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LizzieAnn
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

It's interesting that Maud felt Ginny needed such a coping mechanism at such a young age.  It makes me wonder why.


SleightGirl wrote:

 
I think that Maud teaches Ginny to retreat as a coping mechanism.  We know that Maud isn't quite the normal parent, so I think she's passing on her knowledge and what has worked for her to Ginny.  This could mean that Maud has something that she needs to retreat from too.



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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LizzieAnn
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Perhaps Vivi was real & did actually die.  Her death might have caused the split in Ginny, and Vivi became an offshoot of Ginny's psyche because Ginny witnessed or caused the real Vivi's death.  Maybe this is also the reason that Maud taught Ginny the coping mechanism.  After all, Vivi & Maud have nothing to do with each other while at school - only on when at home.
 


ClaudiaLuce wrote:

 
After reading the speculation that Vivien actually died during her accident, here is another take for us to consider.  How about Ginny / Vivien being one and the same person.  The Vivi personality could have been buried deep inside for 50 years after having been prominent during childhood, then suddenly reappeared. Just a thought!



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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maryfrancesa
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

You may be on to something, it seems that the reader learns more about Vi after trhe accident.  But with Ginny's reliving her school days it seems that Vi is real and not  asplit ginny personality. 
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cocospals
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I think the passage about the roles that Vivi and Ginny assume, with Vivi being the leader and Ginny the follower is so true. I beleive these sisters are no different than any other siblings. The strong one will always be strong and the follower will continue to follow. It is the role they have grown up with and yes, most will exhibit traits at times to blow that theory out of the water, deep down they continue in those roles. I see it with my own children (all three adult age). The youngest is strong willed and independent  until his sister arrives home from college and then he reverts into the little brother role and follows her lead.  But I, as mom, did not see that until I read this passage.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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KayceeJV
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I agree that Ginny and Vivi almost seem to make up two halves of a whole person, but based on the stories in the book I do feel that they are (or were) both real. I think it's interesting that Ginny is so devoted to Vivi but almost cold on the subject of Maud. Vivi and Maud seem to be very much the same type of person.

Maud clearly cared for Ginny, but I don't think she knew just how to relate to her. Maud was a very outgoing, take charge kind of gal and Ginny was born to be the wallflower. It seems to me that the only way Maud knew how to help her daughter was to fight her battles for her, but she did more harm than good.

I think we definitely got to see some of what made Ginny the type of introverted person she is in this chapter, I hope we get to know Vivi as well.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I so disagree with this split personality, Ginny and Vivi being the same person theory. Its just not the way MPD works. Usually without help, a person is never aware of the other personality and even if they are told, they may never know them. Never have I read a case ever, where one personality knows all about the other one and in an attempt to "heal" oneself, or become one whole person, is there ever one who remembers the life of the other and then seeks the other out to talk to and interact with. Thats not even why a person becomes someone with MPD. There is no way I will go for that theory at all. The women are two separate people.

I am finding too that (and this is just for me, ok because I have my ideas about Ginny too) but all this diagnosing to find a way to "fit" her into something we can understand, so early in the book, is starting to take the interest and eeriness out of the story for me. I think in some ways, right now, it doesnt matter to me what label she has or why she does what she does as much as, I just want to take the ride with her and see what the heck is going on, what will she do next? What will Vivi do? Why is she there? But not so much in the "give me a comfortable diagnosis" reason, as much as wanting to be - the teenager in the movies who always goes done the dark hall alone when you know she shouldnt, you know thats stupid, but you watch as if you are going with her cause it makes it so much more exciting and spooky. I want to go along and find whats behind the next door, not diagnose why the girl went to begin with lol. I will tell you why SHE"S NUTS! lol

We are only 5 chapters in and have chewed Ginny up with diagnoses and spit her out again over and over again already. Are we so disturbed by her that we got to find something to peg her as, as soon as possible to ease our discomfort with her? lol, interesting idea about us as readers.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



KxBurns wrote:

One passage in this chapter stood out to me as being particularly significant. From page 39:

 

“I’ll tell you a strange old thing that I’d never have predicted. I can feel the start of mine and Vivien’s relationship re-forming again, but – and this is what is odd – it’s in exactly the same way it was half a century ago as if we’ve not matured at all, as if our childhood is flooding in and scrabbling to catch up with our old age: Here I am again, leaving the decision with her, waiting for her to judge whether our little altercation over the furniture is over and to resume our reunion. Vivien sets the rules and the boundaries, she takes the risks, and I’m there waiting for her if she needs me. I’d almost forgotten that it was my role.”

