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niknak13
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I was also completely fascinated by the caterpillar.  I absolutely love it when an author writes a passage that I know I will never forget, and this is one of those instances.  The event and the description of it was both beautiful and scary, and to imagine a 6 year old girl watching it happen adds to both.
I am intrigued by Ginny and also had considered the fact that the girls could be a split personality. 
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HannibalCat
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



AmyEJ wrote:
I'm not as bothered by the focus on the moths as others, I guess.  I found it was an interesting way to see how Ginny thinks and perhaps why.  It gave me some insight about her emotional detachment (it does seem somewhat inherited from her father).  And, no offense to any lepidopterists out there, but it seems only fitting for Ginny that she would be so fixated on something so different, even if it was an interest chosen for her. 
 





I agree. Plus, it gives Ginny a focus that does not involve people. She has definitely been hurt by people and has found a way to take care of herself in her own cocoon, where she does not even have to see people on a daily basis. Even her food is delivered without human contact.
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MelissaW
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I had the same thoughts when I was reading this section.  The story about the caterpillar being eating from the inside out made my skin crawl.  How could a child be so untouched by this? 
 
I think that AnnieS summed this chapter up best by stating that the family was the caterpillar and Ginny was the maggot that was destroying her family.  I agree that Maud is not connected emotionally with her oldest daughter, while she apparently is able to connect with Vivi.  Maud and Vivi seem to have a more normal mother/daughter relationship, while Maud doesn't seem to be able to establish that type of relationship with Ginny.
 
I also noticed earlier that Vivi left as soon as she could.  Possibly bercause she didn't want to be responsible for Ginny?
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bentley
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

What is curious is that the teacher told Ginny that she and her sister were a package deal; that she was only there because of Vivian (very cruel really). And what was odd is that they were expelled for Vivian stealing a banana. The story of the monster caterpillar did not do much for me; was somebody in the family supposed to represent being eaten alive by something? The fact that we also learned that Ginny was famous piqued my interest too. She seemed so like her father and he seemed to identify with her more. Ginny seemed to think that she was lucky and that things fell into her lap; I found that an odd way of looking at her life. With the school expulsion, I felt that Ginny once again got the short end of the stick.

Clive is very scientific in his approach and doesn't consider his occupation or interests to be cruel; they are what they are. She became the Moth Woman after her own father the Moth Man. I don't think their colorless personalities are pure whim either.

I think the last two sentences were interesting: "My family was fanatical. They all seemed to be consumed by something in the end." I have to understand I think what consumed Clive and Maud aside from Clive's freak moths? Were his family freaky as well?
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Readingrat
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Being pretty much of a science geek, I really enjoyed reading this chapter and learning a bit about the moths and Clive's scientific theories and methods. It was a little disturbing that he was experimenting with crippling living creatures, but if experiments on living creatures must be performed - bugs are better than the alternatives I guess.
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Readingrat
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

[ Edited ]
As far as a six year old being able to watch the maggots eat the caterpillar... In my experience as a mother I've found that kids often don't make the same associations that adults do. Just think how many kids you have heard of that have eaten worms (or some similarly disgusting thing). Something that an adult finds disgusting is often terribly fascinating to a kid. Kids end up taking their cues from the adults around them (i.e. they learn from us that maggots eating a caterpillar is disgusting).

Message Edited by Readingrat on 03-11-2008 09:22 PM
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tgem
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

What strikes me about this chapter is that Ginny is only six and her father is telling her that she'd make a great lepidopterist, "It's in your veins," (qtd p50).  A few years later Ginny states her fate is sealed when her mother tells the gathering at her annual party that she "will follow in her father's footsteps." (p50)  She's being groomed by her father to be his apprentice.  Many readers have mentioned that they feel a true mother/daughter bond was lacking; having the mother go along with this could have been convenient for her. She didn't quite know what to do with her and dad kept her busy.  The final sentence of the chapter about the family all being consumed is another page turner.  tgem 
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m3girl
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Playing catch up, once again...
 
Anyway here are a few comments from Chapter 5:
 
I like the way she laces in flashbacks and hints from teh past.  And I do hope we learn why they got expelled.  I am not convinced they were expelled for pilfering bananas.....I do sort of understand the comment about the 'packaged deal' but need some more information about what is so undesirable about Ginny?  What is her flaw or defect?  If she truely is 'quite a famous lepidopterist' as she states - she isn't lacking in the mental category and has not mentioned any physical defect.  This is alittle confusing...but also pulls me in to find out what is really up.
 
