'The Blind Assassin,' Part V: Iris, Alex, and Women's Issues

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We're midway through our 1book140 conversation about The Blind Assassin's Part V. As with Part III, readers continue to be fascinated by the character of Iris. Some feel sympathy for her:

Trousseau -trussed - trapped. I feel sorry for Iris. She always has to do the heavy lifting in this family. #1b140_5less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply



#1b140_5 much sympathy for Iris, her perceived inadequacy; loved description of W's hat "a round swirl of green...like a poisonous cake"less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply



@occasionallyzen Yes, poor Iris. Always feels like she has to do what is expected of her. But, why is Laura upset about the wedding?#1b140_5less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply



While others find her hard to like:

#1b140_5 I'm finding it really difficult to like Iris. She's such a victim. She's had it rough but is just so annoyingly passive in life.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply



#1b140_5 not sure about Iris. She offers no opposition to the life ppl have made for her. she's in between victorian & modern way of lifeless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply



#1b140_5 Iris is hard to like in the same way anybody would be if you were in their head all the time.less than a minute ago via TweetCaster for Android Favorite Retweet Reply



Duplicitous love interest Alex also inspired comments:

I totally get how a young rebel man like Alex could attract both girls, well they did great hiding him it was dangerous after all #1b140_5less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply



♺ @j_hoooper: Laura crops pic of sisters and Alex [so] each..is alone with him..Sharing? #1b140_5<Or claiming? Delightfully ambiguous.less than a minute ago via Gwibber-Fedora Favorite Retweet Reply



@dgcrow @QueenCoatlicue: #1b140_5 Love story isn't about Laura - it's Iris & Alex<Alex plays both <& knows sisters are bitterly competitiveless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply



As did the novel's gender dynamics:

@dgcrow #1b140_5 I'm engaging with the power struggles and feminist themes. Not many choices for the women in any of the 3 worlds.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply



RT #1b140_5 As someone planning her wedding, I got such a feeling a wrongness from Iris's forced marriage. So different to be a woman...less than a minute ago via twitterfeed Favorite Retweet Reply



Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #1b140_5, or post a response in the comments section. Happy reading!

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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