 

From what we’ve read so far, is this an accurate assessment of the dynamic between Ginny and Vivi? Does Ginny’s spying on her sister a few pages later alter your impression of the relationship? What about Ginny’s recollection of their school days and Vivien’s failure to do anything about the taunting that Ginny endured at the hands of her classmates?

 

I thought the passage about Ginny’s escape into her own head (page 44) was especially well written, although I question Maud’s role in her daughter’s social maladjustment. Earlier in this chapter, Ginny describes her mother as a “near faultless woman” (p. 37) and she does sound admirable. But I’m wondering if Maud’s encouragement of her daughter’s withdrawal into herself was an attempt to protect Ginny from something, or was in fact the source of Ginny’s difficulties with social interaction? One thing that is becoming quite clear is that the sisters were treated very differently by their parents.

 

Your thoughts?

 

Karen



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-03-2008 07:48 PM

I almost get the impression that Ginny wants there relationship to just pick up where it left off and it doesn't.  It seems that Ginny wants to impress Vivi though she can't seem to figure out why.    I found myself wondering why the girls were sent to school at the same time though Ginny was 3 years older.  Ginny appears to be a smart women and though she may be socially awkward I can't see why she would have been kept from school.  On page 42 Ginny recollects that "Whereas Maud overcompensated for my unpopularity, Vivien clearly couldn't cope with it, so, during term time, I didn't see her much."  This tells me that there relationship wasn't always rosy and that maybe during this Ginny became more and more independent since she knew she couldn't count on her sister to be there to take away the lonely ness. 
 
I think that Maud was over compensating for something that was wrong with Ginny though to figure it out from what we have read so far is difficult.  To say she was adopted maybe the case or that something was wrong with Ginny from the start or the fact that something happened before Ginny can remember could all be true.  It will be interesting to see if she gives up more information to go on.

 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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mwinasu
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

If you had a daughter that had a physical abnormality in the 1960's you might teach her how to cope with ignorance and stupidity.
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gosox
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

[ Edited ]
I was wondering if anyone else had trouble with the following comment found on page 42:
"Second,  [Maud would] do all my fighting for me. . . . . she wouldn't hesitate to glide into the event and, with either charm or aggression, sort it out, until I was labeled a sneak, which left me with the greater problem of judging what, and what not, to tell her."
 
Her comment of being labeled a sneak seem incongruous to her statement that Maud would do her fighting. What did you all think of that statement?


Message Edited by gosox on 03-04-2008 07:06 PM
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Wow, lots of really intriguing theories flying around here! I think the plausability of some of these ideas (that  the sisters might be one person, that one sister may in fact be dead already) speaks to the true strangeness of their relationship.
 
I agree with lcnh1's interpretation of Vivi's withdrawal from her Ginny at school:
 
"It didn't surprise me either that Vivi would not help her sister when they were at school.  As another reader pointed out, Vivi may have realized that there was a whole other world out there that did not include her parents or sister.  She was taking the opportunity to discover what she wanted out of life - even at a young age.  Vivi always seemed more sure of herself."
 
but I find it revealing that Ginny's idolization of her younger sister persists in the face of this abandonment.
 
I also think Vivi's distancing herself from her sister at school could be a result of always having had to look after her, and could be a contributing factor in her decision to leave home so young and stay away for so long. Perhaps she resented always having to care for Ginny, who was older and received a good deal of special attention from Maud. Ginny specifically says that Maud over-compensated and fought her battles for her, which she never did for Vivi. We can surmise that Vivi didn't need Maud's help, but maybe as a young girl Vivi did not see it this way?
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I wonder if "sneak" was what was used for "snich" here.  Or an alternative is that she spied on the other girls like she "spied" on moths when working with Clive and she would get caught and her mother would have to come in and try to explain what was going on?.......
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



carriele wrote:
Do you really think that Maud hated Ginny?  I get the feeling that she just couldn't relate to her or understand her.  Ginny is frequently compared to Clive and it seems that Maud enjoyed Clive even though his social skills were limited.  I couldn't help but think of all the women who have children and worry about not having that instant maternal bond.  Maybe those feelings simply didn't come to light for Maud for some reason.  I think some parents favor one child over another whether intentional or not. 
 
Carrie E. 

Charlottesweb1 wrote:
One thing that perplexes me is Maud's hatred /disappointment with Ginny.
Is it because in terms of personality she is more withdrawn like her father?Ms Adams keeps commenting on how Maud and Vivien have always had a warm relationship. The two seemed to be very driven and determined.
This difference in personalities and the fact that Maud clearly enjoyed Vivien's company over her could be the stem of the sisters rivalry.


