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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13: Mummy and Daddy!

I find it strange that, after all the discussion of the girls calling their parents by their first names, no one has yet mentioned that, on page 111, Ginny calls them Mummy and Daddy. At first I thought that the traumatic nature of finding Maud holed up, and intoxicated, in the library sparked a little regressive behavior, but then I remembered that she calls them by their first names from the earliest memories. What do you all make of this?
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13: Maud

What a change with Maud! Loving with someone with a substance abuse problem presents it's own new set of issues and obstacles. I am convinced that Clive knows, but is in denial, or is at a point where he doesn't want to deal with it and leaves it to Ginny (how sad, but she is his assistant after all). When Clive tells Ginny to board up the north wing and says "it wasn't worth maintaining a wing that would never be used again"(133), I immediately thought this must also be his view of Maud. A deteriorating part of the house that should be left alone to crumble into nothingness. I think Maud has always been a social drinker, and once Vivi left, and Clive and Ginny retreated to the attic, she gradually poured more and more, until she had a real problem. It certainly explained her bizarre behavior on Clive and Ginny's return from the entomology conference. The loneliness was too much for Maud to handle. When they find her in the library, after ignoring her for 2 days, Clive just "tutted and walked out"(111). Clearly he is aware how bad the situation is, but does not have the emotional fortitude to deal with it. On page 108, Ginny describes how to prepare the moths for Bernard's challenge, and it reminded me of Maud, "we'd need to extract the compound, a fairly simple process of emulsifying the animal with a pestle and mortar and put the resulting slurry through a series of alcoholic distillations." I saw this as a metaphor for Maud being so emotionally beat up (mortar and pestle), and then trying to fill up the emotional void with alcohol.

I also found it a sad piece of irony that Maud reads "The Ideal Home" magazine (110). I'm sure nothing in that publication can even come close to repairing the damage done in this "home". When Ginny says "A sick thrust of guilt and love and shame and overbearing failure churned through me"(111) I felt so bad. I am always saddened when children, even adult children, feel as though their parents happiness or well-being is somehow their responsibility. This is one of those things, Ginny previously spoke of, that a person learns, sometimes through only action and insinuation, when they are young, and never leaves you. That is too much responsibility for a small child, and it only grows as the child grows. Ginny feels she has to keep Maud's secret, because it was her fault to begin with, what a burden. :smileysad:

Maud and Ginny's "secret" hinges on Ginny's guilt. No matter how aggressive Maud gets, Ginny continues in her role. She has been groomed to be this way from childhood. Maud's aggression hurls emotional, and sometimes physical, abuse upon the guilt and secret-keeping (that she won't break 50 years later) Ginny already must deal with. It becomes clear that Maud's substance abuse will not be overcome.
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ELee
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13: Maud



pigwidgeon wrote:
 
I find it strange that, after all the discussion of the girls calling their parents by their first names, no one has yet mentioned that, on page 111, Ginny calls them Mummy and Daddy.
 
You beat me to it.  I did notice, but had to think about how I would interpret it.

What a change with Maud! Loving with someone with a substance abuse problem presents it's own new set of issues and obstacles. I am convinced that Clive knows, but is in denial, or is at a point where he doesn't want to deal with it and leaves it to Ginny (how sad, but she is his assistant after all). When Clive tells Ginny to board up the north wing and says "it wasn't worth maintaining a wing that would never be used again"(133), I immediately thought this must also be his view of Maud. A deteriorating part of the house that should be left alone to crumble into nothingness. I think Maud has always been a social drinker, and once Vivi left, and Clive and Ginny retreated to the attic, she gradually poured more and more, until she had a real problem. It certainly explained her bizarre behavior on Clive and Ginny's return from the entomology conference. The loneliness was too much for Maud to handle. When they find her in the library, after ignoring her for 2 days, Clive just "tutted and walked out"(111). Clearly he is aware how bad the situation is, but does not have the emotional fortitude to deal with it. On page 108, Ginny describes how to prepare the moths for Bernard's challenge, and it reminded me of Maud, "we'd need to extract the compound, a fairly simple process of emulsifying the animal with a pestle and mortar and put the resulting slurry through a series of alcoholic distillations." I saw this as a metaphor for Maud being so emotionally beat up (mortar and pestle), and then trying to fill up the emotional void with alcohol.
 
