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KxBurns
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again


Everyman wrote:


KxBurns wrote:
My question is, what exactly are Hannah's possibilities?

To Grace, wouldn't they have been almost endless? She was a child of privilege and wealth. She didn't need to work for her living. A comfortable marriage, a home, travel, time in London, a huge library to engage in, siblings to play with, balls, dances, dinners, coming out, a life simply not conceivably possible for a 14 year old girl in a still heavily stratified society who was born of several generations of servants and, as far as she could have seen, had nothing to look forward to herself but a life of service for the rest of her days, or if blotted her copybook as her mother had, a live of poverty and toil.




Oh, absolutely. To Grace, Hannah has the world at her fingertips. But don't we know better? And doesn't Hannah?

I guess where I'm going with this is that maybe, on some level, Grace has more freedom simply because of her lack of social position. In many (most perhaps) ways she has fewer opportunities, but in some ways maybe she has more? Particularly with the changing times?

Then again, we need only review her visits home and her trip to the pedlar to see that she also has quite a lot to lose.

I'm finding that the juxtaposition of Grace and Hannah gives me so much food for thought!
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KxBurns
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

You make many excellent points, psujulie. I like your thoughts on the possible symbolization of the ribbon Hannah gives to Robbie. And I'm reminded of something from The Nursery chapter, because I actually just commented on it over in that thread, but those shiny satin hair ribbons are one of the things that Grace notices when she first sees the Hartford children. So I think, in a way, it could indeed symbolize the end of childish innocence...
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KathyS
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again



KxBurns wrote:

Everyman wrote:


KxBurns wrote:
My question is, what exactly are Hannah's possibilities?

To Grace, wouldn't they have been almost endless? She was a child of privilege and wealth. She didn't need to work for her living. A comfortable marriage, a home, travel, time in London, a huge library to engage in, siblings to play with, balls, dances, dinners, coming out, a life simply not conceivably possible for a 14 year old girl in a still heavily stratified society who was born of several generations of servants and, as far as she could have seen, had nothing to look forward to herself but a life of service for the rest of her days, or if blotted her copybook as her mother had, a live of poverty and toil.




Oh, absolutely. To Grace, Hannah has the world at her fingertips. But don't we know better? And doesn't Hannah?

I guess where I'm going with this is that maybe, on some level, Grace has more freedom simply because of her lack of social position. In many (most perhaps) ways she has fewer opportunities, but in some ways maybe she has more? Particularly with the changing times?

Then again, we need only review her visits home and her trip to the pedlar to see that she also has quite a lot to lose.

I'm finding that the juxtaposition of Grace and Hannah gives me so much food for thought!


It is interesting the differences we see, and the ones we don't see, which exist between these two girls/women, at this period in history.

Hannah was both under rule by her position within her family, and her internal argument that women have more rights than they think they do...she had both the time and money to allow her to look at these situations. Her personality definitely dictated to her.

Grace, on the other hand, had neither the time, nor the money [while growing up] to ponder these eco-social rules, and apply them to herself. She was living her live in service to others...she felt she had no options....Her personality was formed at this time, to stay subdued.

When she was 'found out' by Hannah, standing in the doorway to the secretarial school, she had no words to express the truth she may had/or had not felt. She hadn't gotten that far in her relationships, of any kind, to know the rules as to speaking these truths about herself. You knew she wanted to, but she couldn't....and the conspiracy she most wanted to perpetuate, was lead by Hannah, the more apparent leader of women's rights.

It was much more romantic to think in these terms, for Grace, then to admit she was standing there, just to find a place of secret hiding to view her very first book she had been able to purchase with her own money....which would probably have seemed so un-worth the effort it would take to tell Hannah these details about herself.

Kathy S.
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cocospals
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

Some things that struck me in this chapter:

1. When Nancy told Grace the story of Major and Jemima's boys and she is talking about how Adam screamed in agony and then suddenly their was silence and how Jemima looked almost as peaceful as him as she held her deceased child. Was it a mercy killing?

