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

I think some of the comments about the ages of the sisters make good points, but rheumatoid arthritis can strike people when they are young, so this condition may not be related to their ages. Also, I think it's clear that Ginny's actions and opinions are colored by the fact that she never leaves home, so although I agree her behavior would be odd for most people of her age/generation, it seems clear Ginny is not "most people."
 
I think it's interesting that Vivi seemed to expect the family home to be more or less like she left it 50 years earlier. If Ginny has been living there by herself all this time, why shouldn't she have done what she pleased with the furnishings? If Vivi wanted to lay claim to something, she shouldn't have stayed away so long. I can't help wondering what it is that Vivi wants. Why is she moving home after all this time? What did she expect to find there?
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture



vivico1 wrote:

CubbyVet wrote:
I also thought Maud's death occurence was sort of odd. Was it just a coincidence that Maud died while falling down the stairs while Ginny was there or did Ginny have something to do with it? And if Ginny had something to do with it, does that mean she also had something to do with Vivi's fall?



Ginny pushes,
Vivi falls.
Where is Maud,
She makes no calls?

Ginny looks,
She shows no pain.
Has Ginny pushed,
Someone again?

:smileywink: muuaahhhaaahhhhhhaaa

Lookie! A real live Poet in the house!!  Thank you! Thank you!Thank You!
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gosox
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

[ Edited ]
Again, I think Ginny's outlook on things is more a reflection of a mental disorder than it is an issue with her age. Through Ginny's narrative we are introduced to Vivi, and she describes a woman who appears far younger than herself. She has not had much to do over the years but rumble around a decaying house as she focuses on her decaying body. She may be only in her late 60s, but she has the mind, and in turn the body, of a much older woman. [You're as old as you think you are.]
 
I think that Vivi's comment to Ginny that "look at us. We're old people" (28), is a fairly common comment/silent observation people make when running into people they have not seen for a long time. Imagine how it would be to see a sibling after a 50 year absence. Perhaps, there is something about siblings that makes us feel perpetually young!


Message Edited by gosox on 03-03-2008 10:22 PM
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kbbg42
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Other things that I found eerie is the part when she sees Vivi from the upstairs window and she is shocked to see that she looks like Maude "with the all knowing eyes". She feels afraid but when she sees Vivi face to face she is relieved to see that Vivi doesn't have Maudes eyes, that  all knowingness. What did Maude know about Ginny that made her afraid? Also when she mentioned Jake the pig head she also mentioned that it was Vivi's pig and that it had died of unnatural causes. She also smiled to herself at the long lost memory of Jake. Could it have been the long lost memory of perhaps killing Jake? Or am I making to much of it. I must admit that Ginny does give me the creeps. Her voyeristic nature,the accidents to loved ones, unnatural death of pigs, it's getting a little errie here!!!!
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I was struck by a phrase on page 34: "Now that I'm self-sufficient, now that I've achieved my own goals n life..."

Egad. This spinster life hiding behind curtains, gnarled up, never going out, seeing almost nobody, a recluse who h as to sell the family furniture for spending money, no family except a sister she hasn't seen for fifty years -- this is accomplishing her goals in life?

Who on earth sets that kind of goals for themselves???
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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sriensche
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

gosox wrote:
 
In this chapter, as well as the previous ones, there appears to be some hints of issues with Ginny's interactions with others. Although I am no expert on the condition, does anyone else think that Ginny might exhibit some symptons of Asperger's/autism?
 
Wondered the same thing.  Some of her actions are more than OCD, and her complete lack of emotional ties led me to think there is more to Ginny than just an eccentric reclusive woman.  However if there is something "different" about her how could her sister leave her completely alone and cut off for so many years?
~Steph
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture


Everyman wrote:
I was struck by a phrase on page 34: "Now that I'm self-sufficient, now that I've achieved my own goals n life..."

Egad. This spinster life hiding behind curtains, gnarled up, never going out, seeing almost nobody, a recluse who h as to sell the family furniture for spending money, no family except a sister she hasn't seen for fifty years -- this is accomplishing her goals in life?

Who on earth sets that kind of goals for themselves???


Well, it did take some time but I did manage to sell that sofa I had. My life is complete!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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AnnieS
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Vivico1 wrote: This is something that is bugging me. I mean, heck they are both just in their 60s, but yeah Poppy writes them like they are near 80, can barely get around physically and all gnarled up with arthritis. Not everyone in their 60s is falling apart, geesh. I keep trying to reconcile how they are described to their ages, but also as mentioned to the time period of the 1960s. There is a lot of distortion here and it may not all be the character's view. 
 

It is true that they seem older than other people in their 60's.  But Ginny is living in an "old" world.  Her mind as we have all stated does not seem "up" to the time past or present.  It is distorted, much like I believe her memory is.  Viv is a bit in time with cell phone and such, but her injury could have weathered her body over time as well.  Both older single women set in their ways made from themselves and their past. 

