoration at parties, which is where you are put to market. so you finally meet someone at this party, and because you've been sheltered all your life and don't know how to really socially interact, you blurt out your entire life story, then horrified at what you've done, try to keep your mouth shut the rest of your time together.
you think its over and are looking forward to traveling abroad to see an old relative, someone who might actually care about you and teach you about how to live in the world. just then that awkward guy knocks at the door and you have to interact again. then he wants to talk to your parents. oh shit, you might to have to marry this guy. worse: he wants it now, not after your trip to europe. its not really up to you, it's up to this man you met once and your father. they are in the other room negotiating right now. then on your honeymoon you give into sex even though it hurts and you didn't want it because that's what's expected of you by society and your husband. then he spends all his time at work. when you have a child, he cheats on you in a brazenly obvious fashion, everyone in the community knows about it. what do you do? oh thats right, you are supposed to be a saint and here, take the child too, because this guy deserves to have everything he wants whenever he wants it without consequences, even if it hurts and humiliates you.
stoner committed marital rape, spent all his time at work neglecting his duties as a father and husband, and when he wasn't nose-deep in books he was nose-deep into his paramour. edith was raised by parents that saw her as nothing more than a financial investment, and turned out developmentally delayed, emotionally stunted. when she finally discovers these things called will and power, she externalizes all her turmoil onto their daughter, the one thing she had power over that could actually hurt stoner.
however, even in the book on his deathbed stoner realizes he deeply wronged edith, and forgives and accepts her, finds her beautiful and excellent. anyone who says "edith was a bitch" apparently didn't accompany stoner and the author on their journey to emotional maturity.
i think it takes a relatively sophisticated author to not only construct a character like this, but interpret them from another character's point of view. unfortunately, many reader's aren't as sophisticated, can't distance themselves from the narrator, and end up making totally plebeian remarks like "edith was a bitch" or "holden was a whiny teenager hypocrite"
>>7328875 >>7326820 here, as well as the OP. thank you for this post, if only the writer of the article could maybe see it, and possibly re-read the book with all of it in mind. thankfully i think her take and those like it are undermined by the achievements of the novel itself.
>>7328904 i wrote the long post you quoted. actually the article brought to light a couple things i didnt know and hadn't considered. edith's development as a character was prompted by the editor. i also agree with the author of the article about antagonists being physically deformed. that is literally disney-tier characterization
>>7328912 them being deformed was written as a way for them to sympathize with each other, not as a reason for us to hate them. that's the whole reason lomax was so passionate about walker in the first place, he immediately saw stoner as being antagonistic towards walker, probably due to his own issues with being brought down by others because of his own deformity in the past, and was projecting himself on to walker in a way. he just saw him as a complete victim, while stoner didn't get that at all
>>7329094 in the book, an actual "rape" is never realized, edith is simply submissive to stoner's advances, but psychologically this may as well be rape. this is one thing edith would never admit to herself, and really society as a whole wouldn't, and some still can't, as we can see
>>7329121 >but psychologically this may as well be rape
But this is just retarded literary speculation.
It's like saying having to get up to go to work every day is oppressive. Not every thing people don't want to do, is axiomatically an attack against them.
Would you say that a woman has raped a man, if she woke him up in the middle of the night with her mouth on his dick? No you probably wouldn't, and yet that's exactly what you're calling rape just with the roles reversed.
>>7329142 so you're telling me the scenario you just described doesn't classify as sexual assault? you're arguing semantics, which in the end don't really matter in this case, like i said before i'm not the one who explicitly said it was rape even though i said "psychologically may as well be" which i admit is an over-simplification.
>>7326451 I think you could proble make a good argument why Stoner would come off as misogynistic. But really dont think the book was about Edith at all, she was just used to portray an unhappy marriage. The same goes with Lomax being a bit of an unreasonable dick. You could argue that hes a disfigured evil man. Sure both characters have motives/reasons behind their actions but their never explored very far in the novel. In the end it was a character study about William Stoner and that is what it focuses on.
It clearly doesn't because if it was classified as sexual assault women would have to be jailed every time they gave their husband a blowjob without his explicit consent, and we all know that's not going to happen.
