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detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I'm also thinking that ... some high-functioning form of autism like Asperger's. She's aware of everyone's behaviors but doesn't know how to interpret them. And she's an eloquent (tho, I'm suspecting, an unreliable) narrator.

psujulie wrote:
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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BookSavage
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎01-11-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



detailmuse wrote:
I'm also thinking that ... some high-functioning form of autism like Asperger's. She's aware of everyone's behaviors but doesn't know how to interpret them. And she's an eloquent (tho, I'm suspecting, an unreliable) narrator.

psujulie wrote:
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.)




This discussion has happened at another place on here as well.  Several of us are holding to the idea that Ginny has asperger's, which explains many of her behaviors, ie not reacting to Vivi falling.
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detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Am I the only reader who isn't uncomfortable with the doctor? Altho I do agree that he makes Ginny uncomfortable, which I attribute to all the reasons Karen lists below, and also to Ginny's sense that he discounts her ... patronizes her, as if she's an idiot (p19)

KxBurns wrote:

MSaff wrote:

vivico1 wrote:
He better be a shrink or some mental health doctor, or get this strange guy out of there lol.

I agree. He isn't presented in a light that seems trustworthy.
 
Mike


That's true - he is presented in a way that makes us uncomfortable with him, but that could be because we see him through Ginny's eyes. Ginny is suspicious of him and we have to wonder if it is because she recognizes that he suspects her of something of which she is in fact guilty, or because she feels she's being silently accused of something and she is innocent? Or maybe she is genuinely confused by his questions.


 
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Chapter 2: Ginny, Vivi, and Maude



pigwidgeon wrote:

Can we parallel Ginny's reaction to Vivi's leaving, to her reaction when Vivi fell off the bell tower?
"I actually saw her Entire Future give the struggle.......I felt my own future reduced to a dead vacuum, a mere biological process"
Doesn't it seem, in these 2 short chapters, that this IS what Ginny's life has become?

Wow, great point! We'll have to see if anything happens between the fall and the present time that would contradict such an assessment of Ginny's life... 
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



detailmuse wrote:
Am I the only reader who isn't uncomfortable with the doctor? Altho I do agree that he makes Ginny uncomfortable, which I attribute to all the reasons Karen lists below, and also to Ginny's sense that he discounts her ... patronizes her, as if she's an idiot (p19)

KxBurns wrote:
That's true - he is presented in a way that makes us uncomfortable with him, but that could be because we see him through Ginny's eyes. Ginny is suspicious of him and we have to wonder if it is because she recognizes that he suspects her of something of which she is in fact guilty, or because she feels she's being silently accused of something and she is innocent? Or maybe she is genuinely confused by his questions.




You rightfully catch the fact that Ginny feels patronized by Moyse -- but it leaves me wondering if Moyse's simple questions are a subtle way of getting to the heart of something deeper within her. So, whether or not she is truly psychologically troubled, she gives the impression of being so with her recalcitrant responses.
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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Correct -- and it makes me like Dr. Moyse.

KxBurns wrote:


detailmuse wrote:
Am I the only reader who isn't uncomfortable with the doctor? Altho I do agree that he makes Ginny uncomfortable, which I attribute to all the reasons Karen lists below, and also to Ginny's sense that he discounts her ... patronizes her, as if she's an idiot (p19)

KxBurns wrote:
That's true - he is presented in a way that makes us uncomfortable with him, but that could be because we see him through Ginny's eyes. Ginny is suspicious of him and we have to wonder if it is because she recognizes that he suspects her of something of which she is in fact guilty, or because she feels she's being silently accused of something and she is innocent? Or maybe she is genuinely confused by his questions.



You rightfully catch the fact that Ginny feels patronized by Moyse -- but it leaves me wondering if Moyse's simple questions are a subtle way of getting to the heart of something deeper within her. So, whether or not she is truly psychologically troubled, she gives the impression of being so with her recalcitrant responses.



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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

"My world re-grew, and not least because whatever it was that Maud had been upset with me for soon dissolved into the many layers of a family's misunderstood memories" (p. 20).
 
I think this is a wonderful sentence. Do you think that "normal" families have many layers of misunderstood memories? Do you think Ginny is deceiving herself that Maud simply forgot about her suspicions?
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krb2g
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

All this speculation about "normal families" makes me think of Tolstoy's opening line to Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"--and while you may agree or disagree with Tolstoy's statement, I think the layers of misunderstood memories in this family contribute to both its uniqueness and its unhappiness.



KxBurns wrote:
"My world re-grew, and not least because whatever it was that Maud had been upset with me for soon dissolved into the many layers of a family's misunderstood memories" (p. 20).
I think this is a wonderful sentence. Do you think that "normal" families have many layers of misunderstood memories? Do you think Ginny is deceiving herself that Maud simply forgot about her suspicions?



