Consider the Lilies – Chapter 8 Notes

Mrs Scott remembers quarrelling with lain about her “spying” on Elizabeth and his suggesting that he might emigrate.

Questioning of her sister

What is Mrs Scott’s attitude to what she has done?
She thought she was in the right – thought she was doing the right thing by her son.

What is lain’s attitude to what she has done?
He was annoyed by what she had done. Thought she was spying on him.

Biblical stories

Absalom: he was the much-loved son of King David but he rebelled against him. He was defeated in battle and ran away. As he fled he was caught in a tree by his beautiful long hair; he was captured and put to death. In spite of his rebellion David mourned deeply for the loss of his beloved son

The Prodigal Son: he asked his father for his inheritance because he was impatient to spend it. His father gave him half his property and he spent it all. He returned in poverty to his father who forgave him and gave a great feast in honour of his return. The other son was angry because he had stayed at home and had been given nothing. The father, however, said he rejoiced because the son that was lost to him had returned.

Why does Mrs Scott remember these two stories at this time?
* They are both about losing a child, but both have an element of hope for their return.

The Ten Commandments

Honour thy father and thy mother

What does Mrs Scott feel she had done all her life?
Respected her mother and father – looked after other people. She had followed the word of the Bible.
What is different about her son?
* He’s not so strict – wants an easier life. He doesn’t honour his mother. Does not keep to the Bible.

Emigrating

In what way does the son, lain, resemble his father?
* He runs away from his responsibilities, and anything difficult.

To what extent do you think Mrs Scott is responsible for the actions of both her husband and her son?
* She didn’t make life comfortable for them. Forced her beliefs on them.

To what extent is her own mother to blame for: Mrs Scott’s attitudes?
* Her mother was very religious. She asked Mrs Scott to read from the Bible to her.
* The experience of caring for her mother has made her humourless, and made life a difficult chore for her.Psychologically damaging – a fixation with death and “flash-backs” to when her mother tried to drown herself.

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