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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower -- p. 6

Suzi wrote: "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."
 
Suzi, the question then becomes, was this family a "normal" family, living under normal circumstances? There are enough details up to this point that indicates that something is definitely not "normal" about Ginny and her relationship with her parents...we also have to keep in mind the times as well...this was 1940 and I don't think that preparing a child for the homecoming of a new baby was at the top of the list for this family...remember war was going on at this time...I get the sense that maybe, just maybe Vivi's arrival is not as simple as Ginny remembers it...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Ginny is quiet and unemotional.

Vivi suffers from mood swings and has a bad temper leading to often fighting with her mother. Running away is a normal function for her and Ginny has to go find her. She is also impulsive, an action which caused her fall from the bell tower. Vivi seems to have a vivid imagination, perhaps suffering from racing thoughts. Maybe Bipolar disorder? It's interesting that Ginny eludes to the idea that Vivi could have thrown herself from the bell tower had Ginny not seen the accident for herself.

Maude pushes Vivi and Ginny together. It's as if she is trying to protect them. But who is protecting who? Is Vivi protecting Ginny or is Ginny protecting Vivi?
Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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pheath
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



MsMorninglight wrote:


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.






I have to admit being a bit surprised that this premise could be made interesting too! However, I thought the book was a great read, and it is built around Lepidoptery and a dysfunctional family. Perhaps it's that latter that made the former more interesting...
-Philip
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower -- p. 6

HannibalCat wrote: "She doesn't even understand what kind of doctor she is talking to. He is clearly a psychiatrist of psychologist."
 
HannibalCat, maybe she does understand and does not want to accept the fact that she needs to see him...she is clearly irritated that he keeps singling her out for more ind depth conversations...his entire demeanor when he addresses her and when he addresses other children...maybe she realizes that something is wrong with her, but does not want to accept...also, she is pretty young still...so it would make sense that she could not differentiate between a doctor who helped people who were hurt physically and one who helped people who were hurt emotionally...
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

trolycar wrote: "I think Ginny may very well had no emotion in which to react -- she seems to be --at least to this point an average person just living to satisfy all of her sister whims -- her sister is happy so is Ginny she is sad and Ginny exhibits a loss as if how does one respond --so without her younger sibling Ginny's own light dims and she doesn't have much left of her own self --- let alone emotions in which to handle the situation at hand. "
 
trolycar, I thought the same thing...I felt that Vivi's emotions and actions dictated that of Ginny's, but how does that correlate with the fact that when Vivi is so effusive and emotional, Ginny has an unemotional affect...was there something inherently wrong with her that she could not display her emotions as overtly as Vivi? Someone mentioned in another response that maybe something happened to Ginny when she was a young girl...I agree with that statement...afterall, what happens to you as a child shapes the adult you become, right?
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

ELee wrote: "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)."
 
ELee, I think it is interesting that you use the word cocoon, which connects my idea that the moths and the butterflies are representative of both sisters...I wonder how important time will be in the rest of the book, since it has been alluded to so many times in the first two chapters...
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

fordmg wrote: "She was probably more like family."
 
Or maybe she was more than just the housekeeper/maid...notice how Ginny describes her...does it remind you of anyone?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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Bonnie824
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Maybe Ginny has mild autism or aspergers.

I maybe just be seeing more than is written since autism is a disability I work with fairly often. If so, the doctors questions make sense, and the mother's concern and suspicion.
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Jaelin wrote: "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?"
 
Jaeling (pretty name, a friend of mine has a daughter with the same name)...or maybe she knows something that the family doesn't want to share and the best way to ensure that is to keep her near...
 
I love being a devil's advocate...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower


Everyman wrote:

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.)


