銭天堂 | Week 13 Discussion

Week 13 Discussion | Pages 131 - 143

Chapter 6: クッキングツリー

Start Date: 27th July
Last Week: Chapter 6 Part 1
Next Week: Epilogue

Zenitendou

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We’re reading to the end of Chapter 6 this week.

Part of the Beginner Book Club!


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5 Likes

I have to say, I found the resolution of this chapter strangely dissatisfying, even though it was the best outcome for the brothers. Somehow, a magic tree seems more believable than their mother having a complete change of personality…!

I did enjoy the epilogue, but will save thoughts on that until next week. :grinning:

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I have to agree. At first I didn’t even believe that it was the same person, I thought that basically someone else would take care of them now and that their mother was gone. I mean, good for them that she changed, but still it seemed kind of weak. And I don’t think there’s even a way for her to make this up to her children.

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I can’t say I disagree with you, but let’s say someone new had come along. They couldn’t necessarily make up for what the mother did, either. Only give them the best life from then on. Which, really, is all the mother can do, too. Only difference is instead of her being physically replaced, she seems to have been spiritually/mentally/emotionally (pick one, or several) replaced instead. Admittedly, it would have been funny to see the mother literally eaten by the tree somehow.

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Which made me think of this

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I didn’t really feel that their mother had a complete change of personality. It’s been a couple weeks since I finished, so I could be remembering wrong, but I had the impression that the tree (or the spirit in the tree) ate her soul and took over her body.

However, that wasn’t even my main issue with this chapter. I didn’t really like how it was resolved because it seemed to imply that poverty somehow disappears if you have a sunnier personality. The “new” mom tidied up the house and herself, and suddenly there was a bounty of food to cook. The only way I could reconcile this was to see the bountiful tree turning into body-snatched bountiful mom (I don’t know where else the bacon and other food would have come from), which I feel is a detrimental reduction of a serious issue.

I in no way support the mother’s neglect and abuse of her children, but I feel like there was a fundamental failure to recognize the roots of poverty and how it can affect people. I intensely dislike the common implication that poor people are only poor because of some personal flaw.

This was by far my least favorite chapter.

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I liked the story a lot, apparently unlike others. I feel like everyone is misunderstanding what happened, though. The mother was once a kind and caring mother, and then something happened that caused her to start drinking, smoking and gambling. That’s the root of all the problems–her neglect, her disappearances, their lack of food. She was drunk or hungover, so constantly angry at her kids. She’d spend all her money on booze, tobacco and gambling, so they were poor. And when disappeared for days at a time, she was out on benders.

I don’t think the kids understand that, exactly, being six and four. But it’s pretty clear for me from reading between the lines. When she suffered the divine retribution from the tree, it did something to her that undid whatever originally caused her to get tied up in her vices, and she became the person she was before that again.

Yeah, being a good person again doesn’t exactly “make up” for what she did before, but have a little compassion. Being a good person and good mother again is the most she could possibly do. And for her kids, getting their “real” mother back is all they ever wanted, which they got in the end.

Like I said, I liked the story a lot. I teared up a bit when she told them the tree was gone and asked for their forgiveness, and they just said “of course,” because they were so happy to have their mom back.

5 Likes

I…don’t really know how I feel about this chapter tbh :upside_down_face: I still don’t feel like I understand what actually happened to the mom.

Spoilery thoughts

I initially thought that the mom had been changed somehow (rather than completely eaten up by the tree), but what bothered me about that is, how exactly would it be a “curse” or a divine punishment to change someone in a way that makes them give up their vices and be nice to their kids again? No matter what actually got changed to make that happen, it seems like that would be an overall good for the person being changed, don’t you think? The only thing that makes sense to me as divine retribution is the tree eating her soul and taking over her body explanation, but I kind of don’t love that as a resolution either.

With that said, I wouldn’t say I disliked the chapter: I’m mostly just happy that the poor kids finally got something nice in their lives, because jeez, the picture the author painted of their situation before was quite grim. :confused: The resolution did bother me a bit, though. It felt too much like a neat and tidy fairytale ending, which…I mean, it is a book of fairytale-ish stories for kids, so I don’t know what I was expecting, really, LOL xD But it didn’t quite seem to fit with the very serious dose of reality the chapter starts out with in the beginning, imo. Maybe if there was clearer explanation of what actually happened to the mom as a result of the tree’s “curse,” I would feel better about it, but as it is, I’m not sure I love the way it dealt with some pretty serious/complex issues.

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Some of my personal thoughts about what happened to the mom for what it’s worth.

So looking through the story on p136, after the mother returns home and is still in her usual agitated mood, she then eats one of the fruit, becomes dizzy her eyes open wide for a moment, and then seems to become even more agitated. She puts the tree into her room. The narration says that it looks like her mind was empty. Then the next morning, she’s making breakfast and is completely changed.

Shouhei thinks his mother changed due to ばち and the narrator says her body was not eaten but it appears or seems like the tree only eats people’s minds. So I guess you could look at ばち in this case as only pertaining to the tree eating the mother’s mind and not to the happiness that occurred later.

But then what replaced her mind after it was eaten? The mother, as stated in the very first sentence in the chapter, hated kids but now she likes them. So it’s not like she’s returning to the way she was before because she hated kids before. It does say though that when she was in a good mood she would give the kids candy and hug them but any little thing would cause her to immediately explode.

Personally, I think something significant happened during the night after the mother put the tree in her room and I think that’s why the writer states that she did so. Something happened in her room and her mind got “replaced” with something wonderful. So her mind was empty going into her room and came out the next day full of love and care. Also the tree withered and broke into pieces because it finished doing its job.

Anyway, might be missing something here but that’s how I kinda see what happened to the mom.

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Argh, I’ve still only read half of this week’s pages and there are so many spoilers I want to read :cry:

If everybody could just stop getting married and taking up all my time with weddings that would be great. Jeez.

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Do you, @Radish8, take this Wanikani bookclub, to love, honour and cherish?

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But looking at where you’ve posted questions this past month or so, you’re the only one I know of who can read all of the chapters simultaneously. That’s quite a feat! :grinning:

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:triumph: :joy:

I still haven’t read the last half of chapter three D:

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Just read this chapter, and it was one of my favorites. I really liked the feel-good change with the mom, and how the kids accepted her and preferred her kindness to the tree. At first I didn’t think the person cooking breakfast was the mom, I thought it was going to be the Sumire girl who bought them the tree. This chapter was just fun and relaxing to read overall for me.

I just wish they would have added a cute happy family picture with the mom too…

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