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ELee
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

[ Edited ]


carriele wrote:

Concerning the rest of the chapter, I, too, was puzzled by what Maud meant when she said.  "It's all my fault.  I thought we could be a normal family."  I can't wait to find out more. 

Carrie E.


With reference to the growing oddness of Ginny and her noted obsession with time, the description of one of Maud's family photos is very interesting.
 
"Then there was the one of me as a baby, wrapped up so you can't actually see any of me at all, Maud and Clive holding up the package between them next to the sundial on the top terrace."
 
Ginny is all wrapped up (like a cocoon), showing nothing that defines her identity.  She is a "package" (rather than a person) between them and they are positioned next to a sundial (timepiece).
 
What were they trying to hide?  Or protect?


Message Edited by ELee on 03-03-2008 03:34 PM

Message Edited by ELee on 03-03-2008 03:36 PM
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Cammie03
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I am curious as to why they decided to keep Vera instead of the other 2 maids it was stated that they were 2 of nine. I know they said they could only afford one due to the war but why Vera? 
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dhaupt
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



Cammie03 wrote:
I am curious as to why they decided to keep Vera instead of the other 2 maids it was stated that they were 2 of nine. I know they said they could only afford one due to the war but why Vera? 





Maybe it was because she felt an ownership toward the house and the people, on page 11 Ginny says "Vera said she didn't work in the house but she was a part of it,"

Deb
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serialmahogany
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I think that Ginny had to have had some type of initial conflict with her mother when she was young.  Some parents cause separation between their children because they don't look like them or take after them.  In this story it seems as though Maud disowned Ginny from the gate, all because she doesn't look like her, and because she takes after Clyde in her mannerisms.  I think Maud sees that Ginny is smart, but that she favors Vivvy because she is beautiful as Maud is supposed to be.  You see a division between the family members where Maud and Vivy are partnered and Clive and Ginny are together.
You can tell that Ginny felt a disconnection with Maud and Clyde from the beginning before Vivy's entrance because she called them by their first names.  My first instinct is telling me that either Ginny is Clides biological child, but not Maud's, and maybe Maud married a widower, or that Ginny is adopted.  These assumptions come to mind because of the Dr. Mosey who seems to be a shrink for Ginny specifically.  Maybe something happened to Ginny at early age which caused her issues and a seperatist manner.  THis could explain her issues with what seems to be "order".
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Laurabairn
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

[ Edited ]
That's a good point about the parents' own lack of social skills which may have caused the strangeness in Ginny. I have viewed Clive as fairly detached, sort of self absorbed, thus far. Maud seemed loving to her children though and Vivi seems (from what we know) well adjusted ,so I'm not sure I can pin it all on the oddnes of the parents at this point.
 
The doctor seems down right sinister to me. I wonder about Ginny's real origins. The "aha" moment I had while writing my last post made me wonder if she was some sort of genetic mutation ( I know this is bizzare :smileyhappy:  I guess the creepy Dad playing with the moths and the Mom who treated her daughter as if aberant behavior was to be expected has me wondering. Could Ginny be part of some expirement (even her conception) and the doctor is there to observe her?
 
The likely hood that he was a shrink and not a medical doctor, as some have suggested  seems  likely to me. Good observation.


Message Edited by Laurabairn on 03-03-2008 04:24 PM
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lmpmn
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Hearing the story of Vivi falling from the bell tower, I tend to jump to the conclusion that when Maud says, "I thought we could be normal," (or something like that) it means she thinks Ginny may have pushed her.
 
However, if you look at what comes immediately before we learn exactly what happened in the tower, Ginny was talking about how Maud and Vivi would sometimes get in a fight, Vivi would storm off and Ginny would be the one to go to her.  Ginny said something like if she wasn't there when it happened (I'm sorry, I don't have my book in front of me) she wouldn't have believed what happened.  Ginny almost made it sound like it was maybe a suicide attempt?  Am I the only one who thought that for a second?  Any comments?
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MsMorninglight
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



KxBurns wrote:

Lepidoptery sounds like a rather predatory activity, doesn't it?: "…they had scoured the earth in a bid to kill and pin every poor insect that crossed their path" (p. 10).


I must admit, I can't remember ever reading a book that seemed to be centered around the study of Butterflies & Moths!   The cover page being our first hint that they are involved. And all  the talk about the ancestors being lepidopterist (say that fast three times!) :smileywink: .  So, I am very curious how they will figure in down the line. 




"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." - Henry James
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



KxBurns wrote:

In this chapter, we witness Vivien's first homecoming alongside the evacuees of Bristol, as well as her fall from the bell tower, which evidently set her on a path that would lead away from the family home. The fall appears to have been a formative experience in Ginny's life, as well, and I got the distinct impression that Ginny's role in the fall is questioned by Maud and Dr. Moyse. But why? To what do you attribute Ginny's unemotional response to the accident?

