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Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



vivico1 wrote:

Tarri wrote:


Carmenere_lady wrote:


bookhunter wrote:


dhaupt wrote:
...I dislike Deb more and more and wanted to take that hat pin and stick her with it, what a weasel. ...




It would seem like Deborah would be someone Hannah could befriend. She is doing what Hannah has dreamed of doing--traveling and working. It is a shame that Deborah does not recognize that and "make nice." She should be encouraging Hannah to explore options instead of shooting them down.

Is it jealousy of her brother's wife? Is it a control thing? Only DEBORAH can be the cool career woman? Would Deborah REALLY settle down if she met the right man? Hmmmm.

Ann, bookhunter




Someone explain this to me please: Why is it when Hannah wants to have an intelligent conversation about politics, Teddy tells her it is her job to "look after the wives" "Because it's the rules. I didn't make them, but I have to stick to them." and Deborah seems to be able to have a job, travel etc, everything that Hannah wanted to do. Why are these two women so different, do you think it is because one grew up in the states where things were more liberal? Yet her father Mr. Luxton was very conservative. I just don't understand.




I think that because Deborah is single and raised in America, the rules are different. Also, in one of the earlier chapters (page 221) it states that her job is a little, unimportant job, which will keep her occupied until she marries. It's also obvious that Simion does not approve.

The Luxtons are, in my opinion, each one worse than the other. I have no doubt in my mind that when we get to know Teddy, we will find that he is not the person that he seems.


Yes and besides, what a man is willing to accept in his sister, is not always the same as what he expects in his wife. Its like when men are drawn to you for dressing sexy before you are married and after you are married, you better wear long loose fitting dresses, nothing to attract anyone AT ALL!




Ain't that the truth, Vivian. But, hey, Teddy's handsome doesn't that account for something?
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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Iulievich
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies


crazyasitsounds wrote:
I don't like the way Grace changed, either. She seems to feel like she's better than the rest of the servants, & it's not flattering. I guess maybe it's just because she's been at the low end of the hierarchy for so long that she relishes the small amount of respect she can get.




Grace certainly feels superior to the household servants in Hannah's new home. It is not, I think, a personal arrogance so much as being appalled by the comparison between this staff and the one at Riverton, which epitomizes a well-run Victorian/Edwardian household.

This staff is unprofessional, scheming, and possibly disloyal. The staff, in fact, reflects the Luxton family itself, a gang of brash upstart party-crashers trying to parley their war-profits into respectable places in politics and society. Before the war, the family of Lord Ashbury would not have given the Luxtons the time of day.

I can hardly imagine any member of the staff at Riverton who would not have found the bickering, quarreling, and self-aggrandizing ways of the Luxtons' staff simply appalling and beneath contempt.

But then, the war had stretched the old order beyond its capacity to maintain itself -- not the least through the slaughter of its heirs, but also from a kind of psychic fatique -- a form of "shell-shock" if you will delivered not to the individual combatants but to the entire ruling class.

Into this breach came the Luxtons and their like with their grasping ways, and their coarse behavior.

At least, that would be the explanation from the point of view of someone who had been raised with the old ways "in their blood."
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an action but a habit." -Aristotle
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EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

My thoughts.
I liked the paragraph on page 271. "I have been trying to fix upon the turning points in Hannah and Teddy's story......" Especially the lines. "In real life turning points are sneaky. They pass by unlabelled and unheeded. Opportunities are missed, castastrophes unwittingly celebrated. Turning points are uncovered later, by historians who seek to bring order to a lifetime of tangled moments." These lines describe the story of the book perfectly.
On page 280, Mrs. Tibbit calls Mrs. Estella Luxton the Mistress and says she hasn't been able to find any housemaids to stay. I wondered if they are sharing the house with Teddy's parents and Sister Deborah.
Grace was made to feel unwelcome by Mrs Tibbet and My Boyle. I think Grace was used to a more friendly and family type "staff", like at Riverton.
The re-reading by Hannah of "Jane Eyre" I think shows a romantic side of her.
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ezraSid
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I felt sorry for both Hannah and Grace in this chapter. I agree that life may not be what she imagined it would be for Hannah, and i fear that it will only get worse. I did like the part where Grace spoke up and told Hannah it was time to leave. It was like she was stepping up and asserting herself for once, not being part of the furnishings.

I do not care for the "family" at #17. It is a huge contrast to the one at Riverton. I do not like how isolated and alone Grace is either. At least Hannah has the rare opportunity to go out, but for Grace, it must be horrible. I do not like Deborah, I think perhaps she feels threatened by Hannah. Afterall, Deborah used to have all of Teddy's time and affections, and now she has to share him with Hannah. I really hoped that she would be more sympathetic to Hannah's wanting to work as she herself flaunts societal norms and works herself. Perhaps this is another area that she feels threatened by Hannah, that she wouldn't get the attention she does if her sister-in-law works too.
~Grace~
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JoyZ
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies


crazyasitsounds wrote:

Grace certainly feels superior to the household servants in Hannah's new home. It is not, I think, a personal arrogance so much as being appalled by the comparison between this staff and the one at Riverton, which epitomizes a well-run Victorian/Edwardian household.

