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bentley
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



bentley wrote:


BookSavage wrote:
For me these chapters also returned the feeling that Ginny has Asperger's Syndrom.  Her lack of emotions, her singular focus on this, her not having the need to make the relationship with Arthur more personal and a variety of other factors reinforces this idea.
 
bentley said: We can see that Ginny is surprised that she cannot show any emotion at all about her mother's death/accident/or murder.
I think this once again goes back to her autism.  Remember at the beginning of the book she tries to make the right face about Vivi's dog, and can't.  I think the same thing is going on here, she is aware that she should feel some emotion, but she is not sure what or how to express that emotion.






That is true; she did not seem to like the dog at all and dogs usually try to be friendly. Maybe because it was connected to Vivian. Also, she has made some comment about dog owners.




The part about autism is interesting; but she seemed to not be repulsed by human touch.
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



Frank_n_beans wrote:


Everyman wrote:

What I can't forgive is Clive sending Ginny down the stairs to see whether Maud was really dead. How could a parent do that to a child?

And why would he be so sure that a fall down the cellar stairs would kill her? After all, Vivi survived a worse fall than that. And drunks are much more relaxed in their bodies and often survive accidents that would kill sober people who tense up and make things worse.

I was wondering about this too, Everyman; however, Clive wanted it to look "staged."  He wanted Ginny to think that she fell down the stairs and maybe part of his asking her to check that Maud was, in fact, dead was just part of the show.  He wanted Ginny to think that he appeared too distraught by her accident to check himself..(and clearly this worked since Ginny didn't question it). 


I agree -- I think it's critical to Clive for Ginny to be convinced that the death was accidental. We have a precedent for Clive feeling that perhaps Ginny is incapable of keeping a secret; he probably thinks if she has suspicions, she surely won't be able to keep them to herself when the police come knocking.
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



mwinasu wrote:
Ancestors contribute genes as well as accumulated wealth.  Alcoholism tends to run in families.  Alcoholism also causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I think the contributions of Ginny's ancestry have had a significant bearing on this story.


Interesting thought. If FAS is the case, then Ginny is the living embodiment of Maud's mistake/weakness, and therefore could be perceived to have ruined Maud's life by acting as a constant reminder...
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



bookhunter wrote:


Carmenere_lady wrote:
...  Well, Arthur does seem alot like other redblooded, young men I've heard about.  Given the opportunity to bed someone other than your wife with your wife's consent is like a dream come true for some men.  Not everyone of course. But consider that Arthur was doing this for a purpose, either to make his wife happy and give her a child she is not physically able to produce or give himself an heir.  Both circumstances have his wife's blessing.  In fact she planned everything.  So I would have to say yes, I still consider Arthur to be a normal guy.  Likeable, considerate and congenial in fact.  But, I'll continue reading he still may change within the next group of chapters.  ;o)


I think this would be a big cause of the division between Ginny and Vivi.  Vivi thought it would be an easy solution to her problem, but the reality of her husband having sex with her sister was really more than she could handle.  Maybe she didn't see Ginny throughout the pregnancy because she didn't want the visual reminder of what she had done.
 
Ann, bookhunter


My issue with Arthur is that, of everyone in the family, he seems to be the most aware (or at least as aware) of Ginny's impairments. He might be trying to look out for her and offer her some tenderness, but wouldn't Ginny be best served if he didn't encourage her to develop feelings for him that will surely result in her getting hurt?
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



bentley wrote:

It was telling to me that Ginny stated that having sex did not hurt her at all like Vivian told her it would. Are we to possibly assume that Ginny was not a virgin and had been molested when she was younger or had had other sexual liaisons. I found it hard to believe that she would not have felt some awkwardness or even a slight discomfort if she were a virgin.
I think Ginny says at one point that Arthur is the only man she's ever had sex with -- page 143: "Seeing that photo has made me realize that the only man I've ever been intimate with was little more than a boy."
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 16



bentley wrote:
Chapter 16: A Nuclear Test and Titus

I do not see any picture of the Emperor Titus: what or who is it supposed to remind us of?

