Im new here, but I want to say, as a former police officer that MANY MANY cases of rape are NEVER reported for a variety of reasons...shame, guilt, fear, etc. This story was very emotional, scary, and real to me. As a man, I will never know what it feels like to be a woman and a victim of this horrendous crime, but as a person who has studied it with real victims, I can say that the author in the story acted every bit as real as if she had reported it to the police. To say that her actions weren't believable is to say that the women who are raped and dont report the crime are not victims, IMHO.
The story didn't feel flat at all. It's very emotional, gut-wrenching. Upon its conclusion, I felt as if my heart had been wrenched out. I don't think I know anyone that wouldn't be affected by everything Tess endured.
I loved Big Driver most because it's so different from Sai King's "typical" work. It really says a lot about how great he actually is.
Btw, I like what Connie Reader said about each traumatic experience differing from the next. Thank you!
I don't understand the theory and it reminds me of those who have been to war, those who did their time say, in the Nam. I've often heard people who have been in battle express the idea that no one can understand, and perhaps rightfully so, but at the same time, there seems present a kind of elitism--no, by golly, we're not going to enlighten you untouched by battle, as even by talking about the experience, we belittle it. Pass the bottle. There seems present the mind-boggling idea that the experience is somehow treasured, kept sacred on the shelf, there it is, look at it, appreciate it from a distance but don't you dare speak of it, for you are not worthy
I don't see flat. Could make a joke about her being under three hundred pounds of country meat, flat, yeah, you betcha. This guy walks up to her with this awe-shucks, fingertips in pockets, and he's big. All she can do is plead please don't kill me. Too, with his reply, (this is all make-believe so these emotions are okay, I think) I chuckled because the story at that point reminded me of Desperation--the cop, reading them their rights? All so matter-of-fact. Gosh sakes.
When she swam back into consciousness, three times, the third inside the pipe, or being pushed inside, she thought she was dead. Actually, she's not there yet, but that's where he's headed. And I love that next line, Wherefore art thou, Tom? Almost like this thread, hey? Subtitled: seeking navigational aids on what one should feel. My title, sorry. I'm trying to understand this. We all have our obsessions.
And then she starts coming out with those voices, navigational aids, and who is creating the voices? She is, isn't she? Flat? Hardly.
First time I read through this thread, I thought I read an underlying feeling, not posted, that yes, there was something off about Tess's reaction. I don't recall who, and reading it again now, I don't see what I thought I'd seen earlier. I dunno. Seems like she chooses the best option available to her at any given time--play dead.
But don't you think there's a kind of danger in presuming or suggesting that there is a "given" way one reacts or is "supposed to act" given a situation? I mean, how many of us has found themselves in some time and place thinking bad ideas for lack of a way to get out of that rut? And what happens? You pretty much start spinning your wheels? Right? Throwing mud, sinking deeper. It's not like you're overwhelmed with this idea: this too will pass. At the time, it's all you can do to keep some kind of normalcy to your life.
And then, say, years later, you reach a point, and yeah, things have passed, but at that moment you figured you were so unique, your situation so original, and damn if that old ugly cross you had to bear didn't hold a place of esteem...pass the bottle...and don't she look fine? Or maybe that's something else entirely. Another angle on the same thing.
I did like how the idea of the pipe comes into play, later, in that other story. Pipe/pigeonhole.
Too, maybe it has to do w/how Tess reacted--this coming back to that idea that there is a "normal" way to react, the idea being that if one hadn't reacted in this fashion, than any other reaction is invalid, which isn't the case, that isn't the case at all. So maybe that's why her reaction felt flat for the member who started this thread.
It's an interesting thing to think about: the ability of a writer to project him or herself into situations that are out of his or her range of experience. I am a man. I cannot give birth. Can I write about that convincingly? Maybe, maybe not. A woman cannot masturbate as men do it, because she lacks the equipment. Can she write about it? Maybe, maybe not.
I think King is like all writers in that he must imagine experiences that he hasn't had. Sometimes those experiences are "within" his possible range of experiences -- King, for example, could sexually assault a woman as Big Driver does. He possesses that capability. Sometimes, he will choose to write about things that are outside of his range of potential experiences. He could not, for example, menstruate, but wrote about it quite a bit in the DT series. When, for example, King wrote about Andy being raped in Shawshank, that is a very different thing than what happens to Tess. The power-politics of the act and the circumstances are totally unlike each other.
Then when we readers get the story, we must make some decisions. We first decide whether King as a man has the "right" to write about what happened to Tess. Can he write about rape from a female point of view (or ANYTHING from a female point of view)? Can he write about the "black experience", or is any white writer's attempt inherently racist or limited? Then, if we accept that he does have that "right" (I, for one, believe he can write about anything he pleases), then he must convince us that his writing portrays A truth. Not THE truth, but A truth of the experience. Remember Misery, when Sheldon talks about the "Can you / Did He?" game? We ask ourselves "Did he?"
It seems that for the original poster (sadly, who didn't stick around to discuss), SK didn't. Fair enough. I tend to read it that he did. Fair enough.
Big Driver reminded me a lot of the movie The Brave One with Jody Foster, both focus on a victims revenge after a horribly tramatic attack. I enjoyed the story a lot, I love to see the big baddies get what's coming to them!
I wouldn't be surprised if un-reported rape exceeds reported rape.Not only was she raped, assaulted and violated but now feels embarrassed and possibly be humiliated during the court process.But in the non-fiction world she should have reported it rather than commit murder....
The way Tess deal with the situation is probably different then what most people would do. That does not make it impossible or unbelievable. It's a thriller, its not meant to be representative of the average population. If she had gone to the police, it would not have been a very interesting story...
After reading 1922, I seem to see mental illness everywhere and my feeling is that Tess is a bit crazy. The way she makes everything "talk" would just be cute or funny in a normal setting, but here it's a bit creepy. I only read it once, so I'll have to read it more to get a more solid opinion.
I agree with those of you who tell that the story is very emotional. When reading it I felt so many different emotions, I tried to imagine what could be another way of dealing with such an awful thing as rape, what would a woman feel... And I think the story has a very good way of showing all these feelings - guilt, shame, fear, emptiness inside... That must be real scary, and in fact, I was scared when reading the story... It is terrifying that such things happen in our life, and that most cases are not revealed to the police...