Yes.  And isn't it ironic that the Brimstone treacle that Clive concocts is heavily laced with wine and rum. (Do fermented bananas contain alcohol?)

I also found it a sad piece of irony that Maud reads "The Ideal Home" magazine (110). I'm sure nothing in that publication can even come close to repairing the damage done in this "home".
 
Fellow posters, think what you will about Maud, but I really felt for her, even though she became abusive.   
 
When Ginny says "A sick thrust of guilt and love and shame and overbearing failure churned through me"(111) I felt so bad. I am always saddened when children, even adult children, feel as though their parents happiness or well-being is somehow their responsibility.
 
Or that they have somehow disappointed or fallen below the expectations of a parent.  This is how I interpret Ginny's use of "Mummy" in this chapter.  I had to make the idea personal to figure it out.  Don't underestimate the power of that moment when a child is pierced by the realization that they haven't measured up, and want to take it all back and start over with "Mummy". 
 
This is one of those things, Ginny previously spoke of, that a person learns, sometimes through only action and insinuation, when they are young, and never leaves you. That is too much responsibility for a small child, and it only grows as the child grows. Ginny feels she has to keep Maud's secret, because it was her fault to begin with, what a burden. :smileysad:
 
And not one she should have claimed exclusively.  That is the shame of it, that she should try to restore "order" and "save" Clive and Vivien from the realization of it.

Maud and Ginny's "secret" hinges on Ginny's guilt. No matter how aggressive Maud gets, Ginny continues in her role. She has been groomed to be this way from childhood. Maud's aggression hurls emotional, and sometimes physical, abuse upon the guilt and secret-keeping (that she won't break 50 years later) Ginny already must deal with. It becomes clear that Maud's substance abuse will not be overcome.
 
Absolutely.


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ELee
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13 - Humor

OK.  Maybe my senses are warped, but I'm finding humor here, albeit dry.  Chapter 10, page 109, as I read Ginny's description of processing the Brimstone females
 
"Back inside, I squeezed their bottoms one by one"
 
Rewind to Chapter 8, page 91
 
"...he [Bernard] ran his hand...over my bottom which he grabbed lightly and shook a little."
 
This caused some serious chuckles.
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ELee
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



ladytoad wrote:
 
Chapter 10:
I know they are moths, but I found it difficult to stomach that Ginny and Clive were planning to lure and/or breed 25,000 moths just so they could kill them, and I agree with Karen that the images are very reminiscent of Nazi war crimes during WWII.
 

 
I totally agree.  If you were to read only the portion of the first paragraph on the top of page 110, you would not know the difference between moth collecting and Nazi extermination.
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crazyasitsounds
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

It didn't really surprise me that Clive accepted Bernard's challenge. I was, however, surprised that he would need to kill tens of thousands of moths to do so. I don't think there's anything but science behind it, but I guess it's interesting that so many moths are dying as the house & family are deteriorating during these few chapters.

I can sympathize with Ginny's division of Maud into the "real Maud" & the alcoholic Maud. I think it makes the situation much easier to deal with. At the same time, though, I'm not sure the path of least resistance is the right choice here. Trying to hide Maud's alcoholism doesn't seem to be particularly easy, nor does it solve anybody's problems.

Vivi has no choice but to question the official account of Maud's death. Someone who had lived in the house her whole life mistook the cellar for the kitchen? Really? It's remarkable, though, that she never seems to consider the possibility that Maud was drunk. Even if she hadn't known the extent of Maud's problem, it seems to me that drunkenness would be the first thing to come to mind upon learning that someone fell down the stairs.

Clive has to know about Maud's drinking, doesn't he? I suppose, though, that if he's in the lab (&, like Ginny, doesn't see Maud for days on end) & she's sleeping on the couch, he might not have enough contact with her to really notice. Or he's even more oblivious than I thought he was.

