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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) More Musings on Peace
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 00:48:40 -0500

mantis quoted and wrote:

>Stone Ox wrote:
>>So after a brief interval where he lives with the devil, Weer goes to
>>college, graduates, comes back to work for the devil, and eventually
>>from the devil.  This can't be good for his soul.  I was reminded of the
>>story of the banshee in Peace.  Briefly summarized, Jack and Molly are in
>>love, but Molly's father can't stand the thought of his daughter marrying
>>penniless laborer, so he insists that Jack stay in the barn haunted by the
>>banshee for a night.  Jack eventually defeats the banshee and marries
>>but because of the banshee, Molly's father dies and Jack is never able to
>>consummate his marriage.  I think this story hints at "what went wrong" in
>>Weer's life.
>>After college, the natural time for Weer to consider marrying Margaret
>>Weer's parents had probably already lost all their money.  (At least, all
>>it they hadn't spent on their years touring Europe and on Olivia's
>>Is there any doubt that they lost their money in the Depression?).
>>Margaret's father, Carl, is a pennypincher, and easily might have insisted
>>that Weer get a good job before he marry Margaret.  So Weer goes to work
>>the factory, kills someone in the coldhouse prank, loses his chance for
>>Margaret, and becomes a virtual slave to uncle Julius.
>That is interesting!
>Just to be sure I comprehend, a timeline would look like this:
>1934 (Weer at 20) Weer buys car as college junior
>1935 (Weer at 21) Weer graduates from college; picnic with Margaret ("age
>of the bicycle") => engagement with qualifications (we've discussed this
>angle before, iirc)
>1938 (Weer at 24) Coldhouse prank.
>1939 (Weer at 25) the Chinese Garden dream.
>Okay, the only problems are "age of the bicycle," which could be fixed by
>moving the picnic two years back to 1933; and the date of Olivia's death,
>which I haven't placed here (because you did not mention where it goes),
>since it complicates matters between Smart and Weer, including Weer's

I agree that the "age of the bicycle" and the picnic are linked, but that
happened when Weer and Margaret were in high school (107), not after
college. In Weer's "what went wrong" speech (201), his plans for their
future included that he _would_ inherit, between the ages of twenty and
thirty, his father's estate; his twentieth birthday was still in the future
of those plans. Those plans did not include working for Smart; at that point
he thought he had no need and ,anyway, Smart's plant did not then exist.
Weer should have been in high school from 1928-1932. His father had not yet
suffered the loss of his farm-based wealth to the Depression, so that picnic
probably occurred during Weer's 1st or 2nd year of high school, when he was
14 or 15, which also fits in with the bicycles and virginity angle. Weer was
definitely still living at home with his parents the day of the picnic;
that's when he had the dream of Margaret, the dog boy, and his father (146).

He told the Tilly tale to Margaret on that picnic, which may have turned her
against him (as you have suggested before). Or she may just have lost
interest when the Weers lost their fortune.



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