2. Found it so "normal" that Grace would reveal to Hannah her interest in Sherlock Holmes. The dialogue was almost like two girls, no difference in social status, chatting for the first time.

3. I think Alfred is a little "sweet" on Grace. Could this develop?
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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sgregg88
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again



COCOSPALS wrote:
Some things that struck me in this chapter:

1. When Nancy told Grace the story of Major and Jemima's boys and she is talking about how Adam screamed in agony and then suddenly their was silence and how Jemima looked almost as peaceful as him as she held her deceased child. Was it a mercy killing?

2. Found it so "normal" that Grace would reveal to Hannah her interest in Sherlock Holmes. The dialogue was almost like two girls, no difference in social status, chatting for the first time.

3. I think Alfred is a little "sweet" on Grace. Could this develop?




I think this was a mercy killing. Given the agony and grief after losing her first child, I think that Jemima could not let her second child (or herself) go through it again.

The dynamic between Hannah and Grace intrigues me - they see in each other things they think they don't have - but the same things. Both want things in their life that they feel their standing won't allow... not realizing they want the same general theme of things. They assume the other can have it based on their situations, yet they never really discuss it.
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suetu
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again



CathyB wrote:


EbonyAngel wrote:
I'm getting the feeling that there will be something going on between Alfred and Grace. They way he leaned close when saying bye.
I also wonder if Hannah giving Robbie her hair bow was something she felt she needed to do for politeness sake or if David DID tell her so or if the fact that he was going off to war sorta changed her feelings about him.
Things are definitely changing.




I believe that the ribbon was something she gave out of politeness.

The meaning behind the white ribbon? Could it represent her maturity and she
realized her childish behavior towards Robbie? I would say no - if it did, then
it would have been readily available to give and not a 'last ditch' result.

-CathyB




The symbolism of the ribbon aside, the reason it was a "last ditch" offering is that Hannah was searching and searching (in her bag) for something better or more meaningful she could offer Robbie. For this reason, I believe it was a heart-felt offering.
Susan
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suetu
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again


KxBurns wrote:

Do you think Alfred enlists to impress Grace? That's how it seemed to me. It doesn't seem like anyone has enlisted purely out of allegiance to their country....



I think Alfred enlists to impress Grace, but also to save face in general. While those who know him have no doubts as to his worthiness, there was a lot of social pressure for young men to enlist.

What I was thinking about as these young men went off to war, was how innocent the world was back then. How men were so proud to go off and fight. How they had no real appreciation for, or comprehension of, the horrors, and the toll that would be taken. For pride, for adventure, for fortune--whatever the reason, they were all raring to go. Alfred was the only one smart enough to hesitate.
Susan
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paula_02912
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

Karen, this chapter was a very informative one...not only did we learn that things are changing for both those living upstairs and those living downstairs, but we also get some incite into the character of Robbie Hunter...

I loved the use of the white feather as a symbol...I gather that it exemplified cowardice and when Grace told Mr. Hamilton that she saw someone give on to Alfred, time seemed to stop for a bit...It wasn't clear to me, why he would receive a white feather anyway...

I also thought that Grace giving Robbie, a white ribbon was symbolic as well...could it have meant she wanted him to go in peace, despite the fact that she didn't like him...

I loved the scene in the library...once again, she was in a place where she could learn much about some of the goings on of the children in the family...this time in the library, rather than in the nursery...As I was reading this, I felt like I was reading a play...in the margins I kept writing Act I scene I, action, cue music, fade out and cut...I think that Adult Grace felt the same way too because she interjects by commenting on how the sitting area "bore a theatrical spirit of anticipation..." She also wondered "What kind of play would actors perform...in such a setting?"

