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dordavis33
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Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Now that is a scary thought! Ginny had a psychological meltdown when Vivi died and the only way she could cope was withdrawing into herself and now after 50 years her coping mechanism no longer works?? That's pretty deep but plausible, considering the title...
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

This chapter confirmed for me Ginny definitely has some type of psychological problem.  Even through Chapter 2 I thought we were being very hard on her.  I take my initial thoughts back.  Again, I wonder where this is going.
 
SandyS
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Jo6353
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



Laurabairn wrote:
Well I'm glad I'm not the only one with crazy speculations early on. Yesterday my pet theory was Ginny was a product of some gene mutation her father had begun and that was what made her such an oddball.I know..pretty crazy...still
I read some of yesterdays postings about early life exposures changing you and it made me think what kind trauma had occured that would cause such damage. The title made me think....The Sister....which Sister...
was there another sister...one we know nothing about...perhaps a twin or an sibling who died unexpectedly and was never talked about??? Ok...it's pure speculation...Does anyone else have an out-of the box theory?
I'd love to hear them!



Cool! Like she really was a moth woman! A modern day version of The Fly. That would give a good explanation for all the moth stuff. Jo
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



LisaMM wrote:
I haven't seen this mentioned (maybe I missed it). I'm intrigued by the section on p. 42 that reads:

"She's on the other side of the landing from my bedroom, through the glass-paned double doors, and I've not been in that part of the house for more than forty years. I doubt I'd even be able to. I wouldn't feel safe. It's not for superstitious reasons, I'm far too levelheaded for that. It's just not what I call the Normal Order of Things. I do like Order."

Ok, a couple things. Why the weird capitalization in the last 2 sentences? Why doesn't she feel safe in that part of the house? What happened there?

It appears Ginny has a set of Rules by which she lives.  Maybe we need a thread just to identify all the Rules.
 
SandyS
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 4: Pizza



detailmuse wrote:
For me, one of the most telling passages about both sisters is from p.46, when Ginny realizes that Vivi brought the makings for pizza. Ginny wonders, Should I have thought of what we'd have for supper tonight, [Vivi's] first night? How did she know I hadn't?
 
Well, duh! :smileyhappy: Practical things -- social things -- don't occur to Ginny. And Vivi knows they don't. And Ginny hasn't a clue about how well people know her.

This passage stood out for me too.  Of course they would need to eat.  We know Ginny doesn't go out for dinner.  Yet she hadn't planned that far in advance.  If my sister were to arrive after 50 years I think I would have a beautiful dinner and set a nice table.
 
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tgem
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



psujulie wrote:
I'm a little confused about why Ginny has put Maud and Vivien on this pedestal. I could understand it a little more if she aspired to be more of a social person, but I just wasn't thinking that she valued that character trait. Maybe I'm way off base and she just isn't able to be social.


psujulie,
 
Your post made me think about how it seems some people with poor social skills end up having no one in their life but their family.  Some people have many social circles: family, work, school, friends (should we count internet connections?), while some make no effort to have many social circles, or make friends within them.  Ginny doesn't seem to have anyone - not even family.
 
tgem
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CAG
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

 The thought that Vivien and Ginny could be one and the same is an interesting idea. The thought had not crossed my mind before but it is a possibility.
CAG
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tgem
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Paula R. : I look forward to your insightful posts.  tgem


paula_02912 wrote:
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?



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tgem
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



kiakar wrote:  That is so true!


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.


kiakar and mwinasu:  I agree also.  Or , if you had a daughter with a mental illness, that may not have been diagnosed at the time.  tgem
 



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krenea1
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



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!


hmmm, deep.
 
A personality disorder, this would make a very interesting story. I like this thought.
Karen Renea

Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot


tgem wrote:


kiakar wrote: That is so true!


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.


kiakar and mwinasu: I agree also. Or , if you had a daughter with a mental illness, that may not have been diagnosed at the time. tgem






But would you teach a child already having troubles, to cope by turning inside herself so deeply that no one can touch you and you can lock yourself in and barely even hear or see them? Would you teach them to self isolate, the way Maud did with Ginny? Thats just as debilitating. Certainly isnt coping.
Vivian
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



vivico1 wrote:

tgem wrote:


kiakar wrote: That is so true!


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.


kiakar and mwinasu: I agree also. Or , if you had a daughter with a mental illness, that may not have been diagnosed at the time. tgem






But would you teach a child already having troubles, to cope by turning inside herself so deeply that no one can touch you and you can lock yourself in and barely even hear or see them? Would you teach them to self isolate, the way Maud did with Ginny? Thats just as debilitating. Certainly isnt coping.


