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kmliska
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

In this chapter it seems that Hannah gets a taste of the life that she wants during her honeymoon but as soon as they arrive home she finds out it is not what she expected. Hannah wants adventure so bad that I think if Grace had not been with her she would have stayed and had her portrait drawn. She wants to take risks and try exciting things instead of just being a wife.
As for Grace's new position I think she is bound to be very happy with it because she always wants to be close to Hannah and being a lady's maid will allow her to be. She will lose some of her freedom though because she will need to be there when ever Hannah needs her.
I do not like Deborah very much. I see her causing trouble later in the story. It seems to me that she has too much control. She was able to squash Hannah's idea of working very quickly even though she herself works.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



kmliska wrote:
In this chapter it seems that Hannah gets a taste of the life that she wants during her honeymoon but as soon as they arrive home she finds out it is not what she expected. Hannah wants adventure so bad that I think if Grace had not been with her she would have stayed and had her portrait drawn. She wants to take risks and try exciting things instead of just being a wife.
As for Grace's new position I think she is bound to be very happy with it because she always wants to be close to Hannah and being a lady's maid will allow her to be. She will lose some of her freedom though because she will need to be there when ever Hannah needs her.
I do not like Deborah very much. I see her causing trouble later in the story. It seems to me that she has too much control. She was able to squash Hannah's idea of working very quickly even though she herself works.



It's hard to say since we see things from Grace's p.o.v. and not Hannah's, but I got the sense that what Hannah enjoyed the most about her honeymoon was the day she spent on her own (well, with Grace) when Teddy was in bed with a migraine! Which certainly doesn't bode well for her married life. The following day, when he had recovered and was able to accompany her, Hannah ended up shopping when I think she really wanted to be back getting that sketch drawn.

Deborah is a really intriguing character, in that she represents everything that Hannah yearns for -- a career, independence, control -- but she is painted in such an unsavory way. Is this simply because she's a villain, or do you think the character of Deborah has some greater significance as a symbol of the down-side modern womanhood?

Karen
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KathyS
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

Painting Deborah as the villain, wasn't hard to do. First I wanted to find some redeeming qualities about her. She was certainly scheming and conniving, but I think the bottom line to her behavior was a true allegiance she wanted to hold to, with her family; at whatever cost, she had to have it. She was also self-serving - what she couldn't have, she made sure no one else had. She rang of bitternes.

With all of this said, without the foil of Deborah, we wouldn't have seen the sides that actually take place in real life situations. She was just too close to my comfort zone, though! Personally, I wanted to drop kick her into Never-Never-Land!

Kathy S.
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KathyS
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

Karen wrote: 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?
_________________

I wondered about this part.... I didn't see any connection with the nude sketch, and the Picasso, although there could have been an unconscious desire.
What I felt, and asked myself: As I put myself into Hannah's thoughts - what was it she saw in this sketch that ignited something so passionate. I was waiting to hear from her, but nothing came about. In the end, there appeared to be a simple yearning inside of her, to go, and do, something that was total foreign to her. She still longed for that adventure. I wanted it for her, but, again, she was thwarted by situations and circumstance.

Kathy S.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies


KathyS wrote:
Karen wrote: 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?
_________________

I wondered about this part.... I didn't see any connection with the nude sketch, and the Picasso, although there could have been an unconscious desire.
What I felt, and asked myself: As I put myself into Hannah's thoughts - what was it she saw in this sketch that ignited something so passionate. I was waiting to hear from her, but nothing came about. In the end, there appeared to be a simple yearning inside of her, to go, and do, something that was total foreign to her. She still longed for that adventure. I wanted it for her, but, again, she was thwarted by situations and circumstance.

Kathy S.



Adventure, definitely. And how about a desire for the exotic and the forbidden? The "indecent," to use the word that she and Robbie mention in reference to the Picasso.

It strikes me that what Hannah wants most is anything that is off-limits, and to escape the mundane. And maybe once she had a job she wouldn't have wanted it anymore? Any thoughts?
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KxBurns
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies


KathyS wrote:
Painting Deborah as the villain, wasn't hard to do. First I wanted to find some redeeming qualities about her. She was certainly scheming and conniving, but I think the bottom line to her behavior was a true allegiance she wanted to hold to, with her family; at whatever cost, she had to have it. She was also self-serving - what she couldn't have, she made sure no one else had. She rang of bitternes.

With all of this said, without the foil of Deborah, we wouldn't have seen the sides that actually take place in real life situations. She was just too close to my comfort zone, though! Personally, I wanted to drop kick her into Never-Never-Land!

Kathy S.



I agree - Deborah is deliciously unlikable. She's the character we love to hate :smileyhappy:

Let's talk more about her motivation. While it's true that in the case of Robbie, she wants to make sure Hannah does not get what she herself wanted, in many ways I think she also wants to make sure that no one has what she does have -- a career, independence, uniqueness. She goes to a lot of effort to be at the forefront of what is modern and sophisticated. The way her poses in particular were described -- sort of slouchy with her shoulders almost hunched forward -- sounded ultramodern to me. Is she an example of women protecting their own accomplishments to remain in the vanguard, at the expense of their peers?...
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KathyS
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Deborah

[ Edited ]
Karen wrote: I agree - Deborah is deliciously unlikable. She's the character we love to hate :smileyhappy:

Let's talk more about her motivation. While it's true that in the case of Robbie, she wants to make sure Hannah does not get what she herself wanted, in many ways I think she also wants to make sure that no one has what she does have -- a career, independence, uniqueness. She goes to a lot of effort to be at the forefront of what is modern and sophisticated. The way her poses in particular were described -- sort of slouchy with her shoulders almost hunched forward -- sounded ultramodern to me. Is she an example of women protecting their own accomplishments to remain in the vanguard, at the expense of their peers?...
______________

Karen, this is an incredibly interesting topic.