This staff is unprofessional, scheming, and possibly disloyal. The staff, in fact, reflects the Luxton family itself, a gang of brash upstart party-crashers trying to parley their war-profits into respectable places in politics and society.




I do like your comparison of the two families, but I did not think Grace was being arrogant. I felt that after being in this strange environment, seeing their interactions with each other, she was scared and finally stood up for, not only Hannah, but herself. As for Teddy, I think the pressure the family put on him after his losing the election has caused a change in his marriage. They had planned their trip to Italy, which may have allowed Hannah some freedom, but all those plans were dashed. Now, not only is Teddy, but Hannah also, held to their way of life. Maybe they both have those dead, lifeless eyes now.
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AllieK
Posts: 55
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



KxBurns wrote:
We could spend this whole thread just talking about page 271! I won't type out the entire page but do take another look at this page and share your thoughts.

Grace's reflections at the spring fair include the following:
"It is a lot to ask of one man, to bear the strain of countless tragedies, bear witness to countless echoes of death" (p. 270). This remark once again draws our attention to the parallel between soldiers and servants, for Grace herself has been burdened with the strain of some tragedy.

As for the events from back in 1919, a few things I took note of:
- what flicker is reignited in Hannah when she views the nude sketch? Is there a connection between this and the viewing of the Picasso painting in the library with Robbie all those years ago?
- the image of Hannah, on the last day of her honeymoon, wearing the mink wrap with "brittle little paws and dull black eyes" (p. 277) reminds me of Grace's dream in the "Ghosts Stir" chapter.
- in this chapter, Grace officially goes from housemaid to lady's maid. What changes, if any, do you observe in her?
- Deborah's "wolfish smile" marks her as a predator, a suspicion that is confirmed when she thwarts Hannah's hopes for a job, once again.

Life among the Luxtons sounds very much like the version of her life that Hannah so dreaded – cut off from intellectual stimulation, excluded from political talk and exotic travel, and lonely...




I think Deborah's comments cut away at Hannah's last hope of finding something of her own that makes her feel a part of the outside world. Did the book mention 'exactly' what Deborah's relation is here...friend..relative...?? Did I miss that?

Grace's only changes I think were realizing she doesn't have the 'family' feel here at #17 like she did at Riverton. She really has no one to talk to of her own about her feelings about her life or what is going on around her. Makes me feel sad for her in a way.

Hannah and Robbie did connect in someway in that library that day. The art connection possibly just brought about the 'freedom' she felt to speak in his presence about 'anything' and not just 'girl' things. I am looking forward to see how this relationship develops.

Allie
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hpthatbme
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎02-17-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

Deb is Teddy's sister, I think it might be a very close relationship similar to the Hartford's.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies


hpthatbme wrote:
Deb is Teddy's sister, I think it might be a very close relationship similar to the Hartford's.


Like maybe David and Hannah do you mean? I think thats a good comparison. Altho the families may be very different, there are similarities and this is one come to think of it. Hannah is jealous of anyone who gets too close to David, just like Deborah is jealous about someone close to Teddy. Teddy seems to be protective of her just as David was of both his sisters.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



bookhunter wrote:

bentley wrote:
...For me it might have been a sexual reawakening for Hannah or feelings that she did not have for her husband at all. It could have been a reminder of the Picasso or of her brief encounter with Robbie (David's friends) or the forbidden mental adventures of The Game. Or maybe it was a reawakening of her spirit which had been dashed to bits when she made the ultimate sacrifice of her dreams and goals.




I do not really feel like she made the ultimate sacrifice in marrying Teddy. I think at first she saw him as a path TO her goals and dreams. He wanted to travel, be involved in politics, seemed "progressive" It was a sacrifice, for sure, because she marries instead of going to work, but I think she sincerely thinks it will be the best for her.

But I think the dark alley in Paris and scandalous offer is that different path (like psujulie says above) that she WANTS to take, DREAMS to take, PLOTS to take,...then is shot down by Teddy. Just the way the marraige is going to be. She has hopes it can take her places and awaken things in her, but it doesn't.

Ann, bookhunter




Marrying Teddy was not a first choice for Hannah. I agree that Hannah thought it might be different and there were the beginnings of some feelings for Teddy when he rescued her locket. But like the author said there was a chasm between Teddy's words and his actions which disappointed Hannah (after she married him).

