Is mysoginism the main theme?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Re: Is mysoginism the main theme?

Post by Britty01 » 03 Oct 2018, 12:11

Mysoginism certainly seems to be one of the major themes in the novel, although I do not think it is the main one. His response to Tasha is probably a typical parent’s response when their own child is involved. There are a lot of women who are freely available for married men – the gate swings both ways in that situation. If he has not hidden his marital situation she is free to make her choice and live with the consequences.

It may be present in society to varying degrees, but I am noticing a rise in misandry, (women who hate men). Neither of which are good for a society that claims to want freedom and equality for all.

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Post by Sushan » 03 Oct 2018, 12:17

Many situations can be named as misogyny depending on the angle it is seen. So, one can say it is the main theme of the book and another can say no it is not :eusa-think:
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Post by ArriettyClock » 03 Oct 2018, 13:22

I think a bigger question would be is the mysoginism in the book reflective of general society currently, or is it a warning for those boardering on mysoginism?

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Post by daydreaming reader » 03 Oct 2018, 17:11

There is a lot of misogyny present in the book, which is a source of conflict and is still present in society. Whether it is the main theme, I'm not sure. There are a lot of other elements present including narcissism.
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Post by ea_anthony » 03 Oct 2018, 20:51

FictionLover wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 06:47
Eva Darrington wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 23:00
I am noticing some misogyny, both in the characters and the narration. Part of misogyny is a hyper-focus on women's body sizes and physical appearances. The author writes about three women in a row, and comments on their weight and appearances. Carole was "flabby now" and wasn't exercising; "Tasha teetered on the cusp of overweight with legs like ice cream cones," then he wonders if she would "splat" another cheerleader; And of Sheryl, "He didn't like the size of her nose with dark deep wells for nostrils. She was a little overweight...." This is just the first few pages of Chapter 1.
I noticed all that too, and it completely cemented my opinion of not only the character of Hiram, but also of the author. I noticed a similar fixation on women's body size in Mr. Cole's The Spirit of Want, but I think it is much more obvious here because those comments come so close together in chapter one.

Conspicuously absent: a physical description of Hiram.

:(
Yet to read but will be really flabbergasted that there wouldn't be a single description of Hiram. Big Oversight.
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Post by FictionLover » 04 Oct 2018, 17:49

ea_anthony wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 20:51
FictionLover wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 06:47
Eva Darrington wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 23:00
I am noticing some misogyny, both in the characters and the narration. Part of misogyny is a hyper-focus on women's body sizes and physical appearances. The author writes about three women in a row, and comments on their weight and appearances. Carole was "flabby now" and wasn't exercising; "Tasha teetered on the cusp of overweight with legs like ice cream cones," then he wonders if she would "splat" another cheerleader; And of Sheryl, "He didn't like the size of her nose with dark deep wells for nostrils. She was a little overweight...." This is just the first few pages of Chapter 1.
I noticed all that too, and it completely cemented my opinion of not only the character of Hiram, but also of the author. I noticed a similar fixation on women's body size in Mr. Cole's The Spirit of Want, but I think it is much more obvious here because those comments come so close together in chapter one.

Conspicuously absent: a physical description of Hiram.

:(
Yet to read but will be really flabbergasted that there wouldn't be a single description of Hiram. Big Oversight.
I just read the sample. Perhaps somewhere in the novel there is one.
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Post by ea_anthony » 04 Oct 2018, 17:53

FictionLover wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 17:49
ea_anthony wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 20:51
FictionLover wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 06:47


I noticed all that too, and it completely cemented my opinion of not only the character of Hiram, but also of the author. I noticed a similar fixation on women's body size in Mr. Cole's The Spirit of Want, but I think it is much more obvious here because those comments come so close together in chapter one.

Conspicuously absent: a physical description of Hiram.

:(
Yet to read but will be really flabbergasted that there wouldn't be a single description of Hiram. Big Oversight.
I just read the sample. Perhaps somewhere in the novel there is one.
I should be reading this book quite soon, I will watch out to see if any description of Hiram.
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Post by Eva Darrington » 04 Oct 2018, 19:18

ea_anthony wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 20:51
FictionLover wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 06:47
Eva Darrington wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 23:00
I am noticing some misogyny, both in the characters and the narration. Part of misogyny is a hyper-focus on women's body sizes and physical appearances. The author writes about three women in a row, and comments on their weight and appearances. Carole was "flabby now" and wasn't exercising; "Tasha teetered on the cusp of overweight with legs like ice cream cones," then he wonders if she would "splat" another cheerleader; And of Sheryl, "He didn't like the size of her nose with dark deep wells for nostrils. She was a little overweight...." This is just the first few pages of Chapter 1.
I noticed all that too, and it completely cemented my opinion of not only the character of Hiram, but also of the author. I noticed a similar fixation on women's body size in Mr. Cole's The Spirit of Want, but I think it is much more obvious here because those comments come so close together in chapter one.

Conspicuously absent: a physical description of Hiram.
:(
Yet to read but will be really flabbergasted that there wouldn't be a single description of Hiram. Big Oversight.
I think the issue isn't so much whether the author ever describes men physically as well. For me, there is just a strong tendency for the author to focus immediately on women's and girls' physical appearances, often using critical remarks. I wanted to be clear that I am certainly not saying the author is a misogynist, only that there is this pattern in these books. 8)
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Post by FictionLover » 04 Oct 2018, 21:22

ea_anthony wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 17:53
FictionLover wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 17:49
ea_anthony wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 20:51


Yet to read but will be really flabbergasted that there wouldn't be a single description of Hiram. Big Oversight.
I just read the sample. Perhaps somewhere in the novel there is one.
I should be reading this book quite soon, I will watch out to see if any description of Hiram.
Let us know!

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Post by Laura Bach » 05 Oct 2018, 08:12

Hiram McDowell annoyed me because of his misogyny and his selfishness. The book seems kind of centered on that theme, so I agree with you.

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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:49

One theme yes. Main theme not really. I think it explains about the importance of having strong family ties. The book shows how far things can unravel when there is no closeness to each other.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:52

Laura Bach wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 08:12
Hiram McDowell annoyed me because of his misogyny and his selfishness. The book seems kind of centered on that theme, so I agree with you.
I thought was a pretty interesting character. I definitely saw his flaws but also saw the good in him also trying to get out.
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Post by ea_anthony » 07 Oct 2018, 13:06

ea_anthony wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 17:53
FictionLover wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 17:49
ea_anthony wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 20:51


Yet to read but will be really flabbergasted that there wouldn't be a single description of Hiram. Big Oversight.
I just read the sample. Perhaps somewhere in the novel there is one.
I should be reading this book quite soon, I will watch out to see if any description of Hiram.
I almost about a third into the novel, not only is there no description of Hiram, there is almost no description of any of the male characters. Every female character gets a line or two, some of the descriptions are barely okay and others downright condescending.
As for mysogynism, not only only is it the main theme, it practically jumps out at you every other page and clubs you over the head in case you do not want to notice. Well I'll reserve my other comments till I finish the novel.
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Post by serendipity 27 » 08 Oct 2018, 12:12

A great portion of the book deals with how the main character treats women and it is definitely a predominant theme throughout the novel. I think the main theme is redemption though.

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Post by Dael Reader » 08 Oct 2018, 17:43

There is a strong thread of misogyny in the book. But I think the main theme is narcissism. McDowell is a man who thinks only of himself. Even in the end, he thinks he is just a misunderstood victim who doesn't deserve to suffer the consequences of his actions. Both narcissism and misogyny are still very much present in our society, especially given our current political and social climate.

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