Deborah was a contradiction. Her motivation was to have, and not share. Selfish - protective of herself; and the list goes on.

What's interesting, which I was looking for [and found], was her lack of wanting to help Hannah; to help Hannah attain anything that would take, or give, her the chance to come out of the place that was subordinate to Deborah. Anyone on that equal level with hers, would be a threat to her.

I had wondered why she was not married. I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that she couldn't find, or have a man in her life...but what it did have to do with, was, having to share her life, her station, or fame..or whatever she deemed hers, with someone else.

As an example: If she had gotten Robbie, I don't think she would have kept him for long. The competition seemed to be the greater issue with her. The 'challenge' masking insecurity....she was the sandpaper to her own rough wood...once she sanded it to smoothness [her desires]she moved on to another....

With all of this said, she couldn't leave the security of her perfectly created [sanded] little world...there was insecurity to the max...fear in her life, written all over her.

I hope this makes sense.
K.

Message Edited by KathyS on 01-23-2008 06:22 PM
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KathyS
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I hope it's all right if I interject these URLs here. I was trying to find the picture that is referred to, on page 94. I'm not sure if it's a real painting of Picasso's that Kate is describing. I found an interesting summery of Picasso's life during his blue period, which is when I think this figure was painted...I guess I could ask the author?

http://www.artchive.com/artchive/P/picasso/picasso_blue_text1.html

http://www.abcgallery.com/P/picasso/picasso.html

I see what you were referring to, the "indecent" reference to the Picasso. I didn't see that this was one of Picasso's nudes, which he was famous for. So I didn't make the connection. If Hannah didn't find Picasso "indecent", then I don't think she would have viewed the black nude with any views pertaining to indecency. But it could have sparked the "unknown" for her, and at an early age. As I said, an "unconscious desire" while viewing the nude.

Because Kate had not given the name of the 'sketch', other than to say, His gaze rested, finally, on a painting. Blue canvas etched in black to depict the crouching figure of a woman, her back turned to the artist., I let the thought go.

Risking a spoiler, here
I also don't know...not sure...if Hannah would ever have been satisfied. Escaping the "mundane"...as you've said, comes to different people, at different times, for whatever reason. Finding the right moments. She could have found escape, later on....but would that have really satisfied her? We'll never know, now, will we? :smileyhappy:

Kathy S.
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CanTri
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



KxBurns wrote:

- 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.




I wrote in the margin that it was what Hannah was becoming, brittle and dull...lifeless.
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katknit
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



CanTri wrote:


KxBurns wrote:

- 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.




I wrote in the margin that it was what Hannah was becoming, brittle and dull...lifeless.




Not to mention depressed.....
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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KxBurns
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Re: Deborah

[ Edited ]

KathyS wrote:
Deborah was a contradiction. Her motivation was to have, and not share. Selfish - protective of herself; and the list goes on.

What's interesting, which I was looking for [and found], was her lack of wanting to help Hannah; to help Hannah attain anything that would take, or give, her the chance to come out of the place that was subordinate to Deborah. Anyone on that equal level with hers, would be a threat to her.

I had wondered why she was not married. I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that she couldn't find, or have a man in her life...but what it did have to do with, was, having to share her life, her station, or fame..or whatever she deemed hers, with someone else.

As an example: If she had gotten Robbie, I don't think she would have kept him for long. The competition seemed to be the greater issue with her. The 'challenge' masking insecurity....she was the sandpaper to her own rough wood...once she sanded it to smoothness [her desires]she moved on to another....

With all of this said, she couldn't leave the security of her perfectly created [sanded] little world...there was insecurity to the max...fear in her life, written all over her.

I hope this makes sense.
K.

Message Edited by KathyS on 01-23-2008 06:22 PM



Never mind! Ignore my post here.

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-23-2008 11:54 PM
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jodell7
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I agree that Deborah is not a very likable character. It is obvious that she is not going to make life simple for Hannah.

It is apparent in this chapter that both Hannah and Grace are not in a happy place both physically and mentally.
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jodell7
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

I agree with you about the hat pin. I can't understand why Hannah is sort of intimidated by her. She didn't have that type of personality when she was younger. Maybe it is because she lost her father and with that went her will to do what she believes.
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m3girl
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies

Comments from the chapter.

1. More about secrets - and a hint at what occurs at her mother's funeral. Is this man Frederick - I bet it is.

2. Emmiline's visit for her birthday is interesting and tells alot about what is happening at Riverton - her clothing isn't quite as stylish as it could be and she jumps at the offer of a choice of dresses from Hannah's closet. These possessions - gifts from her husband's travels - seem to have minimal value to Hannah.

3. Watch out for Deborah - I want to shake Hannah and be sure she hears! What a bitch that Deborah is! Hannah does need to get out and get active with something - but teh Conservative Women's Club with her mother in law surely isn't it! I think Deborah considers herself to be so far superior to Hannah because of her family's success but also due to her own success in her profession.
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HannibalCat
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Re: PART THREE: Catching Butterflies



Iulievich wrote:

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."




I think you are right that it is more the circumstances of the Luxton's staff being so unprofessional and quarrelsome that makes Grace feel the way she does. She has come from a staff that was much more professional and did not try to hurt each other. Nor did the family try to hurt one another, and suddenly she is in a demeaning atmosphere. I think she has to set herself above it or succumb to the insidious atmosphere.
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