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katknit
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July



Jodi wrote:
[edited by moderator] I think Keira is one rude girl. I thought the photograph part was interesting.

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-16-2008 06:14 PM




Yes, Keira is grating. I think she may be here to illustrate the erosion of manners and mores over the 20th century. The self-absorption and disinterest in history and the past.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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paula_02912
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

katknit worte: "Yes, Keira is grating. I think she may be here to illustrate the erosion of manners and mores over the 20th century. The self-absorption and disinterest in history and the past."

Katknit and others, I also disliked Keira's character...she was very rude and disrespectful and as I was reading her character I wrote in the margins that she had no manners and that she doesn't respect her elders...I felt that she should have been awed by Grace because she has lived so long and experienced many changes overtime...I felt that she should have been more willing to listen Grace instead of "interrogating" her about her role in Riverton...I also noticed how Morton contrasted the way that Sylvia treated Grace, a rare jewel who has so much yet to give and Keira Parker, an actress who seems to be well-known....I thought that Keira did not care how Grace really felt because she was just playing a role...it was just acting to her, but it's Grace's reality that she is trying to depict...I wondered if Morton was making a social commentary on today's youth, who show a lack of respect, don't remember their place, have a it's all about "ME" mentality, are tactless, immature and show a disregard for people's feelings...

Based on the reading, I surmised that Keira was born of privilege, therefore she had the mentality of someone who got what they wanted all the time...to me she was spoiled...
I feel that even at 17 Keira didn't show half the maturuty Grace did at 16 and she was just lacking character to me...I noted in the margins that maybe the actress chosen to play Grace should have been one of lower means...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

Author Unknown
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katknit
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Hi Paula,
You've captured Keira well! The only point on which I differ is your suggestion about hiring an actress of lower means. Having worked in an American HS for 20 years, I can say that even less affluent kids have similar attitudes, for the most part. I think it has a lot to do with the media and America's annoying obsession with celebrity. (I'm American myself.)
Enjoy your Sunday,
Linda
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


paula_02912 wrote:
katknit worte: "Yes, Keira is grating. I think she may be here to illustrate the erosion of manners and mores over the 20th century. The self-absorption and disinterest in history and the past."

Katknit and others, I also disliked Keira's character...she was very rude and disrespectful and as I was reading her character I wrote in the margins that she had no manners and that she doesn't respect her elders...I felt that she should have been awed by Grace because she has lived so long and experienced many changes overtime...I felt that she should have been more willing to listen Grace instead of "interrogating" her about her role in Riverton...I also noticed how Morton contrasted the way that Sylvia treated Grace, a rare jewel who has so much yet to give and Keira Parker, an actress who seems to be well-known....I thought that Keira did not care how Grace really felt because she was just playing a role...it was just acting to her, but it's Grace's reality that she is trying to depict...I wondered if Morton was making a social commentary on today's youth, who show a lack of respect, don't remember their place, have a it's all about "ME" mentality, are tactless, immature and show a disregard for people's feelings...

Based on the reading, I surmised that Keira was born of privilege, therefore she had the mentality of someone who got what they wanted all the time...to me she was spoiled...
I feel that even at 17 Keira didn't show half the maturuty Grace did at 16 and she was just lacking character to me...I noted in the margins that maybe the actress chosen to play Grace should have been one of lower means...



Not that I disagree with your characterizations of the charmless Keira, but I would like to suggest that maybe she serves to highlight the lack of subtlety, when it comes to approaching relationships as transactions, that was perhaps more refined in Grace's day but there nonetheless. What are your thoughts on this?
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katknit
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Not that I disagree with your characterizations of the charmless Keira, but I would like to suggest that maybe she serves to highlight the lack of subtlety, when it comes to approaching relationships as transactions, that was perhaps more refined in Grace's day but there nonetheless. What are your thoughts on this?



Yes, I agree with you. Keira is the new, graceless type juxtaposed with Grace and other women of her time.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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corym
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

At the beginning, Grace is talking about the movie and the young girl who is going to pretend to be her in the movie.

Keira may be playing Grace in the movie, but she really does not understand what Grace is about or what she has done in her past life. Even by talking to Grace, she still has a different idea of how Grace should be portrayed in the movie.

During this chapter, Grace starts thinking about her life in the past and how she is so different then the character that Keira wants to play.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

[ Edited ]

corym wrote:
At the beginning, Grace is talking about the movie and the young girl who is going to pretend to be her in the movie.

Keira may be playing Grace in the movie, but she really does not understand what Grace is about or what she has done in her past life. Even by talking to Grace, she still has a different idea of how Grace should be portrayed in the movie.

During this chapter, Grace starts thinking about her life in the past and how she is so different then the character that Keira wants to play.



True. But I think maybe we all bring preconceptions to our relationships, which blind us to seeing people as they really are -- don't we? It will be interesting to see if Grace's intense desire to share in the bond of the Hartford children will prevent her from seeing Hannah for who she really is. Even at this early stage in their relationship, she seems to idealize Hannah. Just something to keep in mind as we continue reading...

