Coffeerooms BookMark 20 Questions

 

The House of Gentle Men

with
Kathy Hepinstall,
author of
The House of Gentle Men

questions provided by Carrie
page 2

Justin and Belinda's husband were both soldiers; however, they both are very different from each other. What makes one so gentle and the other so violent?

Richard and Justin are both soldiers who are humbled by the war and the events of the war. Perhaps the difference between the two is that Justin is humbled by an act he perpetrates, and Richard is humbled by not himself but "the other," the enemy. Thus Justin grows gentle as he learns to live with the enemy within himself; Richard remains a soldier railing against attack from a real or imagined enemy.


Why does the House of Gentle Men have such a booming business?

Deep down, women really want men to be this courtly. Trouble is, too much pleasantness can prove dull. The house of gentle men affords women the brief fantasy that they would be content with a man constantly at their beck and call.

Why do things change once Louise stops cleaning? What does the cleaning represent to her and the rest of the household?

Louise's cleaning represents the strict decorum the house labors under, with "sin" represented as dirt (and at the beginning, Justin's room is the tool room, the only "dirty" room in the house. When Louise has her affair with Justin, the cleanliness era comes to an end. And thus elsewhere in the house, human nature runs wild.

 

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