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


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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