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READERJANE
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎01-21-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I think that normal families not only have many layers of memories, but have selective memoires when it comes to events remembered or not.
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SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



vivico1 wrote:
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?

As I reread this chapter I am starting to wonder if we are over analyzing Ginny's personality traits in the early years.  Many of her actions could be attributed to shock and fear, not a psychological disorder. 
I will be interested to see where Adams takes this.
 
SandyS
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



LyndenMomof2 wrote:
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.
 



Yes, I think its more to that doctor than meets the eye! Maybe he always missed his calling to be a phystrist.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



ClaudiaLuce wrote:
Ginny's being unaware that Vivien was her sister for such a long time made the bond between them tenacious, to say the least.  It appears, that Vivi was the favored child, from Ginny's point of view. Could it be that these girls have different fathers? 
 
Being an older sister to a younger sister, occasionally, their relationship as children seems normal - I was the quiet child, my sister the noisy, outgoing one. Now, we are reversed! 
 
I understand the statement made about she was too young to understand about what the fall from the bell tower had cost her.  She was too young to even realize that the fall had cost her her ability to have children before she had even begun to have the desire to have them! What emotion pain that must have caused Vivi in the years to follow.  And Ginny - if she felt in any way responsible, then she must have felt that it was her duty to replace those lost children!


Maybe the Dr. fits in somewhere here!
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



READERJANE wrote:
I think that normal families not only have many layers of memories, but have selective memoires when it comes to events remembered or not.



This is so true!  It has been in my life.
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dewgirl
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

kbbg42 said: 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 could be. I think the doctor was actually there to see Ginny since Maud thought that Ginny was not upset about Vivi's injury and that Ginny didn't say anything about the fall when Maud asked about it.

I was shocked when, on p.15, Maud says," I love you and I don't blame you. I just need to know the truth." That, to me, made it seem like Maud thought Ginny had something to do with the fall. I didn't feel that Ginny was involved at all. I wonder if this will mean something later.
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SweetReaderMA
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I got the impression that Maud seemed to think that Ginny wasn't telling her the truth about the incident so maybe Ginny has lied about things in the past to Maud???? I get that impression from the following passage "Ginny, darling"... "I love you and I don't blame you. I just need to know the truth." The thing that bothers me about Dr. Mosey isn't that he questions Ginny's role in Vivien's fall but instead Ginny's uneasiness around him. It causes me to question why she is uneasy around him and if we will find out later in the book the reasons. The way it is portrayed is almost as if everyone else that reveres Dr. Mosey is delusional while Ginny is the only one who knows the reality. I wonder if this peek into the uneasiness of Ginny's is a foreshadowing to some event between her and Dr. Mosey.
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. ~Gilbert Highet
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ilenekm
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I hadnt thought about autism when I first read these chapters. However, the more I read the book, the more I tend to agree with this assumption.  It seems that Maud and Dr. Moyse were also concerned about Ginny being different. On p 19 "I know that Dr. Moyse was a good man and was always trying for the best, but sometimes it felt like he was interviewing me- what I felt about this and that and stupid things; if I ever wanted revenge. He never did it to Vivi."  To me this shows that there was always the underlying psychological concern about Ginny especially if you put this together with what we know about Ginny 50+ years later and her OCD tendencies.
 
 
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SweetReaderMA
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Keen observations. There was something bothering me about that as I was reading it but I never got a chance to put my finger on it but you did it perfectly. It does seem odd that she didn't quite make that sisterly bond or understand that the baby was related to her.

The other thing that got me in this chapter is the description of all the items that have been left in the house over the years and how they attest to it's history. These descriptions are so rich in detail and it kind of made me wonder what part the items would play in the story or if it was just the author's way of painting a picture of a house rich with history.
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. ~Gilbert Highet
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ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



dewgirl wrote:
I was shocked when, on p.15, Maud says," I love you and I don't blame you. I just need to know the truth." That, to me, made it seem like Maud thought Ginny had something to do with the fall. I didn't feel that Ginny was involved at all. I wonder if this will mean something later.

Very perceptive.  If you look at this in relation to Ginny's observation that "if I hadn't been there, squatting in the bell-tower with her [Vivien], I might have thought she'd jumped."  you have to make a decision about what you are going to believe.  The two viewpoints are in so much opposition that it creates a conflict for the reader. 
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dewgirl
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

BookSavage wrote:
I did not catch all this information because I could barely stay awake during this chapter.  It had to be one of the worst chapters of writing ever published in my opinion.  Descriptions were way too verbose, characters remained flat, and there was no plot.  It does help though to read all your view points.


I enjoyed this chapter more than the first one.
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Lildove3
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Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

When reading chapter 2 it does appear Ginny is bothered by the questions the doctor has ...and it does seem very odd that Ginny has no emotional response while the whole belltower incident is going on..
maybe the doctor was trying to dig deep in ginny's mind to determine if Ginny needs some serious help
before she be beyond help???
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