>>7326452 This lady is obviously going way too far into crazy wrong territory , like when she describes the treatment that Stoner gave to the cripples, even though pretty funny, is just so off that i dont even comprehend how she is a journalist.
There seems to be a lot of shitposters ripping on stoner here, so let me start out by saying that, yes, i liked Stoner. I agree with Williams that he is a "hero", but unlike this dumb cunt i obviously see that he is flawed, and that even though not everything was in his control, he did mess up (marrying edith). It was a major mistake on his part and maybe it was supposed to reflect how he was just a little too stuck in an "unreal" world, both in his books and, as his black friend whose name escapes me now said, in the university, which harbors "unfit" men like himself. Overall, though, he was a hero because he kept true to his shit, he actually learned from his mistakes and accepted he wasnt perfect, and never expected others to be (he wasnt angry at lomax or the other kid, he just simply didnt view the kid as fit to be a teacher). He was an effigy of quiet humility and passion, he had his mistakes, his troubles, his loves, just like the rest of us, and handled them in his own quiet way. But, i mean obviously im just putting down what fans think (albeit in a jumbled way) and what illiterate monkeys think is "littered with platitudes".
>>7329843 My take is the regular take on the book, but the dude (or girl) who wrote that puts way too much stock into Edith's "POV" and tries to humanize the shit she does by explaining that she too is in some Stoner-esque situation.
My take is that Edith and Stoner are both people from very rigid, structured backgrounds who make a lot of mistakes. Stoner makes the mistake of courting the first pretty girl he encounters, Edith makes the mistake of agreeing to marry him. Stoner is neither rich nor charming, Edith is neither fair nor loving. They are both going through the motions of what they think romantic courtship should be, and both are finding it false and unfair. But what Stoner possesses that Edith does not is an actual idea of what love can be, and he does have something he loves more than anything else, that being literature.
Edith never displays what could be considered love for anything in the book. Even her treatment of their daughter is condescending and condemns her to the same fate Edith has, according to the OP of that post. She ends up in a fruitless marriage with a man who is constantly away, and in a manner that's as destructive to Stoner as it is to the daughter, the husband dies exactly like Dave Masters did. Edith doesn't love their daughter, but instead makes her an accessory to a life that Stoner will hate. The daughter goes from bright, hopeful, and promising to a shadow of herself, and I thought she was even more tragic than Stoner in a few ways.
As for Katherine, I felt like there was no "courtship", but instead the relationship was something that felt natural, and they both enjoyed each other immensely. Stoner has that sort of delayed sexual awakening that he was searching for with Edith, but of course the thing is impossible to keep up, especially with Stoner's position at the college in jeopardy. I think Katherine shows some of the same qualities of love as Stoner, with her dedication to him in her book and all, whereas Edith's actions are simply an expression of a bitterness and disappointment that originated long before she even met Stoner.
The bit of that post that really fucked with me the most is that Stoner somehow forgives Edith because he is wrong, and suddenly sees her as exquisite and beautiful. It's decisively wrong. Stoner forgives her because he realizes neither of them knew what they were doing when they started, and ultimately because he is the better person. It's no different than forgiving Masters for going to the War and Lomax and Walker for trying to make the English program a shell of itself. He realizes, unlike Edith, that there is no room in life for pettiness or bitterness if someone is to really devote themselves to something they love, and that a love for something goes above and beyond one self.
Not that guy, but I understand where the original Anon was coming from, though I do disagree with a few points.
I believe that Stoner did commit marital rape, however it was only due to Edith's sexual repression that she feared and despised the event to the extent that she did. In essence, her entire upbringing, as he mentioned, was merely training on how to be a pretty object.
This leads on quite nicely to the character of Grace actually, I believe Edith's motives for her actions towards their child were brought out of a fear for Grace's lonliness. Drawing from her own experiences as a child and a young adult, she felt that the only way Grace would become a proper woman, find love, and progress in life was if Edith were to put her on what she believed to be the right path, Edith's path.
Of course we know that Edith's path was essentially being groomed to be sold to the first eligible bachelor, but in Edith's mind, I believe she thought Grace's choice was a choice between being learned and ending up alone and introverted(like her father) or allowing herself to be pimped to the incredibly misogynistic and oppressive standards Edith was raised into in order to counter that.