I believe that the author is using their physical ailments to also show an emotional aging.  Viv is looking for something, I believe it is to hold her past together, to reconcile maybe with it, her sister or herself before she or the other passes.  Ginny is looking to forget it, not looking into her reflection, not to remember the truth.  She did not reach out to her sister but as she says "  After all, she left all those years ago and she invited herself back" 

Annie

 

 

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



vivico1 wrote:

CubbyVet wrote:
I also thought Maud's death occurence was sort of odd. Was it just a coincidence that Maud died while falling down the stairs while Ginny was there or did Ginny have something to do with it? And if Ginny had something to do with it, does that mean she also had something to do with Vivi's fall?



Ginny pushes,
Vivi falls.
Where is Maud,
She makes no calls?

Ginny looks,
She shows no pain.
Has Ginny pushed,
Someone again?

:smileywink: muuaahhhaaahhhhhhaaa

wow! Watch out, you are gonna win the Emily Dickinson award, whatever that is.
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Mary1234
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Could it be that she has something she knows that SHE has hidden in the house before she left it so many years before? Maybe she thinks that Ginny is too mixed up to recall what is really there.
 
Mary
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GMorrison
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎12-20-2007
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture



Everyman wrote:
I was struck by a phrase on page 34: "Now that I'm self-sufficient, now that I've achieved my own goals n life..."

Egad. This spinster life hiding behind curtains, gnarled up, never going out, seeing almost nobody, a recluse who h as to sell the family furniture for spending money, no family except a sister she hasn't seen for fifty years -- this is accomplishing her goals in life?

Who on earth sets that kind of goals for themselves???




That quote read to me like something out of a Bond villain or mad scientist's monologue. (And Ginny's family doesn't seem to lack for kooky scientists.) She also says something in Chapter 5 that gave me the exact same impression.

I rather think her "goals" either precipitated or are otherwise connected to Vivi's absence and Ginny's life alone in her giant, crumbling house.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture


AnnieS wrote:
Vivico1 wrote: This is something that is bugging me. I mean, heck they are both just in their 60s, but yeah Poppy writes them like they are near 80, can barely get around physically and all gnarled up with arthritis. Not everyone in their 60s is falling apart, geesh. I keep trying to reconcile how they are described to their ages, but also as mentioned to the time period of the 1960s. There is a lot of distortion here and it may not all be the character's view.

It is true that they seem older than other people in their 60's. But Ginny is living in an "old" world. Her mind as we have all stated does not seem "up" to the time past or present. It is distorted, much like I believe her memory is. Viv is a bit in time with cell phone and such, but her injury could have weathered her body over time as well. Both older single women set in their ways made from themselves and their past.

I believe that the author is using their physical ailments to also show an emotional aging. Viv is looking for something, I believe it is to hold her past together, to reconcile maybe with it, her sister or herself before she or the other passes. Ginny is looking to forget it, not looking into her reflection, not to remember the truth. She did not reach out to her sister but as she says " After all, she left all those years ago and she invited herself back"

Annie




I still think its a distorted view of them physically in their 60s, in the 1960s or so. Or people age faster in England. And its not just how Ginny is seeing them, their actual physical descriptions are old. I just keep seeing 70-80 year olds, not women in their 60s.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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MsMorninglight
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I was touched by the laughter the two sisters shared when they met & thought perhaps Vivi really was coming home just to be with her sister.  But once she became upset over all the material things being sold, it brought me to the thought that perhaps Vivi has only come home because she needs money.  She appears to be doing well, with her driver and her well kept appearance, but is she just trying to hide the fact from her sister, that she's really in financial trouble?   But then I thought, no, maybe in coming home, she'd expected everything to be as it was when she left & is just really upset to find a house full of empty rooms & not the home she remembered.
 
Each chapter so far, has done a great job of making me "curious-er and curious-er"..
 
 



"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." - Henry James
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Frank_n_beans
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I think it's interesting how Ginny's character seems to struggle with the matter of control.  There is a stark contrast between what she controls and what is controlled for her- both in the past and the present tense of the narrative.   I think her decision to sell off much of the family furniture goes beyond mere self-support...I think it was a matter of control.  Similarly, I think the issue of time is indicative of Ginny's need for some semblance of "control."  Contrast this with the fact that Ginny seemed to lack so much control when she was a child and in her relationship with Vivi (and with Maud too) and yet she seems to be most comfortable with it this way.   I thought it was quite telling that Ginny let Vivi come home without really being active in the decision.   
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture


kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

CubbyVet wrote:
I also thought Maud's death occurence was sort of odd. Was it just a coincidence that Maud died while falling down the stairs while Ginny was there or did Ginny have something to do with it? And if Ginny had something to do with it, does that mean she also had something to do with Vivi's fall?



Ginny pushes,
Vivi falls.
Where is Maud,
She makes no calls?

Ginny looks,
She shows no pain.
Has Ginny pushed,
Someone again?

