Different cultures in the book

Use this forum to discuss the June 2018 Book of the Month"The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami
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Jgideon
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Different cultures in the book

Post by Jgideon » 17 Jun 2018, 00:39

The names of characters usually say a lot about their culture. For instance, I believe the name Foiretta makes the character Italian. What other aspects has the author used to bring out the different cultures in the book?

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Post by AWANDO OGUTU » 19 Jun 2018, 03:00

Yeah, names used in the book at times give information on the place of its origin and is useful for identity.

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Post by Morganncall » 20 Jun 2018, 14:26

One of my favorite cultural elements to look at is food. Food is always an indicator of time period, culture, and social status. When the characters eat, it says a lot about who, and where they are.

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Post by Katherine Smith » 20 Jun 2018, 14:35

I agree with Morganncall about the impact of food on a culture. Everyone has a favorite dish that they serve at special events or family dinners. Food is a way of connecting with someone's culture and to learn about what that culture values. Food is a way of determine where a story takes place and in what era.

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 22 Jun 2018, 00:08

No doubt, names and food play an important role to determine the cultural values of any country or region. And I agree the author has used many classical names which fits well with the cultural norms of those times.
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Post by holsam_87 » 22 Jun 2018, 01:45

Definitely, the use of food and names denote certain ideas of culture. I also think the behaviors of people can reflect generalized views, like with how Scardato was acting towards Angela.
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Post by bookowlie » 24 Jun 2018, 15:53

It's true that different foods and names are clues to a specific culture and time period. Also, the job Angela held was a clue it was the present day as I can't imagine women would have been given a professional job like art historian in the 1400's or even the 1940's.
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Post by Bonnie Shelby » 25 Jun 2018, 09:59

Clothing is another indicator of culture and time period. If I remember correctly, there were times the author described the character's outfits, like Fioretta and Guiliano on their wedding day and Gerhard's uniform when he was a soldier during WWII.

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Post by AWANDO OGUTU » 25 Jun 2018, 11:51

I think different cultures in the book is a portrayal of a diverse society. That's good as many groups will find their identity in the book.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 27 Jun 2018, 12:33

This was not heavily developed in the book, but there is something of the roles that the different women had. One being a model - and having it pointed out that this would have made others look at her as a whore... that's fairly shocking in today's culture.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 27 Jun 2018, 14:19

I don't think the various cultures were particularly noticeable in this novel. Although much of the story took place in Italy, I don't feel like there was much of an "Italian" feel to it other than the descriptions of the scenery.

There were hints here and there about different norms during the three time periods represented such as Fioretta's knowledge that if anyone knew she was posing for Leonardo she would not be spoken well of, and Angela and Sophia both being working women.

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Post by Fuzaila » 28 Jun 2018, 06:25

I believe the cultural aspects of the novel comes not only from the Italian names but also from other identifiers like food, dressing, and traditional habits. But like kfwilson6 said, the author doesn't focus much on the culture in this book.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 28 Jun 2018, 06:28

kfwilson6 wrote:
27 Jun 2018, 14:19
I don't think the various cultures were particularly noticeable in this novel. Although much of the story took place in Italy, I don't feel like there was much of an "Italian" feel to it other than the descriptions of the scenery.

There were hints here and there about different norms during the three time periods represented such as Fioretta's knowledge that if anyone knew she was posing for Leonardo she would not be spoken well of, and Angela and Sophia both being working women.
I hadn't even thought about culture being important in the book, until this question was asked in the forum :D Made me think a little deeper, and yes, there are hints... but overall that's not a focus in the book.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 29 Jun 2018, 11:55

Sometimes I really don't consider certain aspects of a book until another reader sparks a discussion about it. Very rarely do I think a question is way off base. In this instance the question caused me to contemplate the issue, but I really didn't have a whole lot to say about it. I can't really claim it as a shortcoming of Ami's writing though as I don't think it was important to the story at all. The descriptions of the scenery weren't necessary either, but they were a wonderful bonus. I never saw anyone complain about them and did see a lot of positive comments.

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Post by bookowlie » 29 Jun 2018, 18:02

While the imagery in this book was outstanding and added sparkle to the story, I can't really say the culture of each foreign country was featured. Since this book was a mystery/thriller, there wasn't much attention paid to the clothing, customs, food, etc. as there might be in a character-driven, general fiction type of book.
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