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dewgirl
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

Everyman wrote:
Ginny has closed up the other rooms and not entered them for forty years. They must be inches deep in dust and filth, spiders and other insects, almost certainly mice or rats. But Vivian hops into them, has her apparently new furniture delivered, and goes apparently happily to bed without any indication that she had had to a scrap of cleaning up. Would any other 70 year old woman who was obviously used to the better things of life (chauffeured limousine, always carefully made up, etc.) endure going into rooms that had been closed and emptied (and presumably unheated and uncleaned) for forty years?

Doesn't ring true for me.





We know that Bobby was in the rooms within the last few years to collect items for selling. Maybe it is not as bad as it would seem. But I do agree that it is strange that Vivi can just jump on into those rooms.
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dewgirl
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast

I noticed how, when Vivi is searching, she is in the attic where all of Clive's stuff is but when she finally comes downstairs and talks to Ginny, she asks about having something of Maud's. Nothing belonging to Maud would be in the attic. That was Clive's place, not Maud's. I think that Vivi is just asking Ginny about something of Maud so she doesn't realize that she is looking for something of Clive's. Why else would she be up there?

I do believe that Ginny related better to Clive, and Vivi to Maud but I am also wondering if, as someone else has said, that Clive was different when dealing with Ginny and Vivi. I thought that Vivi's explanation of what Clive said about her going to London did not seem like how Clive reacted when Ginny was talking. Vivi could have been lying to Ginny about what Clive said, as Ginny thought. But we are only getting Ginny's memory of things, which may or may not be accurate. I also thought it strange that Vivi had to eavesdrop through the wall on the conversation about London. Why did Ginny ask anyway? It did seem a bit strange for one sister to ask for a trip for the other one.

It is all very interesting.
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast

Karen, for the first time in we, the reader, get the sense that Vivi did not feel that she was loved as much as Ginny was...she felt that they wouldn't listen to her, but from the beginning of the book, from Ginny's perspective, it seemed that Maud doted on Vivi...
 
I found it interesting that Ginny felt that one should not focus on the past...which makes me question why the past is such a minefield for her? Is it linked to Dr. Moyse? Now the fascination with time makes some sense, because Ginny doesn't want to lose time in the present, so that she can avoid thinking about the past...just some ruminations here...
 
This chapter also made me suspicious about what Vivi's reasons for returning to Bulburrow Court? What is she searching for? Does it have to do with money? or is there and emotional element to the object/thing she is trying to find? Why does it have to be something of Maud's? Is it for sentimental reasons or another darker ulterior motive?
 
Once againg Ginny ties her physical being to that of Vivi's...on page 78 she says..."I only seemed whole when I was with her, as if she somehow made up the parts of me that was lacking. I couldn't imagine living without her." Does this then mean that Ginny has not been "living" for forty-five to fifty years, up until the point when Vivi returns?
 
This chapter also gave us a different take on Clive...Vivi felt that he did anything he could for Ginny, but Ginny sees him as unassuming...even when Vivi explains that he argued with Maud about allowing her to go to secretarial school, Ginny had a hard time believing her...why is it that Ginny doesn't see what Vivi sees? Is Clive really the unemotional and unassuming man everyone sees or is there something more going on beneath the surface with him?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

Author Unknown
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



ELee wrote:


psujulie wrote:
I think this chapter again showed us that Ginny isn't quite right. She felt she had to sneak around and spy on Vivien as Vivien was looking around the house. She even poured the glass of milk (which she never drinks) so she had an excuse! Most "normal" people would have just asked Vivien what she was doing. I think this behavior by Ginny further demonstrates her inability to communicate with people.


Right on!  Not only does she not drink milk, she positively does not like milk!  And to think that this would constitute "a prop" that would allow her to be discovered anywhere in the house "drinking it", shows just how "far out" she is.  If you poured yourself a glass of milk in the kitchen, would you adjourn to the hall, or the stair, or the landing, to drink it?  In trying to cover her oddness, she is emphasizing it!