I was taken aback by Vivi's request. I do think it was selfish, only because it seems she was content to ignore the family until she needs something--something big--from them. Or maybe that's a biased view of the situation resulting from seeing it from Ginny's perspective.
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13


KxBurns wrote:
Chapter 11: Arthur and the Cannibals
-how different Ginny's preparations for Vivi's arrival are in this chapter!…
-it is worth noting that Ginny views loyalty as centered around the house rather than around "the external bonds of love and friendship" (p. 115).
-what is your take on Vivi and Arthur's relationship? How do you think the rest of the family feels? Are they going to eat him alive, as the chapter's title suggests? :smileyhappy:


The Ginny we see in this chapter is a different Ginny than we are used to. She certainly makes short work of scrubbing the house down for Vivi's visit, and is almost cheery at times. I like how she says that she is protecting everyone from each other (a huge undertaking). She's like the family translator. I also enjoyed that the dinner, and following moth lesson, was almost like a functional family interaction. It lifted my spirits for a moment.

I found the shift of Vivi becoming a visitor interesting. I personally think that family members are family members, not visitors, but I have visited the family homes of others, where they are treated like a visitor (or guest) rather than a family member. It's very strange to me, but it helps me to understand some of Ginny's later decisions (like selling off the furniture, her sister had abandoned the family unit).

KxBurns wrote:Chapter 12: I Spy
-Ginny and Vivi finally discuss Maud's death and it comes as no surprise that Vivi seems to question Ginny's account. Is Vivi's skepticism really because she doesn't know about Maud's drinking and therefore doesn't grasp the likelihood of her falling down the stairs? Ginny decides that it is "wouldn’t be fair to destroy her perceptions of the past" (p. 131) and I believe this sentiment will become central, regardless of which sister is deluded about what.

I don't think that Vivi knows the extent of Maud's addiction. She wasn't around the home very much (as far as we know), and Maud didn't seem to act too differently in the presence of Vivi and Arthur (apart from the book throwing, which they didn't really see). I don't know if I agree with Ginny not telling Vivi the truth, especially after all this time, but I can understand her reasoning. It is never easy to be the bearer of bad news, and I have a suspicion she might tell Vivi before the book is through. I'd like to believe that this is why Vivi is wary about the story of Maud's death. I love that Ginny stands up for herself here, "She (Vivi) is clearly stunned that I'm fighting back... she stares at me for longer than I like-as if, for the first time ever, she's lost for words". I have been waiting to see this side of Ginny. :smileyhappy:

KxBurns wrote:Chapter 13: The Ridge Walk
-please discuss this statement by Ginny (it caps off the entire Fox Moth passage on pages 134-135, which I found fascinating!): "If you were born unaware, at least you'd be blissfully ignorant. It's not as if you're going to wake up one day and suddenly discover yourself."
-is Vivi's request a selfish one? I think it depends on what she knows about Ginny. Maybe we have magnified Ginny's oddness and how obvious it is to the world. One thing that is clear to me from this chapter is that Ginny thrives on the suffering of those around her. Feel free to disagree with this, but she feels "invigorated, revitalised and valuable" in the face of her sister's suffering! I know she's specifically talking about the expulsion when she uses those words, but she recalls it now.

Haven't we all felt, at least once, that life is just overwhelming. What if we could have that blissful ignorance, just for a day. To worry about nothing more than just existing. It's also interesting, that here, Vivi brings up the absence thing (a mild dissociative state). How frustrating for Vivi, but necessary for Ginny's ability to cope with life. I don't think that Ginny necessarily "thrives on the suffering of those around her", but relishes the chance to be a rock for someone else. She has some problems reaching out and showing love and fondness, making the first move. It is easier for her to reach out when someone is clearly in need, because their need has already made the first move. She is reactionary only, in all aspects of her life.
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

pheath wrote:
Chapter 10: Bernard's Challenge>

I think the "mass execution" is something that Ginny and Clive obviously don't give a second thought to. The moths multitude of moths that they need are simply fulfilling the predetermined mechanical destiny in the greater machinery of the world. I could not see Maud or Vivi approaching the matter from this mindset. I think it emphasizes the dichotomy in the family which in turn leads to the neglect of Maud. Maud's alcoholism is understandable as a means of filling the void that she has with Vivi out of the house.