I can see Ginny's confusion. One because I think something is wrong with her mentally and we are seeing this through her eyes. But also because even if she wasnt, look how this all came about. Her mother comes home with not one baby but 12 children from the hospital when she is three. Why would a 3 year old automatically see this one baby as her sister? I could see how a confused little girl would see all of these children as family or none because they came together. Why not in three years? Well look at how they call each other in this family anyway, she doesn't call her mother, mom, or her father, dad, they are called by their first name and of course so are all of these children. And they DID come into homes in bunches like that during the war and right after, if someone would take them. People with big homes often did. They may be called evacuees, but understand, many were orphans and many they were getting children out of the cities even when the parents stayed. This isnt us, or our time. And this isnt the typical family. Why wouldn't Ginny be confused and think that if all the kids come at once, they all go at once. She doesnt really get to know or attach to her as her sister until the others are gone. I think it was just like a house of children and some disconnected adults at that time.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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dordavis33
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

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

Ginny was the oldest only in biological age. Vivi was the leader and Ginny followed her sister like a faithful disciple. Vivi was the one to take charge of the situations they encountered, she took charge of not only her life but her sister's as well. "Vivien was from a fantastic world, definitely not the same on as mine. I thought when God made Vivi he was giving me a window to see the world in a different way...she spent hours meticulously planning her life--and mine..." (p.13)

Ginny looked up to Vivi,almost idolized her, something which puzzles me considering she watched her sister tip over and fall from the bell tower. Was it shock??
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

kiakar wrote: "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. ??"
 
This house was in the family for generations...remember they were very wealthy prior to the war and the wealth dwindled with the succession of each new heir...Ginny talks about the house while they were affluent and injects the subtle changes that occur as generation after generation took over the care of the house and grounds...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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dordavis33
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I have wondered too why Ginny refers to her parents by their first names. I don't think that was a common practice. It speaks volumes of the relationship. Just like the deteriorating house, when did her relationship with her parents begin to deteriorate?
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Everyman
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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, ...

Or at least before we learn exactly what Ginny says happened in the tower, which may or may not be what actually happened. She could be telling the truth, she could be lying, she could be telling what she believes to be true but isn't because she blocked out the truth.
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

If Ginny is a sociopath, or has OCD, or something, it clearly manifested itself fairly early on, because several people have noted aspects of the bell tower, other children, photographs, "normal family" comment, Vivi taking the lead though younger, and other things that show that whatever it was, it showed up early. So clearly by the time Vivi left, she would have known there was something wrong there. So why does she suddenly decide to waltz back into the house when she apparently hasn't seen Ginny for decades and presumably has no idea (at least no first hand idea) what the current status of her condition is?

YOu would expect her to be a bit more cautious and look before she leaps.

Unless some doctor not yet in the picture has persuaded her that Ginny needs home care at this point in her life and Vivi accepts the responsibility. That's total speculation, and no I haven't read ahead so if it's correct it's a lucky shot, but it would be a possible explanation of Vivi's apparently sudden decision to descend on Ginny.

Jaelin wrote:


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?




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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I think that back in the 40s a family doctor was more of a generalist, and could well have taken on some responsibility for the mental as well as physical health of the children -- more a holistic approach to medicine, before the age of highly restrictive specialization. So I wasn't that surprised at his questions, and I'm not sure they required him to be a shrink.

noannie wrote:
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.
noannie



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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Everyman wrote:
Unless some doctor not yet in the picture has persuaded her that Ginny needs home care at this point in her life and Vivi accepts the responsibility. That's total speculation, and no I haven't read ahead so if it's correct it's a lucky shot, but it would be a possible explanation of Vivi's apparently sudden decision to descend on Ginny.
_________________________________________________

Interesting hypothesis. I hadn't considered that. I guess we'll have to read on and see if you are right, my dear Watson.
Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

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?
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I think that Ginny reinforces the fact that she & Vivi are so different.  On the same page she calls Vivi a "normal, imaginative child" and talks of how Vivi planned & dreamed.  Ginny seems to be lacking the creativity & imagination that are often found in children.  Vivi could probably pick up a stick & see a wand while Ginny would see a twig.  Ginny may be envious of Vivi's ability to submerse herself into imagination; Ginny cannot create these fantasy worlds.  She can only enter them via Vivi.
 


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?


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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CathyB
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

 
I agree.  I am leaning towards Asperger's.
 
Maud also seems to favor Vivi - or at least indulges her.
 
-CathyB

 


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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