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-21-2008 07:32 PM
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bmbrennan
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July



paula_02912 wrote:
wendyroba wrote: "As far as Frederick goes - he too has a secret (and I think I may know what it is). He is not who he seems...this has been hinted at throughout the book up to this point. It will be interesting to see his character play out."

Could his secret be that he himself was a child borne as a result of a liasion with a servant? It would be interesting to find out if that was the case...it would make sense why he was treated like an outcast by his family...





Or is he treated like an outcast because of his affair? One of the themes in this book seems to be improper liasons, the main characters in this story are all outcasts in the eyes of society.
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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bmbrennan
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July



KxBurns wrote:

corym wrote:
At the beginning, Grace is talking about the movie and the young girl who is going to pretend to be her in the movie.

Keira may be playing Grace in the movie, but she really does not understand what Grace is about or what she has done in her past life. Even by talking to Grace, she still has a different idea of how Grace should be portrayed in the movie.

During this chapter, Grace starts thinking about her life in the past and how she is so different then the character that Keira wants to play.



True. But I think maybe we all bring preconceptions to our relationships, which blind us to seeing people as they really are -- don't we? It will be interesting to see if Grace's intense desire to share in the bond of the Hartford children will prevent her from seeing Hannah for who she really is. Even at this early stage in their relationship, she seems to idealize Hannah. Just something to keep in mind as we continue reading...

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-21-2008 07:32 PM




Do you think that somehow Grace sees herself as more than just a servant where Hannah is concerned and might not like Keira because Keira sees her character (Grace) as a minor role in this story where Grace's memories make her, at least in her own mind, an integral part of the Hartford family?
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


bmbrennan wrote:


paula_02912 wrote:
wendyroba wrote: "As far as Frederick goes - he too has a secret (and I think I may know what it is). He is not who he seems...this has been hinted at throughout the book up to this point. It will be interesting to see his character play out."

Could his secret be that he himself was a child borne as a result of a liasion with a servant? It would be interesting to find out if that was the case...it would make sense why he was treated like an outcast by his family...





Or is he treated like an outcast because of his affair? One of the themes in this book seems to be improper liasons, the main characters in this story are all outcasts in the eyes of society.



I hadn't thought of it that way, but it's totally possible that Frederick's outsider status is due to more than just the lifelong family dynamic. Of course, it could turn into a chicken-and-egg kind of debate (if he is Grace's father, I should stress...) where you have to ask, did he have an affair with a servant because he was always made to feel like the black sheep who couldn't live up to his brother's perfectness; or, was he considered the black sheep because he had an affair with a servant?

Interesting theory, though!
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


bmbrennan wrote:
Do you think that somehow Grace sees herself as more than just a servant where Hannah is concerned and might not like Keira because Keira sees her character (Grace) as a minor role in this story where Grace's memories make her, at least in her own mind, an integral part of the Hartford family?



I think you are dead-on as far as Grace's perception of herself -- both in the past and the present -- as having played a larger role than just servant in the lives of the Hartfords. How accurate that view is depends on the level of her involvement in whatever happened at the lake, which we have yet to find out (and even when we do, it will be from Grace's own point-of-view, won't it?).

You know, I don't get the impression that Grace takes offense at Keira's assumptions about the tangential nature of her role in the Hartford's lives. In fact, Grace goes to some lengths to preserve the idea that she kept a distance befitting her status as servant. (Although I can see how she might do that while still being offended at the sentiment...)

Yet I actually think we all dislike Keira more than Grace does! The way I read it, Grace found her a little impertinent, maybe ill-mannered, definitely sloppy :smileyhappy:
But I think she noticed these things primarily as signs of the changing times. Now, that's just my take on it!
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Peppermill
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

[ Edited ]
KxBurns wrote: But Ursula's open display of affection is also a sign of the changing times, isn't it?

CanTri and Karen -- neat observations! Is Ursula's open display of affection intended as one of the positive contrasts of British Reserve with those Ugly Americans, i.e., Ursula has adopted an American openess?

Or, if one doesn't view such displays positively, is Ursula yet another portrayal of that American only too willing to believe her approach is the correct one?

KxBurns wrote:

CanTri wrote:
Was no one else disturbed by Ursula kissing Grace? This is only the second time she has met her and the first time ended abruptly. This seems like a pretty intimate gesture, especially seeing how rigid Ruth and Grace are with each other. Grace says that it "utterly surprised her" (p.135). I found it an odd gesture.
Ursula is the only character we've seen so far who is open with her emotions and affections. I think she is developing a genuine attachment to Grace.

In this way she is contrasted with many, if not all, of the other characters. I'm thinking specifically of Hannah saying goodbye to David: "...he looked as if he wanted to kiss her cheeks, hug her, but that was not the way it went with them" (p. 130). In the same scene, Alfred does give Grace a kiss on the cheek so perhaps he is the exception to the rule.

