Is the book reflective of general society currently?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Is the book reflective of general society currently?

Post by ArriettyClock » 04 Oct 2018, 04:02

Is the book reflective of general society currently?

Many of the characters show a disregard for other people's feelings, are demanding, demeaning, disrespectful and even abusive towards one another. Overall, this shows quite a negative side of society, that has also been displayed in the media recently (such as with the #MeToo campaign, modern slavery, and open racism) bringing attention to crimes and abuse that otherwise would have remained behind closed doors.
Do you think the negative images of people's characters and the way the characters in the storyline treat one another is reflective of current society?

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Post by bear_6743 » 04 Oct 2018, 09:56

Some characters do reflect general society, such as Sophie and Billy. Their problems are very much typical in what people encounter daily. The characters of Jeremy and Hiram seem to be on another level but are very much representative of societies issues with misogynist attitudes and mental health issues. I think it's very reflective of parenting today and how many are not taking responsibility in regards to how they raise their children.

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Post by HollandBlue » 04 Oct 2018, 11:03

Unfortunately, I think that it does reflect society to a certain degree. It seems that many people are egocentric and ambitious, rather than caring and accepting of others. Hopefully, we can learn from the negative consequences of the type of behavior McDowell exhibits in the book.
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Post by jhalwix » 04 Oct 2018, 12:38

I think the representation in the book is similar to how society has always been. It's just now at the forefront of our society, because of how advanced and readily available technology is to be able to show off the issues among ourselves.
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Post by ArriettyClock » 05 Oct 2018, 03:53

rheanna11 wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 09:56
I think it's very reflective of parenting today and how many are not taking responsibility in regards to how they raise their children.
I never really thought about the raising children issue - but I totally agree. People seem to take less responsibity - but maybe that's because it's a slow decline?

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Post by AliceofX » 05 Oct 2018, 09:19

ArriettyClock wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 03:53
People seem to take less responsibity - but maybe that's because it's a slow decline?
Perhaps not the best place to mention this, but have you heard of the Mouse Utopia? There's also this Youtube video about it, but basically it was several experiments where mice and rats were placed in perfect habitats with all their needs met. The overpopulation eventually led to complete breakdown of the social order and eventual extinction.

It's a bit terrifying to think what that means for humans since urban population is predicted to rise. That's kind of what you see in history - periods of wealth and progress followed by decline and a dark age.

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Post by ArriettyClock » 06 Oct 2018, 06:03

AliceofX wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 09:19
The overpopulation eventually led to complete breakdown of the social order and eventual extinction.

It's a bit terrifying to think what that means for humans since urban population is predicted to rise. That's kind of what you see in history - periods of wealth and progress followed by decline and a dark age.
No, I hadn't heard of that - will definitely have to look it up, it sounds really interesting.
I think the problem is that either people are in denial about it happening, or they just think that our technology advances can combat any problem (i.e. making food in a lab instead of needing actual soil/fields/non-contaminated world).

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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:35

Yes in some cases.In some people it is. There's good and bad in everybody. We can all be more caring.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:38

rheanna11 wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 09:56
Some characters do reflect general society, such as Sophie and Billy. Their problems are very much typical in what people encounter daily. The characters of Jeremy and Hiram seem to be on another level but are very much representative of societies issues with misogynist attitudes and mental health issues. I think it's very reflective of parenting today and how many are not taking responsibility in regards to how they raise their children.
Well no one would listen to Ann. She knew something was wrong with her son but nobody was there to listen. Robert was useless and her therapist ignored it. No one took her seriously.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:41

ArriettyClock wrote:
05 Oct 2018, 03:53
rheanna11 wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 09:56
I think it's very reflective of parenting today and how many are not taking responsibility in regards to how they raise their children.
I never really thought about the raising children issue - but I totally agree. People seem to take less responsibity - but maybe that's because it's a slow decline?
Nobody took Ann seriously when she tried to explain that her child wasn't right. I think she did the best she could for being all alone.
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Post by Doug Jones » 07 Oct 2018, 17:05

It definitely touches on trends in modern society. No-one is short on stories of egotists trampling over others to get to the top. And the ones we hear of are usually the ones who go too far and get publicly exposed for doing so - the shrewder ones generally avoid public scrutiny.

As for those who would take McDowell's path of redemption, there are examples of that too. As an example, look up the British politician John Profumo, the scandal that befell him, and what he did in the aftermath. Sadly, examples such as his are rarer to come by.
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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 07:18

The characters portray a lot of selfishness but I do not think that this is reflective of today's society. The coldness shown in the book is too much.
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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 07:19

bear_6743 wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 09:56
Some characters do reflect general society, such as Sophie and Billy. Their problems are very much typical in what people encounter daily. The characters of Jeremy and Hiram seem to be on another level but are very much representative of societies issues with misogynist attitudes and mental health issues. I think it's very reflective of parenting today and how many are not taking responsibility in regards to how they raise their children.
Sure, if it is for mental issues then it will be understandable and one can easily relate it with how some behave in the society.
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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 07:22

jhalwix wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 12:38
I think the representation in the book is similar to how society has always been. It's just now at the forefront of our society, because of how advanced and readily available technology is to be able to show off the issues among ourselves.
I do not think this is how society has always been. Nowadays, some technological advances have paved for some coldness even amongst those that are close to each other. For instance, in a family set up, everyone may be in a single room but all of them are pre-occupied with something else such as a phone, laptop or glued to a TV screen.
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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 07:24

BookReader+6 wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 11:03
Unfortunately, I think that it does reflect society to a certain degree. It seems that many people are egocentric and ambitious, rather than caring and accepting of others. Hopefully, we can learn from the negative consequences of the type of behavior McDowell exhibits in the book.
This is great. I also do support you in the point that we should learn from this rather than watch ourselves go down this road of no return. It definitely serves as a lesson to us all.
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