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While Emilie and her growing family are well off by local standards because of her husband's successful business, she refuses to recognize his sexual proclivity. Having been schooled in the culture of accepting whatever the husband decides, she remains silent. Economic security becomes the trade-off for her silence against her husband's conduct which she knows is wrong. What seems like an unconscious decision on her part to avoid any threat to her or her family, by ignoring her subconscious suspicions, she actually supports his unsavory behavior.
The novel traces the transition of a woman from a relatively high social status, with a good education and profession, to the uncertainty of a marriage to a man whom she believes will provide her with the same style of life to which she had become accustomed as a little girl. Little does she realize the impact the social differences between her and her husband's family have upon their common future. Unbeknownst to her, the security of silence becomes the 'leitmotif" of her entire life.
Posted March 19, 2007
Enticed by the title, I read the story. A recently married woman, at the turn of the twentieth century, threatened by a change in social status, seeks and finds a 'lietmotif' to cope with the new life with her husband. In the security of silence she accepts and deals with this crisis of change.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2006
The author has written a telling tale of what was the usual treatment of women in not only Germany but throughout the western world. The choices that women had were limited if they wished to keep their families together. Most often the choice between economic security and continuing the emotional ties of family resulted in giving up personal feelings for the sake of the family. The saga of this family began with the death of the main character's father which left a psychological impact from which she never fully recovered. The book is part of the school of naturalism in literature and reflects the classic dilemma of choice as it impacts the lives of people who struggle with what they ideally would do but cannot because of countervailing conditions. In the words of Henry James 'The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to respesent life,' summarizes the author's represetation of his main character.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.