Re: Suicide equals weakness?

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Posted by Dar on August 09, 1998 at 00:41:07:

In Reply to: Re: Suicide equals weakness? posted by Kathy S on August 08, 1998 at 23:20:10:

: : : : Is it the suicide that really clinches it for you, Rich. You said it was weak. Does that what make Alice a candidate for Wimp of 1757? When she witnessed Magua torture Uncas, mutilating Uncas' arm, I think she was frightened, not of death, but a similar fate. She despaired at that moment. She was disgusted and turned away. Despair and weakness are not the same. I think she jumped from strenghth, she chose her own death, which she knew was imminent. I may not have done it that way, but I never know when to quit, and am a hopeful coward most of the time.

: :
: : : : Kathy S

: : : Kathy,

: : : To answer your subject question ... YES! Of course suicide equals weakness. It is the ultimate expression of weakness. It is sad. It is tragic. It is an act of desperation. It is a moment when one gives up all hope, completely. When one surrenders, abandons the will to go on, to fight, to try. It is the opposite of courage. It is the fear of fear. I could go on and on about what suicide is and never once will I be able to connect it to strength or will or courage or freedom.

: : : No, despair and weakness are not the same thing. Weakness can be, and most often is, the path to despair. Despair is the utter abandonment of hope.
: : : Alice was weak throughout her long dark journey. Her inability to find courage or strength led her to the final phase ... despair. Despair led her to the final act ... suicide. Suicide was Alice's final flight from life's hardships. She couldn't cut it so she quit.

: : : As for her imminent fate; she was not, nor did she have reason to believe that she was about to be tortured and killed. Magua did nothing to suggest such a thing. She was his captive and she simply couldn't go on. How anyone can call this brave or an act of strength is baffling to me.

: : : By describing Alice Munro as weak, and analyzing her steady emotional breakdown, you say is Alice bashing? What are we "dopers" to do? Speak falsely about what we see? Proclaim Alice's strength and courage lest we be branded "Alice Bashers?"
: : : We didn't exactly push the poor girl off the cliff ... now that would be Alice bashing. She did that all by herself. I guess Alice was the biggest Alice basher of all!

: : : To your question; "did the suicide clinch it for you?" It sure clinched it for Alice. Now none of us will ever have the chance to see if Alice can ever get it together and REALLY become a strong person. Poor, poor Alice.

: : : As Marcia said; any society that advocates suicide as a sign of strength or bravery is in serious trouble.
: : : Can't we simply have Alice as she was, and feel sorry for her?

: : : Elaine

: : I agree with you Elaine - I think if she were strong, in that moment when the fog lifted from her adled mind, she would have thought about Ching... and Hawkeye coming to rescue her, instead of jumping off the cliff - Hope should spring eternal.
: : In my romantic mind tho, I always thought she chose that fate to be with Uncas and decided not to let Magua, with Uncas's blood staining his hands touch her, in anyway, ever - I do feel sorry for her, she was in no condition mentally or emotionally to make such a decision.
: : Dar

: Dar, that's a good point. But do you think Alice knew they were coming to her rescue? I don't. She didn't know where the others were. Magua was so mad he left in a huff before Alice could even see Duncan set afire, or Hawkeye and Cora released. Alice hadn't seen Chinhachgook since he jumped into the falls. She may have assumed him to be dead. Magua and his men obviously didn't hear Chingachgook and Hawkeye approaching, or they would not have turned their backs and continued to walk in the opposite direction after Alice's leap. So it's unlikely Alice had a clue help was on the way. I think Alice thought she was all alone after Uncas' death.
: One more point. Alice had every reason to believe she might be tortured. She had just witnessed Magua torture Uncas. Magua could easily have killed Uncas when he pinned him to the ground. Instead he did something terrible to Uncas' arm. He didn't have to do that. Maybe you missed this. I did, the first few times I watched the movie. Then I got to wondering why Magua let Uncas get up after he clearly had the chance to finish him. On closer inspection I observed the torture, which was shot from a distance and above, and shown only briefly. Alice saw it, and then understood the cruelty which Magua was capable of.
: Kathy S

Hmmm.... I guess I was thinking about the scene in the camp as Magua was dragging her away and she turned and saw Cora with Hawkeye and Cora yells for her. Then as Uncas's body was sliding down the mountain, Hawkeye and maybe Ching... yelled his name. Hawkeye's voice echoed across the valley. Maybe that didn't register in her brain tho. Why the Indians didn't hear it, I don't know.
Anyway, the arm buisness, yes I caught that, and I agree it was to show Alice how cruel Magua could be.
I still think she jumped because Uncas was dead and she wasn't going to let Magua touch her at any cost and she gave up -quite a decision to make on the spur of the moment. But I am back to the romantic stuff again.

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