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The Baker's Daughter
"A sensitive, multilayered novel, this is a moving examination of the effect...
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Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

Created: 09/08/12

Replies: 6

Posted Sep. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 445

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Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? Do you sympathize with Josef’s struggle between duty to country and his individual feelings? Similarly, how does Riki justify his daily work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection?


Posted Sep. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 44

RE: Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

In one moment Josef defied all that he had been trained to believe. He took a life, which is never right, and suffered for that. Both Josef and Riki were part of a government and were ordered to do things in a certain way. Whether that government is right or wrong, most military and law enforcement officials are sworn to abide by their rules and to enforce them. It drove Josef to end his life and Riki to change his life. Very different men making very different choices.


Posted Sep. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
malindan

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 34

RE: Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

I actually felt for Josef. I found him to be a very human character. While he was clearly wrong to murder the young soldier it was no more wrong than doing what the Nazi government ordered everyday. Josef was a decent man who was trapped in a terrible situation. His choices were slim at best. I think this was probably true for many German soldiers and civilians alike. The members of Elsie's family all handle the war and the Nazi beliefs differently by the end of the war. I think the hardest thing for Josef was the loss of Elsie. It seemed as though she was the one thing he felt was good in his life or maybe more that she was the one thing that he felt he did right. There are many Josef's in every war.


Posted Sep. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 209

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RE: Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

I think that Josef wanted very much to be a good man and do the right thing. I also think that he always put his own safety and survival first though. He was pretty conflicted but also not able to stay true to his convictions when it came down to it. As far as Rikki, I think that as a young man in his job with Border Patrol he was accepting of the rules and willing to enforce them but as he matured he had a hard time with the flaws in the system and chose to remove himself from it. When he saw the real suffering of the illegals he was no longer able to be a part of that which makes him a good person in my eyes.


Posted Sep. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Ann S

Join Date: 11/13/11

Posts: 9

RE: Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

As each of the characters develop, they became conflicted with what was required of them in their governmental positions. Josef certainly took his responsibility to the extreme in murdering Peter; in the end he was unable to justify his actions. He carried the gravity of that one act through out his life. Riki's character and ethic developed as he carried out his responsibilities. While he did not personally murder someone, he felt responsible for the boy who was. He, however, was able to move on and make changes. Early in the book, he felt he was living as his parents had taught him, but gray kept infringing on black and white.


Posted Sep. 14, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

As I said before I felt for Josef and his position. Riki took the more positive approach after he learned of the boy's death and also seeing the positives in Sergio. He did not leave the department for a completely life but was going to take another approach. Hopefully he and Reba find happiness together.

Pegh


Pegh
Posted Sep. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 121

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RE: Does Josef’s personal suffering justify his public actions? How does Riki justify his daily work?

I felt for Josef as well. We always believe that put in the same situation we will act differently. But the truth is we are all human and react in the moment. I had a difficult job during a difficult time


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