I feel that this chapter also gave some hints as to how Robbie may play a role in the lives of both girls...first he saves Emmeline when she cuts her wrist after falling off the ladder while trying to put the Nuremburg angel on the Christmas tree...(Is there some significance to the name of the angel?)...as a result, it seemed like she fell in love with him at that moment...Hannah got her back up when she saw him...mostly because he was taking both David and Emmeline away from her...forming their own group of three...she was upset because David didn't want to play The Game anymore...but I feel that another game was being played, except the players shifted to leave Hannah on the outside...

I thought that Robbie's appearance in this chapter was one of the most important climaxes of the story...you see a definite shift in character interactions and behavior...It is interesting that you noted he was the illegitimate child of a Lord and a servant...nice parallel to Grace's situation, if we still contend that Mr. Frederick is her father...

I kept thinking of both Rochester (Jane Eyre) and Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) as I read about him too...

I also wondered why Hannah is so attached to David?

It is also at this point in the novel where the rules of the game gets broken...David broke Rule #1 when he mentioned The Game in front of Robbie, thereby revealing the secret of The Game...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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paula_02912
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

The comment I wrote above, should have gone under Into the West...sorry about that...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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LucNesbitt
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again


sgregg88 wrote:


COCOSPALS wrote:
The dynamic between Hannah and Grace intrigues me - they see in each other things they think they don't have - but the same things. Both want things in their life that they feel their standing won't allow... not realizing they want the same general theme of things. They assume the other can have it based on their situations, yet they never really discuss it.




I really see Hannah and Grace as two sides of the same coin some how. I get the sense there's more to this relationship than what's been revealed so far. They have some subtle similarities, but also striking differences. Both are constrained by their station in life, yet the difference is that Hannah realizes it and Grace does not. I'm anxious to see how this develops, and what will happen if Hannah realizes Grace doesn't have the same secret she does. Watching these secret keeping play out will be interesting to say the least.
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paula_02912
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

sgregg88 wrote: "The dynamic between Hannah and Grace intrigues me - they see in each other things they think they don't have - but the same things. Both want things in their life that they feel their standing won't allow... not realizing they want the same general theme of things. They assume the other can have it based on their situations, yet they never really discuss it."


sgregg88, I think that the dynamic between Hannah and Grace is very intriguing as well...from the moment their eyes met in the Nursery, it seemed like they had a bond between...in the margins as I read, I wrote Hannah=Grace=Hannah...they were somewhat indistinguishable despite the separation between their classes/stations in life...they both want independence and the freedom to be...they both have secrets...Grace's buying books and smuggling them into the House at Riverton...Hannah's taking secretarial course (shorthand)in Lieu of music lessons...I think David might have known that she wasn't really taking music lessons...just a feeling...the way he said it in the library...it is was rather fortuitous that Grace happened to stand next to the door of the school where Hannah sneaks off to...Now Grace finds herself keeping yet another secret...does anyone notice that most of the secrets that Grace ends up keeping so far has to deal with Hannah? What does this mean...and finally, Hannah and Grace being the same age...

Two of the most important things that Grace "says" are: The first: "...Riverton, I was learning, had changed me." In what way was she changed? She was still a servant, but did she feel that she was equal to the other kids, especially Hannah? The second: "...I became determined...never to lose my place as Mother had done." I spliced two sentences here, but I thought these were very poignant sentences...

Another sentence that stood out to me was Hannah saying how she wanted to see the world changing...she says, "I want to know how it feels to be altered by life...I want to live." That, to me, is a very powerful phrase...does this mean she will do whatever she can to see the world changing and play a part in instigating that change? Who knows....it is interesting how she feels like she is not living...

I agree with everyone who feels that Alfred likes Grace...he just might have gone off to war so that she could feel proud of him in some way...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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paula_02912
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

LucNesbett wrote: "Both are constrained by their station in life, yet the difference is that Hannah realizes it and Grace does not."