And I imagine this has been the case her entire life. I found the scene with the milk and her ineptitude at hiding her tracks almost comical. Do you think Vivi sees right through it, or is she so distracted by her own secret agenda (if she really has one)?
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast

[ Edited ]


lmpmn wrote:
What a great catch!  As I began the story and started to wonder if Ginny was "off" I immediately remembered "The Yellow Wallpaper" from reading it in college.  However, I didn't put that together with the yellow bedroom of her childhood and the creeping around.  Very good!  I think even if it wasn't intended, it's still appropriate to compare the stories and women in them.

Mselet wrote:
Ginny's "creeping" to spy on Vivi is reminiscient of the protagonist in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper."  As the character descends into madness, she begins to "creep" around her room.  Ginny's creeping in hallways and on landings, to spy in Vivi, shows us just how peculiar she is, but also hints at a shadow of madness.  Ginny even mentions in her flashback that her room was painted yellow.  I wonder if it was a direct nod from Poppy to Gilman.
 




Yeah, I love that book and I *love* that you made this connection, Mselet!


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-06-2008 11:00 PM
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



fordmg wrote:


COCOSPALS wrote:
I got the distinct impresssion that Vivi was definitely looking for something in the house, why else would she be "sneaking" around.  To re-acquant oneself with their home, it would be more of a wandering, maybe a "wow I forgot how large this house is, I am going to wander around if that is Ok with you?". It was too sneaky for me.
 
I

I don't think that Vivi is sneaking around.  She is defenately exploring, but not sneaking.  Ginny is sneaking - spying on Vivi, trying to find out what she is doing.  Vivi is looking for something maybe, and seeing what is left in the house.  The relationship between the sisters is strange to say the least, but then we already knew that.  If they didn't even have contact with each other for 50 years - London wasn't that far away.  Either could have made the effort.
MG


Right - we only get the idea that Vivien is sneaking because Ginny sees it that way.
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



fordmg wrote:


kbbg42 wrote:
I found this chapter to be very revealing in the sisters relationships to their parents. First off Vivi too calls them Maude and Clive so it must have been the parents that wished to be called by their first names. Also telling was the fact that Ginny kept all of her fathers things and got rid of all her mother's. I have to ask myself what Maude did to create the distaste that Ginny has for her? Or is it guilt on Ginny's part? Did she in fact push Maude down the stairs and kill her? Could it have been an accidental push? I feel sorry for Vivi that she has nothing of her mothers. Yes she is partly to blame, if she had come to the house earlier she could have had somthing. She definatly waited too long but still... I also found her attitude to her father extraordinary as it was him "putting his foot down" that let her go away to secritarial school when she was younger. What greivences does she have against him?


Where I agree that it seems strange that Ginny got rid of everything concerning her mother and kept her fathers stuff, we need to remember that Ginny followed her father into the same occupation.  By keeping Clive's things, she was also keeping her own lifes work. 
MG


But Vivi implies that there is no trace at all of Maud left in the house, which would have had to be pretty deliberate for a woman who didn't even realize that the stones in the fireplace were removed. To me, it suggests intent, more than just a stronger affinity for one parent over the other.
 
It also makes me wonder how Ginny is able to deal with having Maud's doppleganger wandering around the house if she felt so strongly about removing all Maud's belongings...
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapter 7: got milk?

But thank goodness the readers do!

Laurel wrote:
And someone said that the book had no humor!

detailmuse wrote:
too funny, both of you!! :smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy: Thanks for the laugh, all this story dissection is making me squirrely.

ELee wrote:

pigwidgeon wrote:
ELee: Those were my thoughts exactly! How in the world is a glass of milk supposed to make it look like she wasn't sneaking around... "Oh me? Well, I was just relaxing here on the stairs enjoying my lovely glass of milk." :smileywink:

ROFL!!! Doesn't everyone drink their milk on the stairs?!
I can also imaging Ginny's milk moustache: "Got milk?"




"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast


dewgirl wrote:
...In some of the posts for the earlier chapters, people have said that it doesn't feel like it is written for the present time (2008), that it has a feel of being written for a different time period. I definitely agree with that. ....