:smileywink: muuaahhhaaahhhhhhaaa

Lookie! A real live Poet in the house!! Thank you! Thank you!Thank You!



lol, was it ominous enough kiakar?? lol
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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serialmahogany
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

I think that the author is continuing the mirror aspects of the two women's views.  It's like the traditional story of an old woman looking in a mirror seeing what she used to look like vs what she looks like in reality.
 
I think that the author is showing a view of perception through Ginny in which one treasures the makeup of life and all it's aspects, grwoing old, maturing, watching the leaves wither away (the wings in the house). Ginny is the actual roots of the tree in the family.  Holding it together and helpign it to grow, Or the walls of a house...there since the begining and knowledge of everything that has gone on.  And ivy is more like the windows of the house,replaceable, see through and fragile, yet you still need them to help keep the house whole.
 
Vivy sees the world through the looking glass as the old queen in snow white, just as their mother Maud did.  They both are so wrapped up in the past that they are hording their "beauty" represented by the furniture in the house, and all the odds and ends Ginny sold which Vivy is trying so dear to have a strangehold on. 
 
Most would say that Vivy "lived the life", where as Ginny watched life fly by.  But in essence, Ginny found the meaning of life, and it seems like Vivy, just like her mom was searching so hard for it in meaningless parites and adventures that passed ight by her.
 
I think that Ginny knows what treasure she has, life, and even with that she still misses the task of her sister's treasure because she holds the essence of their mother.
 
And as for the dog, I figured, since the dog was dying, she decided to go stay with Ginny in order to have viable replacement.
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AnnieS
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Did anyone notice this
" None of my features were so elegant or clear-cut, but a thousand thoughts and feelings could be buried unnoticed beneath my broader cheeks and softer, rounded nose. My lips were too wide and full for my face, the bottom one too heavy curving down a little to reveal a glimpse of the inside.  While Vivi had worked on disguising her true feelings as she grew up, I had worked on finding a little muscle to lift my bottom lip so that it might meet its opposite." 
 
She can hide her thoughts and feelings, but she doesn't talk about them. Does she really hide them?  She worked on a physical flaw that she could work on and overcome overtime to be like everyone else.  This was more important.  What other "differences" were just as important to her that she kept buried beneath her cheeks. 
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pheath
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture



carriele wrote:
One of the things that stood out to most was Ginny's reaction to the dog that Vivi brought with her. Vivi states that Simon is old and won't last long. Ginny says she doesn't know whether to say thanks or that she's sorry about it. She tries to make a cute face, like the one people make at babies. She can tell by Vivi's reaction that the face she made was incorrect though. Once again, she seems to be concerned about being judged by her younger sister and we also see another example of how difficult it is for Ginny to display socially correct emotions and reactions to situations. Interestingly enough, it doesn't seem as if Vivi feels bad about Ginny's problem though since Ginny states that when she makes the wrong expression, Vivi looks away as if Ginny has been caught picking her nose.
Carrie E.





I think that this ties back to the lack of emotional response that Ginny had to Vivi's accident in the previous chapter. In Ginny's robot like mind, she has no feeling or intuition to help guide her in the way give an appropriate reaction. While she tries her best to do something logical relating this situation to what people say about babies, Vivi's reaction shows that it takes more than pure logic to have social interaction.
-Philip
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elde
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

Did anyone notice this
" None of my features were so elegant or clear-cut, but a thousand thoughts and feelings could be buried unnoticed beneath my broader cheeks and softer, rounded nose. My lips were too wide and full for my face, the bottom one too heavy curving down a little to reveal a glimpse of the inside. While Vivi had worked on disguising her true feelings as she grew up, I had worked on finding a little muscle to lift my bottom lip so that it might meet its opposite."


I did notice the description of herself. It made me think back in previous chapters how she didn't look at her reflection or "primp" herself for her sister's arrival. Maybe the reason for it is that she has always felt like the "ugly duckling". She doesn't want to look at herself. Her looks don't matter. Was she treated that way by Maud?


Trying to make the cute face to the dog and Vivi looked away. Has she always been treated that way due to not being able to show or understand emotions and Vivi is embarrassed by her "inept sister". Was Maud the same way with her?

And if she does not have "normal" emotions it would stand to reason that she would have no sentimental attachment to the furniture. She may be keeping the entomology items because that is how she fills her time so it has a useful purpose to her over anything else in the house.
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LisaMM
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Re: Chapter 3: Vivien, a Small Dog, and the Missing Furniture

CubbyVet wrote:
I also thought Maud's death occurence was sort of odd.  Was it just a coincidence that Maud died while falling down the stairs while Ginny was there or did Ginny have something to do with it?  And if Ginny had something to do with it, does that mean she also had something to do with Vivi's fall?>>


I had to go reread the section about Maud's death after reading your post. It doesn't say that Ginny was there. Maybe she was, but it doesn't say that, unless I missed it somewhere.

From pg. 23 "But it was Maud's death that had the biggest impact on our lives. It was pain-free, although probably not as dignified as she'd have liked. She tripped down the cellar steps. But afterwards our lives changed direction forever. That was when Vivi left our house for the last time and she hasn't been back since. "
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