Fioretta – Sophia – Angela

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Fioretta – Sophia – Angela

Post by cristinaro » 03 Jun 2018, 04:10

Fioretta Gorini works as a model for Leonardo at a time when girls posing for artists were considered either fools or wanton women.

Sophia Caro plans to elope with a German officer precisely during the Nazi occupation of Florence.

Angela Renatus stands up to her sexually harassing boss while risking her one-life career opportunity at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Would you call them strong women? What is their relationship with the men in their lives?
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Post by bookowlie » 04 Jun 2018, 10:36

It's hard to say whether I would call Sophia or Fioretta strong women since their characters weren't too fleshed out in the story. Still, you bring up good points why each woman might be considered a strong woman at the time. Although Angela stood up to her boss, I think she was a bit helpless during the story and was protected by Alex. Her constant blackouts made her seem less in control.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Jun 2018, 20:29

I suppose you can call all three strong in the sense that they dared to be non-conformists and take huge risks. Fioretta risked disgrace as she was not officially recognized as Giuliano's wife. Sophia risked her brothers' disapproval by bringing Gerhard home. Angela allowed herself to be whisked to a foreign land by a virtual stranger.

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Post by bookowlie » 05 Jun 2018, 19:41

I'm not sure I would call Angela strong or a non-conformist. She seemed more like a damsel in distress due to Scordato's sexual harassment at work. Alex happened to come along at the right time to offer her a job and protect her at the same time.
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Post by Sushan » 07 Jun 2018, 05:51

Going against the norm is always a action of bravery. Whoever strong enough to cross the threshold is definitely strong, either a male or a female. So, yes indeed, they are strong women
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Post by Supergirl1 » 07 Jun 2018, 06:20

These days, non-conformists can connect to the global community and get a measure of support. This is something Fioretta and Sophia did not have. It takes even more courage to go against the norm when you know you are not very likely to find support.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 07 Jun 2018, 07:38

cristinaro wrote: ↑
03 Jun 2018, 04:10
Fioretta Gorini works as a model for Leonardo at a time when girls posing for artists were considered either fools or wanton women.

Sophia Caro plans to elope with a German officer precisely during the Nazi occupation of Florence.

Angela Renatus stands up to her sexually harassing boss while risking her one-life career opportunity at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Would you call them strong women? What is their relationship with the men in their lives?
I might not go with β€œstrong” but I would certainly say that these women were all counter-cultural. None of them were driven by social conventions. That doesn’t necessarily make them strong, simply unconcerned with social convention. I think what would make a woman stronger in literature would be to see her defy authorities in some way to make a significant change. None of these women really made a change to society or a significant difference in the lives they led.

That said, I would not call any of these women weak, either. I’d just like to see them make a bigger impact on those around them.

Fioretta was unconcerned enough that she went to Mass on Easter, but she did not fight to hang onto her life when her delivery went wrong.

Sophia went along with the plan to steal the painting even though she felt it was wrong.

Angela defied her boss, but only privately. She quit and refused to press charges for harassment or when her home was broken into. She didn’t want to make waves.

I’ve enjoyed reading about these women, but I willl say that I don’t feel they are great representations of strong women in literature. Someone more like Mina from Dracula, who defied social conventions by being a secretary, nearly becoming a vampire, and going on an extreme adventure to save herself would be a different matter. Or Jane Eyre who refused marriage when offered to her (twice!) before she went back and rescued her love. Or Hester Prynn (The Scarlet Letter) who refused to divulge the name of her daughter's father and chose to live with the condemnation and suffer the consequences to protect her lover. These are strong women in literature.

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Post by Afajo2 » 07 Jun 2018, 10:13

I think what would make a woman stronger in literature would be to see her defy authorities in some way to make a significant change.

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Post by Amcdanel86 » 08 Jun 2018, 11:05

I would say that all three women are strong in their own ways. Fioretta went against society and followed her heart anyways. Sophia found love during a war and found strength to make her way out of the war zone and face her brother. Angela has an issue with black outs but find strength to keep moving forward to figure out the mystery.

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Post by Zain A Blade » 08 Jun 2018, 13:05

I'd say all women were strong, in the sense that they took control of their sexuality.

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Post by Dael Reader » 08 Jun 2018, 14:52

I don't think we get enough information any of the women's characters to define them as "strong" women. As some have mentioned, Fioretta and Sophia seem willing to defy traditional stereotypes, but that could be described as nonconformist or rebellious, not necessarily strong.