I like this analysis. From being unwilling as a child to kill a fly, Gnny now has no compunction about slaughtering 50,000 moths to win a bet. If I had to live in a house with just those two companions, I might well be driven to drink, too.
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13: Mummy and Daddy!

I did notice that, too, and made a marginal note of it, but I have no idea what it means.

pigwidgeon wrote:
I find it strange that, after all the discussion of the girls calling their parents by their first names, no one has yet mentioned that, on page 111, Ginny calls them Mummy and Daddy. At first I thought that the traumatic nature of finding Maud holed up, and intoxicated, in the library sparked a little regressive behavior, but then I remembered that she calls them by their first names from the earliest memories. What do you all make of this?


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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

LizzieAnn wrote: I know it's research, but the gathering of all those moths & what they do to them - gas the males, save the pregnant females, and squeezing the virgins for potion - just gave me the creeps.

As far as we know, Ginny is still a virgin. I wonder whether she feels any sympathy for the virgin moths she is treating so. And her disdain for the males -- it makes me shudder. I hope she never got married!
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ELee
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13 - to the heights

Ch 13 The Ridge Walk (p 134)
 
"We'd reached the top, from where you could see three valleys meeting, rolling, and falling, as they'd done for generations.  I stopped for a moment, but Vivi went on ahead, following the path along the top of the ridge, drawing in the fresh icy air she missed in London."
 
Once again Ginny and Vivi are headed for "the heights".  The "valleys meeting, rolling, and falling," seem to indicate that this story is not an original or exclusive experience, but one that might be "done for generations".  And Vivi, of course, goes on ahead to the "top" of the ridge, where the sisters will once again be joined in a life changing event.
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kmensing
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Ch. 10

The trapping of the moths…..can you imagine the smell of this place? But oh what a site it would be.

Maud’s moved into the library & pretty much gone off the deep end. Alcoholic, obviously. Ginny takes responsibility. Why?

Ginny’s fear of losing time has been tracked back to this single event. Her mother asks for the time, Ginny tells her it’s 10:30 “in the morning”, and Maud lashes out at Ginny in total rage.

Ch. 11

Arthur and the Cannibals

In the title does the term cannibals relate to moths or to Vivi’s family? LOL!

Maud is a mean drunk, isn’t she? And on pg. 124--”Ginny…I promise that if you don’t open this door right now, I promise, I’ll kill you”--how disturbing is this?

How far is Ginny willing to let herself be brought down by Maud?

Ch. 12

So, did Ginny push Maud? Will Vivi accept the idea that Maud was a drunk & if so will it change her perspective on Ginny, Maud or even Clive?

Last page, they apologize to each other---why?

By this time in the book, I was hoping for more family history. After all, we were told that several generations have once occupied this house.

And we still don’t know what Vivi’s seaching for--if anything at all. I know if I were able to go back to my childhood home, I would probably search it from top to bottom as well, just curiosity.

Ch. 13

Pg. 135--finally a reference to the cover? “Ginny” “Knock, Knock” “You’re playing statues again”.

Pg.136--“…Vivi wasn’t built to shoulder anguish. Her fragile body would crumble….” Funny isn’t it, that the young Ginny saw herself as the stronger sister.

We’re back to Vivi’s fall, but still don’t find out of she was pushed or just fell. Ginny apologizes, but for what?

And we’re left wondering if Ginny will carry a baby for Vivi…….odd don’t you think--since Vivi drops hints regarding Ginny’s mental health.

I was really considering giving up on this book, but I guess curiosity makes me want to finish it.

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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Just a few comments:
 
I think that Clive accepting the challenge is just another example of Clive's need to compete in the scientific world--obviously showing at the same time that he is just not in touch with reality. 
 
