How does one respond to such carnage?
For Spiritualists, the dead dwell "happily in the Summerland," and death itself is not real. Yet the experience of key characters in this novel suggests otherwise. Ghosts vigorously pursue them, urging them to seek out Gob Woodhull, whose machine will bring them back, freeing them from a greater desire to be flesh than the living can possibly understand.
For Gob, whose brother, Tomo, died at Chickamauga, this machine is his life's work.
Book Review: 'Gob's Grief' | viltirenduckvil.tk
It will bring Tomo back. Grief is not enough; grief helps the living cope, but what about the dead? For Walt Whitman, the answer is that "a great work ought to be coming, oughtn't it? What is needed is something that will "articulate the formless grief that [has] saturated the world of the living. What other solution to a deeply held, widely shared affective response than to give it the rational order of science? The veil between death and life wiU bepierced. And Gob has certainlyprepared for this undertaking by his long tutelage under the Urfeist, a fantastical , ogre-like creature who with an iron hand instructed his young pupil in the fundamentals of machines as weU as the necromancer's arts.
From its earliest form, that of a sheep, his machine soon evolves to look like a person, then "a fashionable angel. To do its job, the engine must incorporate "the crucial element ofdesire," musthave a "battery"—namely, WaltWhitman himself. One cannot help but see the Faustian questworking here, in the human presumption, the interference with the natural order, the overreaching. In its final performance, first with Whitman in the "gatehouse," screaming in unfathomable pain, then Gob taking his place, the engine ultimately explodes.
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Gob dies; Tomo mysteriously appears, exiting the fiery building. Some years later, Tomo is a man with a faulty memory but one who can, at one point, realize that it was not Gob who died at Chickamauga—it was he.
He wants to believe in the theory of "undying. On the one hand, "It seemed to Will that Gob was becoming a doctor for the wrong reason, not because he loved life, but because he was obsessed with death" [p. On the other hand, for Will himself, "Medical school was the last place he should be, in his condition, because the sad natural histories of disease became personal to him" [p.
What does it take to be a good doctor?
Are the expectations for physicians different today than they were at the end of the nineteenth century? In the novel, how are doctors likened to soldiers and medicine to war? Who is the Urfeist? Is he a doctor? What does he teach Gob?
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How does Gob feel about him? How do these feelings compare to his feelings for his father? His mother? According to The American Heritage Dictionary, "Kosmos" is the Greek word for "order, universe" and has evolved into the English word "cosmos," which is defined as "the universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious whole.
In light of these definitions, why might Gob have chosen Walt Whitman to power his machine? Does this provide a clue as to why Adrian chose Victoria Woodhull as the other unique historical character upon which to anchor his story? Maci gets "so tired that she confused their projects, so she thought that Gob was building a machine to expose and destroy hypocrisy, and that Mrs.
Woodhull was writing an article that argued so powerfully against death that nature, shamefaced after reading it, would revoke mortality" [p. What did Will learn from his glass house? What might the sketches have meant for Rob [p. Is Maci insane, as she suspects [pp.
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Is Gob insane? How are the concepts of sanity and insanity defined in the novel? What role does sexuality play in the novel? How do the relationships between Will and Gob; Walt and Gob; Walt and Hank; and Gob and the Urfeist simultaneously expand and scar the notion of brotherhood? Why does the novel close with an act of sexual intercourse between the aging Tomo and his wife?
Why does Will Fie dislike Walt so much [p. What is the significance of the character Oliver Barley [pp.
Will thinks, "This was the transformation their engine had effected, to make the ridiculous sensible and the sensible ridiculous" [p. Miller, Jr. Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart.
https://volunteerparks.org/wp-content/hipowal/4135.php In this eerie and brilliant debut novel a fascinating cast of both real and fictional characters is assembled who all share one common trait: grief for brethren who were lost in the bloodiest war fought on United States soil. And from this context emerges one tortured soul whose despair grows into a maniacal obsession with resurrecting the dead. Introduction George Washington—"Gob"—Woodhull and Thomas Jefferson—"Tomo"—Woodhull, are the twin sons of the real historical figure Victoria Woodhull, the nineteenth-century feminist and spiritualist. At age eleven, Tomo runs away from his family home in Homer, Ohio, to join the Union soldiers, but gripped at the last minute by fear of dying, Gob stays behind.
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