Reply
Correspondent
Rosei
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture


KxBurns wrote:

This chapter also brings up the issue of permanence and the passage of time. In Vivi’s distress over the fact that Ginny has sold off most of the family’s heirlooms, she says, “Our family might not have happened, there was no point to its existing for the last two hundred years if it’s got nothing to show for itself” (p. 33). In response, Ginny thinks “Is it really necessary to record and log your life in order to have made it worthwhile or commendable?” (p. 33-34). With whom do you agree?


 

This was the part I most liked in this chapter, because while Ginny had no sense of property at all, even living all that years in the house, Vivi wished to keep family roots. I agree with Vivi, because that family had those roots and their preservation was important. To record and log life is important in a family like that, full of traditions, so I think this is going to be a central point on Ginny and Vivien relationship from now on.  

Correspondent
Rosei
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture


Poor Ginny.... Poor Vivi.  On one hand Ginny isn't attached to anything except the moths and the lab stuff.  On the other hand poor Vivi as she is very attached to all the things in the house. They are such opposites..... Not a happy medium by either it seems in a way.  Also..... it seems Vivi is attached to her dog but Ginny could care less about any living creature.  Seems somewhat a running theme of the book with the dichotomy. Ginny also not attched to things but attached to the past where Vivi has moved on but attached to things from the past.
 
Lisa
 
hmm.. Lisa, you made me think if Ginny cared more for the lab and moths because they were truly the most important thing and tradition her family carried?! You pointed out a great fact and I haven´t thought about it at all. Thanks for the insight :smileyhappy:
Frequent Contributor
MelissaW
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I agree that Vivi is upset about the furniture being sold without her knowledge and that she may have wanted specific pieces at the very least to help remember her childhood.  I also think that Vivi sees the furnishings as a record that she and her family were actually there since there are no children to leave their belongings to and who would have carried on the memory of Vivi, Ginny and the rest into the next generation.
 
I agree with the thought that Ginny has some mental disorder such as AS/autism.  As I read this book, it seems clearer to me that she is very disconnected from the "real" world.  She doesn't appear to have any idea about the value of the furntiure that she sold nor does she care beyond having enough to live on, and she does not go out and socialize. 
 
She doesn't go to see a doctor, but relies on the pamphlets that the social worker leaves her for her medical knowledge.  Is her refusal to go out or have a doctor come to her a result of her interactions with Dr. Moyse during her childhood?
 
Ginny also waits for Vivi to lead the way in how they are going to act with each other.  She may not like that she is reacting to her sister like that, i.e., letting herset the tone of their first meeting in 50 years, checking to see if her reaction to Vivi's dog is the correct one.
 
I also think that Vivi uses Simon as a substitute for the child that she could never have.
Frequent Contributor
Readingrat
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎09-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

In this chapter, I thought Vivien was being pretty presumptuous in second guessing her sister selling off the furniture. Yes Ginny was probably swindled, but she doesn't seem to mind in the least. And if Vivien minded so much what happened to the house and furniture, you think she could have dropped in one or twice in nearly 50 years to check on it, don't you?
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I suspect that the neighbors know that Ginny is staring at them even though she describes herself as the captain of the ship. To me this woman has been living alone too long. When she says right at the beginning of the chapter, "I feel in control in this captain's post; I see what I want to see and nobody sees me." Maybe nobody has seen the true core of Ginny including herself and maybe she senses that she is not in control of her own destiny or life; her existence took on its own course and dimension (rudderless). I sense a loss of reality here and time has blended in with one day to another. Just a blur like the picture of her all wrapped up when she was a baby. I think she is losing touch with reality day by day.

I feel sad in a way for Ginny; she thinks that Vivian is coming back there now because she needs her as she is the older sister. And there is a moment when Ginny does not want her to come back; maybe afraid of the meeting itself. What strikes Ginny to the core is that Vivian seems to have become her own mother Maud. And poor Ginny has tightly controlled all of her emotions her whole life. Ginny seems to be more like Clive and Vivian more like Maud who seemed to know all of the club (life's social) rules.

I think Ginny realizes the loss of so many years alone when she admits to herself: "I'm aware for the first time that part of me went missing a long time ago, that without her I'd become a different person and I've just had a taste of who I used to be or even what I might have become, had she been there." So sad what estrangement from family can mean to all involved.

I thought it was interesting what Ginny said about dog owners out of the blue. "I'm usually most wary of dog owners. In general I find then loud, meddlesome people, who invariably love their dogs in an unhygienic sort of way."

I think Vivian might have a point; the antique person might have taken Ginny for a ride when some of the items might have proved much more valuable than what she received. However, Vivian had taken off and how was Ginny going to get by. Vivian really did not have a right to chastise Ginny or make her feel less competant than she already felt.

For Ginny the furniture and the legacy were too much for her to bear or to keep up any longer. It was much more bearable without the clutter. She was able to get rid of the baggage from the past that Maud and Clive could not.

I think there are moments of warmth in the chapter especially when they greet each other. But questionning what Ginny has or has not done is not a good way to begin a reunion and a renewal of an old relationship and living arrangement. There does seem to be a lot of tension between them which has not been explored.
Frequent Contributor
Jaelin
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Yeah I would have dropped in a couple of times.  I use to do it with my grandfather.  I wasn't able to see him as often after we moved to Germany so my sister had to do it though no matter what was going on someone in the family still checked in to see that everything was okay.  So it is interesting that Vivi didn't drop into see how things were done instead of assuming that everything was copasetic
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
Frequent Contributor
Jaelin
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Wow!  That is some great observations!  I would not have looked at Ginny from that stand point.  I am going to have to go back and reread and try to see it.
 
Again all I can say is "WOW!"
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
Frequent Contributor
ezraSid
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I was actually upset to hear what to me sounds like ginny was ripped off.  I mean, obviously the antiques dealer knew the true value of the items he has carted off, and if they were truly as priceless as vivi claims, then it appears that he duped ginny.  This chapter makes me think even more that maybe ginny is lacking in common sense.  She mentions that she lacks the social skills that everyone else seemed the have.  Could Vivi be coming home to keep an eye on Ginny or be her caretaker?  Will have to read more and see.  I am amazed though at the strong contrasts between the two.
~Grace~
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture



Rosei wrote:


KxBurns wrote:

This chapter also brings up the issue of permanence and the passage of time. In Vivi’s distress over the fact that Ginny has sold off most of the family’s heirlooms, she says, “Our family might not have happened, there was no point to its existing for the last two hundred years if it’s got nothing to show for itself” (p. 33). In response, Ginny thinks “Is it really necessary to record and log your life in order to have made it worthwhile or commendable?” (p. 33-34). With whom do you agree?


 

This was the part I most liked in this chapter, because while Ginny had no sense of property at all, even living all that years in the house, Vivi wished to keep family roots. I agree with Vivi, because that family had those roots and their preservation was important. To record and log life is important in a family like that, full of traditions, so I think this is going to be a central point on Ginny and Vivien relationship from now on.  



Me, too Rosei -- I think it's an issue that I could mull over and keep coming to different conclusions each time! What lasts? What really constitutes a family legacy? The material trappings of a family's history might be sold off but, in a way, aren't they actually more lasting than intellectual contributions which will likely be bested and forgotten at some point? And, if in the end, both the physical and the intellectual evidence of a family's existence will disappear, what was the point of it all? I think this is a really interesting, and very central, question posed by the novel. Particularly since we know it is the end of the line for this family.
Users Online
Currently online:23 members 322 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: