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ladytoad
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

detailmuse wrote:
Character names aren't accidental. It's interesting that Clive's (and presumably the family's) surname is Stone (p86).
 
 
 
Hmmm, Clive and the Family Stone?
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ladytoad
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

There's been some speculation about the moths telling us more about Ginny's life. Maybe Ginny is a moth and Bernard was trying to snatch her out of the air with his hand. :smileywink:
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pheath
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

[ Edited ]
ladytoad wrote: Hmmm, Clive and the Family Stone?

Yeah, but I think that these are hardly "Everyday People". :smileywink:

Message Edited by pheath on 03-07-2008 10:20 AM
-Philip
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Oldesq
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

On the moth versus human front- isn't it interesting that there are no individual moths - the moths are driven solely by chemical/physical reactions and you cannot distinguish between them (p. 87) but Clive and Ginny's research focuses solely on creating freaks (individuals) and the moth nerds individualize themselves to extremes.
 
Regarding the Bernard incident- when just a bit younger than Ginny I rode the subway from Bklyn Bride- City Hall to Eastchester Dyre Ave every day for a summer job.  Skirts were very short and it was a hot summer.  The train used to be packed getting on at City Hall but I got a seat.  A man got on and was hanging on the strap just above my seat.  It took me the whole ride to decide that he was a pervert and acting intentionally.  I burned with the memory for quite a while afterward.
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice



BookWoman718 wrote:
I tend to think the groping did happen - although the event is now so far in the past that the question of how long it lasted may be valid. What is more interesting to me is that readers assume that because Ginny is judged to be a non-credible witness in other matters, she is non-credible in this event as well. What does that say about the vulnerability of institutionalized women, elderly forgetful women, young children of both sexes, and others we, who feel we have a firm grip on 'reality', tend to dismiss as tellers of tall tales? I think men in the era of Ginny's youth were very cavalier about taking liberties with young women who were seen as inferior in position, e.g., secretaries, office workers, nurses, servants. Often resting in the assumption that the women would be too embarrassed to speak up, as Ginny was.





BookWoman718: A difficult to handle truth, that many turn a blind eye toward because it is hard to fathom. I think your point is clear, and concise, and deserves another look. Well stated! :smileyhappy:
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 8: the groping hand


ELee wrote:

Everyman wrote:
LisaMM wrote: >Oh, I think the groping occurred. I think Ginny just went to her mental "happy place" that Maud taught her to use as a coping mechanism, and didn't realize when the groping actually stopped until she opened her eyes.
And how do you explain, then, "All of a sudden I was naked. Bernard was a dog full of instinct...then I closed my eyes so I could go into that place..." She says she didn't go to the place until after she felt herself naked. The order is wrong.

I think that everything happened up until The Hand Became Capitalized. There was probably some "cupping" action and "thumb caressing", but I think by the time she says she "couldn't think straight" and The Hand began "stroking" her bottom, she was hard on the approach to her "happy place" because she could not process what was happening to her.

I really like ELee's concept of changing perception when "The Hand Became Capitalized". I, also, think that Ginny's story was factually accurate up until the capitalization. It is not uncommon for someone in a situation, such as this, to feel almost frozen, as we don't readily expect people to violate us like that. It takes time for the brain to process this intrusion, and deal with it. For someone like Ginny, who is both young, and has had problems dealing with difficult social situations in the past, this brings on not only a freezing reaction, but a panic attack, and a full on dissociative state. During a dissociative episode, one rarely remembers what is going on, and is quite surprised or confused when they find themselves fully aware again. I believe that this is what Ginny experienced, and why she felt, after the fact, very confused about what the event consisted of, and when it had exactly ended.

Also, the statement that "All of a sudden I was naked. Bernard was a dog full of instinct...then I closed my eyes so I could go into that place..."(93), is, in my opinion, not literal. Ginny felt violated and vulnerable, much like one would feel if they were naked in a room full of strangers. She is trying to convey a feeling of being unable to protect herself in the face someone else's unrestrained "instinct". I don't think that the "order is wrong", just that this feeling was her "last straw" before allowing the psychological break to happen.
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Tarri
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

In regards to the groping incident, I think it is very possible that Bernard groped Ginny for a second or two and the feel of his hand was seared into her mind and it felt like the hand never left. 
 
This chapter left me with the feeling that perhaps Clive had the same mental issue as Ginny, albeit on a smaller scale.  I still think it is Asbergers.
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice


LizzieAnn wrote:
The chapter left me a little off-kilter. First, there was a bit too much science for me.
The incident with Bernard Cartwright was downright weird. Ginny not being able to decide if she was being fondled or not? That's too hard to believe. She tries to rationalize it. More importantly, she doesn't move away even though she feels uncomfortable. She doesn't even realize he's moved away until she sees him in front of her, after that woozy feeling she has. I can't help but wonder if she didn't imagine it.