She did sacrifice herself for the family believing I think that her actions would also save her father and keep Riverton (the house) alive and in the family (also financially afloat for her children and theirs for generations to come). I think she was a little arrogant thinking that her plan would work out for everyone including her father and that he would also be able to get the financing from or through the Luxtons to save the businesses (just because of this marital union).

Bentley
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I think Deb's just a snake, and I think it comes from being part of the nouveau riche and thinking they're just as good if not better than their lord and lady ship's. It's a shame she share's her name with me.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



hpthatbme wrote:
Deb is Teddy's sister, I think it might be a very close relationship similar to the Hartford's.




But unlike the Hartfords, the luxtons thought they were quite above everyone else in every way. Their blood was the purest, they didnt let anyone in to their little nest unless they were under their thumb, all the way under there.
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



EbonyAngel wrote:
My thoughts.
I liked the paragraph on page 271. "I have been trying to fix upon the turning points in Hannah and Teddy's story......" Especially the lines. "In real life turning points are sneaky. They pass by unlabelled and unheeded. Opportunities are missed, castastrophes unwittingly celebrated. Turning points are uncovered later, by historians who seek to bring order to a lifetime of tangled moments." These lines describe the story of the book perfectly.



I also loved those lines! What do you think are some of the turning points for Hannah and Teddy? Or for Grace and Hannah?
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cocospals
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

In this chapter I see Hannah's adventureous side coming out. She had been the proper wife for a while but now she wants more, she wants to explore. Had it not been for Grace accompanying her, I truly think Hannah would have gotten in over her head in the alley with the painting.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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cocospals
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

Oh I hit post a hair too soon. Let me add...I don't trust Deborah. I think she will back stab Hannah at some point.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
Inspired Correspondent
nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

For me, this chapter is about turning points. The war memorial immortalizes a turning point for the nation. People wanted to believe that the First World War was the war to end all wars, but of course it wasn't. It was merely a prelude to people trying to get back to the way things were. Of course, they couldn't. It was simply a prelude to the Second World War that really did change everything.

Teddy and Hannah are moving into marriage and clearly moving apart. Grace lists the potential turning points, but isn't sure which one made the difference. As with all things, it was probably a combination of factors. Hannah was young and wanted something different from the life she was handed. Teddy, of course, didn't realize this. He was immersed in his male world. You can just see everything coming apart in the midst of good intentions.

This chapter is clearly the turning point of the book. Before this everything was potential. Now Hannah, Teddy, Emmeline and even Grace are starting to actualize that potential and it will ultimately lead to the tragedy.

Nancy
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gosox
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎10-14-2007
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

[ Edited ]
Just a few things that I marked as I read this chapter:
(270) When Grace's mother dies and is buried, Grace notices a "figure, a man, stood on the hill, barely recognizable." Can we surmise that it is Frederick and that she did recognize him? If so, is he her father as we have discussed?

(272) I found the following comment odd, especially considering it was offset in parentheses: "(Teddy was a man who liked his brandy straight and his women pure.)" Does this somehow hark back to Lady Clementine's comments in an earlier chapter? (When she is speaking to Simion)

Teddy wants Hannah to settle down and feels she will in "good time." (272)

While Hannah considers Teddy an "adjunct. An accessory whose attendance made possible the adventure she was on." (273) Can we safely say that the honeymoon is over?

Message Edited by gosox on 01-15-2008 08:17 PM
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EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



KxBurns wrote:


EbonyAngel wrote:
My thoughts.
I liked the paragraph on page 271. "I have been trying to fix upon the turning points in Hannah and Teddy's story......" Especially the lines. "In real life turning points are sneaky. They pass by unlabelled and unheeded. Opportunities are missed, castastrophes unwittingly celebrated. Turning points are uncovered later, by historians who seek to bring order to a lifetime of tangled moments." These lines describe the story of the book perfectly.



I also loved those lines! What do you think are some of the turning points for Hannah and Teddy? Or for Grace and Hannah?




I think she learned that growing up does not mean always getting to do what you want, when you want it. She also learned that even though she came from money, new money thinks they're better.
Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I thought like Karen mentioned that the line on page 270, "No wonder he is crumbling. It is a lot to ask of one man, to bear the strain of countless tragedies, bear witness to countless echos of death." could be a description of Grace. She seems burdened down with the weight of her past.
Yvonne
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I loved the dessciption Ms. Morton gives of the past on page 271. "It is slippery, liquid; indefinite and unknowable like space." Her words just flow off the page for me.
Yvonne
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I think the horrible Deborah is the one who put the lid on Hannah and Teddy's marriage coffin. She isn't going away and she will control what Hannah does. She and Teddy's mother and father seem to be a team aimed at running everyone's lives.
Yvonne
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