Luke and Astrid

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Sun Jul 9 23:37:12 EDT 2000

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000 02:01:07 +0100, Ven wrote:

>I must admit I don't quite get the idea that Astrid is thinking about 
>the Brunnhilde story.. From the text there is no direct connection.  
>Astrid  has obviously pieced together something of what is going 
>on but she isn't told what David found out at the Hall of Fun nor 
>does he explain where he eventually found the hammer. Its David 
>who sees Brunnhilde and is stricken by her sadness. And its David 
>who equates Astrid's expression with that of the lady in the flames 
>(p174). In that he resolves to comfort her and she accepts this I 
>think they can help each other to have a sense of worth. I've always 
>imagined that once Astrid starts to work for a living she'll find she 's 
>better at it than she expected and do quite well for herself (how 
>about manageress of Miss Ashbury's?). In my original Astrid post 
>(re Astrid 2 jun) this part of the outcome was what I referred to as 
>the rewards of mixing with Gods. The downside for David is the 
>effect on him of Brunhilde's sadness. In my interpretaion things are 
>more complex for Astrid. I do see it as a sort of karmic comeback 
>for how she has lived so far -- a loveless marriage with financial 
>security as opposed to passion with no security at all. Hmm I'm 
>wondering if the Frys (the fertility gods that is) had anything to do 
>with this, they did say "what shall we do with this one?) on p 118.

I have a kind of odd theory about the whole sadness comment.  I just reread
the book in light of the conversation here and I think there might actually
be something that we haven't thought of.

First, ages.  David's age is never given.  We know he's taller than Cousin
Ronald and that none of the family has kept track of his age.  That means to
me that he could be anywhere from 12 to 16.  I think that his family treats
him younger than he actually is and that he plays to that a little if only
to avoid the inevitable conflict.  I'd put him at an immaturish 15 or so
just because that supports my theory better.  Personally, I grew three
inches my junior year (17?) so I know a little about late growth spurts and
tend to give David a little more credit for age than seems to be the general

I think another person whose age is flexible is Astrid.  David remembers her
introduction to the house and how she used to be nicer and more joyful, and
he just didn't notice.  It *seems* that this could reasonably be three or
four years in the past.  Frankly, her conversation puts her kind of young,
too.  Say she married Cousin Ronald young--likely as I'll get to later--then
she could be as young as early twenties still.

You can probably see where I'm going with this.  At one point, David so much
as *says* they are not related by blood (he's relieved--I would be too,
given his blood relations), though he doesn't see the possible implications
of them living together.

I see Astrid's quote of sadness at the end as a comment on her marriage to
Ronald.  She must have been happy, at least for a small time, or she
wouldn't have married him.  She's sad now, so she's wondering if her earlier
happiness makes up for how sad everything turned out.  That she would
express this to David indicates to me that they are beginning to deal with
each other on an equal footing.  It strikes me that she is regretting a
youthful impetuous decision.  That's why I would think that she married
rather young.

We've just discussed on this list romances that happen with an eight year
difference.  Give David four years and there could be a budding romance with
Astrid.  Get over the ick factor there and I think it could happen.

Well, maybe.  I liked the idea.  The ages thing is very subject to
interpretation, though.  Very flexible book that way.

Jacob Proffitt
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