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Jessica
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Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Early Chapters (no spoilers): Alice and Polly

[ Edited ]

We learn on the first page of the novel that Alice's classmate, Polly Cain, has died. Alice pretends she is friends with Polly, and even lies about it. Why?
Also, What does Alice imagine Polly's mother to be like? How does that image differ from Alice's own mother?



Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This topic refers to events through Chapter 5. Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are referring to events
that occur after Chapter 5 please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!

Message Edited by basia on 06-04-200704:12 PM

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LeftBrainer
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Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: Early Chapters: Alice and Polly

Alice is lonely, with most to all of the kids ignoring her in school and her family situation. She imagines Polly’s mother to be a mother who would demonstrate some affection and be a mother.
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basia
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Re: Early Chapters: Alice and Polly

I think that at first, Alice pretends to Mr Delmar that she's friends with Polly on the spur of the moment, to get his sympathy, and thus to feel cared for by him. She's extremely lonely and feels very abandoned - by her mother, her sister, her father, the whole world. Pretending to be Polly's friend then allows her to shift her focus away from her family somewhat. It's easier to "miss" Polly - whom she doesn't really miss, rather than to miss her parents and sister. So this pretend relationship servers her on two ends: attention from Delmar, and a way to transfer her feelings of being abandoned onto someone else. What do you think?
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cindersue
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Re: Early Chapters: Alice and Polly



LeftBrainer wrote:
Alice is lonely, with most to all of the kids ignoring her in school and her family situation. She imagines Polly’s mother to be a mother who would demonstrate some affection and be a mother.




Alice wants to have a "normal" family life ... if there really ever is one. :smileywink: Her mother has always been in bed as far as she can remember. She fantasizes what it would be like to have a mom, to have a best friend. She has had to develop a tough skin to cope with her chores and especially her dad. He doesn't see her grow and develop in front of her. He thinks work and money, and never of her needs. Alice can only imagine ...
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters: Alice and Polly


cindersue wrote:


LeftBrainer wrote:
Alice is lonely, with most to all of the kids ignoring her in school and her family situation. She imagines Polly’s mother to be a mother who would demonstrate some affection and be a mother.




Alice wants to have a "normal" family life ... if there really ever is one. :smileywink: Her mother has always been in bed as far as she can remember. She fantasizes what it would be like to have a mom, to have a best friend. She has had to develop a tough skin to cope with her chores and especially her dad. He doesn't see her grow and develop in front of her. He thinks work and money, and never of her needs. Alice can only imagine ...


I agree with you guys. She is not having a "normal" childhood for a 12 year old, with friends and play and time with mom. She loves her parents but with both of them, she is for all intensive purposes, "invisible". You read right off that her sister has left too and she was the whole center of the family in Alice's eyes. Alice is like...whats left over and a ranch hand. By pretending to be best friends with Pollie, she finds a way to matter to several people she would not have without doing so. She comes to matter to someone a bit later (no spoiler here :smileywink:) that she wouldnt have otherwise. She imagines in Pollie's mother, the mother she wants to have, with all the caring and TOUCHING and taking care of her, that she has never known from her mother. I emphasis touching because as you read, you see how much Alice thinks about the touches of the grown women around her,sometimes just brushes, sometimes hugs, sometimes pretend hugs like from Pollie's mother. Also you see that her father does not touch her with hugs and she wants to hug him but backs off from the thought and just walks with him. She is a very lonely young girl, for friends, for family, for tenderness and also for what we all need, someone's touch. Pretending to be Pollie's best friend in some ways will fullfill those needs (fulfill them in real or imaginary ways) and it will bring people into her life that will talk to her, be her friend. This one imaginary friendship becomes profound on all real relationships she is trying to build and later, to whether she thinks she has the right to what she percieves as being Pollie's.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters: Alice and Polly

Yes, Alice wants a real mom. One that sits endlessly and listens to her children. She dreams of what others feel that have a mother. ANd she wanted attention so badly from her mom and maybe the right kind of attention from her father. Andmaybe for a while she could really maybe believe that this story was real, that she hadn't lied about it at all. Maybe just alittle embellishment.
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