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The LaPorte Caves - Revised

08 Dec 2019 20:31 #65823 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: Thanks Pepper!  In my head, I had pictureed her less as someone who is ingratiating and more as someone who is torn between what she is supposed to want and what she actually does want.  And I viewed the physical power she experiences as the facilitator for this tension — the body leading the mind to consinder a life she had previously viewed as objectionable.  To the degree that doesn’t come though, it’s the fault of the writer and not the reader!

I wasn't thinking of Julia as ingratiating, just as someone who's more a follower than a leader. On Earth, that was out of necessity; her attempts to establish her own life and identity hadn't gone very well. In this new world (whatever it's called) I think she's a follower out of force of habit.

Which doesn't bode well for Howard. If it becomes a question of who has more sway over Julia, Howard or Ruth, I don't like his chances. At that point it's more a question of whether Julia becomes her own woman or not.

At least for the moment. After chapter 8 I'll probably have a different idea.

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15 Dec 2019 21:57 - 15 Dec 2019 21:57 #65902 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Just posted 8b, which contains the first truly new material in the revised version of the story.
Last edit: 15 Dec 2019 21:57 by circes_cup.
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08 Feb 2020 15:49 #66715 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I just uploaded 9d, which the admins will post when they are ready.  

Future postings will probably be on a once-every-other week schedule.  Real life has been very busy.  Woking on the story requires a certain amount of calm and emotional space that is hard to find when the rest of life is so hectic!
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08 Feb 2020 15:58 #66716 by HikerAngel
Replied by HikerAngel on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: I just uploaded 9d, which the admins will post when they are ready.  

Future postings will probably be on a once-every-other week schedule.  Real life has been very busy.  Woking on the story requires a certain amount of calm and emotional space that is hard to find when the rest of life is so hectic!

We are just grateful to be able to read whenever you do have time to post. :)

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08 Feb 2020 16:05 - 08 Feb 2020 16:05 #66718 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

HikerAngel wrote:

circes_cup wrote: I just uploaded 9d, which the admins will post when they are ready.  

Future postings will probably be on a once-every-other week schedule.  Real life has been very busy.  Woking on the story requires a certain amount of calm and emotional space that is hard to find when the rest of life is so hectic!

We are just grateful to be able to read whenever you do have time to post. :)


I totally agree HikerAngel. The work from circes is well worth the wait.
Last edit: 08 Feb 2020 16:05 by Monty.
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08 Feb 2020 18:26 #66721 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Yeah.  Been looking forward to see hoe Julia gets out of this one and how Howard reacts.  Take your time circes, quality writing takes time.  Needs the attention to not make mistakes and to ensure a consistent story.

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08 Feb 2020 19:14 #66725 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: I just uploaded 9d, which the admins will post when they are ready.  

Future postings will probably be on a once-every-other week schedule.  Real life has been very busy.  Woking on the story requires a certain amount of calm and emotional space that is hard to find when the rest of life is so hectic!


It will be online tomorrow.

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09 Feb 2020 18:22 #66738 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Sometimes I go back and re read previous chapters, just to make sure I'm not being overly critical or harsh based on one chapter in the overarching plotline. After 9d, I did it again.

I still think it's very well written, despite a plot hole or two, and Julia WAS a much more sympathetic character this time around. But based off her actions in 9d, I really hope circes writes a turnaround for her. It's starting to become a little silly how unaware she is. I'm judging based on the context of the story Circes has written, and she shouldn't be this straight up naive. She's a college educated older woman, not some teenager in their senior year. The gaslighting, the lying, the disregard for literally anything Howard is saying in this chapter kind of goes against the more self aware Julia from previous ones. She doesn't even appear to feel the slightest guilt for anything anymore. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but it's more satisfying if they can both come to grips TOGETHER, which would mean Julia has to recognize Howard as an equal, even if she does have super abilities. I think it's still possible, but it depends on where the major plot goes from here.

I did have a theory about where Circes was going with the dreams, that the fruit was never meant to be distilled and used this way to dominate men, and that it has stagnated the progress of the Weald, so the over purification and use of the fruit is killing it. This would lead to interesting plot points, where consuming the fruit alone is OK, and the only way to sustain it, but it obviously doesn't elevate the women to such godlike levels. Instead, they're just abnormally strong, tall, busty women that don't get sick. Instead of being 1000 of times better, maybe they're only 2 or 3 times better. Then it becomes a level playing field, and Howard and Julia could actually be a partnership, and teach the Weald how to be co-dependent, not just leave everything to the god-women.

