Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Winged Watchman, Discussion

This month's discussion book was The Winged Watchman By Hilda Van Stockum. Although it was one of the smaller discussions as far as the number of people go, it was one of the best. The talking was pretty well balanced between everyone and we covered some interesting topics.

We Talked about:

Mother: We discussed how her character undergoes more changes then most of the other main characters, Why? Perhaps her maternal instinct conflicts with the dangerous situations and makes it very difficult for her to allow her family take risks.

Uncle Cor and Hildebrand: We considered the differences, the good points and the bad points of these two very different characters. Uncle Cor works in the underground and cannot understand Hildebrand's lack of interest in the resistance. We decided that both their roles, different as they are, are essential. Uncle Cor's was necessary during the war, to try to help the victims of the cruel times. But after the war Hildebrand would be needed too, he would be needed to help restore the war torn country, and build a new Holland.

We discussed the difficulties in making the choice between two options both of which seem right (as illustrated in Joris' exploration of the Old Mill.)

We pondered the reason for writing this story from the viewpoint of a family whose circumstances were comparatively light. We considered the possiblity that in this way it would be easier for us to understand, this story from the viewpoint of a family who was homeless and starving might be too big a step for us, today in these circumstances, to comprehend. But this family also gives us a starting place to view the surroundings from.

In connection with the above, we noticed how many WWII stories do not show you the hope, the good things that happened in these drastic times. The Winged Watchman however is not one of those, on the contrary it shows intimately how everyone was pulled together by this war and how they had hope and faith to get them through.

Well I'm probably missing a bunch but this is just an overview.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this book.

1 comment:

gilbertgirl said...

I just wanted to throw in that we also discussed the two brothers, their personalities, and the influence Uncle Cor and Hildebrand had on them. I believe we also mentioned the spontaneous, inexplicable ability for them to each make good judgments quickly in emergencies, and act on them without panicking.
Don't forget the occasional unexplainable occurance - like Joris' riding the windmill all the way around, in the dark, during a storm. We agreed that because a few things in the book seemed miraculous, it contributed to the books reality rather than its fancifulness.