Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More read along with Mimi

1) In Chapter 5, Mole and Rat go by Mole’s house and Mole is reminded, “but it was my own little home--and I was fond of it--and I went away and forgot all about it--and then I smelt it suddenly--on the road, when I called and you wouldn't listen, Rat--and everything came back to me with a rush--and I WANTED it!” – what did you think about Mole’s reaction to his home?

I totally get Mole's reaction, here. As a matter of fact, I almost cried when Ratty just kind of blew his friend off and kept going. Sometimes, certain passages of books break my heart, and this was one of them. Probably because I love my home so much, too. Sure, I travel, and leave it, but there is no place like home, the place that is yours, where you can put your slippers on, let your hair down, and just be YOU. My guess is that Mole misses that, but didn't realize it until that scent of home crossed his nose...

2) Later in the same chapter, there is a very sweet Christmas scene. After field-mice serenade Mole and Rat, they reciprocate by throwing a dinner. What did this say about Christmas traditions of England at the turn of the 20th Century, and what did you think Mole and Rat drew from it?
I think Mole and Rat drew away comfort, fun, and the spirit of generosity from this unexpected, yet expected Christmas treat. It greatly uplifted Mole, who was having a hard time adjusting back into, and appreciating his home, and it gave Ratty something to do and arrange, which he desperately needed.
As far as the first part of your question, during that time, it was much safer, and more of a common practice to invite strangers into your home, entertain them, or let them entertain you, and enjoy getting to know them. We've progressed, too far, from that. It would be a wonderous thing if we could get back to it. But I don't see that happening...

3) In Chapter 6 despite everyone else’s best efforts, Toad escapes, steals a car, and a Wild Ride ensues. What did you think of this episode, and did it confirm or change your opinion of Toad? Sadly, I STILL don't like Toad. Were I his friends, I am afraid that I would have left Toad to his own destruction, and to spend his money as he wished. It just confirmed to me that he is a, well, for lack of a better description, a manipulative little Toad.
But yet, the book needs him, or their wee world would be a little too good.

4) In the next chapter Badger’s son goes missing and is found by Mole and Rat with Pan. What did you think of the description of Pan and of their meeting? I loved the fact that there was still, after all these years, something new for Ratty on the river. This was a beautiful chapter, one of my favorites thus far.

5) Chapter 8 finds Toad jailed (or gaoled ) for his crimes. Ulimately he befriends the gaoler’s daughter and escapes. Does this episode teach Toad anything? Do you think this was a reasonable punishment? The punishment was a bit extreme, but I don't think Toad will learn much from it. I think it will temporarily slow him down, the recollection of how miserable and depressed he was when he was locked in a TRUE prison, (as opposed to being guarded by his friends). Eventually, that recollection will fade into a distant, unpleasant memory, and then Toad will get distracted by something else new and shiny, and away he will go. Its his nature. And truthfully? I doubt his friends would want him any other way. In a strange way, its kind of like McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He was trouble from the start, but when the "man" lobotomized him, and cured him, his best friend didn't want him that way, and smothered him. I do hope this book doesn't end with smothered Toad, though...

6) Anything that I’ve missed or anything you’d like to mention? Still can't think of anything. But my brain is tired.


Daryl said...

I read this book when I was six, it was my first 'grown up' book with a hard cover!

sybil law said...

I think the book shows us that there are a lot of Toads in the world.

Mimi said...

I love your thoughts on the chapter, and the lure of the water for Rat. What a beautiful scene.