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Thayer
Posts: 195
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



kiakar wrote:


Thayer wrote:
Interesting that at this point, knowing so little about Vivi, the majority of us (myself included) consider her to be the "normal" sibling.


I hear what you are saying, Thayer, but is either one of them normal?


good point...what is "normal?"

 
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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Mary1234
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

The idea of normal anymore is the disfuntional family!!! So they have it here in the book. All the same for so many years of denial and secrecy.
 
Mary
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


Thayer wrote:


kiakar wrote:


Thayer wrote:
Interesting that at this point, knowing so little about Vivi, the majority of us (myself included) consider her to be the "normal" sibling.


I hear what you are saying, Thayer, but is either one of them normal?


good point...what is "normal?"




well, I think the assumption comes from Ginny's description and that of what she remembers her parents saying about a "normal family" that she didnt understand what the problem was. We also are assuming Ginny must be off, just because she is a bit odd sounding and lives alone and is compulsive, but what if her memories are spot on and she's just reclusive after all these years? If you think about it, shes in her mid 60s and has been left alone in that house for all these years? 40? 50? who wouldnt be a bit eccentric by then. It could be that danger has entered her house in the guise of one Vivi. But then again, who knows really at this point huh. :smileywink: Like I said, sometimes 1st person narrative is not to be trusted yes, but that all depends on what the writer wants to be so. The writer can make 1st person the most accurate of all, its not the characters choice, its the writers.

I still think Ginny is off tho myself lol, but love to play devil's advocate.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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renhair
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I agree.  It made me wonder if there was some history between the sisters that we aren't yet privy to.  Why would the parents assume that Ginny had pushed her sister off the tower?  I'm not a parent, but I just can't believe that most parents would go there without reason.......

LisaMM wrote:
The most curious thing to me in this chapter is the attention paid to Ginny by the doctor and the veiled accusation of Maud that Ginny had something to do with the fall. Why would they think that? Do they think she has some kind of evil intent toward her sister? Do they think she has some sort of mental illness? It's curious.


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renhair
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I agree...the doctor rather creeped me out.  Now, if he's a psychiatrist, it makes more sense, but her story left me extremely unsettled....

vivico1 wrote:

LizzieAnn wrote:
I never considered the fact that the doctor could be a psychiatrist. That's an interesting possibility. It also opens up the question as to why Maud & Clive felt that Ginny needed a psychiatrist and also has to how long exactly he'd been "talking" with her before this accident.


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.






He better be a shrink or some mental health doctor, or get this strange guy out of there lol.


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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower -- p. 6

I made a note in my book that I thought the story of the refugees to be a rather cute memory.  I didn't take it for anything more than that.

LizzieAnn wrote:
As Ginny was only just 3 when the baby & the evacuees all arrived, in her mind she probably lumped them altogether.  Being told that someone is a sister is different than comprehending it, especially with so many other children in the house.  She does say that after she learned that Vivi was really her sister, she came to adore her sister (pages 6-7). 
 


Peppermill wrote:

Explanation of question -- is Ginny so ill or out of it that her mother couldn't bring her up to understand, at age six, who was her "real" sister? Who was Maud to take on a whole bevy of children if she had such a special needs child? Superwoman or a woman avoiding something? Otherwise, if a relatively normal family, why didn't the sibling bonding occur until after the evacuees left?





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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renhair
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Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Interesting....I hadn't thought of that yet, but you're correct.  That will be an extremely telling piece to this puzzle!

Everyman wrote:
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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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower and virginia creepers

I was amused by this discription of the Red House on page 7.  "the Red House, as it was often called on account of the Virgina creeper that turns south........  Is that a reference to Ginny perhaps.  Does she creep about, is she creepy? 
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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Carmenere_lady
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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, 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........


I agree, there are so many dead things surrounding them.  Pinned down and framed, caterpillar skins laid out and labeled etc.  Nothing cute and cuddly there :smileywink:
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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applelarae
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Registered: ‎01-29-2007
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I was wondering the same thing. I know this is probably pretty far fetched, but it reminded me of the movie The Good Son. Since we only get to hear Ginny's side of the story, we will have to question validity on all accounts.
 
that's exactly what i thought of. But why would they think that Ginny pushed Vivi?? And what were they forcing themselves to ignore to be "normal"?
 
 

 

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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


applelarae wrote:
I was wondering the same thing. I know this is probably pretty far fetched, but it reminded me of the movie The Good Son. Since we only get to hear Ginny's side of the story, we will have to question validity on all accounts.
that's exactly what i thought of. But why would they think that Ginny pushed Vivi?? And what were they forcing themselves to ignore to be "normal"?




Which was based on an old movie, The Bad Seed. That was a wicked wicked little girl who just saw things in terms of what she wanted with no more concern for killing than squashing a bug. Pretty wicked movie for the 1950s, if you have seen the Good Son, you would really appreciate the Bad Seed.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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applelarae
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

[ Edited ]
Tapestry100 wrote:
 
 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 applelarae on 03-03-2008 11:04 PM
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tgem
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

KxBurns wrote (in part):
 
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.

