Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter 22 - Nonsense

Trivia - I had the chance to discuss what starts to happen in this chapter with my Mom, who is visiting, before actually writing it. She was hesitant until I explained that Elvira's daughter wrote that her mother testified to the broad situation dealt within in this chapter. She wrote about it in the 1930's, but the daughter was considering marriage (~17) when she would have heard Elvira testify to this. It is also entirely consistent with the family stories.

For a fun true ghost story, check out Gemm14 is my mother (I am Pearl_Mama - the mother of the oldest of my mother's grandchildren, or 'gems').


ktb said...

The additions to Chapter 21 I think helped. It is much easier to read from my standpoint.

Chapter 22 read well also. There must be a lot going through Elvira's mind right now - a penny for her thoughts (maybe even a few pennies). What is it that makes Elvira's belief in Joseph so strong? Is it her young age, and the fact that Joseph has gained a position of significant status - a little shallow but certainly apattern of human nature? Is there some extra quality about Joseph that makes Elvira understand and believe without hesitation, or is there insight through what he says that resonates and amplifies her belief, creating an unshakeable trust. What do you think is going through her mind? She is afraid for her father, afraid for Joseph, and she must wonder what that means to her as a Mormon, to her as one of Joseph's wives, and to all the others in Nauvoo that she has come to love. All of this is probably worth another book, but something to consider when writing this story.

Along the same line, how does Jonathan work into this - the poor guy. All he gets to do is touch her hand and then she withdraws it, he sleeps on the floor in his own house, and generally is the nicist guy in town. He must be part Vulcan, part saint, or else he is being torn up inside and hiding it well. Elvira must realize this, so how does she deal with it, and how do Jonathan and her, as a couple, deal with it. Seems like lots of room for weeds to grow unless there is such a strong conviction of belief that such questions are meaningless. Given the story of the apostles actions from the triumphal entry to the crucifixion of Jesus, I think that unlikely. People are people, and that in large part is what the Bible is about.

The scene in Chapter 21, leading in to 22, and your Blog response regarding Emma from Chapter 18, bring to mind verse from Matthew 13 (verses 55-58). Joseph is the human they all know, and whom Emma married when they were both young and life was simpler. I think it would be difficult for those who knew him growing up, and knew him as the man, to accept much of the Doctrine being introduced. As Jesus stated in Matthew 13, "A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household." What is occurring has been played out before, and as such, makes this story less fictional and more historical.

daughterofheaven said...

I had to remind myself that you haven't read Chapter 23 yet, apparently. As for her thoughts, she is so mentally exhausted that she's having a hard time thinking at all, as I explicitly mention in Chapter 23. As for age, she is almost 30 at this point, which I don't consider particularly young, even if that is the age when I met Bryan (it's appalling to look at our wedding pictures and see how young we were - we had hair and we didn't have wrinkles.)

She's lived and worked in close proximity to Emma and Joseph now for over three years. She loves them both, and now (thanks to you...) her romantic love for Joseph has transmuted into honor and respect and 'agape' love. So when her father tries to tell her Joseph is a predator setting himself above all, she knows it is not true because she would have been willing to to be predated upon and he wouldn't.

I had written Elvira telling a story later in the book where "Tess" attempts a great quest because it will bring her wisdom, and she hopes that wisdom will help her find her father, who is lost. I think I'll move it earlier in the book now. At the time I wrote the story, I didn't even realize it could describe her feelings about her own father. But by the time I went back to write the chapter where she talks with Emma, I had come to understand that the "Tess" of my later story is Elvira.

Jonathan hasn't realized that Joseph isn't being intimate with Elvira. And as you will see in Chapter 23, something has happened by the time he talks with Elvira in Chapter 22 that confirms in his mind that she has been intimate with Joseph (even though the reader knows he wasn't correct). So before she goes to sleep, we see him straying over his own line enough to carress her hair, but after she wakes, he reaches out to her, but not, I think, with romantic intent.

Jonathan sees his 'stewardship' of Elvira as a quest that will allow him to be with his beloved Marietta for eternity. He desires Elvira, but to be with her (in Jonathan's mind) means that Joseph is dead, and he knew and loved Joseph before he ever met Elvira. In addition to this, Jonathan (in my fictional world) knows that Marietta was raped and savaged, which directly lead to her death. He will never, therefore, touch a woman that belongs in any way to another man. There will be another chapter after Joseph dies where this plays a major role.

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Mother, Physicist, Manager, Author, Genealogist