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09 Feb 2020 23:53 #66741 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Torque wrote: I still think it's very well written, despite a plot hole or two, and Julia WAS a much more sympathetic character this time around. But based off her actions in 9d, I really hope circes writes a turnaround for her. It's starting to become a little silly how unaware she is. I'm judging based on the context of the story Circes has written, and she shouldn't be this straight up naive. She's a college educated older woman, not some teenager in their senior year. The gaslighting, the lying, the disregard for literally anything Howard is saying in this chapter kind of goes against the more self aware Julia from previous ones. She doesn't even appear to feel the slightest guilt for anything anymore. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but it's more satisfying if they can both come to grips TOGETHER, which would mean Julia has to recognize Howard as an equal, even if she does have super abilities. I think it's still possible, but it depends on where the major plot goes from here.


I disagree on this point, as far as I can tell, Julia is exactly a teenager in senior year. Her body underwent a series of absurd changes, her biochemistry is a complete mess -- possibly made worst by the fact that she wasn't "prepared via pre-Nourishment" -- her hormones are, probably, playing pinball with her mind... which all sound very much like being a teenager to me. Still, I agree with the rest.

Torque wrote: I did have a theory about where Circes was going with the dreams, that the fruit was never meant to be distilled and used this way to dominate men, and that it has stagnated the progress of the Weald, so the over purification and use of the fruit is killing it. This would lead to interesting plot points, where consuming the fruit alone is OK, and the only way to sustain it, but it obviously doesn't elevate the women to such godlike levels. Instead, they're just abnormally strong, tall, busty women that don't get sick. Instead of being 1000 of times better, maybe they're only 2 or 3 times better. Then it becomes a level playing field, and Howard and Julia could actually be a partnership, and teach the Weald how to be co-dependent, not just leave everything to the god-women.


This is something I would love to see.

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10 Feb 2020 00:42 #66743 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Woodclaw wrote:

Torque wrote: I still think it's very well written, despite a plot hole or two, and Julia WAS a much more sympathetic character this time around. But based off her actions in 9d, I really hope circes writes a turnaround for her. It's starting to become a little silly how unaware she is. I'm judging based on the context of the story Circes has written, and she shouldn't be this straight up naive. She's a college educated older woman, not some teenager in their senior year. The gaslighting, the lying, the disregard for literally anything Howard is saying in this chapter kind of goes against the more self aware Julia from previous ones. She doesn't even appear to feel the slightest guilt for anything anymore. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but it's more satisfying if they can both come to grips TOGETHER, which would mean Julia has to recognize Howard as an equal, even if she does have super abilities. I think it's still possible, but it depends on where the major plot goes from here.


I disagree on this point, as far as I can tell, Julia is exactly a teenager in senior year. Her body underwent a series of absurd changes, her biochemistry is a complete mess -- possibly made worst by the fact that she wasn't "prepared via pre-Nourishment" -- her hormones are, probably, playing pinball with her mind... which all sound very much like being a teenager to me. Still, I agree with the rest.

Torque wrote: I did have a theory about where Circes was going with the dreams, that the fruit was never meant to be distilled and used this way to dominate men, and that it has stagnated the progress of the Weald, so the over purification and use of the fruit is killing it. This would lead to interesting plot points, where consuming the fruit alone is OK, and the only way to sustain it, but it obviously doesn't elevate the women to such godlike levels. Instead, they're just abnormally strong, tall, busty women that don't get sick. Instead of being 1000 of times better, maybe they're only 2 or 3 times better. Then it becomes a level playing field, and Howard and Julia could actually be a partnership, and teach the Weald how to be co-dependent, not just leave everything to the god-women.


This is something I would love to see.


I think it could open a lot of really interesting narratives while still having fun with the Amazon idea. There's a long way to get to that point though, and it all hinges on how Circes chooses to follow up on Howard and Julia's next actions.

You have a point about the extreme physiological changes she's gone through having an effect on her judgement. But even if that's the case, she's still being shown as having restraint, such as keeping Mindy from outright killing the biker dude, so it would appear she still can appreciate right from wrong. I want to see it actually exercised in Howard's favor, which ironically, would probably go a long way to winning him over, instead of the Weald's method, which is going to include some sort of mental and physical torture.

Having a super strong, sexy girlfriend is actually really appealing to most guys. It shouldn't take Julia's genius brain to realize that if she backed off, he's more likely to find it less threatening.

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10 Feb 2020 02:04 #66744 by BrokenIron
Replied by BrokenIron on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Well, I always firmly believe the stories belong to the authors, but I believe there are a bunch of possibilities here. Here are some of my rambling thoughts:

For instance, what if Mindy decided Howard - as the only Earth guy - was special?  She certainly had more fun in Kentucky than anyone since Daniel Boone!