I resent Edith as a character even though I understand the length to which she was a product of her environment and upbringing, or rather she was simply another upper-class woman subject to the times she was raised in(not that I'm implying all upper-class women of the early 20th century were raised in such an oppressive and sheltered environment).
I think Stoner knew all along that he had wronged Edith, though it's really hard to pinpoint how. It seems as if her having to have belonged to anyone, to have entered a marriage, to have left her life behind, all this compounded upon her as something she never wanted, and that by simply having her, Stoner did her a great injustice; for she was practically a child at the end of the relationship, never mind the beginning.
DESU I think you're all right, and I think a large part of the book was about the inability for someone to really understand another person's thoughts. So for all we (and Stoner) know, Edith can be the biggest bitch on earth or a total victim of the whole situation. It's impossible to say for sure and there are signs that point to multiple views.
It's similar to the irreconcilable differences between Stoner and Lomax/Walker - there was absolutely no way for Stoner to realize that Lomax took such issue with the disability of Walker. He was caught completely off-guard when he realized that the disability was what Lomax latched on to until after the fact, and it's but one example of something that is so prominent and obvious for one person but completely alien/afterthought to another.
Her points about Walker and Lomax are ridiculous as well.
Williams clearly only made Walker and Lomax both cripples, not out of some wanting to have disfigured people represent his enemies, or those with which we, as an audience were meant to demonize, but simply so we could understand Lomax's motivations towards helping Walker, even though he had no discernible talent.
She says she feels sorry for Walker because even though Stoner said he thought he was intelligent, he ended up failing him. In reality Walker was not intelligent, judging by the assessment scene where we find out that Lomax is providing Walker with all the answers and having him memorize them, it is extremely likely that Walker could have reported that Stoner had taken a liking to Katherine and therefore to get under his skin wrote Walker's piece attacking her and Stoner for him.
Having the two of them physically disfigured in a similar manner would have been easier than to go into extensive character development in order to portray them as "tortured individuals" which I believe to be the meaning of the disfigurements in a less literal sense. It also allowed us to see how vindictive Lomax became when he started accusing Stoner of discriminating against Walker because of his disability, when he knew full well at the time that Walker was incompetent.
I find it surprising to think that, despite Walker's lack of commitment to his chosen topic(in the sense that he completely abandoned it to attack Katherine's paper given days before), the author of this article should think it fair that Stoner issues a passing grade to a student based on a display of intelligence and promise which may not even have been his own. Would she pass a student who had failed to complete an assignment adequately if they showed "promise"?
YOU THOUGHT YOU'D JUST SNEAK THAT IN THERE DIDN'T YOU YOU CHEEKY BASTARD.
Anyways I think most people would agree the linked article is ridiculous. The fact that they're both crippled was not meant to demonize them, and it's readily apparent that it was to create a connection between Lomax and Walker that unfortunately eluded Stoner precisely because he never realized how crucial a part of Lomax's life his disability was. (And I guess this eluded the author of this article as well.)
>>7329950 I also found it rather funny how she deliberately misunderstood the point of Stoner demanding Walker's manuscript. Do Princeton professors now condone laziness because holding students accountable hurts their precious feelings?
>>7329998 In today's academic climate, the fact that such a challenged and impeded person had made it this far into the program, let alone was up for doctoral review, is enough to warrant high praise and understanding from everyone involved, especially the slightly more fortunate.
>love literature and work hard at school to enter an institution which will allow access to the best possible education and learning environment around >accepted to princeton >enter campus first day of frehsmen year >first class is English 101 >already envisioning the teacher, a stoic tall man with a stooped back and round spectacles >walk into class >see pic related
>>7331357 >stare and quickly flinch away from eye contact >take a seat in the far back corner, all the while hiding your boner with your right arm >class starts and qt prof starts speaking some language with a bunch of lisps and shit >its a spanish class >get up slowly and then quickly exit the room through the near door >find the proper room >walk in >find this thing talking about vaginas
Raging hard at Stoner's inability to stand up to his wife, have to stop and remind myself that she's just a literary device to show the ways marriage deteriorates, intrudes on your real passions, at least that's the way I took it.
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