The description of Bulburrow Court is wonderful and paints such a dramatic image of the estate in my mind. It seems that the house – both the physical structure and its contents – constitutes something of a shrine to this family, and that both the structure and the family are in a state of deterioration.

Lepidoptery sounds like a rather predatory activity, doesn't it?: "…they had scoured the earth in a bid to kill and pin every poor insect that crossed their path" (p. 10).

The sisterly dynamic is alluded to numerous times throughout this chapter. How would you characterize Ginny and Vivi's respective roles?

One thing that struck me was how Ginny's fate seems so utterly tethered to Vivi's (at least in Ginny's mind). Ginny says: "…whilst she was on that stretcher I actually saw her Entire Future giving up the struggle to survive and leave her and at the same time I felt my own future reduced to a dead and eventless vacuum, a mere biological process" (p. 15). Interesting...

Are we to gather from the end of this chapter that neither sister had children? If that is the case, then how or why does Ginny believe that children are "what life was all about and nothing else mattered" (p. 21)?  I suppose we'll find out!

Karen



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-03-2008 01:31 PM

You raised some of the same questions that I did.  Ginny's opinion of Dr. Moyse was not a very good one.  She seemed to think that he was the odd one and not her.  On page 19 she is having a discussion with Dr. Moyse and you can see where she is getting rather cross with him as he keeps asking questions so you know that she does have emotions she just chooses not to show them since it seems to save her the time of arguing.  I have a feeling that Ginny's one of those rare people who if she had been born within the last 20 years people would have realized she was very smart.  She gives me the impression that mundane everyday things are beneath her and that she is meant for bigger and better things, at least in her mind.
 
You are very right about the house and its contents.  They seems to be more of a shrine/museum than a home.  In many ways it is good to have things that are heirlooms though I have to say at times enough is enough.
I found that Vivien and Virginia were thrown together many times when neither one of them wanted to be together.  It seemed as if Maud was always wanting them to be together though as of yet we have no idea as to why she would want to do this.  From Ginny's descriptions you would think that Viv had the better imagination and was more vibrant and Ginny herself was more of a follower.  This I think is in keeping with the quote you mention from page 15.  It is almost as if they are two sides to a coin.  Viv is vibrant and radiant where Ginny is smart and dull. 
 
Many interesting and fascinating undercurrents and eddies are already forming in just the first two chapters of the book that are going to be interesting to explore.
 
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



lmpmn wrote:
Hearing the story of Vivi falling from the bell tower, I tend to jump to the conclusion that when Maud says, "I thought we could be normal," (or something like that) it means she thinks Ginny may have pushed her.
 
However, if you look at what comes immediately before we learn exactly what happened in the tower, Ginny was talking about how Maud and Vivi would sometimes get in a fight, Vivi would storm off and Ginny would be the one to go to her.  Ginny said something like if she wasn't there when it happened (I'm sorry, I don't have my book in front of me) she wouldn't have believed what happened.  Ginny almost made it sound like it was maybe a suicide attempt?  Am I the only one who thought that for a second?  Any comments?



True, on page 14 Ginny did say "if I hadn't been there, squatting in the bell-tower with her, I might have thought she'd jumped."  So, it does make you think.  But then again, going back to Maud's remarks about Ginny not crying, just staring at the shrubs.. it seems to throw it back towards Ginny's ..



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Skelly7645
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Exactly... here we are talking about the physological aspects of Ginny and her sister Vivi.  In reality, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  I wonder if the whole bunch of them aren't eccentric, a bit antisocial, etc.?  I bet that we will find out that Ginny, the narrator, is much more a product of all the experiences learned with the parents.  An odd family at best... are they independantly wealthy? I can't imagine that you amass huge salaries, etc. researching moths?  I guess we need to read on to develop more answers to this growing story.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I believe that ginny had no emotion about viv fall because, like her dad she really has no emotion.
 
it doesnt seem that either of them had children or even got married. if they did have children the where are they. the comment the ginny said... Ginny believes that children are "what life was all about and nothing else mattered" (p. 21) maybe its a reflection on her child hood or maybe its something her mom has told her or maybe even she couldnt have kids because of some medical reason and thats just her emotions coming out.
 
 
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I wonder if they didn't keep Vera more because she had worked the longest there and they knew they could count on her where maybe they couldn't the others?
 
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That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



Cammie03 wrote:
I am curious as to why they decided to keep Vera instead of the other 2 maids it was stated that they were 2 of nine. I know they said they could only afford one due to the war but why Vera? 