If Fioretta was a strong woman, she might have insisted on a public marriage, not one that had to be kept secret until she gave birth. (Presumably because she had more value as the mother of a child from a prominent family but not as just a wife?)

And what exactly was Sophia waiting for? She and Max were planning on a private ceremony, so they could have done that at any time. Why didn't she drag that man to the altar sooner? Although, we are left to believe she raised a child on her own. That could be a sign of strength.

Angela refuses to have sex with the boss she is not attracted to. But she is eager to have sex with Alex, the boss she IS attracted to. And even though Angela resists Scordato's advances and walks away from the supposed "job of a lifetime," she lets Alex report the incident, and she is happy to run away from the problem--with Alex. That seems a little more like a damsel in distress than an independently strong woman. A stronger woman might have fought to keep the job of a lifetime.

I also wouldn't necessarily say that "taking control of their sexuality" defines them as "strong." There are rebellious teenagers who "take control of their sexuality" as a symptom of their own lack of self-confidence. Sex is their primary form of expression, but not a primary expression of strength. The seemingly insatiable sexual desires these women are expressing could be signs of insecurity, not necessarily strength. Unfortunately, we just don't get to see enough of the other aspects of their personalities to know for sure.

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Post by bookowlie » 09 Jun 2018, 09:28

Dael Reader wrote: ↑
08 Jun 2018, 14:52
I don't think we get enough information any of the women's characters to define them as "strong" women. As some have mentioned, Fioretta and Sophia seem willing to defy traditional stereotypes, but that could be described as nonconformist or rebellious, not necessarily strong.

If Fioretta was a strong woman, she might have insisted on a public marriage, not one that had to be kept secret until she gave birth. (Presumably because she had more value as the mother of a child from a prominent family but not as just a wife?)

And what exactly was Sophia waiting for? She and Max were planning on a private ceremony, so they could have done that at any time. Why didn't she drag that man to the altar sooner? Although, we are left to believe she raised a child on her own. That could be a sign of strength.

Angela refuses to have sex with the boss she is not attracted to. But she is eager to have sex with Alex, the boss she IS attracted to. And even though Angela resists Scordato's advances and walks away from the supposed "job of a lifetime," she lets Alex report the incident, and she is happy to run away from the problem--with Alex. That seems a little more like a damsel in distress than an independently strong woman. A stronger woman might have fought to keep the job of a lifetime.

I also wouldn't necessarily say that "taking control of their sexuality" defines them as "strong." There are rebellious teenagers who "take control of their sexuality" as a symptom of their own lack of self-confidence. Sex is their primary form of expression, but not a primary expression of strength. The seemingly insatiable sexual desires these women are expressing could be signs of insecurity, not necessarily strength. Unfortunately, we just don't get to see enough of the other aspects of their personalities to know for sure.
Good points! I also viewed Angela as a damsel in distress. It made no sense to me that a woman who was so brilliant and focused on her plum job would be happy to go off with Alex. Sure, Alex asked her to work for him, but she seemed fine with going with the flow. She didn't come across as a strong woman. Instead, she came off as a stereotype of having a man save her.
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Post by SweetMelissaV2131 » 09 Jun 2018, 11:45

I think in a way these women are all strong in the sense that they had the courage to stand up for what they believed in which mostly was love and "the happily ever after". Angela was strong but she did not know it. She did seem like she was portrayed at first as a damsel in distress but I think the author planted that detail in order to introduce the connection of the the previous lives converging together in the present. Portraying Angela as a damsel awakened Alex's protective instincts that he had no clue were there or why. I think the author did a great job of connecting all the dots for us as readers.

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Post by Manali_DC » 10 Jun 2018, 05:23

I think I would consider Fioretta and Sophie strong characters. To fall in love and be with the people they did, required a certain amount of courage. To risk scandal as the lover of Giuliano de Medici and to elope with a German officer during the war needs courage and strength. However, I am not so sure that I would call Angela a strong woman- hers is an interesting character- but nothing in the story required her to be particularly strong or brave!

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Post by CatInTheHat » 10 Jun 2018, 20:40

Supergirl1 wrote: ↑
07 Jun 2018, 06:20
These days, non-conformists can connect to the global community and get a measure of support. This is something Fioretta and Sophia did not have. It takes even more courage to go against the norm when you know you are not very likely to find support.
Excellent point! It is far easier to find support in today's world than it was many moons ago.
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