But perhaps very English for the 1940s, still living in the tradition of the "stiff upper lip." They hadn't gotten yet to the 60s and the era of letting it all hang out and any kid without their own therapist was sooooo out of it.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Our discussion seems to be lacking in the area of Belinda's teapot. So strange that it was important, and telling, enough to be the chapter title, yet we haven't had much to say at this point. What does this particular pot have to do with the storyline, and why is our attention brought to it in the chapter title?

In the beginning of the chapter, Ginny prepares the tea using a particular process. But, goes on to say "To be honest, I have no idea why the china must be warmed or whether the tea really does taste better for it, but it's those little tenets your mother teaches you from an early age, which her mother instilled in her at a similar age, that become the most difficult to let go of in old age."(pg. 37) Clearly, one of the reasons the pot itself is brought up is to give Ginny a pathway to discuss Maud's character. We learn that Maud received the pot as a thank you for her help and support in some matter, which Ginny doesn't know or doesn't remember. We get to hear about how "Maud was a near-flawless woman"(37), which many of you have already commented on, and more of Ginny's feelings about her mother's deeds and personality.

The more telling aspect, for me, is her idea of being taught things at a young age, and having them stick with you through your entire life. We all know that this is true. Sure, we can consciously make an effort to change some of the things we may no longer agree with, but it is strange how some quirks continue to endure. This particular thought of Ginny's is so amazingly telling of her mindset. She clearly admits here, that she has gone on her whole life doing the things she was taught, or groomed, to do, by her parents, though she doesn't know why exactly she must do them, or even what changes in the end result because of her actions.

Her whole life she has been following the tenets of others: Maud, Clive, Vivi, and now her own self-imposed. This is clearly Ginny's role in the family, as well as in her own solitary life. I wonder will we see Ginny continue in this behavior throughout Vivi's stay, or will she stand up for herself, ask questions, and break free of her bonds now that she has realized that she has been a blind follower for most of her existence?

There may be hope. When Michael brought the tea bags for Ginny to try, "My immediate instinct-as you can imagine-was to resist the novelty, but I tried it and found the bags so much easier to handle... Now that I've tried the bags I'll never go back to the loose."(38) We see that Ginny has already changed a habit, slightly, and has found it rewarding. Shortly after making these comments about the tea, she gives us the passage about slipping right back into the same relationship she had with Vivi as a girl. I wonder if Ginny will put one and one together (tea bag = sticking up for herself)?
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LisaMM
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

>There may be hope. When Michael brought the tea bags for Ginny to try, "My immediate instinct-as you can imagine-was to resist the novelty, but I tried it and found the bags so much easier to handle... Now that I've tried the bags I'll never go back to the loose."(38) We see that Ginny has already changed a habit, slightly, and has found it rewarding. Shortly after making these comments about the tea, she gives us the passage about slipping right back into the same relationship she had with Vivi as a girl. I wonder if Ginny will put one and one together (tea bag = sticking up for herself)?

That's an excellent observation. It's also another example of how Ginny addresses the reader directly ("as you can imagine").
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LisaMM
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



LisaMM wrote:
>There may be hope. When Michael brought the tea bags for Ginny to try, "My immediate instinct-as you can imagine-was to resist the novelty, but I tried it and found the bags so much easier to handle... Now that I've tried the bags I'll never go back to the loose."(38) We see that Ginny has already changed a habit, slightly, and has found it rewarding. Shortly after making these comments about the tea, she gives us the passage about slipping right back into the same relationship she had with Vivi as a girl. I wonder if Ginny will put one and one together (tea bag = sticking up for herself)?

That's an excellent observation. It's also another example of how Ginny addresses the reader directly ("as you can imagine").


I have no idea of how I did that winky thing! I didn't mean to, but it's kind of cute!
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jlawrence77
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I think we're going to discover that this "Belinda" plays an important role in the family's story.  I have several "theories" that go along with this, but I want to ponder it a bit more before I reveal them.

pigwidgeon wrote:
Our discussion seems to be lacking in the area of Belinda's teapot. So strange that it was important, and telling, enough to be the chapter title, yet we haven't had much to say at this point. What does this particular pot have to do with the storyline, and why is our attention brought to it in the chapter title?

In the beginning of the chapter, Ginny prepares the tea using a particular process. But, goes on to say "To be honest, I have no idea why the china must be warmed or whether the tea really does taste better for it, but it's those little tenets your mother teaches you from an early age, which her mother instilled in her at a similar age, that become the most difficult to let go of in old age."(pg. 37) Clearly, one of the reasons the pot itself is brought up is to give Ginny a pathway to discuss Maud's character. We learn that Maud received the pot as a thank you for her help and support in some matter, which Ginny doesn't know or doesn't remember. We get to hear about how "Maud was a near-flawless woman"(37), which many of you have already commented on, and more of Ginny's feelings about her mother's deeds and personality.

