Re: Cora's Choice

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Posted by Gayle on August 10, 1998 at 10:59:24:

In Reply to: Re: A Strong Alice posted by Katherine on August 10, 1998 at 09:43:03:

: : "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.

: What do you all think?

: Katherine

This is a really good observation and applies to the book as well as to the movie. During the book, I often found myself sneering at the patronizing attitudes of everybody toward Alice (and toward women in general). They made Alice what she was, because it not only upheld the cultural standard that women were to be totally dependent on men for their existence (don't even mention the word "mentality"), but also because the resulting behavior slathered bear-grease on their egos. Cora, for some reason, rejected the role of a simpering fool, so Cooper made her the heroine but killed her off, and Mann let her live and marry the hero. I started to say "Same woman, different century", but in the light of reality, I think I need to amend it to "Same woman, different choice". So ponder this: if Cora made that choice for herself, why did she, who raised Alice in the absence of a mother, not TEACH Alice to be something other than a mindless simpleton?


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