Well, yes. But it seems to me as if the story is begging for 2008 diagnoses, unlike Jane Eyre or even Wide Sargasso Sea.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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momgee
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



no4daughter wrote:
Like some of the others, I too found it interesting that Ginny, who seemed to be so looking forward to Vivien's arrival, now says that she is "somewhere deep within the bowels of the house, infecting it." 
 
When Ginny was standing on the landing listening to Vivien's footsteps above her, I really chuckled when I read, "Forty-five seconds later I hear her in the attic library. . . ".  Now I really think she is EXTREMELY obsessed by time.  I wonder if she used her digital or dial watch (or both) to keep track of Vivien's movements.     


Sometimes anticipation of an event is more pleasurable than the actual event!
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
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Oldesq
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast

Have you noticed that height seems to be a theme. 
 
Aside from the fall- isn't that interesting- I hadn't even thought of "the fall" (loss of innocence in the garden of Eden) which destroyed all her children- the end of the line- generations yet to come.
 
Returning to the theme of heights, Ginny listens to action above her, the bell tower, she seeks relief from insomnia on the landing of all places (p. 59), she watches Vivi's arrival from above- stands next to the dado rail (p.81).  Wonder what the different levels are all about.  Reminds me of the device Fleming (or Cukor) used in Gone With the Wind where every major event in the film occurs on a set of steps.
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Tarri
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast

I'm not sure yet if Vivi is looking for something, or if she is exploring to find anything of her past.  Also, if I came from a house of such wealth (the furnishings must have been worth a fortune) I would want to find out what was gone and what remained.  I have a feeling that Ginny was totally ripped off by Bobby.    Whether Vivi is exploring her past or looking for something specific, if I was home again after 40 or 50 years, I'd be looking around too. 
 
Family relations are usually "strange" and everyone sees things from their own perspective and through their own experiences.  Vivi may have felt Ginny was the favorite and Ginny may have felt that Vivi was the favorite.  I have three sisters and I know that at times each of us have felt the other was the favorite and we're in our 50s now. 
 
 
 
 
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast



Oldesq wrote:
Have you noticed that height seems to be a theme. 
 
Aside from the fall- isn't that interesting- I hadn't even thought of "the fall" (loss of innocence in the garden of Eden) which destroyed all her children- the end of the line- generations yet to come.
 
Returning to the theme of heights, Ginny listens to action above her, the bell tower, she seeks relief from insomnia on the landing of all places (p. 59), she watches Vivi's arrival from above- stands next to the dado rail (p.81).  Wonder what the different levels are all about.  Reminds me of the device Fleming (or Cukor) used in Gone With the Wind where every major event in the film occurs on a set of steps.


Terrific insight! I did not catch this. What, in your opinion, is the significance of the different levels? Are the characters perhaps operating on different levels of understanding or awareness? It is my impression that Ginny is very often monitoring Vivi's upstairs movements from below. Did you also feel this way? What about Clive and Maud's positioning on this supposed hierarchy of levels?
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



Everyman wrote:
On page 73 she says "It is difficult for me to explain to you..." Who does she thing the "you" is? For whom is she writing this? It was quite usual for 18th and 19th novelists to speak directly to the reader, but most modern first person narratives don't move out of the page and address the reader that way.

We aren't told why she is writing this, whether she just started writing when Vivi decided to come home or whether she has been recording events of her life prior to this, or what her intent or purpose is. But it's interesting that here she reaches out to whomever she thinks her reader is to be and says it's hard to explain to us. It struck me as a bit incongruous, and not explained.

Again on page 74, "...but I hope you understand that it's so new to me, so different, to have someone else here...".
 
Ginny is talking to who, the reader, her journal, a tape recorder?  This method of talking to an unknown is a bit disconcerting to me.
 
SandyS
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



boo27 wrote:
 
Has anyone else noticed that Ginny is constantly saying that she is happy to have Vivi home, yet her actions and anxiety say the exact opposite.


I agree Ginny's actions are incongruent to her words.  Yet I think she is trying to meld the two.  Her entire world and control of her time and actions has been turned upside down since Vivien has returned.
 
