Please, write your thoughts on chapter 19, “Wedding.”
19 Wedding- theme (suspicion)
I chose to write about the section where Elena and Boris went out to dinner together. I thought that this section was interesting, because Boris seemed like he didn’t belong. He randomly showed up without warning. He hardly spoke to Elena prior to meeting Elena in Leningrad, and he seemed determined to get Elena to call off the wedding. I felt like the government told Boris to show up and stop Elena. Elena also felt some suspicion towards Boris. He seemed to be feeding her lines that he had to repeat, almost like it was practiced. She even noticed how he seemed to know some new information on America. The waiter also seemed to be acting different. I thought it was creepy that he just stood by the table. He just stood there watching and listening. Another strange thing was that the waiter brought extra drinks that they didn’t order. This whole chapter screamed of suspicion to me. Something was definitely going on.
Before the wedding Elena has internal conflicts and lingering questions in her head as to whether or not it’s the right thing to do, while she also wonders if she really wants to follow through with it. Since marrying an American, and moving to America would be a big change in her life, she suffers from an internal conflict question her future and decisions. On page 270 Elena re-evaluates her decision when she says, “Some days I have to look at myself in the mirror to make sure that this person who uses “America” and “marriage” in the same sentence is really me.” Also on page 270 another conflict occurs when Elena is question her life in Leningrad, with her future in America; “If nothingness exists here, where I know everything, what will I have there, where I really know nothing?” Despite Elena’s internal conflicts with the marriage, Elena does follow through with it and doesn’t question her decision as much until it’s time to leave for America in chapter 20.
In chapter 19, Elena has conflicted feelings about her marriage. She isn’t even sure if it is going to happen or if she is going to leave the country. During this chapter she gets a visit from a past friend of hers, Boris. He visits her to possibly talk her out of the marriage and bid her farewell. Boris makes Elena re-think her marriage. She knows deep down that it is what she has really wanted, but now that her dream is becoming a reality she is getting cold feet. She feels as though she is betraying her country by marrying a foreigner. Robert does end up arriving from the U.S. and a small wedding ceremony is held. The wedding was very awkward for Elena because although her family was there to support her, they were really against her decision to wed a foreigner. The theme for this chapter was internal conflict because Elena is fighting with herself on making the huge decision to get married and move to America.
Wedding- External Conflict
Boris came to see Elena when her heard that she was marring an American. Just that he had said American “…hissing out of his mouth the same way it hisses out of my mothers.”. This showed how the conflict between Elena and the society where she grew up came into conflict. Elena was trying to pursue her dreams but in the Soviet Union nobody had personal dreams, only dreams of the state.
Wedding – Tone
In the beginning of this chapter, I feel that Elena has a very negative attitude about the wedding. It is all scheduled and ready to go, but she has the feeling it will not happen. She talks about how she imagined everything that could go wrong. A negative attitude is not the best thing to have 3 months before a wedding. Elena definitely shows that attitude thoroughly in the first paragraph of the chapter.
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