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Robert Mulligan's Summer of '42 (1971)


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From a moral standpoint, I can say that she did wrong. It was her responsibility to at least find out if her friend was alive or not. But she was only concerned about her life.

 

We know Dorothy's feelings towards Herman through her letter after that night. Remember the letter she left for Herman before she left the island. Her feelings towards Herman was revealed through that letter. Do you remember these lines from the letter? - "What I will do is remember you. I pray that you will be spared all senseless tragedies. I wish you good things, Hermie. Only Good things. Always, Dorothy"

 

 

She is the same person who admitted she was worried about what she may have done to him and his psyche through her 1971 letter. In her 1942 letter, she claimed that she wished "only" good things for Herman.

 

 

There was no act of remembrance between 1942 and 1971. She didn't even make an effort in contacting him. What he faced after that night was sad incidents. one after another.

 

 

From the infos I have, I believe she knew where Herman lived (both nantucket and his home address), because he told her where he lived.

 

 

But let's just say what if Dorothy didn't know Herman's home address. I still think she did wrong. At Nantucket Island, Herman waited long enough with the hope that she will come back. But the result was sad news. He never heard from Dorothy and he ended up seeing new people buying her house.

 

 

Also let's just say that the real Dorothy wasn't suicidal like you pointed out.

 

 

When a person is heavily drunk, it is possible that he/she can put himself/herself in a very dangerous situation. This is because he/she isn't conscious of the environment. It doesn't matter if the person is suicidal or not. I have known people who "accidentally" ended up in extremely dangerous situations, because of their drunkenness. They weren't suicidal.

 

 

So what Herman did was he removed "all possible" chances of Dorothy getting into any danger during that night.

 

 

Now What if Dorothy was suicidal.

 

 

I will borrow a famous line for this statement.

 

 

If Dorothy was suicidal, then Dorothy could have found, at her convenience, heights, ropes, knives, ovens, even plastic bags.The world's full of alternatives. To make matters worse, there was a sea right outside her house. So Herman stayed with the woman he loved to make sure that she was safe and sound.

 

 

In both ways of thinking ("suicidal" and "not suicidal"), Herman saved Dorothy by removing all "possible" chances of Dorothy getting into any danger during that night.

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Well Dorothy probably had a lot of things on her mind since

she had just learned her husband had died. Perhaps Raucher

was not at the top of that list, and understandably so. She

did leave a letter in which she said she would remember him.

She did remember him-she just didn't try to get in touch with

him. She likely had her own reasons for doing so and I don't fault

her for that. She had, at the time, a much greater loss than Herman

did. This again goes to the fact that we are privy to only one

perspective to the story-his. As a public figure we know something

about Raucher, we know very little about Dorothy, not even her

exact age or where she came from. That should be taken into

account. Again, I find her actions, under very bad circumstances,

to be completely understandable.

 

 

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How do you know that she had, at the time, a much greater loss than Herman did? How much do you know about Herman's psychological conditions during that time? He himself states that night incident was a traumatic event for him. He completely lost the woman he loved. At the age of 14, He lost his virginity, his innocence, became psychologically disturbed, and was also depressed. On the top of that, he started facing other sad news.

 

As we both know, there was only major thing Herman had in his mind during that night - To prevent her from getting into any possibilities of danger by sacrificing his own innocence, virginity, and risking his own life.

 

 

Unlike Herman, Dorothy only pushed him into several possibilities of danger since she knew she may have damaged him psychologically. He could have ended up in one of the most severe psychological illnesses or even facing death. But Dorothy didn't bother to find out. So she was leaving him for the destruction. In terms of moral standpoints, I don't see anything good coming from Dorothy's actions.

 

 

I am sure Dorothy had lots of her "own" things for her later days. One of those things in her later days was "immediately" selling her house to new people. When she sold her house, she was removing the existence of her past life and her relationship with Hermie in that house. This is the same woman who said she will remember Hermie.

 

 

To me, It doesn't matter how old she is or where she comes from. Its her actions that count. Under that sad circumstances, I can understand why she had to leave Hermie. But it was her responsibility to come back and make sure that if her friend was doing alright. When she didn't, she pushed Herman into several possibilities of danger including destruction. She moved on with her life by throwing away the life of Herman who loved her and helped her to move on with her life by carrying her groceries and providing other help.

 

 

For Example, let me take a political figure so we both can visualize. This example is only for "generalizing." Not particularizing.

 

 

Does Hitler's age and background justify what he did to 6 million Jews and several other lives? To me, it doesn't matter who "really" Hitler was. Its his actions that count. Hitler had his own future plans. He did his own plans by destroying others.

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Of course we can't know the true feelings of either person, but in

general I'd say losing a spouse is more traumatic then losing your

virginity. I'm sure Raucher was depressed about the whole turn of

events, but I doubt it would have made him suicidal. In his 2002

interview, I believe he stated he wasn't really traumatized that night.

Lovesick at Dorothy's leaving so suddenly? Yes, but I don't believe

he was anywhere near suicidal. I think another thing to remember is

that back in the 1940s folks probably weren't as insistent on expressing

their feelings and dealing with psychological problems, so maybe Dorothy

wouldn't be comfortable talking about these things with Herman. She

might very well have thought that he'd get over it and there was not

much she could do. So I think she did about all that could be expected

under the unfortunate circumstances.

 

 

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Bilgewasser,

You wrote - "In his 2002 interview, I believe he stated he wasn't really traumatized that night."

 

I will only give one example. I can give other examples. But I am not going to.

 

 

Here is a small portion from the interview. "HR" is Herman Raucher.

 

 

 

*HR:* I recognized her handwriting ... but were talking about 1971, which was almost 30 years after the incident, and I get this letter - and I never knew her last name - and the postmark was Canton, Ohio, and she had remarried.

 

And, interestingly enough, she was worried about what she had done to me and my psyche.

 

 

*LHP:* Really?

 

 

*HR:* And no one has ever thought about that. Everybody thought, ‘Oh, that’s interesting. The kid grew up.’ But it was a traumatic event.

 

 

Now back to the subject. We know that the event was traumatic through this 2002 interview.

 

 

 

Since it was a traumatic event, I can say this gives room for possibility that he could have ended up in suicide.

 

 

Why do I have to keep correcting the misinformation you write? It doesn't matter if she wasn't interested in dealing with psychological problems or not, because the point is she herself admits that she was worried about what she may have done to him and his psyche. So it was her responsibility. But she didn't do anything about it

 

 

I believe what Dorothy did was wrong. You don't. Let's just end it like that, because these posts will never get anywhere.

 

 

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LHP: In this era when there’s so much concern about sexual relations

between adults and children, how do you look back on that now? Was

it damaging psychologically?

 

HR: No. Because - oddly enough - we had effected a strange relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

I guess there was no permanent damage. I wonder if she felt he had been

traumatized in 1942 or if it was only later on and thinking it over that she

felt that way? If she had really thought he was suicidal then and just left

that would be blameworthy, but I don't think that was the way it happened.

We'll never know the details, but that's my take on the situation. That's why

I don't think her actions were all that bad, but everybody will have their own

opinion on the matter.

 

 

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