why do you think george so easily knows rick and jimmy, yet when tom asks his father to describe him, his son, george is at a loss for words?
Part of it is that they are just so different, they don’t spend time together. Tom has no interest in the bees, so is not out working with his father every day. George really has no interest in getting to know his son — he thinks he already knows him. George’s expectations have blinded him to Tom’s aspirations, and they are so opposite of what George wants them to be, that he is in denial.
do you think tao will find wei-wen in beijing? do you appreciate her decision to go, and in doing so taking all their savings with her?
I do think Tao will eventually find Wei-Wen, but I don’t know if it will be in Beijing. I also don’t know if she will actually find him, or just find out what has happened to him. I have mixed feelings about her search and depleting their savings. I think most mother’s would go to any length to save their children, and with all the secrecy involved it will be difficult. At the same time, I understand why Kuan is more hesitant, and still wants to save the money for another child.
It is more difficult to understand why he isn’t joining in the search. My thought is that he has either already given up and thinks Wei-wen is already dead, or that he is much more trusting of his government to take care of Wei-wen and return him healthy than Tao is.
george loses 4 hives to bears at lee’s blueberry farm. do you feel the risks of transporting hives for pollination is worth the risk for george?
I think as long as George feels the loss of 4 hives is relatively small and easily recovered from, it is worth the risk to him. I’m not sure how much money he makes on the pollination service, but it probably is a significant enough portion of his income that it is worth the risk. Factors other than financial ones may also make it worth the risk to him, including his friendship with and loyalty to Lee. He also may feel a little altruistic; the flowers need to be pollinated before blueberries can form, and this is his way of help ensuring the world has blueberries.
william worries edmund also suffers from ‘the melancholy’. but, he then sees edmund outside the tavern with alberta. how would you now describe or explain edmund’s state which has been previously attributed by thilda as edmund ‘needing rest’?
I suspected early on that Edmund was out at night up to no good. I thought he was either drinking or doing drugs. I definitely did not think he was holed up studying all the time. I do think this is a big blow to William, not only because his son is not who William thought he was, but also because seeing him with Alberta probably brought back memories of his humiliation when his father discovered him.
how did you feel reading the scene where tao finds the elderly, untended patients who are being left to die. why would this decision be made for these elderly patients?
I think this is a situation typical of many dystopian novels. The elderly are seen as no longer useful, and their ability to contribute to the society long past. They are seen as a drain on resources; kind of a triage situation. The society can no longer support everyone, so they concentrate on saving those who can return to usefulness.
rahm visits william and completely deflates him while informing william about dzierzon’s hives and work. why does william continue to value rahm’s opinion and crave his support?
I really don’t understand this about William at all! Rahm is not a nice person. While his information and evaluation about the hives was valid, he was vicious in the manner he chose to convey his thoughts. He seemed intent not upon helping William to revise his invention and succeed, but instead chose to destroy his confidence and his dreams. I’m not sure why William still had so much respect for Rahm’s opinion. I suppose he had low self-esteem.
george has suffered colony collapse and has lost 26 of his colonies - he tries to get a bank loan to rebuild, but is declined and asked to consider gareth green’s model. how do george and gareth differ in their methods and beliefs?
George seems much more ‘hands-on’ than Garth. George is content to have an avocation he loves that makes enough money to support himself and is happy with the lifestyle he leads. Garth is much more business-oriented, wanting to grow his business, and also wanting a more affluent lifestyle. He doesn’t seem to care about the bees as much except in relation to their ability to make him money. He gets no pleasure out of being ‘hands-on’, and therefore is willing to buy commercial hives because they are more cost-efficient than it would be to build his own.
what sort of impression are you developing through tao’s experiences in beijing?
Beijing is on the verge of total collapse, unable to support its people. The infrastructure is dying.
at this stage, is the story feeling hopeful? do each of the three main characters exhibit hope? how? why?
I am an optomist, so for me, the story is hopeful, because I believe things will end will. However, I’m not sure the characters are particularly hopeful at this point.
George has just lost his colonies and hives, and he has lost his dream of his son joining him in the family business. He has just been rejected for a bank loan. There is probably hope buried in him, once he has had time to process the rejection and come up with a plan B, but right now I think he has to feel pretty hopeless.
Tao has just lost her connection with her husband, after telling him she is lost and doesn’t know where she is. She is resolved to the fact that she won’t have a second child. She falls asleep, dreaming of a childhood friend. She may be on the very of a big realization, but I don’t think she’s there yet. She has not completely lost hope, but at this reason there is no reason to be hopeful.
William may be the exception. He has been devastated by his mentor’s rejection of his accomplishments. He has lost his vision of his son being a hard-working studious young man with great ambition. He had every reason to feel hopeless — until his daughter came along and showed him that SHE is hard-working and studious, and has an idea that fires his passion for studying the bees once again.