I agree with everyone's comments that Ginny feels that she has to "keep the secret" of Maud's alcoholism.  I think she also may feel guilty because she knows that she is perceived to be the most loved one of the family.  I find it interesting that Ginny is able to so clearly rationalize the situation with Maud ("I'd let her down because I had been too concerned for too long with my work and my own life to see what needed to be done." p. 112).  With all the prior written discussion of Ginny's OCD, paranoia, and all the rest I find it odd that she is so rational in her thinking at this time.
 
It was clear that the escalation of Maud's drinking and the voracity of the drunken violent bouts would lead to a tragic conclusion. Again, during the I Spy chapter I see Ginny being able to think a bit clearer.  Obviously, she is nieve to think that Maud just confused the doors.......I find that more than hard to believe!!!
 
Finally, I think that Vivi's request of Ginny to carry a baby for her just underscores Vivi's self centered personality.  She had left the home, and at that time only wanted to have anything to do with any of them if it was to her benefit.
 
I still enjoy the storyline.  The scientific discussions about moths are only mildly interesting to me, but I guess I just look beyond them to follow the character storyline of the book.  I have read a number of other books that involved a theme that I wasn't really interested in but liked the overall story. (The Tenth Circle comes to mind with the comics.) 
 
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Karen, I think is a great idea, hopefully it takes off...now for the book
 
 
I feel like Chapter 103-1 really gave us more clues as to Maud's make up as the girls got older and when Vivi left...she so desperately wanted to be noticed by her husband, that she tried to recapture the old days, dressing the way she used to and putting on makeup...however, it seems like he kept pushing her away...also, Ginny was his cohort now, and since Vivi wasn't around, I feel that Maud started to withdraw into herself, finally turning to drink...I think she became rather depressed and used alcohol to deal with it...I think Ginny put it nicely on p. 111 when she said that "she'd lost sight of herself." These chapters also gave some insight into the kind of daughter Ginny was...she kept Maud's secret for a very long time (I wondered why Ginny did this) and even resolved not to tarnish her image in Vivi's eyes when she caught her trying to open the cellar door...made me wonder if drunkeness played a role in Maud's death...One thing I didn't really understand is why Maud transformed...into something that was almost beast-like and went after Ginny, the only person who knew that she wasn't as perfect as she wanted people to think...could her tirade against Ginny be signs of dementia? Does it run in the family? I ask the latter question because Vivi seems to display the same symptoms, though she doesn't drink...her frantic search for something of Maud's makes me question how sane she really is...but, on the otherhand, her lucidity is quite clear when she talks to Ginny about Maud's death. She seemed rather sane and her speculations were on point...her question to Ginny on p. 129, "So you still think that's what happened?" gave me pause as I was reading...it put yet another crinkle in the sheets so to speak...the mystery surrounding Maud's death became a key point for me now and I feel like Vivi is somehow linked to what happened...before I speculated as to whether Ginny, Clive or Maud herself was the cause of her death, but now that we are seeing a little more into Vivi's character, I am starting to question her sanity and actions around the time of Maud's fall...(Isn't it interesting how Maud dies from a fall? Is it connected to Vivi's fall in Chapter 2?)...was Maud's death really an accident? Did Ginny really believe that she mistook  the cellar door as that of the one for the kitchen?
 
As I was typing this question popped into my head...is there a dual meaning for the "fall"? Is it only the literal fall that we read about for both Vivi and Maud or is there a metaphorical or figurative fall that Adams is talking about? I know, I will stop over analyzing now...just popped into my head...
 
On page 123, Ginny was describing how she had to "lock" Maud up just in case she had one of her tirades and it struck me as very similar to Bertha, Rochester wife in Jane Eyre and protagonist of Wide Sargasso Sea...if you've read either of those two books, you may be able to picture what I am talking about...the difference here is that Maud is not locked up in the attic, but rather in the library and the only sustenance she seems to take in is the drink...I don't know why, but I felt this scene is setting us up for some elements of insanity in Maud's character as we progress through the book...
 
