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fordmg
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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? 


She was probably more like family.
MG
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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, how did they inherit that big house or mansion or whatever? I guess the father got government grants for the study he was in? How else could he do that without another job. And with his obsession, I don't think he could have done another job. Does England do grants for scientists. ??
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



Jaelin wrote:
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!


Yes, who could be normal when you live moth research day and night, the couple plus the children.
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fordmg
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



kiakar wrote:


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, how did they inherit that big house or mansion or whatever? I guess the father got government grants for the study he was in? How else could he do that without another job. And with his obsession, I don't think he could have done another job. Does England do grants for scientists. ??


Thjey inherited "Old Money".  But Ginny did note that the money was dwindling.  
MG
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

The fact that Ginny told about not knowing Vivi was her sister because of the evacuees really made me read that more than once. Maude must have not made sure that Ginny knew this was her babysitter. Maybe all the ones there just acted like one big family. I don't know, but that sounded weird. A two or three yr. old knows their sister and brother. But maybe this was emphasized for some reason down the line.
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



kiakar wrote:
The fact that Ginny told about not knowing Vivi was her sister because of the evacuees really made me read that more than once. Maude must have not made sure that Ginny knew this was her babysitter. Maybe all the ones there just acted like one big family. I don't know, but that sounded weird. A two or three yr. old knows their sister and brother. But maybe this was emphasized for some reason down the line.


sorry I meant baby sister. not babysitter.
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bestfriendjane
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

this chapter, for me, was full of foreshadowing that i tried to control my curiosity and file away in my brain the details so that (hopefully - if i'm correct) this chapter will take on a whole new meaning and light at/or near the end of the book.

jane
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silk569
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I'm with Laura on this.
 
1st off what kind of relationship does Maud have with her daughters if she had not even explained who Vivi was?  It seems neglectful and impersonal.  Perhaps something learned from Maud given to Ginny.  Ginny's lack of emotion had to stem from someplace...it is eerie that a small child be so cold.  This could also explain why the mother is called Maud instead of mother.  I think there is something in this relationship that will reveal more.  The "normal" bonds in a family are not apparent yet.  I wonder if there will be a glance into Ginny's life before Vivi was there.
 
I agree the Dr.  must be a shrink, and this was not the first conversation he has had with her.  Maybe she was born with something wrong with her...like a mental disorder.  Nothing major but you have to wonder about Ginny's way of thinking and her reclusive nature.
 
Jena     
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Karen, I too loved the description of the house and Bullburrow Court...it was easy to picture it and see it in my mindseye...Adams has a way with descriptive words....You could sense the level of wealth Ginny's ancestors had, but you get the indication that now, in the present, the family is not as affluent...this chapter was very interesting and I had several questions as was going through it...as I was reading, I get the sense that Ginny did not like the ostentatious ways of her ancestors...the way she ended the paragraph about her childhood home, gave me that feeling...she stated that "the house and its contents became a museum to the Kendals, a claustrophobic to one dynasty." I wondered why she considered it claustrophic?
 
I thought it very interesting how as Ginny's character unfolds, you see that despite being the eldest, she was more of the child in her relationship with Vivi, "the leader," her younger sister by three years...how important will this reversal in roles be as the book progresses? Her descriptions of Vivi seemed more like she was in awe of her and her antics...did she long to be the adventurer, rather than the sister who was sealed inside herself, wearing masks, hiding from the world?
 
The most interesting and poignant line in the chapter for me was "I thought when God made Vivi he was giving me a window to see the world in a different way." (p.13) How does this idea influence Ginny's actions as she gets older? Did it help to shape the person she became after Vivi left?
 
One of the other interesting pieces was the way Maude reacted after Vivi fell...why did she treat Ginny the way she did? Her response made me wonder if Vivi was not Maude and Clive's child, or it implied that Ginny was a vindictive sort of person who would try to harm Vivi....why would Maude do this? Did Ginny ever try to harm Vivi? Didn't she ever think that maybe Ginny's reaction was due to shock? She is not one who shows emotion, based on how she describes herself, so it makes sense that she would not be in hysterics...I also wondered why Dr. Moyse was on hand so readily to come and talk with Ginny...did he do this regularly? Is he a psychiatrist or psychologist of some sort? The reason I ask is because he asks the kinds of questions and says the kinds of things that a psychiatrist asks and says...in the margins of p.17 I wrote...What is wrong with Ginny? Why do they treat her differently?
 
On page 18, Ginny was describing the circumstances of her birth and at the end of the first paragraph she says, "It was this weather at my birth that had apparently swayed the balance of my personality." I wondered how important this statement would be as we continue reading the novel...Does the phenomenon she described contribute to her "difference" in the novel and the way she seems to live her life; from the inside looking out?
 
The last two pages in this chapter was also very interesting...thought Vivi didn't lose her life she lost the ability to give life...as a child that situation didn't seem grave to either child, but I wonder if as they got older, it played a part in why Vivi left...will it play a major role in the unfolding of the plot? It is ironic how Vivi lost the ability to give life so that she could save her life...
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noannie
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I too wondered why the Dr. asked Ginny so many questions after Vivi's fall. She does not show any emotion at all and that is a scary sign in itself. I think the Dr. and the parents wondered if Ginny had a hand in her sister's accident. The old family estate is crumbling as is the family that lives there.
 
