Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rachel's Response to Chapters 1-12

I don't know about you all, but I'm really enjoying this book so far. It was a little slow those first few pages, but the more I read, the more I enjoyed it. It was hard to stop at the end of chapter 12.

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1. What was your initial reaction to the idea of a language lab with bonobos who are capable of having conversations with humans?

I have never heard of bonobos...anyone else? I was never against the idea of the lab since it sounded like they were treating the animals fairly. In fact, I think the animals were getting better treatment there than in most parts of the world.

2. Isabel said early in the book that the apes know they're apes and know that the humans are humans, but they don't see any superiority with either... What do you think the major difference is between the two?

Although th apes don't see a difference, I think the biggest difference would be that humans have control. I realize that the apes don't necessarily know this, but in the end, the humans are the ones who run the show. After all, it was the apes who were sold to another group of humans.

3. What are your thoughts on John and his feelings toward Isabel? How do you think their relationship will play out?

They bother me greatly. His wife is clearly depressed and although we've read about how much he loves her, I don't like that he's thinking about Isabel all the time. I think with the way Gruen has set things up, there will be a more serious relationship that develops between them.

4. How do you think Isabel will respond to the apes being taken?

With what we know about Isabel, she clearly loves those apes like family members. I have no doubt that she will search for them, high and low, until she finds them and either rescues them or gets herself killed or arrested.

5. Do you think Celia is part of the team that ambushed the learning center?

I can't quite decide. I want to say yes, but at the same time we just don't know enough about Celia. I think Gruen introduced her as someone who we were supposed to dislike, but that makes me wonder, is she actually good? I don't think I can make a decision yet.

6. What are your thoughts on John and his relationship with Amanda?

Amanda clearly needs some help. From what it sounds like, she is in a serious depression, and I don't think moving to LA is going to solve that. It sounds like they truly do love one another, but neither know hows to make the other happy anymore. It's not that they fight, but they both have their own issues and struggles and they can't overcome those to help their marriage. I'm curious to see what will happen to them.


  1. You make a good point about the humans still being in control. I wonder if the apes have the capacity to realize that...?

  2. I agree, good point about the humans being in control. As I mentioned in my post, the apes are naive, so they don't know any better.

    I also agree, Amanda does need help, and I so wish John would step up and help her. Part of me just thinks he is being a guy about it, but he probably also doesn't know how. But that still doesn't mean that he should just let her fall into a depression.

  3. I had never heard of bonobos before either! I didn't know if I was the only one so I didn't say anything. Glad to know I'm not! :)