The introduction of Arthur to the mix was a nice segue into the Chapter 13 and the question Vivi asked Ginny...could she have her baby for her? Needless to say, I was very surprised, she actually came out and said it, but I had an inkling that something profound was definitely going to happen on the ridge walk...I only thought it would be her announcement of Arthur's intention to marry her, but I didn't think that Vivi would be so torn about marrying him...for all intents and purposes, I felt that she came to terms with her loss, but I guess I was wrong. The question of the hour then became, Will Ginny have Vivi's baby, so that she can find happiness with the man she loves?
 
On p.115, we see the beginnings of how Vivi and Ginny's relationship was somewhat frosty...by leaving Ginny with her family and inevitably the problems that go along with them, Vivi lost her status as a family member..."Even though she was a daughter and a sister, Vivi was now officially a visitor...So it was that the allegiances of the people within the house, however unstable, far outweighed all external bonds of love and friendship...When Vivi left [home] she had given up the right to be party to its authenticity..." After reading this passage, it became clearer to me why Ginny greeted Vivi the way she did upon her arrival to Bulburrow Court after so many years...since she left, she was no longer privy to the secrets of the family and lost all right to make any decisions about the house...I think Vivi may have sensed this, hence the reason why she often tried to remind Ginny that she owned part of the house and the things therein...
 
On page 134-135, Ginny's explanation about the Fox Moth caterpillar and its habits was very interesting, but the lines that struck me the most were "How much I'd hate to live totally unaware of myself, I thought. What would be the point of living, of existing, if you weren't ever to know about it?" These lines stood out to me because I felt that this is how Ginny as living now...I thought it was quite ironic that she would have that feeling...so what changed as she got older to cause her "to live totally unaware" of herself now? Did it have something to do with Vivi's question at the end of The Ridge Walk chapter?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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paula_02912
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Karen wrote: " One thing that is clear to me from this chapter is that Ginny thrives on the suffering of those around her. Feel free to disagree with this, but she feels "invigorated, revitalised and valuable" in the face of her sister's suffering! I know she's specifically talking about the expulsion when she uses those words, but she recalls it now."
 
Karen, I would agree with the statement you make here...she does seem to feel more empowered when dealing with a crisis...her reaction was similar when she discovered Maud in her drunkeness...she felt good about the "bond" they were able to create, similar to that of Vivi and Maud when they were children...she was now able to make Maud laugh and giggle and even show some emotion around her...now Ginny is in control and she doesn't have to "hide" her strength from anyone...hmmm...I wonder what caused her to lose this feeling of strength and a sense of belonging once there is no crisis...she fades into the wall and becomes the follower again...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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paula_02912
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

crazyasitsounds wrote: "I was taken aback by Vivi's request. I do think it was selfish, only because it seems she was content to ignore the family until she needs something--something big--from them."
 
Crazyasitsounds, your statement above made ask myself this question...Do you think that Vivi asked herto have her baby because she felt Ginny "owed" her?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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ELee
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



KxBurns wrote:

Chapter 13: The Ridge Walk

-please discuss this statement by Ginny (it caps off the entire Fox Moth passage on pages 134-135, which I found fascinating!): "If you were born unaware, at least you'd be blissfully ignorant. It's not as if you're going to wake up one day and suddenly discover yourself."


Ginny, the human "moth"; will she ever see "the light"?  I guess its very true to life to have someone say "I'd hate to live totally unaware of myself" while, in an outsider's perception, that is exactly what they are doing.  I suppose it would be blissful to be ignorant, but what price do you pay for being aware and ignoring a situation, like Clive?  What price do you pay when you do "wake up one day" and discover that your role in the lives of others has changed, and not for the good?  Is it easier to pass judgement on a situation when you're not in it?  Ginny pities the Fox Moth because it is a "poor unconscious creature", but takes exception to Vivi's observation that she is doing her "absence thing".  Does Ginny have any advantage over the "inherent ingenuity" of the moth, whose nervous  system does not know or think?  What advantage does she have over the moths? 
 