There was a lot of information about the house in this chapter. I really enjoyed the following:  "The way we got around a diminishing staff was an evolving fluidity in the volume of the house throughout the year, a constant expansion and contraction like a lung.  In the most bitter winter weeks, we'd lock up the extremities and retreat to the inner sanctum, huddling in the heart of the building..." (p12)  Giving the house human body parts, suggests that it is also one of the characters in this book.

Despite the beautiful descriptions of the estate grounds and and it's buildings, the narrator, who is now identified as Ginny, uses this description of the house: "The walls leached the desires and fears of those who had peopled it." (p8) The house is given feelings. Ginny sees it as "a claustrophobic tribute to one dynasty." (p8)  

It will be interesting to see if the house continues to play a part, almost like another character in this book.

tgem

 

 

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KiimC_8741
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I don't know why but I just assumed that the girls Ginnycalled her parents by their first names because that is what the evacuees had called them and that is what she grew up hearing them called
 
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renhair
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I think that it was just that Vivi found her idea worth consideration.  It was a feather in her cap....it validate her.  Ginny was so overshadowed by her sister and I think she felt that she wasn't worthwhile

DSaff wrote:


Everyman wrote:
Unless I missed it, I haven't seen anybody comment on something I highlighted on my first reading. On page 13, Ginny says "Vivian was from a fantastic world, definitely not the same one as mine."

I found that a very interesting comment. Did anybody else? What did it mean to you?


I think it goes back to the paragraph before it. Vivian was the dreamer, Ginny seems to be the more practical one. Although, the line about their turret being big enough for two small children to dream is interesting. I think Ginny lived through Vivian, hence the fantastic world. Just above your line we read,
     "We'd go there when Vivi wanted to plot her next adventure or scheme her next scheme. Just sometimes
      I'd offer her a little idea, and just sometimes, not often, she'd latch upon it to help her see through the
      puzzles in her head. And I'd feel ever so triumphant."
What made her feel triumphant? Was it that her sister took the suggestion, or was it that for a brief moment she was entering Vivian's world? Interesting thoughts.



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applelarae
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

sorry, i hit the submit button before i typed anything!
 
I agree with what Tapestry100 says. If this whole story is told by Ginny and she's the one with the possible mental issues wouldn't the telling of this story be completely skewed?
 
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mwinasu
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Kids don't have a firm understanding of mortality. My older brother once pushed my  younger brother from the roof of the barn into the pigsty and it cut his face wide open.  He also talked him into riding a bull calf that threw him into a barbed wire fence. I only think of him as a psychopath occasionally.  I am sure that  they were just fooling around and neither one of them expected anything to go wrong.  My cousin has trouble recognizing when things are dangerous. He had a brain trauma when he was quite young. He was always taken care of by his younger brothers and sisters.  I think this is what happened to Ginny as well.  She talks about a huge snowstorm at the time of her birth that trapped them in the houseand made her a stay at home person. 
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tgem
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Registered: ‎08-06-2007
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



psujulie wrote:


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.)



Is this novel turning into a bit of a psychological thriller?  Again, I hesitate to diagnose, but it's interesting to speculate.  Here is some information about sociopathic personality
 
I was actually beginning to wonder about autism -  it still seems to be pretty much of a mystery. 
 
In another post, I had responded to the discussion considering the possibility of OCD .
 
I'm leaning towards autism, since the information provided points out that it commonly manifests at a very young age, and this is a story of an older woman reflecting on her childhood.
 
tgem
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LyndenMomof2
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Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I agree that while reading, the doctor gives me the creeps.  The way he paid "special" attention to Ginny.  The kind of doctor he is is not revealed.  It would make sense for a psychiatrist to pay her attention but a regular MD, why?  I realize that with so many refugees in the house that you would be very busy, but why wouldn't you have made time for your own two girls?  Wouldn't you have wanted them to know each other and have bonded? Ginny's lack of emotion, even though she worshipped her little sister, could be a part of this lack of bonding.  I don't think I could live in this house full of bugs...eeeeewwww.
 
As I read the descriptions in the book it is apparant to me the writers background as a documetarist.  I feel as if I am getting too much descriptions of things that may or may not be neccessary.  Just a random thought.
 
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


tgem wrote:


psujulie wrote:


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.)



Is this novel turning into a bit of a psychological thriller? Again, I hesitate to diagnose, but it's interesting to speculate. Here is some information about sociopathic personality
I was actually beginning to wonder about autism - it still seems to be pretty much of a mystery.
In another post, I had responded to the discussion considering the possibility of OCD .
I'm leaning towards autism, since the information provided points out that it commonly manifests at a very young age, and this is a story of an older woman reflecting on her childhood.
tgem



I don't know, there are just some things about autism that just dont fit her so far. She is very able to concentrate on things, look people in the eye. She has no problem with communication skills (as we see from her narration). I know there are various degrees and different kinds. But I have a friend with a teenager with functional autism, tho he can not hold a whole conversation with you unless he starts it, and he still rocks. I think the most we can say right now is yes, she is obsessive, compulsive, unable to fit in socially and may not realistically understand what is happening but other than being obsessive compulsive, at this point, I cant see actually tagging her with some label. We are pretty sure something is wrong and maybe we will learn more as we go along because I feel its right there but not sure yet. I can not think of the one disorder right now where someone has no emotional affect as the main characteristic. I think we need more info than is in two chapters huh?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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