The Forsyte Saga: An Introduction Part II

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The Forsyte Saga: An Introduction Part II

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Mar 3, 2009, 11:35 am

One of our members has suggested that a bit more introduction would be useful in the reading of TFS (The Forsyte Saga). So, herewith, a few thoughts that might be of help in posting to the three threads that have been set up for this book.

I have taken special care not to have any spoilers in this.

o There are many differences, however, can you identify any similarities between how the family is viewed in TFS and how it is viewed by:

§ Lampadusa in The Leopard
§ Tolstoy in War and Peace
§ Eliot in Middlemarch
§ Balzac in Pere Goriot
§ Wharton in House of Mirth

o The ancient Greeks saw beauty as very powerful. Our own 21st century also sees beauty as important. Does TFS place beauty in its proper priority ranking?

o Is there any character with whom you would like to share an afternoon picnic?

o Is this story just a soap opera? If so, is War and Peace just soap opera? If not, what raises any book above the level of soap opera?

o Is there a character with whom you would want to be stuck on a desert island?

o How comfortable would you feel living in Edwardian England?

o Is there anything that a 21st Century individual can learn from Edwardian England?

o How is nature viewed in the book?

Mar 3, 2009, 4:24 pm

Thanks dude, I appreciate your putting something together for me in answer to my request.

I'm a football fan and since I am in an off season hiatus my wife suggests I focus my mind on something constructive. So, your guidelines will help me with the general stuff I need to know.

I guess I can hardly wait for the football to start but at least I have American Idol to enjoy 'til then....

Mar 9, 2009, 3:38 pm

I finished part one of The Man of Property yesterday, and it seems to be a kind of soap opera, but I'll have to read more of TFS to conclude. Most soap operas on tv have got cliff-hangers, haven't they? But TFS describes families and intrigues (soap opera like, imo.), etc. etc, and so do War an Peace and Middlemarch (which are the only two of the five in message 1 I've read), but I'll not define W&P and Middlemarch as soap operas. I'm not sure why. Something called literarity (what makes great literature great literature)? I think I should read more of TFS before identifying "any similarities between how the families is viewed"

So far there is no character I want to be stuck with on a desert island!!

Mar 9, 2009, 6:54 pm

Well, I like Soames. I hope he sticks around as a character and doesn't get killed off.

My reasons for liking Soames at this point:

-seems honest
-isn't afraid to go after what he wants

I wouldn't want to be on a desert island with him, but his wife doesn't sound bad. Come to think of it I am not sure if she could tough it out on an island.

Mar 10, 2009, 12:33 pm

I've not started this yet, but as I recall from the PBS soap (purloined from the Brits) in the seventies (?) Soames was something of a prig, while the closest thing to a good guy was Young Jolyon. I guess I'll have to read it and see.

Nov 13, 2014, 7:43 am

I've read all the books where the families are to be compared but not recently. What is striking me most in this family of Forsytes is the need to keep secrets and how the secret keeping is so destructive and continues through the generations. I liked the Jolyon's the best. Old Jolyon, young Jolyon and even Jon though Jon a little less that the other two.