Posted by Miss Gaylee Cooper on October 06, 1998 at 10:49:57:
In Reply to: Re: Perfectly Good Hawkeyes and Coras posted by MMMMarcia on October 05, 1998 at 15:53:06:
: Well, Ms. Gaylee...once again you have made me RE-reconsider my decision to read Cooper. Now I don't know if I can stand seeing my illusions shattered. I think I like all of Mann's characters better...I even prefer Alice in her persistently vegetative and trancelike state of helplessness better than an Alice who might have considered sacrificing her sister to obtain her freedom! Yikes!! Let me calm down a bit, and possibly I'll RE-re-reconsider, and go ahead and read these tales. There are so many other fascinating things about them I'd like to learn...methinks I'll just have to pretend that the whole set of adventures is happening to persons other than the ones I've grown to know and love.
Well, Marcia, I have to say I was a little stunned myself at Alice's lack of concern for Cora's life. However, if you read the book, you will not find Alice different from the Mann character. Cooper himself noted that that incident was an unusual moment of firmness on Alice's part - I think he meant "firmness" in that she managed to express any opinion at all! Otherwise, throughout the book he continually used the words "infantile dependency", until I thought I would gag. It was obvious Cooper didn't like Alice, when you read the reaction of Alice's grandson to Natty's memories of her in The Prairie. With just a description of a facial expression, Cooper paints a vivid picture of how Alice's infantile dependence game went down with the rest of the family even after two generations. It was a clever bit of poignant skill on Cooper's part.
Miss Gaylee Cooper
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