I agree, Carrie, I did not see hatred in Maud's interaction with Ginny. I got the idea from this chapter that Maud in fact made a great many allowances for Ginny and went to great lengths to shield her. From what, I'm not sure just yet!
 
On page 42, there's a passage where Ginny recalls Maud taking Ginny's face in her hands and reminding Ginny that she is "beautiful, intelligent, and kind." Of course, Ginny uses the words "threaten" and "hypnotise" in describing this interaction, which makes it seem ominous. But we are already aware that Ginny's emotional radar is somewhat off-kilter.
 
Did anyone find this particular exchange sinister, or was it just a strange choice of words on Ginny's part?
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



vivico1 wrote:
I so disagree with this split personality, Ginny and Vivi being the same person theory. Its just not the way MPD works. Usually without help, a person is never aware of the other personality and even if they are told, they may never know them. Never have I read a case ever, where one personality knows all about the other one and in an attempt to "heal" oneself, or become one whole person, is there ever one who remembers the life of the other and then seeks the other out to talk to and interact with. Thats not even why a person becomes someone with MPD. There is no way I will go for that theory at all. The women are two separate people.

I am finding too that (and this is just for me, ok because I have my ideas about Ginny too) but all this diagnosing to find a way to "fit" her into something we can understand, so early in the book, is starting to take the interest and eeriness out of the story for me. I think in some ways, right now, it doesnt matter to me what label she has or why she does what she does as much as, I just want to take the ride with her and see what the heck is going on, what will she do next? What will Vivi do? Why is she there? But not so much in the "give me a comfortable diagnosis" reason, as much as wanting to be - the teenager in the movies who always goes done the dark hall alone when you know she shouldnt, you know thats stupid, but you watch as if you are going with her cause it makes it so much more exciting and spooky. I want to go along and find whats behind the next door, not diagnose why the girl went to begin with lol. I will tell you why SHE"S NUTS! lol

We are only 5 chapters in and have chewed Ginny up with diagnoses and spit her out again over and over again already. Are we so disturbed by her that we got to find something to peg her as, as soon as possible to ease our discomfort with her? lol, interesting idea about us as readers.

What actually me wonder is not us as readers but the Author.  Did she mean to have us think in one way only to have us come up with these other ideas or vice versa?  Could by asking us, the reader, to really look at ourselves and how we cope with our own issues?  Not to mention by making us look at all this information and coming up with all these different Ideas on what is wrong or not wrong with Ginny that we are really learning and evolving ourselves?....Thoughts?................

 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Thayer
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



KxBurns wrote:
Wow, lots of really intriguing theories flying around here! I think the plausability of some of these ideas (that  the sisters might be one person, that one sister may in fact be dead already) speaks to the true strangeness of their relationship.
 
I agree with lcnh1's interpretation of Vivi's withdrawal from her Ginny at school:
 
"It didn't surprise me either that Vivi would not help her sister when they were at school.  As another reader pointed out, Vivi may have realized that there was a whole other world out there that did not include her parents or sister.  She was taking the opportunity to discover what she wanted out of life - even at a young age.  Vivi always seemed more sure of herself."
 
but I find it revealing that Ginny's idolization of her younger sister persists in the face of this abandonment.
 
I also think Vivi's distancing herself from her sister at school could be a result of always having had to look after her, and could be a contributing factor in her decision to leave home so young and stay away for so long. Perhaps she resented always having to care for Ginny, who was older and received a good deal of special attention from Maud. Ginny specifically says that Maud over-compensated and fought her battles for her, which she never did for Vivi. We can surmise that Vivi didn't need Maud's help, but maybe as a young girl Vivi did not see it this way?


I don't feel that Ginny "idolizes" Vivi so much as feels responsible for her. It's almost as if Vivi is her personal property if you will.
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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carriele
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



KxBurns wrote:


carriele wrote:
Do you really think that Maud hated Ginny?  I get the feeling that she just couldn't relate to her or understand her.  Ginny is frequently compared to Clive and it seems that Maud enjoyed Clive even though his social skills were limited.  I couldn't help but think of all the women who have children and worry about not having that instant maternal bond.  Maybe those feelings simply didn't come to light for Maud for some reason.  I think some parents favor one child over another whether intentional or not. 
 
Carrie E. 

Charlottesweb1 wrote:
One thing that perplexes me is Maud's hatred /disappointment with Ginny.
Is it because in terms of personality she is more withdrawn like her father?Ms Adams keeps commenting on how Maud and Vivien have always had a warm relationship. The two seemed to be very driven and determined.
This difference in personalities and the fact that Maud clearly enjoyed Vivien's company over her could be the stem of the sisters rivalry.


