1. I think that Alexandra's sense of responsibility and Carl's love of freedom make a perfect balance. While Carl would give up many things for freedom, Alexandra's responsible streak would keep them grounded. Carl's intelligence works with Alexandra's courage to help them get though the harder parts of their relationship.
2. After reading this book, I don't think it is really Ivar that was feared or hated, but his beliefs and the fact that he was different. Ivar represented the old ways of doing things, and that was the way that the others were trying to get away from. Deep inside, the others might have also been envious of his nonchalant attitude towards what others thought of him.
3. From the beginning of the story it was clear that Oscar and Lou were jealous of Alexandra. She was the one that the father favored until his death, and she was the one their father left the responsibility of the land on.
Alexandra and Emil were close and had respect for each other, and shared the sadness that the other brothers caused with their hardheaded ways. As they grew older, this rift between Oscar and Lou and Alexandra and Emil grew farther and farther. When Alexandra developed feelings for Carl, Oscar and Lou were furious, while Emil showed support, even though he didn't believe it right. Their hatred and jealousy grows until the end of the book, when they are no longer speaking to eachother.
4. Marie is a woman full of joy and hope. Alexandra is full of courage and intelligence. Marie is caught in an unhappy marriage with a once-charming man, who has turned more jealous and unstable by the year. Marie can't help thinking about the sweet neighbor boy she grew up with, and turns to him...