The more telling aspect, for me, is her idea of being taught things at a young age, and having them stick with you through your entire life. We all know that this is true. Sure, we can consciously make an effort to change some of the things we may no longer agree with, but it is strange how some quirks continue to endure. This particular thought of Ginny's is so amazingly telling of her mindset. She clearly admits here, that she has gone on her whole life doing the things she was taught, or groomed, to do, by her parents, though she doesn't know why exactly she must do them, or even what changes in the end result because of her actions.

Her whole life she has been following the tenets of others: Maud, Clive, Vivi, and now her own self-imposed. This is clearly Ginny's role in the family, as well as in her own solitary life. I wonder will we see Ginny continue in this behavior throughout Vivi's stay, or will she stand up for herself, ask questions, and break free of her bonds now that she has realized that she has been a blind follower for most of her existence?

There may be hope. When Michael brought the tea bags for Ginny to try, "My immediate instinct-as you can imagine-was to resist the novelty, but I tried it and found the bags so much easier to handle... Now that I've tried the bags I'll never go back to the loose."(38) We see that Ginny has already changed a habit, slightly, and has found it rewarding. Shortly after making these comments about the tea, she gives us the passage about slipping right back into the same relationship she had with Vivi as a girl. I wonder if Ginny will put one and one together (tea bag = sticking up for herself)?


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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot


LisaMM wrote:


LisaMM wrote:
>There may be hope. When Michael brought the tea bags for Ginny to try, "My immediate instinct-as you can imagine-was to resist the novelty, but I tried it and found the bags so much easier to handle... Now that I've tried the bags I'll never go back to the loose."(38) We see that Ginny has already changed a habit, slightly, and has found it rewarding. Shortly after making these comments about the tea, she gives us the passage about slipping right back into the same relationship she had with Vivi as a girl. I wonder if Ginny will put one and one together (tea bag = sticking up for herself)?

That's an excellent observation. It's also another example of how Ginny addresses the reader directly ("as you can imagine").


I have no idea of how I did that winky thing! I didn't mean to, but it's kind of cute!




I, also, like the way that Ginny directly addresses the reader. What a personal technique.

LisaMM: I think you made the winky smiley inadvertently with a closing tag for the " marks in html code and the following ) symbol. In some code symbols, the are ;'s used (you don't have to type them, they show up automatically), and when paired with the ), you get :smileywink:. It was cute where it ended up, but I have had instances where it shows up in really inappropriate places. You can use the "preview post" function to look out for them before you "submit post", or just go with the flow. :smileyhappy:
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krb2g
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I hadn't realized it until I read the two messages below, but the times that Ginny directly addresses the reader unnerve me a little bit--here's a woman who has severe social anxiety, who can barely look the people she meets in the eye, narrating a personal story to a group of people she will never and can never meet. That in itself is not so remarkable (you could have a stream-of-consciousness first person that ostensibly never leaves the "narrator's" head, or a first person narrative with the conceit of being a personal journal as ways to get around a shy first person narrator telling various personal bits of their life), but when Ginny so directly addresses the reader--"as you can imagine" (38), I feel like the veil is being lifted and I'm seeing something I shouldn't behind the scenes. If Ginny is so socially awkward (and we've seen nothing to indicate that she's not genuinely shy/distressed by people/etc), then why on earth does the novel seem to indicate that Ginny has a sense that she's telling the story to someone or for someone?


pigwidgeon wrote:



LisaMM wrote:
>There may be hope. When Michael brought the tea bags for Ginny to try, "My immediate instinct-as you can imagine-was to resist the novelty, but I tried it and found the bags so much easier to handle... Now that I've tried the bags I'll never go back to the loose."(38) We see that Ginny has already changed a habit, slightly, and has found it rewarding. Shortly after making these comments about the tea, she gives us the passage about slipping right back into the same relationship she had with Vivi as a girl. I wonder if Ginny will put one and one together (tea bag = sticking up for herself)?

That's an excellent observation. It's also another example of how Ginny addresses the reader directly ("as you can imagine").



I, also, like the way that Ginny directly addresses the reader. What a personal technique.


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LisaMM
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot


krb2g wrote:
I hadn't realized it until I read the two messages below, but the times that Ginny directly addresses the reader unnerve me a little bit--


Yeah, same here. I wasn't saying in my original post that I liked it, only that I noticed another example of it.
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



LisaMM wrote:

krb2g wrote:
I hadn't realized it until I read the two messages below, but the times that Ginny directly addresses the reader unnerve me a little bit--


Yeah, same here. I wasn't saying in my original post that I liked it, only that I noticed another example of it.





LisaMM:
Sorry if I made it sound like you liked it :smileysad:, though, I do like it. I find it really interesting....
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