I agree, Carrie, I did not see hatred in Maud's interaction with Ginny. I got the idea from this chapter that Maud in fact made a great many allowances for Ginny and went to great lengths to shield her. From what, I'm not sure just yet!
 
On page 42, there's a passage where Ginny recalls Maud taking Ginny's face in her hands and reminding Ginny that she is "beautiful, intelligent, and kind." Of course, Ginny uses the words "threaten" and "hypnotise" in describing this interaction, which makes it seem ominous. But we are already aware that Ginny's emotional radar is somewhat off-kilter.
 
Did anyone find this particular exchange sinister, or was it just a strange choice of words on Ginny's part?


I didn't think it was sinister.  I felt more that it was a strange choice of words.  I felt like she used the words hypnotize and threaten to emphasize how intent Maud was on making her believe she was beaultiful, intelligent, and kind.  Almost as if Maud knows that Ginny won't believe what she says, so she'll say it with a fierceness to drive her point home. 
 Carrie E.
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



Thayer wrote:

I don't feel that Ginny "idolizes" Vivi so much as feels responsible for her. It's almost as if Vivi is her personal property if you will.

Which really goes to show how far apart their "understanding" is.  If Maud is concerned about looking out for Ginny (enlisting Vivien's help) and Ginny feels that she is responsible for Vivi, which viewpoint is accurate?  The answer seems obvious, but if we go that route, how did Ginny's perception get so skewed?
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KATER
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I feel she views Maud's comments this negatively because she is so emotionally unstable.  What is her underlying issue I can't wait to find out.
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kiakar
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



mwinasu wrote:
If you had a daughter that had a physical abnormality in the 1960's you might teach her how to cope with ignorance and stupidity.



That is so true!
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SweetReaderMA
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I am led to believe in this chapter that there may be some mental and/or physical issue with Ginny because when she has trouble with the girls in that girl's school she says "I wasn't quick-witted or confident enough to play them at their cruel games. I'd feel the heat rush to my face as I fumbled for a rebuff, and I'd become highly aware of my heavy bottom lip, the position of my hands, of my entire body, and I'd end up looking silly or uneasy." (p. 40-41) or maybe it's just her own self-consciousness as all of this is going on. I am torn about what to think when it comes to Vivien's refusal to do anything about the taunting because I think that as a sister you usually try to protect one another but at the same time I wonder if Vivien decided not to help her sister so that way she wouldn't be looked at any differently by those in the school. Maybe she thinks they will start to taunt her if she tries to protect her sister and maybe Vivien isn't as tough as Ginny thinks she is but instead she tries to avoid those situations where she knows it can only break her down.

I do think that Ginny is the one that hangs back and waits for Vivien to make the move. I didn't see any mention from Ginny of her making any effort to try and locate Vivien before Vivien had contacted her.

I think that the spying Ginny did on Vivien might be a way to find out if Vivien is going to try and make drastic changes to the house while she is there. I don't think that Ginny could handle it if Vivien tried to change things in the house or in the way that Ginny lives her life.
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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paula_02912
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Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

The things that stood out to me in this chapter is how Ginny finally recalls that she is the eldest child...she spent so many years following Vivi's lead that she regressed and started to do the same thing again after the argument, waiting for her to make the first move...I think that was an important realization for Ginny at this point...I wonder how it will play out as the story unfolds...
 
The most significant thing that stood out to me was Ginny's description of "Fog" on page 44...it represented safety for her...in the margins I wrote that fog hides Ginny from preying eyes, feeding into her pattern of isolation from society...it cloaks her and comforts her and it is the perfect shield for her because it is very difficult to see her...however, she feels that it is not doing it's job because now it isolates her with Vivi...maybe this feeling stems from the fact that now Ginny will have to "face" herself and look upon the person she is after so many years of hiding...
 
I also noticed that at the end of the paragraph describing fog, Ginny finds herself waiting for Vivi to make the next move, despite recognizing that as the elder sister, she should be making the rules and Vivi should be following them...
 
The closing lines of that paragraph also struck me...Ginny's thoughts are "I'm transfixed by silence, staring at the stagnant fog outside. empty of thoughts, existing in stillness, in a space somewhere else." I felt that Ginny was looking at her life...at how stagnant it has been since Vivi left and it gave the sense that she went to that place in her head, Maud told her about (p. 43), a place where she can protect herself...why does she feel she needs to be protected from Vivi?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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