Which female characters helped transform his character positively or negatively?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Re: Which female characters helped transform his character positively or negatively?

Post by capricornius16 » 29 Oct 2018, 20:26

Definitely it was Maud who broke down McDowell's shield. She was really the one who made a big difference in Hiram's outlook in life that none of his wives and even children ever did.

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Post by ShailaSheshadri » 03 Nov 2018, 07:34

I guess Maud, Sophie, Hulga, and Winona helped transform McDowell's character. Maud is a straightforward woman. She made him introspect and change his attitude towards others. Sophie, Hulga, Rima, and Winona are lovable and kind. These women ignite kindness and love in his character.

I think Carole and Maria make Hiram irritated, as their relationship with him is not smooth. These women have a negative influence on his character.

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Post by prospero360 » 03 Nov 2018, 09:52

I think all the females he met after he escaped played a role in his transformation, but Maud was definitely the most vital.

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Post by somersas13 » 03 Nov 2018, 10:36

It's hard to say because we never learn anything about any of the people in McDowell's past. We know he inherited a great sum of money because he was living well beyond his means as a successful surgeon and philanthropist and makes reference of coming from money at one point in the book but we don't know who his family was. I think knowing more about who his parents were and the relationship his own parents had would probably speak volumes about what really makes McDowell tick. In terms of his relationships in his own life, if you notice we get a first person account of how he sees his last wife and he mainly seems to value women by their physical appearance, taking care of his children, and sex. However, in the second half of the book most of the narrative is no longer first person, yet we can see even from the outside that he begins to see and treat women differently. He no longer seems to evaluate women based on their physical appearances and learns to seek what they can teach him about himself, life, art, etc.

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Post by cristinaro » 09 Nov 2018, 09:55

I don't think McDowell ever truly learns to respect and honor women as they deserve. All he does is to either treat them extremely badly or later on, show them some pity and sympathy. Even with Maud or Winona he doesn't develop a genuine relationship. Paradoxically, he is always surrounded by women. My guess is that happens because he feels superior to women and therefore, always in control when around them.
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Post by Life In Books » 22 Nov 2018, 04:18

Hiram had different ladies in his life at different stages. They were in the form of daughters, lovers, wives, etc. Every lady made some impact on his life. However, Maud was the lady that made him realize about himself closely.

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Post by lara_haelterman » 22 Nov 2018, 11:23

I think Maud had a big role in his transformation. I feel like from the moment he met Maud, his character changed for the better. She is also the reason that he keeps on seeking human contact to finish his memoir. She told him the truth, whether he wanted to hear it or not.

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Post by modupereb » 22 Nov 2018, 22:02

Maud and Sophie influenced him positively, but Maud the most.

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Post by inmod » 23 Nov 2018, 03:21

I think Maud and Winona. Both were inspiring ladies. Hiram's viewpoints in life were changed because of this two.

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Post by Joe Hadithi » 23 Nov 2018, 07:23

Maud and Winona. the two helped him understand the world better.

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Post by TuyetMai » 28 Nov 2018, 03:31

I think he started to question his way of living after meeting Maud. She was the first person he made contact with after a long solitude, so it made a strong impact.

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Post by leanne_brown17 » 04 Dec 2018, 13:56

Carole most definitely brought out Hiram's bad side, simply because she allowed it. She was the weakest female character, and let Hiram push her around as he pleased. Had she had a little more backbone, he may not have gotten away with treating her so poorly. Then again, if she had not been such a pushover, she probably would not have been involved in the story at all because she likely would not have chosen to be with a man like Hiram. The female character that was most positively influential to Hiram was Maud. She was not involved with him for very long, but the impact was strong and lasting. She was the one who got him started on his journey of constructive, honest self-reflection, which proved to be invaluable to him in the long run.
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Post by abbiejoice » 04 Dec 2018, 21:46

I think Maud and Selena. Maud, by getting through his logic and challenging him. Selena, by letting him experience something transcendent and beautiful.

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Post by Ekta Kumari » 08 Dec 2018, 10:35

I think Maud brought the most change in his character. She had a different kind of insight of his mind and thinking. She did bring him to understand many things he never paid attention to. She also tried to change his narcissistic tendencies by mentioning how he only talked about the injustice done to him in his memoir, which also gave him some help in thinking about whether she was right about that.
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Post by JordanKSmith » 08 Dec 2018, 18:55

Maud was definitely a strong beginning to his transition. She was straight with him and gave him a very clear mirror of reality. She lodged the right questions into his brain and made him question his perspective on his life. Mcdowell had settled into a "Woe is me" attitude, and Maud shook him out of it.
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