LizzieAnn: We all seem to have different opinions about the amount of scientific information, and the reasons it is presented (we must agree to disagree :smileyhappy: ). I think the way the author presents the information is appropriate and relative to the story. I also disagree that Ginny's actions, and situation, were hard to believe. I think her reaction, to the groping situation, was pretty much spot-on. Most people may have had the initial "freezing" response, followed by rationalization, and then may have reacted to the situation by saying something, or removing themselves, but only if the felt like the threat level was low enough to make such a move.

Since Ginny clearly has a history of social (and possibly emotional)problems, her reaction is going to be more intense than the average person. The reason "She doesn't even realize he's moved away until she sees him in front of her" is that she is no longer functioning in an aware mental state. She has withdrawn to a divided part of consciousness (dissociative state), where she feels she is safe from further emotional harm. People in this state can function much like everyone else, but have little or no recollection of the events happening while they are in this type of a state (like the brain is on autopilot). I'd bet the "woozy feeling she has" is severe anxiety precipitating her break. I am sure that the events did happen, much like Ginny remembered them, before she got "too" anxious, where she says "I couldn't think straight. The floor melted..."(93). Then her memories a become distorted by the anxiety, and stress.
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momgee
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice



ladytoad wrote:
detailmuse wrote:
Character names aren't accidental. It's interesting that Clive's (and presumably the family's) surname is Stone (p86).
 
 
 
Hmmm, Clive and the Family Stone?



rofl!
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dubbuh
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

I found myself wondering at the end of this chapter if Ginny would ever get a voice.  She's experiencing so many conflicts--her unchosen career, Bernards' HAND, Viv leaving, mom wants to talk and she doesn't, dad's oblivious to what's going on in his world, confusing boundary issues, her doubting herself and on and on.  She's carrying a very heavy load and doesn't seem to resolve anything.  Whether this is a result of mental illness or causing one, she seems to be in a lot of turmoil and I almost want to scream at her to LET IT OUT!  All this has to come out sometime and I have a feeling it won't be in a good way.
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

This chapter pretty much "sealed the deal" for me regarding the similarities between Ginny and Clive. We see, in this chapter, that Clive reacts, much like we've seen Ginny react, in conversational situations. He doesn't want to talk about a particular subject any longer, or maybe feels overwhelmed, and just says whatever he can (like "I don't know" or lets someone else say something) that will end the conversation. It's interesting to see that at the entomology convention he uses the same techniques that Ginny uses to end conversations, as opposed to just leaving the room to sharpen pencils, or pursue scientific endeavors, as he does at home (wouldn't THAT be rude, in front a social group!).

The other thing, I got to wondering about, is Ginny's accomplishments. I know she previously said that she's a famous lepidopterist, but the beginning of the chapter makes me think differently. Clive is described as "having had no significant further education on the subject-past his chemistry degree- and not working under the auspices of an institution, would have been labeled an 'amateur' but he liked to think himself on par with the academics."(pg.85) Is this also the correct description of Ginny? Generally the term apprentice is used in conjunction with learning a trade, and often is the trade equivalent to formal education in he field. Has Ginny not gone to college, and just studied with her Clive? I'm sure having a family history of lepidoptery and having Clive, an enthusiastic lepidopterist, as a mentor, would have given Ginny more than enough of a knowledge base. It just makes me think that possibly, just possibly, she has illusions of grandeur. If the entomological academy would have called Clive an "amateur", what would they call Ginny? the same? has she surpassed Clive? I have a feeling we shall see.....
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

[ Edited ]


dubbuh wrote:
I found myself wondering at the end of this chapter if Ginny would ever get a voice.  She's experiencing so many conflicts--her unchosen career, Bernards' HAND, Viv leaving, mom wants to talk and she doesn't, dad's oblivious to what's going on in his world, confusing boundary issues, her doubting herself and on and on.  She's carrying a very heavy load and doesn't seem to resolve anything.  Whether this is a result of mental illness or causing one, she seems to be in a lot of turmoil and I almost want to scream at her to LET IT OUT!  All this has to come out sometime and I have a feeling it won't be in a good way.


But it's coming out now, as she tells her story, isn't it? If the book represents Ginny's finally having her say, we will be right there to witness whether or not she can hold it together as she gets deeper into the story. In this way, we are like Clive or Ginny observing their flawed subjects. Poppy Adams has drawn us in and almost made us complicit in the fate of this troubled character. I think this is a very effective way of vesting the reader in a story. What do you think?


