Biography The Cider House Rules Book


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Cider House Rules book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Raised from birth in the orphanage at St. Cloud's, Maine,. . The Cider House Rules () is a novel by American writer John Irving, a Bildungsroman, . Novels about abortion · American novels adapted into films · Novels set in Maine · William Morrow and Company books · Novels about orphans. For many, The Cider House Rules is Irving's book about abortion. The hot-button issue receives the most sustained argument in the book—though less as a.

The Cider House Rules Book

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The Cider House Rules and millions of other books are available for instant access. view The Cider House Rules Mass Market Paperback – January 9, The Cider House Rules: A Novel (Modern Library (Hardcover)) ( ): John Irving: Books. First published in , The Cider House Rules is John Irving's sixth novel. Set in rural Maine in the Sign me up to get more news about Literary Fiction books.

Wilbur came to this work reluctantly, but he is driven by having seen the horrors of back-alley operations. Homer, upon learning Wilbur's secret, considers it morally wrong. Cloud's for an abortion.


Homer leaves the orphanage, and returns with them to Ocean View Orchards Wally's family's orchard in Heart's Rock, near the Maine coast. Wally and Homer become best friends and Homer develops a secret love for Candy. Wally goes off to serve in the Second World War and his plane is shot down over Burma. He is presumed missing by the military, but Homer and Candy both believe he is dead and move on with their lives, which includes beginning a romantic relationship.

When Candy becomes pregnant, they go back to St. Cloud's Orphanage, where their son is born and named Angel. Subsequently, Wally is found in Burma and returns home, paralyzed from the waist down.

He is still able to have sexual intercourse but is sterile due to an infection caught in Burma. They lie to the family about Angel's parentage, claiming that Homer decided to adopt him.

Wally and Candy marry shortly afterward, but Candy and Homer maintain a secret affair that lasts some 15 years.

Many years later, teenaged Angel falls in love with Rose. Rose, the daughter of the head migrant worker at the apple orchard, becomes pregnant by her father, and Homer performs an abortion on her.

Homer decides to return to the orphanage after the death of Wilbur, to work as the new director.

The Cider House Rules

Though he maintains his distaste for abortions, he continues Dr. Larch's legacy of honoring the choice of his patients, and he dreams of the day when abortions are free, legal, and safe, so he'll no longer feel obliged to offer them. The name "The Cider House Rules" refers to the list of rules that the migrant workers are supposed to follow at the Ocean View Orchards.


However, none of them can read, and they are completely unaware of the rules - which have been posted for years. A subplot follows the character Melony, who grew up alongside Homer in the orphanage. She was Homer's first girlfriend in a relationship of circumstances. I do not even recommend. I give them what they want: an orphan or an abortion. I am a teaching professional, I serve my patients' will. Larch's self-justifications have force and reason, but, as we listen, we understand that the man's whole response to his work is not in his speech.

And before the story is done we understand that its mission is to show us what is absent by revealing the full moral and psychological reality experienced by an altruist as abortionist.

What is absent, speaking bluntly, is suffering and guilt - Larch's suffering and guilt. He began his career confidently but soon found himself fighting his abhorrence of his own surgical procedures.

The words he addresses, late in the book, to Wells speak to his own history: ''If abortion was legal, a woman would have a choice - and so would you. You could feel free not to do it because someone else would.

But the way it is, you're trapped. Women are trapped. Women are victims, and so are you. During his medical training he saw the fearful self-mutilation practiced by poor pregnant women. As orphanage director he observed firsthand the pathos of the lives and longings of children born unwanted and quickly abandoned. More than once in his career he dealt with class hypocrisy - the comfortable assumption that, for the Truly Nice, double standards are invariably appropriate.

All that would bring a sensitive physician to a guiltlessness while breaking laws against abortion was, seemingly, part of Larch's experience.

And yet he cannot feel guiltless, cannot endure his work, sees himself as trapped: here lies his victimization.

The procedures of dilation and curettage, the sight of ''the products of conception'' - limbs, organs, nascent features of expression - are, without anodyne, as unbearable to him as to Wells.

The assurance his crustiness projects edges ever toward hysteria; he is addicted to ether; his altruism has, as its reverse side, a near incapacity to express feeling for others.

Implicit in Larch's suffering is, I believe, Mr. Irving's strong, simple theme: our learned forbearance and cultivated sensitivity lie at the root both of acceptance of abortion and repugnance for it. The orphanage at St. Cloud's was founded long before the creation of aid-to-dependent-children programs, in a century during which moving crusades were launched to awaken public consciousness: obliviousness is cruelty, and forbearance creates obligations to the neighbors' children, not merely to one's own.

The Cider House Rules

Subtly, shrewdly, Mr. Irving evokes those crusades. The bedtime stories Larch reads aloud to the children in their dormitory are drawn from the novelists - Dickens and Charlotte Bronte - who taught their contemporaries to notice the waifs in their midst, to hesitate to scorn or cuff or starve or sell them into slavery as child miners or sweeps. Considered in this context, Larch's kindly orphanage can be understood as a stage in the history of compassion. The same is true for the emergence, later on, of the initially confident altruist-abortionist.

And it is also true for the development of that figure, still later, into a person conscious of his guilt, suffering and victimization.

What is felt in the grain of ''The Cider House Rules'' - in its study of rule-givers and rule-breakers - is that the history of compassion cannot have a stop and must perpetually demand larger generosities than those hitherto conceived.

By responding to that demand we may, tomorrow, invent ways to abolish nightmare choices between born and unborn. Something akin to this faith seems alive, finally, in Larch's successor, Homer Wells, at the close of the novel; in the process of deciding that he must perform abortions, he reaches a position on the ''issue'' more humane than any summoned by standard pro-life, pro-choice campaign cries.

Its young hero and several lesser characters lack presence and independent vitality.

Fuzzy Stone, will continue the tradition? In what ways do the settings of the orphanage and the orchards belie their effect on their residents?

What did you make of Homer bringing the apple trees to St. As you were reading, what did you expect Melony to do to Homer when she finally found him? Though Homer forgets about Melony for many years, do you think she had more of an impact on his future than Candy did? Why do you think this is? Do you think Larch substitutes ether for sex?

Violence against women forms a thread throughout the novel; Melony fights off apple pickers, Grace receives constant beatings from her husband, and Rose Rose suffers incest.A regular Irving reader comes to watch for the casually presented elements suddenly merging in a high point that drastically changes lives.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

Please take pity on the born! What a clusterfuck of odd details that chapter was. The heart knows no rules. Often the tone wavers; the graphic mode gives way to ghoulishness or bawdy. Viluna Jennings. I give them what they want: an orphan or an abortion.

And yes, I know I'm probably not using them correctly -- you don't have to point that out. The time frame extends from the first through the sixth decades of the 20th century we stop well short of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. This article possibly contains original research.