But Ursula's open display of affection is also a sign of the changing times, isn't it?


Message Edited by Peppermill on 01-24-2008 03:06 PM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Is Sylvia lurking here for the association with celebrity possibilities or because of her own interests in hearing any extant story revealed?

dhaupt wrote:

Jrdnstrttn wrote:
Just an observation...
Page 136: "I am aware that Sylvia still lurks by the open door, wiping the dust from the jamb in a show of duty designed to disguise her curiosity."

This reminds me of Grace observing the children in many different scenes. Though they weren't movie stars at the time, maybe it was like being close to movie stars for 1914/1915 Grace.

I'm also bothered by Ursula not asking Grace for her input about the movie and it's content. I'm sure she is very interested in the subject, being that the story has been passed down to her through generations. It seems to me that she'd fall all over herself to learn all she could from a living person who had been there.
I think Sylvia is being sneaky here.

Ursula I think is just trying to figure Grace out at this point, you know just how much does she know about this night in question.
Debbie
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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m3girl
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Some notes I took while reading...

1. Another hint about what happened to Robbie at the lake. I keep turning pages intrigued by these characters and eager to get some of my questions answered.

2. I thought that the young actress was rather annoying. Grace seems uncomfortable with hr interpretation of the story and the character - and yes I do think that although Grace is outside of the family she develops a bond with Hannah that is significant - especially if they end up being sisters....I look forward to finding out about that and then watching the reactions of Emmeline and Hannah.

3. One thing that is well done here is providing enough detail and explanation to help me keep track of the lesser characters - like Jemmima and the Major...

4. Page 145 - another example of the ignorance: They wouldn't send Alfred and his lads into battle if they weren't confident of their abilities to defend King and country. Guess they did - and when Alfred comes back he will surely never tell what really happened....will he?

5. Good description of the heat and the mourning environment - both enhancing each other. Frederick will miss the mark at his factory - by not moving toward mass production and the future -- he really is not a good business man...someone needs to stop him before he squanders away all of the family fortunes.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


Peppermill wrote:
Is Sylvia lurking here for the association with celebrity possibilities or because of her own interests in hearing any extant story revealed?



Hmm. I hadn't really considered that Sylvia might have an ulterior motive -- I assumed she was hoping to rub elbows with a celebrity. She does take a keen interest in Grace; doesn't she, in an earlier chapter mention getting Grace her tea before all the other patients? I suppose that favoritism could be motivated by many things... I get a good vibe from Sylvia, though.

What does she have to gain from hearing Grace's story, I wonder?
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Peppermill
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July _-- POTENTIAL SPOILER_


KxBurns wrote:

Peppermill wrote:
Is Sylvia lurking here for the association with celebrity possibilities or because of her own interests in hearing any extant story revealed?

Hmm. I hadn't really considered that Sylvia might have an ulterior motive -- I assumed she was hoping to rub elbows with a celebrity. She does take a keen interest in Grace; doesn't she, in an earlier chapter mention getting Grace her tea before all the other patients? I suppose that favoritism could be motivated by many things... I get a good vibe from Sylvia, though.

What does she have to gain from hearing Grace's story, I wonder? {Bold added.}


Karen -- this response is sloppy, but I don't have time right now to dig for the details (one really gets lost as to where they are in a story told in such a non-straightforward manner -- or at least, I did with HAR, especially a few weeks after reading it). Yet, if I don't respond now, I'll probably never get back to this link -- I have over 200 to read even yet.

POTENTIAL SPOILER __ READ NO FURTHER IF CONCERNED.

Have we met Sylvia's boyfriend yet at this point in the story?

Where is Sylvia in the final scenes of the novel?
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July _-- POTENTIAL SPOILER_



Peppermill wrote:
br>
Where is Sylvia in the final scenes of the novel?




I'm assuming Sylvia wouldn't intrude on the family in Grace's final moments with them so she wouldn't be mentioned. Also I seem to have gotten the impression that Sylvia was going to be leaving the nursing home job because of Anthony. But when I went back to look, I couldn't seem to find anything to give me this impression.
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paula_02912
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

corym wrote: "Keira may be playing Grace in the movie, but she really does not understand what Grace is about or what she has done in her past life. Even by talking to Grace, she still has a different idea of how Grace should be portrayed in the movie."

Cory, as I was reading, I noted in the margins that though Keira was playing Grace in the movie, at the age of 17 or 18 she did not have the maturity that Grace had at the age of 14...I felt that maybe the person chosen to play would have been of lesser means, then maybe she would understand what motivated her to do what she did...and just maybe she would have a better understanding of the movie itself, "The Shifting Fog." Just some of my own thoughts here...
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 TWO: The Twelfth of July

Hey katknit, I work in a school where students are affluent, but my experience differs from yours...the kids I work with act the same way that Keira does toward people...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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Novanglus
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Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

I loved the introduction of Keira here. I thought she was a great way to emphasize just how different service was at that time, and set the tone for Grace's relationship with the Hartfords.
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