Luc, I feel that Grace does realize that her life is constrained, but she chooses not to harp on it...she knows that she is limited in what she can do, just by the sheer fact that she is a servant...Hannah on the other hand, can make a change in her life, based on any decision she makes...she is strong-willed and fiercely independent...maybe because of her father's indulgence, but she knows what she wants and she will do what she can to get it...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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paula_02912
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

lilfisha wrote: "I don't know if the giving of the white ribbon was a symbol of giving her innocence..."

Lilfisha, I like this interpretation as well...I didn't think of that one...I was going with the idea that she hopes he finds peace...but giving her innocence would make it more intriguing...good call on that...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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paula_02912
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

Karen wrote: "I guess where I'm going with this is that maybe, on some level, Grace has more freedom simply because of her lack of social position. In many (most perhaps) ways she has fewer opportunities, but in some ways maybe she has more? Particularly with the changing times?"

I think that it is possible to think that Grace has more freedom for the same reasons you...she doesn't have to worry too much about how her actions will affect the family, despite what Mr. Hamilton says, but whatever Hannah does will affect them in a major way...the worst that could happen is that Grace would get fired, right? Not so with Hannah, she would have to answer to Lord and Lady Ashbury, even her father, Mr. Frederick...Grace can go to town and pick up a book, because as a servant she has the freedom to go anywhere...she doesn't need an escort, whereas women of means had to be accompanied to places just to keep up appearances...tell me if I am wrong here...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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seattle07
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

[ Edited ]
Hannah giving Robbie the white ribbon reminded me of medieval times when the princess would give her favorite knight a personal memento.
Until We Meet Again was the title of a World War II song. I felt bad for the soldiers and their family and friends, everyone believed that the war would be over by Christmas.

Message Edited by seattle07 on 01-07-2008 11:10 PM
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jforever52
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

The contrast between Hannah and Grace is what struck me the most in part one of the book. Hannah, who has every "traditional" opportunity available to her, seems discontent with her life as a young woman of wealth and is secretly exploring alternative avenues by attending secretarial school. Grace, on the other hand, seems content to remain in her life of servitude; she is in fact grateful for the opportunity working as a servant has provided to her and does not wish to achieve more. Grace almost seems unable to comprehend why Hannah is taking lessons at the secretarial school. Hannah assumes that Grace is doing the same and probably would not understand Grace's contentment.
The older Grace acknowledges the fact that in hindsight she longed for a better life. However, she also acknowledges that at the time she was content with her position because she had been indoctrinated with how lucky she was to have her position and into the system of servitude in place at the time.
The parallel lives of two girls of the same age living under the same roof and the astounding differences wealth and class made in this book is also interesting to contrast. Grace and Hannah roam the same halls and grounds but have limited interaction with one another. Grace seems obsessed with Hannah's life, but never gets closer than the outer most fringe. Hannah only notices Grace when she is in her immediate vicinity. I think Hannah romanticizes the working class and the perceived freedom she believes can occur by working for a living.
Both girls are socially restrained from exploring alternatives to the lives they live. Hannah is required to live as a girl of wealth and privilege and is denied schooling because she is a girl. Grace is unable to explore alternatives to her position because of her lack of money and education. Both girls have struggles but they are different. Hannah ultimately has the easier path, given the access she has to money, books, and people. Grace must simply work with what life gives her and hope for the best.
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Popper19
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again

I really saw a different side of Hannah in this chapter and am starting to reform my opinion of her (to the better).

When Grace and the other girls were seeing off Alfred, I was getting frusurated with Grace for being so engrossed in David and Robbie's departures. I felt bad for Alfred. Grace kept looking away at the others and seemed to wave goodbye to Alfred as an afterthought. While I know, Ms. Morton was showing us what happened with David and the others through Grace's eys, I wish there would have been more of a real goodbye to Alfred.

I don't think Alfred only joined to impress Grace, but I do feel that his humiliations in front of her (twice at least) were a big part of his joining.
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kiakar
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again



Popper19 wrote:
I really saw a different side of Hannah in this chapter and am starting to reform my opinion of her (to the better).

