Re: A Strong Alice

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Posted by Katherine on August 10, 1998 at 09:43:03:

In Reply to: Re: A Strong Alice posted by Vita on August 08, 1998 at 11:49:58:

V's points with Katherine comments in between denoted by a K>:

: Dear Kathy,
: you pointed out:
: "I find it interesting that when Cora is about to get her throat slit, she behaves just like the "timid" Alice. She doesn't move, scream, try to wriggle free. Just sits and hopes her protector, Hawkeye, will get to her in time."

K> Cora is about as 'timid' here. So one cannot fault Alice for being timid. Cora is lucky. She has more hope that Hawkeye will and is able to save her because he has done it before. She knows she can count on him. Alice on the other hand, previously Uncas had not made many direct attempts at saving her. She does trust him to protect her but has not many past experiences of him saving her to draw as much hope from Uncas as Cora has from Hawkeye. She sees him coming to save her at the cliff and it is painful to watch him not succeed and then die.

: True. Somehow, we did not think of it. But a knife in the throat is a knife in the throat, and when the chips were down, Courageous Cora could do no more than Alice in the same predicament. One wrong move and you're gone...
: Yea, COULD DO NO MORE THAN A. is the operative statement here.

K> So we cannot fault Alice for being timid because Cora was timid as well in that situation. There wasn't anything more Cora or Alice could do in that kind of predicament.

: Then you wrote:
: "One more point about Alice. I believe that Cora and Colonel Munro were guilty of overprotecting Alice. She was sheltered and kept in the dark, time and time again. She asks her father a direct question, "What will happen here, Papa". He evades the question. Cora tells Hawkeye to "say nothing to Alice". Seems there was a pattern of treating her like a child. Alice really did not know what was happening most of time. And the people she loved the most were dishonest with her. So rather than thinking of Alice as weak and lacking fortitude, how about the possibility that Cora was controlling and overbearing? Just another way of looking at the very loving relationship between the sisters."
: Hmmm.
: " So rather than thinking of Alice as weak and lacking fortitude, how about the possibility that Cora was controlling and overbearing?"
: I repeat this because OK, while Cora may not have meant to be controlling and overbearing, indeed her love for Alice seems to have contributed to her inability to unfold her wings as a person. In time she may have, in time, when Cora is no longer in the picture... or even with her around, but if they had survived... remember the what if thread we had sometime ago?
: You know the debate over "is it nature or nurture?"
: I think the truth is in between. Nurture does affect what you are born with naturally. Here it is very plausible that Cora's and Papa's overprotectiveness interfered with Alice's nature.

K> So Alice has learned to draw strength from other people. As a weak Alice then her only strength would come from other people. When Cora finds Hawkeye and the two of them are together then in one sense Alice might have felt she had lost her sister (Cora won't much be around because she'll be with Hawkeye) and perhaps in her thought one of her sources of protection and strength. If we say that Alice is a type of person who just needs to put in more effort to accomplish something that other people can accomplish effortlessly (having inner-strength) then, reading my post entitled: Strength and Sensitivity, perhaps Alice only had 1 unit of strength to spare as opposed to Cora who had 3 units of strength to spare.

With all that was going on perhaps all of that used up Alice's 1 spare unit of strength while Cora still had a few units left over. When her sister Cora is no where to be seen, Hawkeye and Chingachgook are nowhere to be seen and her(Alice's) own inner-strength is spent and all used up dealing with everything that is going on, then her only hope and source to draw strength from is Uncas (who she visibly sees coming to save her). Then as Uncas' attempt to save her is unsuccessfuly and he dies she loses hope for a moment BUT Alice musters as much strength, defiance against Magua possible and decides that she would rather die and join her lover Uncas in death rather than be with Magua and she leaps to her death.

[In this way she still has strength but when she exhausts her own strength she finds she needs to drawn strength from others]

What do you all think?


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