Maybe Earth guy are just better in bed?

Maybe that would change things if Howard is constantly being ravished and starts to like it. Or manages to somehow flip the script on these superwomen. He has an incredible ego and he would not be the first man to dominate a more intelligent, more attractive, and even more physically fit woman through sheer force of will.

I saw this once with a guy in a wheelchair.  His GF was all of the above, but he was still the pure alpha dog in their relationship and he was almost as dependent as Howard in this story.

(This is a theme that almost never gets played up, but relationships are not as simple as the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful always in control.  That's normally the case in our stories here though.)

What if Julia had a real competitor or two or three or a dozen? Maybe Howard is just that GOOD?  And his crazy Alpha personality hits some deeply hidden nerve in this world where all men have been so totally cowed for generations.

Maybe he gets the greatest Athlete or the president or both as GFs. 

Wouldn't it turn the whole world upside down if Howard was so gifted that he made women submit to HIS will!

I can buy the story if at some point Julia realizes how unreasonable she has been.  Given everything the juice does it probably would impact judgement significantly. 

Just some thoughts. I will read anything published!

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10 Feb 2020 13:08 #66745 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

BrokenIron wrote: Well, I always firmly believe the stories belong to the authors, but I believe there are a bunch of possibilities here. Here are some of my rambling thoughts:

For instance, what if Mindy decided Howard - as the only Earth guy - was special?  She certainly had more fun in Kentucky than anyone since Daniel Boone!

Maybe Earth guy are just better in bed?

Maybe that would change things if Howard is constantly being ravished and starts to like it. Or manages to somehow flip the script on these superwomen. He has an incredible ego and he would not be the first man to dominate a more intelligent, more attractive, and even more physically fit woman through sheer force of will.

I saw this once with a guy in a wheelchair.  His GF was all of the above, but he was still the pure alpha dog in their relationship and he was almost as dependent as Howard in this story.

(This is a theme that almost never gets played up, but relationships are not as simple as the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful always in control.  That's normally the case in our stories here though.)

What if Julia had a real competitor or two or three or a dozen? Maybe Howard is just that GOOD?  And his crazy Alpha personality hits some deeply hidden nerve in this world where all men have been so totally cowed for generations.

Maybe he gets the greatest Athlete or the president or both as GFs. 

Wouldn't it turn the whole world upside down if Howard was so gifted that he made women submit to HIS will!

I can buy the story if at some point Julia realizes how unreasonable she has been.  Given everything the juice does it probably would impact judgement significantly. 

Just some thoughts. I will read anything published!

Some interesting ideas, but I'm not sure they'd work in this story.  If Howard did turn out to have some unique sexual desirability in the Weald, it would be a nightmare for him. I can't see the women there competing to win his favor. As bad as Julia is, she hasn't taken him against his will, yet. Any other woman would.

I'm curious why you say Howard has an incredible ego. He wants not to be branded like a bull, and for Julia to keep her promises. By the standards of the Weald, I suppose that does make him egotistical, but I happen to think he's right. At the moment in the story, he just needs to find a way to survive the next two days.

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10 Feb 2020 15:09 #66746 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

BrokenIron wrote: Well, I always firmly believe the stories belong to the authors, but I believe there are a bunch of possibilities here. Here are some of my rambling thoughts:

For instance, what if Mindy decided Howard - as the only Earth guy - was special?  She certainly had more fun in Kentucky than anyone since Daniel Boone!

Maybe Earth guy are just better in bed?

Maybe that would change things if Howard is constantly being ravished and starts to like it. Or manages to somehow flip the script on these superwomen. He has an incredible ego and he would not be the first man to dominate a more intelligent, more attractive, and even more physically fit woman through sheer force of will.

I saw this once with a guy in a wheelchair.  His GF was all of the above, but he was still the pure alpha dog in their relationship and he was almost as dependent as Howard in this story.

(This is a theme that almost never gets played up, but relationships are not as simple as the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful always in control.  That's normally the case in our stories here though.)

What if Julia had a real competitor or two or three or a dozen? Maybe Howard is just that GOOD?  And his crazy Alpha personality hits some deeply hidden nerve in this world where all men have been so totally cowed for generations.

Maybe he gets the greatest Athlete or the president or both as GFs. 

Wouldn't it turn the whole world upside down if Howard was so gifted that he made women submit to HIS will!

