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Lildove3
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Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery

Since chapter 1 this story goes from the past to future..it has you coming and going.
It does shed light  on why maybe Ginny is who she is today. If you think about it a child makes choices as they go along in life...after all maybe Clive had issues that was passed  down to Ginny thru genes???
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pheath
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Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery



Lildove3 wrote:
Since chapter 1 this story goes from the past to future..it has you coming and going.
It does shed light on why maybe Ginny is who she is today. If you think about it a child makes choices as they go along in life...after all maybe Clive had issues that was passed down to Ginny thru genes???





This actually ties in well with the mental illness theories that a number of people have been discussing. Many of these are passed down from one generation to the next.
-Philip
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trishbrowning
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Registered: ‎01-30-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



LisaMM wrote:
"Vivi was supposed to be the one to make something of the life she nearly lost when she was eight, not me. I just fell into it, and now my name will be heard for many years to come, whispered through the corridors of one eminent institution or other, citing my papers or my expertise..."

Delusions of grandeur??


Totally! I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking how people who are famous don't usually tell you to such a degree...
 
Delusions of grandeur aside, I also find Ginny to be very childish, even at her age. On page 43, she says, "I'm surprised to find that as I creep between the two pantries, the back stairwell and the kitchen, straining to hear her movements and the other noises above me, I can visualize a little of what she's up to." Basically, she's eavesdropping. Why is she so curious about what her sister is doing? Her immaturity and other flaws do not make her a likeable or endearing character, at least for me.
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BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: Chapter 5: Moths -- p. 54

I very much agree with your comment (below) about exposing kids to the 'yucky' parts of the natural world.  Way too many of them - and us - live in our own sorts of cocoons, sanitized and cellophane-wrapped until we no longer appreciate what the reality of nature is.   I admit that my face twisted with distaste as I read the lengthy description, but the 'little professor' side of many kids' personalities would probably think both 'Gross!' and "Way cool !!" at the same time.   And I like the idea of them experiencing both.  It used to be thought that new fathers watching the birth of their own child was 'gross' too, and look how far we've come from that. 
 
 
Swamplover wrote:
 
For those bothered by the caterpillar incident, note that predation of the pupal or larval stage is extremely common in the insect world.  And while I have never actually seen the insects emerge (drat!), I have seen the end product of predation in a Black Swallowtail Butterfly chrysalis, for instance.  It's a very clever adaptation to ensure survival of the next generation. I often called my children in when they were young  to observe some phase of metamorphosis (the formation of the chrysalis is truly amazing even after you have watched it a hundred times) and would certainly not have hesitated to point out the caterpillar event if I chanced to see it happening.  Lots of things in the natural world seem strange, weird, horrific or disgusting - until you realize that they are, in fact, well . . . natural.
 

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Scott84
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Well, I'm beginning to think I don't belong here.  The more I try to catch up on all the posts the more I fall behind.  Maybe I'll have better luck over the weekend but, for now, I think I should just post a couple of thoughts and get back to the book for chapters 6-9.  I'm posting here so as to avoid any spoiler problems.  My apologies if I repeat anything posted elsewhere.  Just chalk it up to my agreeing with the previous post(s).
 
By chapter five I already had a picture in my mind of Ginny as being handicapped in some way that affected her mentally and possibly had a physical manifestation as well.  The way she related others talking to her in the flashbacks and her dislike of looking at herself in a mirror seems to indicate this.  I'm thinking along the lines of Down's Syndrome but Ginny would certainly be beating the odds for life expectancy if that is the case.  I thought "The Monster" of chapter five might reference Ginny in some way; maybe kids taunting her in a flashback.
 
I'm not sure how Ginny could have been living alone for so long if she is handicapped.  This may be why Vivi is returning home after so long a time but I look forward to finding out how long Ginny has been alone.  Maybe Clive passed away a few years ago but would Vivi not have been notified?  Maybe Clive had hired a caretaker who passed away and the news has just reached Vivi.  It has been at least long enough for Bobby to gradually haul away most of the furniture. BTW, I suspect Bobby has cheated Ginny in only giving her a fraction of the profits on the furniture.
 
Trusting the narration at face value will be hard with the predisposition I now have in thinking Ginny's perspective is skewed.  I think she referred to her parents as Maud and Clive but Vivi probably did not.  I wonder if Vivi's actions in the present are accurate or if they are filtered through Ginny's perspective.  I feel like Ginny's description of Vivi's accident is mostly accurate but I wonder if Ginny played a part in the accident when Maud died.  I could see that causing Vivi enough heartache to leave home.
 
