1. In Siena, on her way to the ball at Palazzo Pubblico, Gabi likened her experience to being on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the goal being "to see and be seen." If you were a peasant, watching from the crowd, what would you be thinking as this procession passed by?
I would imagine that it really would be like seeing celebrities walk down the red carpet for the peasants in Siena. There was such a huge gap in wealth between the nobility and peasants at this time that I imagine the peasants would look upon the people in this procession, wearing the utmost highest quality clothing they could never dream of affording, in awe. Just like people idolize celebrities now.
2. Though quite nervous about dancing at the ball, Gabi discovers a strange feeling of connection to the time, the people, and the society through the unified beauty of the dance. Have you ever been in a position where you felt out of your element, but, in one, pinpointed moment, became a part of or connected to something bigger than your fear?
I often feel out of my element in many social situations because I am very shy but given time, I can will myself to open up a bit and enjoy myself.
3. The kiss. Oh, the kiss. When Marcello finally kisses Gabi, he believes the experience to be proof that they are meant to be together. What did you think about his assumption? Were you surprised at Gabi's reaction to it? Have you ever experienced a kiss that seemed to be prophetic in a similar (or opposite!) way?
I was taken aback by Marcello’s assumption that he and Gabi were meant to be together, based on a kiss alone, because they’ve only known each other for a week! This is modern-day-me thinking this and I think Gabi’s reaction is also a modern day teenage girl’s reaction. I think it was more normal in Marcello’s time to choose a beloved more quickly and with less deliberation.
No prophetic kisses for me. I have experienced something similar but it was through meaningful discussion instead of physical contact.
4. Many go through their teen years with a subdued sense of immortality. Do you think Gabi has a sense of this teen feeling? And did you think Gabi's converse observation, "Sometimes death came hunting and there was no way to cut it off at the pass." was informed more by the experience of losing her father, her self-admitted closet hypochondria, or the forced maturation of being transported to a different time? How does this observation show Gabi's growth as a character?
Wow, what an intelligent and well thought out question… I only wish I could provide a worthy answer. I will try.
I do believe Gabi has a sense of immortality about her. She springs into action and jumps into danger without much thought. That is not to say that her actions are completely indications of “this teen feeling”; I also think she is very brave and her actions are reflective of that.
I would think Gabi’s observation has largely to do with her experience of losing her father. It has been something she has been dealing with for a year and she is coming to terms with in Waterfall. Her acceptance of this means a loss of innocence in Gabi’s character; she is growing up.
5. In the span of a few moments, Gabi goes from sword-wielding teen beauty to man-killing warrior. Did you think her realization of the finality of death -- and her justification for its necessity -- was realistic? And, in her slippers, could you have done the same?
I couldn’t imagine ever having to kill anyone, even in a war situation, slippers or no slippers. Being responsible for ending someone’s life, someone who loved and was loved by others, is not an experience I would ever want to have. Then again, I’ve never been in Gabi’s situation, killing to protect Marcello and Luca and terrified for her sister’s life at the hands of a mad man. So mayhap that reaction is a realistic one.