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Eckwell
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

It is very odd that Ginny did not recognize Vivi as her sister after the other evacuees had left the house.  It seems that Maud and Clive (who lives in his own world) did not really make the home seem like a family.  Ginny probably never realized that Vivi was her sister.  I got the feeling that perhaps Vivi was quickly chosen by her family to be the beautiful, talented daughter and that Ginny was the daughter who was not.  I wondered if Maud felt that Ginny had something to do with Vivi's fall because of jealousy over attention.  When Dr. Moyse was around he seemed to spend most of his time with Ginny.  Perhaps he sensed that the parents were not giving Ginny the attention she required.  This whole thing with the doctor made me quite uncomfortable and concerned about abuse by the good doctor. 
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

MsMorningLight wrote: "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!)  .  So, I am very curious how they will figure in down the line."
 
Ms.MorningLight, I feel like there is some parallel between the life cycle of butterflies and the lives of the two sisters...it could be symbolic of both women...Butterfly (Vivi) and Moth (Ginny)...she goes into such in depth detail about why the study of moth is so much more complicated than that of butterflies...maybe she is trying to understand her own make up...She sees Vivi as this beautiful and vivacious young girl and contrasts her own description with dull words, putting herself down in the process...remember, the study of those things that are not "normal" enables one to learn more about those that are "normal." As you read more you will understand the why I might have come to this realization...
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: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

lmpmn wrote: "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?"
 
lmpmn, I felt the same way too...Ginny talked about how Vivi could not control her emotions, p.14, and how she had mood swings...if looking at this from a psychological perspective, then it would be a good inference that maybe Vivi had emotional problems, so I think that your reading could mean much more as plot thickens... 
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


Laurabairn wrote:
There were two things that struck me as odd and revealing of Ginny's character in this chapter. Once the evacuees had gone back and only baby Vivi remained , her mother had to explain to Ginny..." She's your sister...this is her home" . Ginny would have been six by then, normally an age where siblings have already made important bonds. Was she such a different kind of girl, even as a child, that she wouldn't have noticed?

That struck me, too, as not a credible plot element. I simply can't believe that these parents would have a house full of evacuated children and one brand new infant and after three years Ginny wouldn't have any idea that one of the children was her natural sister and the others were evacuees. It just doesn't work for me. (Nor does it work for me that they would dump 11 evacuees on a mother who had just given birth. I have a number of relatives who were evacuees during WWII, and this doesn't jibe with the stories they told of their experiences.)
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


lcnh1 wrote:
I picked up on the "normal family" comment also and wondered what it meant.



Ditto.

Presumably we'll find out at some point. But there seems clearly to be something 'wrong" with Ginny.
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

serialmahogany wrote: " 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"."
 
serialmahogany, I questioned whether or not Ginny was their child biological child too...just the way that Maude treated her and described her made me question her maternity...I also thought that maybe Vivi wasn't theirs at first, but obviously that question was answered as I kept reading...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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pheath
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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




I think that Ginny's unemotional response is a foreshadowing of the extremely scientific mind that Ginny has in adulthood. From very early on she seems almost robotic in how events affect her.

Although it is the inverse of what their ages would suggest, Vivi is the leader of the two. I think that Vivi has a different spirit or personality that naturally takes control of the unemotional, unimaginative Ginny.
-Philip
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


carriele wrote:
I find the relationship between the sisters to be quite interesting. We learn that Vivi is the leader and Ginny the follower. Vivi is more creative and outgoing but she is also the YOUNGER sister. That's puzzling to me.


To me, also, particularly when there are three years between them, which is a pretty substantial difference at that age.
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psujulie
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



kbbg42 wrote:
The impression that I got of Ginny from the Bell Tower chapter is that she is a budding sociopath. With her inability to express emotions her inability to "connect" with her family. The way she calls her parents Maude and Clive. Did you notice when the Doctor asked where her mother was Ginny answered "Maude is upstairs"? Also the Doctor's questioning of her and his "interest" in her. Could the Doctor be a Psychiatrist? Remember he couldn't cure her warts,Clive had to freeze them off with the liquid nitrogen.


I had similar thoughts about Ginny, but I wasn't thinking sociopath necessarily. My first reaction was that she might have some form or autism, like Asperger's. She doesn't seem to be able to relate well or communicate with others (even as an adult.)
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

It will be interesting to see, as the book goes forward, whether Vivi also calls them Maude and Clive, or whether she calls them mother and father.

kbbg42 wrote:
The impression that I got of Ginny from the Bell Tower chapter is that she is a budding sociopath. With her inability to express emotions her inability to "connect" with her family. The way she calls her parents Maude and Clive. Did you notice when the Doctor asked where her mother was Ginny answered "Maude is upstairs"? Also the Doctor's questioning of her and his "interest" in her. Could the Doctor be a Psychiatrist? Remember he couldn't cure her warts,Clive had to freeze them off with the liquid nitrogen.



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