Once you understood Dorothy's reasons for committing that violent action at the end of chapter one, did you find any moral ambiguity in her behavior? Did she really have a choice?
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I disliked the young Dolly as the book moved on. At first I thought she treated her mistress well, but when her motive was to inherit her money I disliked her. I did not think she was good for Jimmy. I think she lacked moral integrity from the beginning. The Vivien-Dorothy did have moral ambiguity in that she just killed with no forethought. I didn't see how she could do that, especially after all the time that had passed.
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I understand that Dorothy was trying to protect herself and her family, but she still committed murder. There were other ways to handle the situation than immediately murdering someone. I don't think the morality was particularly ambiguous; it was murder.
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Yes, there was moral ambiguity but I'm not sure she had a choice. Not only was Henry a danger to her and perhaps her children, but he also would have revealed who she really was. The book was written in such a way to make you dislike Vivien until you saw her from another viewpoint. For example, the day Dorothy was returning the necklace. Dorothy described Vivien as snobbish, not acknowledging her, and then probably coming to tell her employer that she stole the necklace. Then we hear a totally different account of what happened from Vivien.
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I don't really define "Dorothy's" action (killing Frank, that is) as morally ambiguous, because it was instinctive; she lashed out with whatever was at hand while in a state of panic. It was evident that she was terrified of him and was particularly fearful of how he might hurt others who were nice to her. She was a momma bear defending her cub.
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