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-07-2008 02:00 PM
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 8: the groping hand



pigwidgeon wrote:

I really like ELee's concept of changing perception when "The Hand Became Capitalized". I, also, think that Ginny's story was factually accurate up until the capitalization.

Absolutely -- and from now on, I know I'll be paying close attention to those times when Ginny starts to capitalize things, to see if they signifiy a lapse into her own internal landscape and a retreat from the real world.
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice



pigwidgeon wrote:

The other thing, I got to wondering about, is Ginny's accomplishments. I know she previously said that she's a famous lepidopterist, but the beginning of the chapter makes me think differently. Clive is described as "having had no significant further education on the subject-past his chemistry degree- and not working under the auspices of an institution, would have been labeled an 'amateur' but he liked to think himself on par with the academics."(pg.85) Is this also the correct description of Ginny? Generally the term apprentice is used in conjunction with learning a trade, and often is the trade equivalent to formal education in he field. Has Ginny not gone to college, and just studied with her Clive? I'm sure having a family history of lepidoptery and having Clive, an enthusiastic lepidopterist, as a mentor, would have given Ginny more than enough of a knowledge base. It just makes me think that possibly, just possibly, she has illusions of grandeur. If the entomological academy would have called Clive an "amateur", what would they call Ginny? the same? has she surpassed Clive? I have a feeling we shall see.....

I had similar thoughts about Ginny's career.  I can see her value to Clive as a research and field assistant and I have no doubt that he "introduced her around" at his lectures so that she became well-known in the same circles he traveled.  But knowing what we do about Ginny's emotional and social capabilities, even if she was a genius with moths, I don't find her claims in Chapter 5 credible.  I think that since she was involved with Clive's papers and lectures, she was borrowing some of the "glory" for herself.  And amplifying it in her mind (just a tad).
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice



KxBurns wrote:

 

Yet again the reliability of our narrator is called into question by her account of the groping she endures at the hands of Bernard. Ginny herself doubts her perceptions: "Yet I'd still felt his hand there when I saw it wasn't. When had he taken it away? Had it been there at all? I was a little hot and very confused" (p. 97). What is your take on this encounter? Did it happen at all?


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-05-2008 12:36 PM


Yes, I think it did happen. Bernard is a nasty old man. He knows the room is crowded. That makes him feel secure in his obscene actions. Just because Ginny still feels his hand touching her although he has removed his hand doesn't mean she is living in a pretend world. His hand being on her is so repugnant it leaves a lasting impression on her mind. If she were going to make up the situation, surely she would have chosen a handsome guy with whom to live out her fantasies. According to Ginny, Bernard is ugly.

Grapes


 


Grapes
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice


 

Although we only get a short vignette of family life at the end of the chapter, do you get a sense of how things have changed for Ginny and for the household since Vivi's departure?



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-05-2008 12:36 PM

Yes, Ginny is now spending more time with Clive. She has become his apprentice. I feel this means she has definitely chosen what to do with the rest of her life. She wants to work in the world of entomology. While she draws closer to Clive, I think, she is going to be drawn further away from Maud. Entomology during this period is a world of men. At the lecture not one woman is in attendance.
 
Grapes

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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice



BookWoman718 wrote:
  I think men in the era of Ginny's youth were very cavalier about taking liberties with young women who were seen as inferior in position, e.g., secretaries, office workers, nurses, servants.   Often resting in the assumption that the women would be too embarassed to speak up, as Ginny was.  


 
I agree with your whole post. This was not a time when men thought of women as being intellectually endowed with a bit of brains. Therefore, it would have been easy to feel not the slightest bit wrong in taking advantage of a young woman. What could Ginny have said? There wasn't such a word as sexual harrassment. Secondly, every man in that room thinks or is superior to her by their number of years and their seniority in their chosen field.
 
Grapes

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Peppermill
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice


pigwidgeon wrote:.. Clive is described as "having had no significant further education on the subject-past his chemistry degree- and not working under the auspices of an institution, would have been labeled an 'amateur' but he liked to think himself on par with the academics."(pg.85) .....
I am confused on just what is Clive's level of education because the text goes on to say: "He had been given a doctorate and was awarded grants in the same way that university professors were...." (p. 85) Is the implication that Clive had received an honorary doctorate based on his great many papers "on wide-ranging subjects"? Or did he have his doctorate in chemistry perhaps (rather than entomology per se, which he clearly does not)? ["...he hadn't yet made any astounding discoveries..."]