I can buy the story if at some point Julia realizes how unreasonable she has been.  Given everything the juice does it probably would impact judgement significantly. 

Just some thoughts. I will read anything published!


In the old version of the story, Howard was actually very sought after by Mindy and her friends, who found his spunk and constant attempts to keep up with them utterly adorable.

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10 Feb 2020 23:19 #66749 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I don't think suddenly giving Howard superpowers or be super influential would make sense here. And given where there are currently in their relationship, it would lead to more animosity. 

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11 Feb 2020 01:20 #66750 by BrokenIron
Replied by BrokenIron on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Torque wrote: I don't think suddenly giving Howard superpowers or be super influential would make sense here. And given where there are currently in their relationship, it would lead to more animosity. 


All stories are built on friction.  But right now Howard creates about as much friction as a soap bubble.  But I agree it would change the story. I'm not saying it is the right solution, but it would change the dynamics.

I would be outright opposed to Howard getting super powers, but super influence is something else.  Some of the smelliest and physically least attractive men on the planet still score at will - if they are rock stars - particularly rock stars with an ego.  

Thanks for the comment.

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11 Feb 2020 16:50 #66755 by RevTekkX
Replied by RevTekkX on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
circes_cup’s “Laporte Caves The Revision” is one of my all-time favorite pieces of SW fiction.

While the narrative is unfolding differently from the original the underlying structure seems to be the same. A man and a woman from Earth with the same, for the most part, social footing are thrust into a land identified as the Weald. It is not a stretch to identify the social structure of the Weald as DWO (Different World Order, if there is such a designation).

After a humiliation, in an early chapter, involving her partner being Borrowed, and probably a fair amount body insecurity relative to Earth women (a female spelunker early on), and HUGE amounts of insecurity when compared to Weald women, along with the overwhelming encouragement of a Weald late teens girl she has the hots for, Julia forgoes a promise to Howard and becomes one of the Nourished.

Julia is enthralled with the transformation. Howard hates it. They have lots of fruitless conversations about getting back to Earth. Julia, at best, is reluctant to return and give up all the Weald offers Nourished women. Howard is desperate to return. 

The DWO order fits Julia and her elevated abilities. She is perpetually being told, by both Weald sexes, ALL MEN, including (and maybe especially) Howard, are inferior to her in all respects. I notice that while there are mountains of evidence in the story of Julia’s overwhelming advantages in physical and mental abilities there is absolutely no proof of understanding from ANYONE in the Weald of Howard’s qualities he honed for 30 plus years on Earth, excepting Julia’s hollow statements. 

In the original in a later chapter it is explained that Nourishing does this:
‘Meanwhile, the fruit modified the emotional composition of the female brain, disassociating sex from love. This, in turn, enables women to cycle men in and out of their lives, supplementing deep and committed relationships with ones that are shorter and based solely on the physical pleasure of sex’ | ‘By contrast, a woman’s milk has the opposite effect on her man, enhancing his associations between sex and love.’

Howard did not receive powers beyond imaging that would put him on equal footing with Julia. He has the same gifts Julia LOVED on Earth. Now in some respects he’s an ant to her: “Going from normal Howard to best-he-can-be Howard seemed little different than an ant going from pushing one piece of dust across the floor to push two.”

From very early in the story, when they were entering the caves:
“To make it thrive you have to cut it down to nothing,” she huffed to herself. Those were the words her boyfriend had used when they first met. …” It is easy to see Julia willingly and with little to no regard for their Earth-borne lives together cutting Howard down to nothing then turning him into a mere supplicant for her own self-centered reasons.  

Also there seems to be the impossible task of speaking to each other without ANY preconceived notions of the other person’s situation. Their relationship situation seems unsalvageable.

Although emotionally I hope they will, it is my opinion they’ll never reconnect as anything close to the couple from the beginning of this story. Beside the gigantic differences in her superhuman physical and mental abilities compared to his normal abilities, their social positions have changed drastically. Relative to their Earthly Western social positions, in the Weald Julia is a transcendent member of society and Howard is a subordinate member.

There is likely a long way to go in this series. There were 24 chapters in the original that was incomplete. So far, numbering aside, 15 chapters are available for LPC Revised. Despite my belief that Julia & Howard, not just won’t, but CAN’T return to the happy life together they shared as equals on Earth, I hang on the release of every new chapter!
  
