Is the character of Maud Hiram's subconscious?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Is the character of Maud Hiram's subconscious?

Post by bear_6743 » 04 Oct 2018, 09:52

The character of Maud is a very enigmatic one in the novel and she seems to provoke McDowell in ways that he has never been before. Does she represent his subconscious? Or is she simply the only woman that he had a grudging respect for?

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Post by HollandBlue » 04 Oct 2018, 11:07

Interesting thought! From what I've read about the book so far, I agree Maud may represent Hiram's subconscious. At the very least, she taps into his psyche.
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Post by bear_6743 » 04 Oct 2018, 14:00

I thought she was the most interesting female character. She seemed to be the only one who would tell Hiram about his issues.

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Post by daydreaming reader » 04 Oct 2018, 16:46

I didn't really think of Maud as Hiram's subconscious. I think he had a grudging respect for her since at first, she was his first human contact in such a long time, and she did not treat him as he would have expected. Yet, she was his first real friend in a long time.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:28

daydreaming reader wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 16:46
I didn't really think of Maud as Hiram's subconscious. I think he had a grudging respect for her since at first, she was his first human contact in such a long time, and she did not treat him as he would have expected. Yet, she was his first real friend in a long time.
I agree. She was there and didn't judge. Her family was the first family to accept him in open arms for a long time.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 07 Oct 2018, 10:30

I don't think she was his subconscious. She was there. He was alone and without anyone. He was able to talk to her without her being so judgemental of him.
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Post by jgraney8 » 08 Oct 2018, 14:33

My impression is that Maud is the truth teller that forces Hiram to come to terms with himself. He needs to see himself from another vantage point, and she provides it.
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Post by Dael Reader » 08 Oct 2018, 17:22

What? She's just another character. Was about her makes you think she represents his subconscious?

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Post by LV2R » 08 Oct 2018, 20:31

No, I don't think Maud is Hiram's subconscious since she really was a true person with her family. She may have tapped into Hiram's mind in a way no one has ever tried to challenge him before. She had been a history and literature teacher at a college before, so she could recognize things in his writings. She was tough on him and made him think, which reminds me of a great teacher attribute.

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 11 Oct 2018, 09:38

LV2R wrote:
08 Oct 2018, 20:31
No, I don't think Maud is Hiram's subconscious since she really was a true person with her family. She may have tapped into Hiram's mind in a way no one has ever tried to challenge him before. She had been a history and literature teacher at a college before, so she could recognize things in his writings. She was tough on him and made him think, which reminds me of a great teacher attribute.
I agree. I think Maud is the first blunt woman who managed to knock some sense in McDowell. She is also the first one who brought up the topic of selflessness to McDowell which is something that sounds foreign to him because he was so busy thinking about himself before.
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Post by jgraney8 » 11 Oct 2018, 22:48

ParadoxicalWoman wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 09:38

I agree. I think Maud is the first blunt woman who managed to knock some sense in McDowell. She is also the first one who brought up the topic of selflessness to McDowell which is something that sounds foreign to him because he was so busy thinking about himself before.
I agree with your point about Maud. She is a pivotal character. Beginning with Maud, Hiram interacts with women differently as if they are human beings to be respected instead of used.
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Post by Charlyt » 15 Oct 2018, 08:58

I don't think she's his subconscious but rather someone who's living the simpler ways of life that Hiram had never experienced before, therefore she knows humbleness the way Hiram doesn't. She's also the kind of person who is straightforward and will tell you the truth even if it hurts because she cares for you.
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Post by P Reefer » 20 Oct 2018, 21:27

Maud is an irritating, controlling persona who believes in censoring a person's thoughts and actions. She is unable to separate her role as a mother figure to her role as a librarian or bookseller.

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Post by Book Lover 35 » 20 Oct 2018, 22:15

No. He was alone and she was there. She didn't know him and she didn't judge him.
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Post by Samy Lax » 20 Oct 2018, 22:38

I couldn't say that Maud is Hiram's subconscious. However, she does help Hiram self-reflect. I feel Maud was key in making Hiram come out of the rut of selfishness.
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