No matter how grotesque, nature takes care of it's own.  I think the moths might be winning on this one.
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

ladytoad wrote:
 
Chapter 10:
I know they are moths, but I found it difficult to stomach that Ginny and Clive were planning to lure and/or breed 25,000 moths just so they could kill them, and I agree with Karen that the images are very reminiscent of Nazi war crimes during WWII.
 

ELee
 
I totally agree.  If you were to read only the portion of the first paragraph on the top of page 110, you would not know the difference between moth collecting and Nazi extermination.
 
ladytoad and ELee, I absolutely agree with you...in the margins I wrote "reminiscent of the Holocaust" that is the image that came into mind...the line that clinched this idea for me was "...separating those who were to be immediately gassed and those who were of more use to us alive." This line reminded me a section of Pat Conroy's Beach Music, where the protagonist discussed how the people were separated and how, like Doctors, dentists and nurses, he was chosen to live because he could service those in charge of the camp by playing his violin...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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runnybabbit620
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎01-04-2008
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Chapter 10--
 
I find it barbaric that Clive and Ginny will have to kill so many moths for a competition that centers around a moths's flourescent compound.  This gives Clive a passion and drive (and hopefully national recognition), but, taking into consideration the source of the challenge (creepy, handsy Bernard), why would Ginny want to be involved too?
 
I think that the reason Maud is drinking heavily is that maybe she feels abandoned due to this new all-consuming study Clive is in on.  She gives the statement to Ginny that she didn't give a damn if she doesn't discover "the divine secret of moths" and that she never cared.  I feel that to be her truth in liquor statement, like "In Vino, Veritas (Truth)".
 
Chapter 11--
 
Throughout Arthur's visit with Vivi, I wondered, what did Arthur think of Vivi's family after the comment about the cannibalistic caterpillars and that you can tell they're cannibals because "you just know".
 
It was sad to see that the same amount of effort, while attempts were made by everyone else in the family, that they fell far short in showing interest in Arthur's line of work.  At least until he mentioned that the bakery was on Wainscot Road and Clive perked up because of another famous lepidopterist family with that last name.
 
I thought Ginny's decision to take care of her drunken mother a wrong decison.  Do they have AA in the UK?  I think that Ginny's enabling the addiction made things worse and, obviously, lead to Maud's death.
 
Chapter 12--
 
If Ginny's so concerned with what Vivi's looking for, why doesn't she stop creeping around and spying and JUST ASK HER?
 
Vivi's discovery that the cellar door was not only locked from the outside but also from the inside prompts a discussion of Maud and her death.  I wonder, if Ginny had told Vivi the truth early on about the problems at home with Maud, would Vivi have been in the presence of mind to suggest some sort of outside support?
 
Chapter 13--
 
When Vivi asks if Ginny would bear a child for her, you've got to wonder if Vivi even considered adoption as an option, knowing full well that she couldn't have any of her own from the fall from the bell tower.  And how awkward a position does this put Ginny in when Vivi says that she "can't think of anything more depressing than a childless marriage".
 
We are left on a cliffhanger, will Ginny bear Vivi a child or won't she?
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paula_02912
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Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13: Mummy and Daddy!

pigwidgeon wrote: "I find it strange that, after all the discussion of the girls calling their parents by their first names, no one has yet mentioned that, on page 111, Ginny calls them Mummy and Daddy. At first I thought that the traumatic nature of finding Maud holed up, and intoxicated, in the library sparked a little regressive behavior, but then I remembered that she calls them by their first names from the earliest memories. What do you all make of this? "
 
pigwidgeon, I thought it was strange as well...could it be that Ginny feels like their daughter with Vivi out of the picture? She seems to be more alive and able to show emotions with Vivi gone, which I found to be ironic because she constantly says that Vivi brings her back to life...in this case I think that when Vivi is there, she sucks the life out of Vivi, causing her to hide within herself...and maybe Ginny convinced herself that without Vivi she was not alive...is this the adult Ginny's perspective or is it an accurate reading of their relationship as children and young adults?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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