Thank you so much for your story circes_cup!
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13 Feb 2020 01:18 #66791 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I realized something reading up through chap 9d.  What one thing has Julia taken away from Howard, besides freedom?  What one thing was Howard always trying to do in earth?  Get Julia to love herself.  He might have been the center, but I'm very convinced he wanted better for her.  She took that away from Howard.  She needs to realize Howard loved her in spite of her imperfections.  But even more, Howard wanted her to love herself in spite of those imperfections.  Now she cannot.  She's perfect now.  I think this love is slightly narcissist, and definitely does not involve Howard.  But, if Howard can realize that one of his purposes in life was to improve Julia, then maybe he has something to work with.
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13 Feb 2020 18:25 #66794 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

mpac00 wrote: I realized something reading up through chap 9d.  What one thing has Julia taken away from Howard, besides freedom?  What one thing was Howard always trying to do in earth?  Get Julia to love herself.  He might have been the center, but I'm very convinced he wanted better for her.  She took that away from Howard.  She needs to realize Howard loved her in spite of her imperfections.  But even more, Howard wanted her to love herself in spite of those imperfections.  Now she cannot.  She's perfect now.  I think this love is slightly narcissist, and definitely does not involve Howard.  But, if Howard can realize that one of his purposes in life was to improve Julia, then maybe he has something to work with.


The relationship between Howard and Julia was always absolutely unbalanced. In a way they're both narcists, who look to their partner for some for of validation.
Back on Earth Howard felt validated by the idea of helping Julia, of being both her lover and her caretaker. I think it's fair to say that Howard loved Julia because of her limits, because giving her the helping hand made him felt validated and empowered.
Julia is a bit more complicated, on Earth she was, probably, a covert narcist, i.e. a person who craves admiration and importance, but also had enormous trouble creating an empathic bond. We know for sure that Julia loather herself and wanted to be more intelligent, more beautiful and more athletic. Becoming a Nourished provided Julia with everything she ever wanted, while flooding her brain with a hormonal storm that makes puberty looks like a walk in the park. In short, her narcissism turned from covert to overt, but this didn't help her empathy problem... if anything made them worse.
In general, the society of the Weald has a lot in common with the Tokugawa era Japan. In the Tokugawa era, Japanese society experienced a complete stop of any kind of social mobility. One's status was determined by his or her caste, without any way to improve oneself. At the bottom of this ladder, there were the hinin (literally, non-human), who were considered "human-shaped items" rather than people. Even the heimin (i.e. farmers, craftspeople and merchants) weren't considered fully human, but rather individuals that had just some human qualities. Only the upper classes were seen as fully-fledged humans. This situation is hardly unique, but the analogy struck me because here the non-samurai were considered almost a different species, just like many the Nourished seem to consider males in general.
Of course, a similar situation is custom-built to suppress any level of higher empathy. When someone gets told time and time again that might makes right and she's mightier than anyone else... it's hard not starting to actually believing it.

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13 Feb 2020 23:35 #66795 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Woodclaw, you said it quite well.  I agree that Howard has lost his control over Julia by being the primary caretaker.  Even states that in the story.  I also agree that was a strong driver for his attachment to her.
I really like your assessment of Julia.  I would not have thought about her being covertly narcissistic.
Fun. to quote her.
Still goes back that I don't see a recovery of their relationship without some forget drugs.

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14 Feb 2020 00:35 #66796 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I have to strongly disagree with your assessment woodclaw, at least in how you are considering Howard. Nothing has indicated any sort of extreme power imbalance between the two in the real world, let alone the kind of malicious gaslighting that such a relationship has. Just because Howard is a "fixer," as most males tend to be, that doesn't automatically prescribe narcissistic intent. From the limited backstory we have of their interactions, he doesn't try to put her in situations where he knows she will fail; asking her to partake in his own hobbies that push her boundaries is not the same thing. There is nothing limiting her from improving herself, should she so choose, and it had sounded like she already WAS improving, with Howard's support. I can guarantee that no one wants a partner that is dependent on them forever, unless they truly are sociopathic, and I don't think Howard is at all.

Your points about Julia seem more well founded though, and line up with many of my own thoughts about her. She's never been the strong one, in any sense of the word, so she's never known how to handle that responsibility in a mature way. This in contrast to the point I made about how Howard gently guided her to pushing her boundaries and get her on her feet. Julia isn't pushing Howard's boundaries in a healthy way; she's telling him to accept being less, while engaging in the "frivolous banality of suburban life," which is a perfect observation.

Howard has always been someone who enjoys pushing his limits; Julia is taking those limits away and telling him to be happy with just getting laid. Anyone who's ever been in a sex filled but loveless relationship can tell you how hollow that really is. It's only been a few days for them in the Weald, and I think Howard realizes that if they don't get out now, or if Julia doesn't change, he really is going to be stuck.
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