SandyS
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



ELee wrote:


Right on!  Not only does she not drink milk, she positively does not like milk!  And to think that this would constitute "a prop" that would allow her to be discovered anywhere in the house "drinking it", shows just how "far out" she is.  If you poured yourself a glass of milk in the kitchen, would you adjourn to the hall, or the stair, or the landing, to drink it?  In trying to cover her oddness, she is emphasizing it!


Actually, the "milk prop" made me laugh.  I'm sure Vivien thought it quite odd.
 
What I did notice is this book has not made me chuckle much.  Usually a really good book will give me a bit of humor, even if the plot and characters are not set to be humorous.  It may be the writing style because, as I think back, there have been plenty of "odd"/"funny" things with Ginny's Rules.
 
SandyS
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast



KxBurns wrote:

-Why is the past so dangerous, and such a burden to Ginny? What ghosts or secrets is she attempting to expurgate? Why does she feel relief watching Bobby remove "…not just our childhood and my life, but one and a half centuries of the Bulburrow epoch" (p. 76)?

 

I think the past is a burden to Ginny because she remembers so clearly Vivi's unhappiness in Bulburrow. Vivi felt choked staying within the family unit while all Ginny felt was contentment. At this point, Ginny doesn't want to remember those days of unpleasant feelings and angry arguments. I think this is why she isn't afraid to live in this big house alone. She also doesn't want to remember the day of Vivi's terrible accident.

Bobby's removal of all the furniture is a way of removing the past. Ginny feels with none of the furniture around she can move away from the past. With the furniture there it's like the people are still in the house or will return at any moment to begin life at Bulburrow again.

Grapes

______________________________________________________________________________

 

-



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-05-2008 06:42 PM



Grapes
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast



KxBurns wrote:

-What is Vivi looking for?! (Alternately, is it possible that Vivi is just getting reaquainted with her childhood home but the idea of exploring the property is so foreign to Ginny that she assumes something else is going on?)

_____________________________________________________________________________

I think Vivi just can't believe the whole house is emptied of all the furniture. I would find it hard to believe. The only way Vivi can make herself believe that the house is truly, totally empty is to go throughout the whole house looking in every room. She does ask Ginny for some one thing that belonged to Maud as a token of memory. There is nothing left to give. It's all gone.

Grapes

______________________________________________________________________________



Grapes
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast



KxBurns wrote:

-How do you account for Vivi's bitterness toward Clive, and the sisters' radically different memories of their father? Ginny appears to chalk it up to jealousy; do you agree?


Both sisters have likes and dislikes. Ginny liked working with the moths. She is also quiet. Clive was quiet. He was the one who loved the moths so very much. Plus, I don't think he sided with Vivi as much as Maud would do. On the other hand, Viv felt closer to Maud. Maud acted as though Ginny was her favorite child. I think memories are tricky. It's not strange for each child to see one or both parents in a different light. In my life, my sister felt closer to my father. If anything bad happened, it was my mother's fault.
 
Grapes
_______________________________________________________________________________

Grapes
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krb2g
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

I made a similar comment about the direct addresses to the reader in the Chapter 4 thread, I think, but this habit of addressing the reader really bothers me. Ginny's so socially awkward I can't imagine her wanting to write personally, about her life, to an unknown audience of strangers. We're enjoying discussing the family dynamic between her and her sister and her parents, certainly, but why would a person like Ginny want us to know all about her family life?



SandyS wrote:


Everyman wrote:
On page 73 she says "It is difficult for me to explain to you..." Who does she thing the "you" is? For whom is she writing this? It was quite usual for 18th and 19th novelists to speak directly to the reader, but most modern first person narratives don't move out of the page and address the reader that way.

We aren't told why she is writing this, whether she just started writing when Vivi decided to come home or whether she has been recording events of her life prior to this, or what her intent or purpose is. But it's interesting that here she reaches out to whomever she thinks her reader is to be and says it's hard to explain to us. It struck me as a bit incongruous, and not explained.

Again on page 74, "...but I hope you understand that it's so new to me, so different, to have someone else here...".
Ginny is talking to who, the reader, her journal, a tape recorder? This method of talking to an unknown is a bit disconcerting to me.
SandyS


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