When Grace and the other girls were seeing off Alfred, I was getting frusurated with Grace for being so engrossed in David and Robbie's departures. I felt bad for Alfred. Grace kept looking away at the others and seemed to wave goodbye to Alfred as an afterthought. While I know, Ms. Morton was showing us what happened with David and the others through Grace's eys, I wish there would have been more of a real goodbye to Alfred.

I don't think Alfred only joined to impress Grace, but I do feel that his humiliations in front of her (twice at least) were a big part of his joining.





Yes, Alfred seemed to adore Grace then, but as Grace saids in the book, she did not have real feelings for Alfred until he left. And with his letters, she became really close to him. Alfred needed respect and admiration for what he accomplished in life. He wanted the servants, like his family to admire him for doing his duty. Grace was just a part of this.
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kiakar
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again



jforever52 wrote:
The contrast between Hannah and Grace is what struck me the most in part one of the book. Hannah, who has every "traditional" opportunity available to her, seems discontent with her life as a young woman of wealth and is secretly exploring alternative avenues by attending secretarial school. Grace, on the other hand, seems content to remain in her life of servitude; she is in fact grateful for the opportunity working as a servant has provided to her and does not wish to achieve more. Grace almost seems unable to comprehend why Hannah is taking lessons at the secretarial school. Hannah assumes that Grace is doing the same and probably would not understand Grace's contentment.
The older Grace acknowledges the fact that in hindsight she longed for a better life. However, she also acknowledges that at the time she was content with her position because she had been indoctrinated with how lucky she was to have her position and into the system of servitude in place at the time.
The parallel lives of two girls of the same age living under the same roof and the astounding differences wealth and class made in this book is also interesting to contrast. Grace and Hannah roam the same halls and grounds but have limited interaction with one another. Grace seems obsessed with Hannah's life, but never gets closer than the outer most fringe. Hannah only notices Grace when she is in her immediate vicinity. I think Hannah romanticizes the working class and the perceived freedom she believes can occur by working for a living.
Both girls are socially restrained from exploring alternatives to the lives they live. Hannah is required to live as a girl of wealth and privilege and is denied schooling because she is a girl. Grace is unable to explore alternatives to her position because of her lack of money and education. Both girls have struggles but they are different. Hannah ultimately has the easier path, given the access she has to money, books, and people. Grace must simply work with what life gives her and hope for the best.





Isn't it strange, how Hannah can look at her life, and think nothing of her wealth and good family ties, only the freedom she wants so very badly. The independence of choosing for herself which is probably the foundation of life itself. We can't be happy unless we have fulfilled our destiny. So I guess that means that very few women were truly happy in those times. Or they just accepted their fate and emmersed into lives with their husbands and children. Most people would say that Hannah had it all, but I think it takes alot more than wealth and knowledge to make you fulfilled in happiness. Your soul has to feel it also.
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bookhunter
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Re: PART ONE: Until We Meet Again



paula_02912 wrote:
lilfisha wrote: "I don't know if the giving of the white ribbon was a symbol of giving her innocence..."

Lilfisha, I like this interpretation as well...I didn't think of that one...I was going with the idea that she hopes he finds peace...but giving her innocence would make it more intriguing...good call on that...




I think to Hannah at the time, it really meant nothing. She had not intended to give Robbie anything, just David. David tells her she ought to be giving Robbie something, so she goes rummaging through her bag and can't find a thing to offer.

She has resented Robbie's presence in their lives this summer because it ruined their "three." She has done all she could to avoid him (p130).

BUT this chapter shows a loss of innocence in many ways. They no longer play their childhood game, the war is looming, even Hannah's body has changed from child to adult (p125-126).

While I don't think it meant anything to Hannah at the time, it does seem to represent the loss of innocence shown in many other ways in the chapter.

Ann, bookhunter
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