Maud's guilt for thinking they could be a normal family is likely a result of deciding to keep Ginny at home instead of sending her to an institution.  I think the latter was commonplace at that time.  I wonder also if Maud feels somehow responsible for Ginny's condition.  Maybe she worked with the lepitoptery chemicals during the pregnancy and blames herself for that being the cause.
 
I think the title of the book definitely refers to Ginny and I think the term may have been used as a pejorative in the past.  It could be the way insensitive people at school or Maud's social functions spoke about Ginny.  And Ginny being the narrator makes me believe she is "The Sister" as well.
 
I'll try to compartmentalize my thoughts by chapter for 6 through 9.  Sorry again to lump everything together here.
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lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: Chapter 5: Moths -- p. 54

I read it the same way as GMorrison did.  It was just a way to describe in a simple way what her father wanted to reduce the components of a moth to.


GMorrison wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
Incidentally, so far I am unimpressed with the science as presented. The algebraic expression/equation on p. 54 seems worse than useless -- there is absolutely no discussion of the meanings assigned to the variables (beyond being constituents of the moth). I am going to need further discussion before some of the descriptions become plausible -- I haven't been able to verify them with short, limited web searches.




I don't think the equation was supposed to mean anything--rather, it was just a shorthand way for Ginny to convey her father's belief that everything can be reduced to static components. Ginny was trying to explain to the reader that her father believed that, if he could discover what x, y, and z were, he could manufacture a moth in a test tube, and that his view of life and nature are completely mechanistic. Questions of "soul" or "chi" or "lifeforce" or whatever play no part in it.

Thanks for the links, by the way!


Happiness is a warm blanket!
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lmpmn
Posts: 177
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

"My family was fanatical.  They all seemed to be consumed by something in the end."  I wonder if Ginny is consumed with Vivi?
 
Since her father "went demented much younger" (p. 33) than the sisters are now, I find myself very curious as to what became of him.
 
Only after I went back and re-read some passages where other people are talking did I realized that Ginny's full name is Virginia.  I also wonder what their last name is, since their mother's maiden name must have been Kendal.
 
I totally agree with the other people who've written that the quote from page 55 about the moth's universal character and inability to learn from experience mirror Ginny's inability to pick up on social cues and overall just not being able to "fit in."
Happiness is a warm blanket!
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Hey Scott, You done good!  With a crowd this large it sometimes is difficult to read every post so you must just read some and jump right on in when you have something to add, as you did.  Keep afloat in the big pool and throw out your ideas like life preservers, someone is bound to take hold.  :smileyhappy:

Scott84 wrote:
Well, I'm beginning to think I don't belong here.  The more I try to catch up on all the posts the more I fall behind.  Maybe I'll have better luck over the weekend but, for now, I think I should just post a couple of thoughts and get back to the book for chapters 6-9.  I'm posting here so as to avoid any spoiler problems.  My apologies if I repeat anything posted elsewhere.  Just chalk it up to my agreeing with the previous post(s).
 
By chapter five I already had a picture in my mind of Ginny as being handicapped in some way that affected her mentally and possibly had a physical manifestation as well.  The way she related others talking to her in the flashbacks and her dislike of looking at herself in a mirror seems to indicate this.  I'm thinking along the lines of Down's Syndrome but Ginny would certainly be beating the odds for life expectancy if that is the case.  I thought "The Monster" of chapter five might reference Ginny in some way; maybe kids taunting her in a flashback.
 
I'm not sure how Ginny could have been living alone for so long if she is handicapped.  This may be why Vivi is returning home after so long a time but I look forward to finding out how long Ginny has been alone.  Maybe Clive passed away a few years ago but would Vivi not have been notified?  Maybe Clive had hired a caretaker who passed away and the news has just reached Vivi.  It has been at least long enough for Bobby to gradually haul away most of the furniture. BTW, I suspect Bobby has cheated Ginny in only giving her a fraction of the profits on the furniture.
 
Trusting the narration at face value will be hard with the predisposition I now have in thinking Ginny's perspective is skewed.  I think she referred to her parents as Maud and Clive but Vivi probably did not.  I wonder if Vivi's actions in the present are accurate or if they are filtered through Ginny's perspective.  I feel like Ginny's description of Vivi's accident is mostly accurate but I wonder if Ginny played a part in the accident when Maud died.  I could see that causing Vivi enough heartache to leave home.
 
Maud's guilt for thinking they could be a normal family is likely a result of deciding to keep Ginny at home instead of sending her to an institution.  I think the latter was commonplace at that time.  I wonder also if Maud feels somehow responsible for Ginny's condition.  Maybe she worked with the lepitoptery chemicals during the pregnancy and blames herself for that being the cause.
 