Is this whole section a bit of satire towards the academic world? Clive's snobbishness, the rewards for publishing, the criteria for being a professional versus an amateur...?
"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 8: The Apprentice


pigwidgeon wrote:


BookWoman718 wrote:
I tend to think the groping did happen - although the event is now so far in the past that the question of how long it lasted may be valid. What is more interesting to me is that readers assume that because Ginny is judged to be a non-credible witness in other matters, she is non-credible in this event as well. What does that say about the vulnerability of institutionalized women, elderly forgetful women, young children of both sexes, and others we, who feel we have a firm grip on 'reality', tend to dismiss as tellers of tall tales? I think men in the era of Ginny's youth were very cavalier about taking liberties with young women who were seen as inferior in position, e.g., secretaries, office workers, nurses, servants. Often resting in the assumption that the women would be too embarrassed to speak up, as Ginny was.





BookWoman718: A difficult to handle truth, that many turn a blind eye toward because it is hard to fathom. I think your point is clear, and concise, and deserves another look. Well stated! :smileyhappy:


I almost hate to add this here, but perhaps it is a way of suggesting some of the ways attitudes have both changed (thank goodness) and stayed the same since the 1700's.

The whole Bernard groping Ginny sequence reminded me of this passage from Voltaire's Candide, Chapter I:

"One day Cunegonde, while walking near the castle, in a little wood which they called a park, saw between the bushes, Dr. Pangloss giving a lesson in experimental natural philosophy to her mother's chamber-maid, a little brown wench, very pretty and very docile. As Miss Cunegonde had a great disposition for the sciences, she breathlessly observed the repeated experiments of which she was a witness; she clearly perceived the force of the Doctor's reasons, the effects, and the causes; she turned back greatly flurried, quite pensive, and filled with the desire to be learned; dreaming that she might well be a sufficient reason for young Candide, and he for her.

"She met Candide on reaching the castle and blushed; Candide blushed also; she wished him good morrow in a faltering tone, and Candide spoke to her without knowing what he said. The next day after dinner, as they went from table, Cunegonde and Candide found themselves behind a screen; Cunegonde let fall her handkerchief, Candide picked it up, she took him innocently by the hand, the youth as innocently kissed the young lady's hand with particular vivacity, sensibility, and grace; their lips met, their eyes sparkled, their knees trembled, their hands strayed. Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh passed near the screen and beholding this cause and effect chased Candide from the castle with great kicks on the backside; Cunegonde fainted away; she was boxed on the ears by the Baroness, as soon as she came to herself; and all was consternation in this most magnificent and most agreeable of all possible castles."

The tipping point for me in viewing the Bernard passages as perhaps satirical was the sentence, as tightly packed among others as Bernard was against Ginny among the listening audience: "It was the same question to which the entire room wanted to know the answer." p. 93. Then I went back to the passage beginning: "I clenched my bottom muscles a couple of times, hoping he'd feel the movement and realize his mistake--the equivalent of a sharp look of distaste--but he merely shifted his hand a little, so intent was he on the conversation going on in front of him.

"'You think a dog has instinct, don't you?' a walrus-like man asked my father.

"'Yes.'

"'So where do you draw the line in the animal kingdom between those that have developed instinct and those that haven't?'

"'I don't. All animals have instinct. The difference is most of them don't know about it...."

And it goes on. And when I read the section as satire, it becomes wickedly funny.
"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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krb2g
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Re: Chapter 8: The Apprentice

I'm also finding the subject of education one of the hardest in which to suspend disbelief. Ginny and Vivi apparently don't go to school at all, except for the five years (?) at the private school, Clive has what looks like an undergraduate education in chemistry, and then somehow Ginny and Clive are both world-class lepidopterists? I'm sure my perspective is skewed because I'm writing from inside the academy (humanities instead of sciences, but I did dabble in the sciences and work in a lab for a while) but despite all the criticism that can (and perhaps should) be made of it, the academy can provide essential support to researchers in terms of both the materials to conduct research (Clive's stuff tends to be ramshackle, at least I have that opinion of the car) and the support to spin off ideas (sure conferences provide this support in some measure, but it's nice to have colleagues available).



Peppermill wrote:

pigwidgeon wrote:.. Clive is described as "having had no significant further education on the subject-past his chemistry degree- and not working under the auspices of an institution, would have been labeled an 'amateur' but he liked to think himself on par with the academics."(pg.85) .....
I am confused on just what is Clive's level of education because the text goes on to say: "He had been given a doctorate and was awarded grants in the same way that university professors were...." (p. 85) Is the implication that Clive had received an honorary doctorate based on his great many papers "on wide-ranging subjects"? Or did he have his doctorate in chemistry perhaps (rather than entomology per se, which he clearly does not)? ["...he hadn't yet made any astounding discoveries..."]

Is this whole section a bit of satire towards the academic world? Clive's snobbishness, the rewards for publishing, the criteria for being a professional versus an amateur...?


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