Clive frustrates me so much.  He is so much more interested in his bugs (I know they are moths) and ignores his family.  He seems to be paying some attention but almost as a bystander.
 
That whole Pupal Soup thing is quite interesting - as it is almost the magic potion that converts the larva to the moth - transforming the creature over time.  I am curious as to the meaning of all of the moth stuff...yet find it interesting.
 
I am reminded of some of Andrea Bennet's short stories here with all of the science talk.
 
Susan
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



Readingrat wrote:
As far as a six year old being able to watch the maggots eat the caterpillar... In my experience as a mother I've found that kids often don't make the same associations that adults do. Just think how many kids you have heard of that have eaten worms (or some similarly disgusting thing). Something that an adult finds disgusting is often terribly fascinating to a kid. Kids end up taking their cues from the adults around them (i.e. they learn from us that maggots eating a caterpillar is disgusting).

Message Edited by Readingrat on 03-11-2008 09:22 PM

Great point! And look at the cues Ginny is getting from the adults around her!...
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

To a child who hasn't what is black and white this may have not been so "disgusting".  I have a Criminal Justice degree so "disgusting" is something that is a part of the job and you have to look past it to find the why, where, how and sometimes the who to get an answer that puts the "disgusting" into perspective.  Could she have already had that sense of things and by looking past it begin to see why it was a fact of life that it had to happen?
 
(Devil's advocate coming out)
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I never really paid much attention to it until I read your post.  I don't like Ginny.  I had wondered why I kept feeling that I was missting something yet it wasn't in  the book it was me.  Thanks for the insight!
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Interesting.  Ginny professes that she is not emotional and yet she is the one who seems to, at least to herself, express them a lot.  Could be that is leads her into a situation or a number of situations that will change our mind?
 
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

It does make you wonder.  The ethics would not have really been the same then as they are now so it could have been a possibility......eek not a good thought!
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I keep wondering if it wasn't so much a deformity or mental disorder as the fact that Ginny was overly intelligent or, or as we say today, a genius!  Could they not have known how to handle this and that is why Ginny had to go to school with Vivi.  We never hear that Vivi and Ginny are in the same class and it is implied that they were in there proper class.....just a thought!
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery

That is an interesting question.  Since I read a lot and on such varied topics that it wasn't until I actually started to post on the Chapters that I even noticed that there were chapter titles.  I have always found that once I am reading "text" I tend to ignore everything else.  Though in this case after looking at the chapter titles I was able to remember what went on in the chapter without having to "skim" the chapter to make my posts.
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I think her "fame" is interesting as well.  Could she have been someone who carried on for a while and found herself dissatisfied with her fame.  Could she have gotten use to being around people and had an incident happen that brought out the introvert in her and so she retreated?  hhhmmm.....

 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I know how ya feel.  I was sick this last week and to come back to 1600 posts is a bit daunting....so I am just sitting here plugging away and hopeing that I may catch up by the end of the month...I just decided to make my postings before I read anything else and now I have finally made it through the first 5 chapters and hopefully this week I will catch up and be able to join in talking with Ms. Adams.......
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



Lilsis wrote:
 
From the few posts I've read here on the discussion threads, I realize my simple thoughts on the book will not be favorable, people will think I should delve more into the symbolism of every word in the book.


Message Edited by Lilsis on 03-05-2008 07:14 AM

Everyone "reads" into a book differently.  I didn't really sit and dissect the book until I had read it first then went back to it after to catch the little things that I missed the first time.  When discussing a book it is interesting to just read it then listen to what other people have to say then go back and "see" what they saw.  To me that makes the book more of an adventure and opens up some many more possibilities.
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



AnnieS wrote:


TinaGW wrote:


Lilsis wrote:
 
 But come on, there have got to be others out there who were looking forward to a novel about the relationship between 2 sisters, not a text about moths.
 

Yes!  I was also looking forward to a novel about the relationship between sisters and think the moth theme is way overdone.  I mean, I get the connection, but I feel the author is almost bashing the reader over the head with the theme.


Message Edited by TinaGW on 03-05-2008 10:38 AM

I believe the author goes into too much detail from her background with documentary films, but some of the information is required because ot the symbolism in moths.  I believe some could have been cut out. 



I also agree.  There were times when I had to force myself to read another page about moths and get to the meat of the story.  I am glad that I did as in the end I love the book.
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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