I think the title of the book definitely refers to Ginny and I think the term may have been used as a pejorative in the past.  It could be the way insensitive people at school or Maud's social functions spoke about Ginny.  And Ginny being the narrator makes me believe she is "The Sister" as well.
 
I'll try to compartmentalize my thoughts by chapter for 6 through 9.  Sorry again to lump everything together here.



Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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AnnieS
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Registered: ‎01-29-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Scott - great job.  Can't wait to read what you have to say for 6-9
Annie
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dghobbs
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I also thought that the theft of a Banana was insufficient reason to expel someone. I also found it interesting that Ginny gets expelled simply because her sister was expelled. That suggests to me that something else must have been going on. Perhaps, we'll see later in the novel :smileyhappy:doug
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dghobbs
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



carriele wrote:
The story about the caterpillar was really difficult for me to get through. It's interesting to me that the doctor and Maud are so bothered by Ginny's lack of emotion all the time. Clive seems to view much of life in a scientific manner with little emotion. Perhaps it's not all that surprising that Ginny behaves this way as well?
Carrie E.





I so agree! It was tough, but to think that a young child was observing it made it even more difficult to take...:smileyhappy:doug
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detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Or maybe Ginny is the monster -- she's already cannibalized the house possessions...

DSaff wrote:

KxBurns wrote:

Are we intended to see the caterpillar’s being eaten alive from the inside out by maggots as a metaphor for something?


The metaphor could be that Ginny is the caterpillar and loneliness is the maggots.

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Bedelia
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎10-20-2007
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

WAY more about moths than I ever wanted to know! The plot of the sisters is too slow in forming!
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Lilsis
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

[ Edited ]
I've also been trying to play "catch up" with these posts since I've been out of town...I don't think it is possible to read them all, so I'm also just going to Jump in at this point.
 
It is interesting to me how everyone is dissecting each paragraph in the book, trying to find some reason behind each and every word. I found myself sort of doing the same as I was reading the first 5 chapters, but to be totally honest my feelings at the end of chapter 5 were:
 
Enough with the moths...I sure hope all this somehow is going to tie in with the relationship between the 2 sisters. (Either that or the author's previous writing experience lends its self more to the scientific aspect than a novel.) I was really hoping to get more insight on the relationship between the sisters and why Vivi is back, why Ginny is so weird, and what happened to them in their youth that has brought them to this point so late in their lives. Yes, I do see signs of mental illness, but who wouldn't be warped with a childhood that seemed to focus more on moths than on raising decent children.
 
My feelings by the end of chapter 5 bordered on disappointment and left me wondering if I really wanted to continue with the book. Since I jumped in reading the moment I got my book, I put it down at the end of chapter 5 and decided I would read no more until after the 3rd of March. As I now have time to return to this book, I can only hope it gets better and that we can now finish with the science textbook about moths and get on with the story of the two sisters.
 
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. (Did anyone else pick up on Ginny's dad making her watch the caterpillar being eaten alive by maggots, but Vera also "blew up slowly and eventually burst" only her death was hidden from the sisters.) 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. I only hope it gets better from here on out.


Message Edited by Lilsis on 03-05-2008 07:14 AM
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Bedelia
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Registered: ‎10-20-2007
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Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery

I love chapter titles in books.........these have kind of funny, simple names. I think Viv has mental problems (I don't think she developed beyond early childhood) and since the book seems to be from her point of view, hence the simpleness.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery



Bedelia wrote:
I love chapter titles in books.........these have kind of funny, simple names. I think Viv has mental problems (I don't think she developed beyond early childhood) and since the book seems to be from her point of view, hence the simpleness.


I agree with your assessment of Ginny.I will love to learn the name of what is wrong with Ginny.
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NavyAirMom
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I think the big old house can be compared to a cocoon and the story tells us how one sister developed and left the cocoon; while the other sister was the "freak" of nature and was eventually eaten alive by her surroundings. 
(I'm not sure if I actually explained that thought clear enough)
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TinaGW
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

[ Edited ]


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
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AnnieS
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Registered: ‎01-29-2008
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



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. 
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
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Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



NavyAirMom wrote:
I think the big old house can be compared to a cocoon and the story tells us how one sister developed and left the cocoon; while the other sister was the "freak" of nature and was eventually eaten alive by her surroundings. 
(I'm not sure if I actually explained that thought clear enough)


I like that take on it also. I think it explains alot so far.
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