Sunday, August 8, 2010

Read along with Mimi

I'm reading "Wind in the Wilows" along with my friend, Mimi, and some of her friends. These are my answers to her read along questions :)

Wind In the Willows Questions for Chapters 1-4

1) What do you think about the characters beinganthropomorphized
animals? Is this easy or difficult for you to reconcile with their behaviors?
Its funny, because I am finding that I don't mind certain animals being anthropomorphized, like Ratty, and Mole, but for some reason, the FROG, of all things, kind of bothers me. I can't decide if that's because of the personality and mannerisms they gave the frog, or if I just don't like them much in general...
Either way, I will admit, it does make it easier to envision the characters doing what they are doing by giving them human like attitudes.

2) Chapter One introduces us to Mole and his experiences one spring day as he decides to forego house cleaning and frolic in the fresh air instead. What do you think of his joy in the spring and of the river: “Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver--glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”
I love the language of this book, and I especially love that Mole decided to take a chance, and leave his warren to go take a walk, and go further then he ever had before. He was rewarded for this by his introduction to the river, and, eventually, Ratty. This one, simple, joyful walk changed his life as he knew it, and Mole was brave enough to let this happen. Which is so unlike a Mole.

3) What do you think attracts Mole and Rat as friends? I think initially, Ratty is attracted to Mole because he just can't fathom that Mole knows nothing of the river that Ratty knows, and loves. Its incomprehensible to him that there is "someone" out there who doesn't know of the river. (Inconceivable!). For his part, Mole is so taken with the river that I think he'd do anything to stay near it. As time goes on, they get used to each other, and comfortable with each other. I think they bring out the best in each other. As solitary animals, they were wanting companionship, and they found it with each other.

4) In Chapter Two, we meet Toad who “Disregarding the Rat, he proceeded to play upon the inexperienced Mole as on a harp. Naturally a voluble animal, and always mastered by his imagination, he painted the prospects of the trip and the joys of the open life and the roadside in such glowing colours that the Mole could hardly sit in his chair for excitement” and embarks with Mole and Rat in tow. What do you think of Toad, and of their adventure? And, what do you think when at the end of the chapter, Toad buys a car.
As I mentioned earlier, (or alluded to), Toad really isn't my favorite character. Sure, he's charming, and funny. But in my mind, he is the "evil" of this story, the bad influence, the one who always has to get his way. I question whether Toad is really their friend, or is he just using them to do and get what he wants? Without Toad's influence, though, I guess the story would wither. And we all have negative influences in our life. As the story goes on, I hope to like Toad a little more...

5) In Chapters Three and Four winter comes and we are introduced to Badger. What do you think of the contrast between the spring and summer adventures, and the winter adventures? Also, what do you think of the character of Badger and how he joins in?
I think Badger is actually my favorite character, so far. He likes to bide his time, and look before he leaps. I enjoyed the way the author of the book did explain the differences between summer and winter. I admit, I was rather surprised that Mole took yet another chance, in his desperation to meet Badger, to go on another walk. I was worried about him when he was alone in the woods! I loved, also, the time they spent in Badgers home, and the descriptions of Badgers home. I'd like to go visit Badger myself.

6) As we finish this section, are there other themes or questions I’ve missed? No, I think you covered it pretty well.


Mimi said...

ooooh, I love your comments. Especially about the language and the attraction of Rat to Mole as being part and parcel of the attraction of the river - I'd not thought of that!

I'm enjoying having you along!