Is the character of Maud Hiram's subconscious?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Re: Is the character of Maud Hiram's subconscious?

Post by Bavithra M » 22 Oct 2018, 03:38

I think the character of Maud is Hiram McDowell's subconcious.
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Life In Books
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Post by Life In Books » 22 Oct 2018, 06:55

I did not at all feel that Maud's character was an imaginary one and would not complicate any situation in the story by thinking so deep on such things. Rather Maud was portrayed in a very straightforward manner in Hiram's life. She had a profound effect on Hiram's life and that effect is something that one can contemplate about rather than considering Maud as an imaginary character.

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Post by dtb » 23 Oct 2018, 13:27

jgraney8 wrote: ↑
08 Oct 2018, 14:33
My impression is that Maud is the truth teller that forces Hiram to come to terms with himself. He needs to see himself from another vantage point, and she provides it.
You make a good point. I think we could all benefit from more truth tellers.

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Post by Kishor Rao » 24 Oct 2018, 01:23

According to me, Hiram likes Maud and has respect for her because she is not very unlike him. Shes always very cold to people and doesn't easily appreciate others talents. But the thing that makes her stand apart from himself is that she doesn't expect anything for the things she does. She is content with what she has done and moves on. This trait irks Hiram and he constantly adapts to this kind of behavior later on in the books. I think Maud is as much real as Hiram is.

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Post by Theresam » 27 Oct 2018, 08:18

I don’t think she is his subconscious. I think she is the first person he has talked to in along time and he respects her intelligence. He is able to talk to her and get honest responses without judgment. He seems to appreciate her and her opinions

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Post by sonya01 » 27 Oct 2018, 13:58

I don't think she was his subconscious, but I do believe she was the catalyst that precipitated his change. She was the first person to confront him and make him question his ideas, his motives, and his actions. In this respect, she acted as his conscience. I think she was the only woman he truly respected and valued because she spoke her mind and was unafraid of him.

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Post by Radiant3 » 27 Oct 2018, 17:35

No, I don't think Maud is Hiram's subconscious. He felt safe, accepted and part of her family after being alone and on the run. She allowed him into her life without reproach. She is also a woman of strength, intelligence and discernment and Hiram respected her.

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Post by ShailaSheshadri » 02 Nov 2018, 06:28

No. The character of Maud is not Hiram's subconscious. She is just a character in the novel. Unlike the other women Hiram encountered, Maud made him introspect about his mental processes. Her's was the first family that accepted him wholeheartedly when he was wandering like a fugitive and gave him space in the house. Maud was an educated and straightforward woman. She, being a school teacher in her past, judged Hiram's characteristics and commented on it. Hiram became conscious and started feeling for his mistakes in life.

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Post by cristinaro » 09 Nov 2018, 10:11

Once you mentioned this idea, I think Maud could very well act as Hiram's subconscious, especially considering the fact that she is critical of his memoir, but without actually highlighting too many concrete aspects that she finds dreadfully wrong in Hiram's ideas and view of the world.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

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Post by abbiejoice » 04 Dec 2018, 22:05

I think Maud is a separate character in the book, but Hiram's subconscious could have been triggered by Hiram's interaction with Maud.

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Post by Theresam » 06 Dec 2018, 17:25

jgraney8 wrote: ↑
08 Oct 2018, 14:33
My impression is that Maud is the truth teller that forces Hiram to come to terms with himself. He needs to see himself from another vantage point, and she provides it.
I agree with you - this is how I viewed maud too. She didn’t accept his excuses and made him really take a look at himself and the choices he made. She gives him another point of view. I don’t think she was his subconcious. She was a strong character that helped him when he needed

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Post by Ekta Kumari » 08 Dec 2018, 09:41

I thought Maud had a profound understanding of Hiram's psyche, and that was the thing which attracted Hiram to trust her and reveal his secrets.
"Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare."

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Post by Shalu1707 » 10 Dec 2018, 12:23

No, I don't think it was his subconscious, on the contrary I think it was his worst nightmare to have to listen to no one but a women who does not agree with him and tell on his face where he is wrong and where he should improve.

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Post by Hiruni Bhagya 81 » 27 Mar 2019, 23:58

If he had such a subconscious he'd never have done half the things he did. So, it had to be a woman. I think he has a grudging respect for her.

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Post by KDJ » 07 Apr 2019, 17:52

That is an interesting way to think about her. :eusa-think: :eusa-think: If Maud was Hirems subconscious, what would that make Selena? If Maud was, she was great at it. I feel that meeting her is what really started him on the self-searching journey. She definitely made a significant change in Hirem.
He that loves reading has everything within his reach. —William Godwin

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