Didn't they say something about she was the oldest, and couldn't find work anywhere else and also probably she would be paid less.
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

[ Edited ]
This whole chapter has led me to believe, since we're seeing this through Ginny's eyes, that she maybe had more to do with Vivi's fall than she is willing to let herself believe. So much in this chapter has led me to think that there is some kind of history for Ginny. Somebody else earlier in the thread mentioned that maybe she is a sociopath, and I would tend to think the same thing. What appears to be a lack of or disconnection of emotions, the doctor's apparent knowledge of prior events... It just makes me feel like there is a lot more to Ginny's story that we won't know until Vivi brings it to her attention. I think she has remembered things her way, or rewritten them, to make it easier for her own mind to deal with.

Message Edited by tapestry100 on 03-03-2008 04:44 PM
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

After reading several posts on the "normal" family issue.  I can honestly say that at times I wondered why my family couldn't be a "normal" family even though we were pretty average.  It kinda of reminds me of the quote "the grass isn't always greener on the other side" . It strikes me that Maud may be looking at other families or even before she married Clive that she had an expectation of what she expected a "normal" family to be.  So this could be an interesting topic through out the book!
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower -- p. 6



Peppermill wrote:
"When Maud gave birth to Vivien, on 19 October 1940, I thought she'd borne twelve other children of varying ages at the same time...."

"...I couldn't understand why baby Vivi had stayed."

"'She's your little sister, Ginny. This is her home," Maud had said, hugging us both to her in the hallway.

Who in the world is Maud as a mother and a woman? I know certain things were taboo subjects yet in the '40's, but ....?




I completely agree. This was such an odd way to bring an new baby home and it was completely confusing to the older sibling. In a normal situation, parents prepare a child for the homecoming of a new baby...this must have been so confusing and chaotic for Ginny. In my opinion, it's unfair and cruel to expect a child this small to understand such complex ideas/situation on their own.
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



Laurabairn wrote:
That's a good point about the parents' own lack of social skills which may have caused the strangeness in Ginny. I have viewed Clive as fairly detached, sort of self absorbed, thus far. Maud seemed loving to her children though and Vivi seems (from what we know) well adjusted ,so I'm not sure I can pin it all on the oddnes of the parents at this point.
 
The doctor seems down right sinister to me. I wonder about Ginny's real origins. The "aha" moment I had while writing my last post made me wonder if she was some sort of genetic mutation ( I know this is bizzare :smileyhappy:  I guess the creepy Dad playing with the moths and the Mom who treated her daughter as if aberant behavior was to be expected has me wondering. Could Ginny be part of some expirement (even her conception) and the doctor is there to observe her?
 
The likely hood that he was a shrink and not a medical doctor, as some have suggested  seems  likely to me. Good observation.


Message Edited by Laurabairn on 03-03-2008 04:24 PM

Your point is well taken, also. Very good. Something is absolutely fishy around there! Why didn't they have pictures of Ginny. Only one is not even showing her? How rude! We are going to learn alot from this book I do believe!
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



tapestry100 wrote:
 Somebody else earlier in the thread mentioned that maybe she is a sociopath, and I would tend to think the same thing. What appears to be a lack of or disconnection of emotions, the doctor's apparent knowledge of prior events... It just makes me feel like there is a lot more to Ginny's story that we won't know until Vivi brings it to her attention. I think she has remembered things her way, or rewritten them, to make it easier for her own mind to deal with.

Message Edited by tapestry100 on 03-03-2008 04:44 PM

This is interesting take on it.  It also could be like some of our geniuses today they just don't care about anything other than there chosen field or interests?
 

 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



lmpmn wrote:
Hearing the story of Vivi falling from the bell tower, I tend to jump to the conclusion that when Maud says, "I thought we could be normal," (or something like that) it means she thinks Ginny may have pushed her.
 
However, if you look at what comes immediately before we learn exactly what happened in the tower, Ginny was talking about how Maud and Vivi would sometimes get in a fight, Vivi would storm off and Ginny would be the one to go to her.  Ginny said something like if she wasn't there when it happened (I'm sorry, I don't have my book in front of me) she wouldn't have believed what happened.  Ginny almost made it sound like it was maybe a suicide attempt?  Am I the only one who thought that for a second?  Any comments?


Yes, that was very strange, indeed, what her mom Maude said. And the names did get to me also. Why not Mama and Pops or something. Did Vivi do this also? I can't recall without looking it up.If she called them Mom and Pop or did she do the same thing.
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



Skelly7645 wrote:
Exactly... here we are talking about the physological aspects of Ginny and her sister Vivi.  In reality, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  I wonder if the whole bunch of them aren't eccentric, a bit antisocial, etc.?  I bet that we will find out that Ginny, the narrator, is much more a product of all the experiences learned with the parents.  An odd family at best... are they independantly wealthy? I can't imagine that you amass huge salaries, etc. researching moths?  I guess we need to read on to develop more answers to this growing story.


Yes, even the father seems alittle posessed with the study of moths and so forth. Since we started and ended five chapters, he has done nothing but go to his lab and work and work. Yes, if not more than eccentric, this family seems a bit odd........
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