This is too much fun. You are going to learn so much from this novel.

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I posted this now so people in France would have the advantage.

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1. Her pregnancy!

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1. Her Pregnancy

2. Couldn't this be the recipes? Since she ends up using one to terminate her marriage.

3. The Diamond Ring

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I hate that I can't share a picture of this cat Fight Club shirt I found.


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I would think the pie fiasco has a very... pivotal quality to it.

At any rate, I'm not sure of the answers.

But! I do love kittens! 😸🐈‍⬛

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5. Is the purpose of hitting the husband with the pie the execution of the rebel and suicide of the passive? So Mark, who has been rebelling against his marriage and the expected way to behave when caught cheating is executed by public humiliation. At the same time, Rachel is destroying her asked-for Key Lime Pie by throwing it at Mark. And they both laugh about it! In their social circle, it's suicide. It also kills off her rage at Mark and resets them to their version of happiness. And of course, present-day Rachel is our thoughtful narrator looking back on it all thinking, Huh. So that really happened? That's sort of funny now.

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1. The pregnancy is the clock

2. The gun is Thelma Rice?

3. The ring is the thru-line object

4. Finkel is there to provide some kind of closure?

5. The pie to the face is her rebellious way of escaping from her husband.

6. The return to New York represents a return to what is known, having gone through something and coming out changed in some way.

7. ‘A Few Words About Breasts’.

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1) the pregnancy

2) the engagement ring

3) cooking/recipes

4) to trigger self revelation/character development by setting it in motion

5) reflects character development. Main character is no longer victim and assets herself.

6) to bookend the story/frame itt

7) a few words about breasts

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1. Clock - Rachel’s being 7 months pregnant; she will be going into labor soon

2. Gun - The officer Andy Nolan catching the robber and returning the ring. Or is it that Rachel had seen him in the subway and given the description of him to Nolan?

3. Thru-line object in the book - The wedding ring Mark gave Rachel

5. What’s the purpose of hitting the husband (page 175) in the face with a pie?² The affair was something out of Rachel’s control, and the pie was the “wild and permanent gesture of size” Richard suggested she could do about it if she ever accepted the fact that it was out of her control.

6. Why does the narrator return to New York at the end (think structurally!) ? She is returning home from her journey changed (growing as a character)

More answers soon...

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4. Why is the television producer Richard Finkel introduced so late in the book (page 135) and what’s his purpose?¹ - He is like the destination of Rachel's "road trip," cuing that it's time to go home (or to Act 3, end of story). Introduced so late because she had to go on a journey to get to this moment of truth, which could only happen late in the book or else there would be no book.

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7. What Nora Ephron essay served as the prototype for how this book was structured? - "A Few Words About Breasts".

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1. The clock is the pregnancy, counting down to the birth

2. The diamond ring is the gun, being stolen early on reappearing through the story and eventually she can use it to buy her freedom

3. The recurring thru line object is the diamond ring that shows up again and again

4. He’s introduced late in the book to serve as a second act sacrifice, as he seemingly loses his marbles

5. It’s the passive character (narrator) committing marital suicide by decisively ending things via pie, the rebel/cheating husband executed. The next paragraph is the narrator in the passive observer mode, calmly reflecting on the incident

6. Serial Monogamy: A memoir

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Okay, If I mess this up I'll order a 16" feel-better pizza and stare at the wall while I digest it.

1. What is the clock in Heartburn?

- Her Pregnancy

2. What is the gun in Heartburn?

- The ring. It’s a symbol of Mark’s affair becoming public and Nora leaving him asking for a divorce.

3. What is the thru-line object in the book?

- Holding up the decision to leave her husband. You know it’s the right thing to do, but you don’t because it’s hard with everything else going on.

4. Why is the television producer Richard Finkel introduced so late in the book (page 135) and what’s his purpose?

- Because by then we already despise Mark and feel sympathy for the main character. If introduced earlier, the two relationships – Mark and Thelma, Nora and Richard – could have been compared. Which would have missed the point of the book. By the time we reach page 135 it’s like the main character has a potential option. And we like it.

5. What’s the purpose of hitting the husband (page 175) in the face with a pie?

- Pivoting point. Escalation. Peak. Everything builds up to that moment. When she stops putting up with Mark’s behaviour and does something – symbolically, at first. – about it.

6. Why does the narrator return to New York at the end (think structurally!) ?

- Same reason why Scarlett returns to Tara. Nick Carraway returns to the Midwest. They go back to where it all started completely changed after their journey

7. What Nora Ephron essay served as the prototype for how this book was structured?

God, I went through "Wallflower at The Orgy" and other collections but I couldn't find anything. I'd say "The Diary of a Beach Wife" – May 1969.

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Now that I am staring at the ceiling at 4:23 am thinking about Heartburn, I feel like the recipes could also be the through-line object…

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1. Her pregnancy

2. The children’s song book/children’s songs.

3 the diamond ring

4. Richard’s purpose is to create a shift/turning point in the novel’s structure. He also provides a safe escape if she decides to take it. Not the marriage proposal as such but the leap of faith into the unknown.

5. Because he deserves it! But structurally because she has used food to demonstrate love and now she’s inverting that. She wooed him with her cooking and she’s using something she cooked to demonstrate she’s made the decision to leave. Also it’s funny, classic slapstick.

6. She returns to NYC because that is her home but also because she started the novel in NYC, though in her dad’s apartment, and the decision to move back there permanently signals both the end of the marriage and the novel.

7. No idea but I’m going to look up her collections Crazy Salad & Scribble Scribble.

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