Since the name Titus Sorrell figures prominently in this chapter, I was reminded of the Emperor Titus. The link had a picture of a bust of him that really resembled the bust on the cover of the book. Whether there is any other connection there is up to you all...
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bentley
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16


KxBurns wrote:


bentley wrote:

It was telling to me that Ginny stated that having sex did not hurt her at all like Vivian told her it would. Are we to possibly assume that Ginny was not a virgin and had been molested when she was younger or had had other sexual liaisons. I found it hard to believe that she would not have felt some awkwardness or even a slight discomfort if she were a virgin.
I think Ginny says at one point that Arthur is the only man she's ever had sex with -- page 143: "Seeing that photo has made me realize that the only man I've ever been intimate with was little more than a boy."





I thought the key in the sentence was the use of the word I and intimate (meaning that she was present and it was her choice); I think she was abused by others earlier (and just had the ability to go into herself and not be present) and maybe did not interpret it as anyting but a violation; then she could not be sure if it happened or not. I find it hard to believe that she would have had that bizarre Bernard episode even in her head if something had not happened before; even if Bernard had not touched her backside (and even if he did?) And those thoughts about the doctor; if they were all unfounded where did this knowledge come from?
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Oldesq
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Of course someone may have sex and yet not be intimate- distinguishing the act from the emotional involvement.

KxBurns wrote:


bentley wrote:

It was telling to me that Ginny stated that having sex did not hurt her at all like Vivian told her it would. Are we to possibly assume that Ginny was not a virgin and had been molested when she was younger or had had other sexual liaisons. I found it hard to believe that she would not have felt some awkwardness or even a slight discomfort if she were a virgin.
I think Ginny says at one point that Arthur is the only man she's ever had sex with -- page 143: "Seeing that photo has made me realize that the only man I've ever been intimate with was little more than a boy."



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bentley
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Re: Chapter 16



KxBurns wrote:


bentley wrote:
Chapter 16: A Nuclear Test and Titus

I do not see any picture of the Emperor Titus: what or who is it supposed to remind us of?

Since the name Titus Sorrell figures prominently in this chapter, I was reminded of the Emperor Titus. The link had a picture of a bust of him that really resembled the bust on the cover of the book. Whether there is any other connection there is up to you all...





I never saw the connection; but that does not mean there wasn't one. Was the connection just the word in the title and the statue on the cover; or was it a link to the fall of a family over generations (like the Roman Empire); what connection did you make?
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bentley
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



Oldesq wrote:
Of course someone may have sex and yet not be intimate- distinguishing the act from the emotional involvement.

KxBurns wrote:


bentley wrote:

It was telling to me that Ginny stated that having sex did not hurt her at all like Vivian told her it would. Are we to possibly assume that Ginny was not a virgin and had been molested when she was younger or had had other sexual liaisons. I found it hard to believe that she would not have felt some awkwardness or even a slight discomfort if she were a virgin.
I think Ginny says at one point that Arthur is the only man she's ever had sex with -- page 143: "Seeing that photo has made me realize that the only man I've ever been intimate with was little more than a boy."








That was exactly what I was getting at.
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grapes
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



KxBurns wrote:

Chapter 14: Vivien's Day Out

 

 

-Maud's assault on Ginny was truly chilling, and Clive's intercession made it no less bizarre -- particularly when viewed through Ginny's eyes in which it has the strange air of a performance. Clive is not nearly as oblivious as Ginny believes, but now the question becomes, how much does Arthur know? What do you think?

 


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-09-2008 06:23 PM


I think Arthur is totally aware of what has been going on with Maud. I think he uses his scientific research not as denial but as a coping mechanism. He knows Maud has totally lost control. He just isn't aware of a way to fix the problem. What looked like being oblivious all this time might have been Clive's sorrow, I think.


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grapes
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



KxBurns wrote:
 
Chapter 16: A Nuclear Test and Titus

-Maud dies on Good Friday. Do you think she was sacrificed by Clive to spare Ginny?


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-09-2008 06:23 PM

Hmmmmm. Yes, that happened to be my first reaction. After Clive witnessed that awful fight between Ginny and Maud, he knew Maud's acts of violence were completely out of control.I do believe she was capable of murder. I think Clive felt the same way. His only thought was to save his daughter. Ironically, I believe the picnic led to murder.May be the picnic was used as an alibi.  I think Clive left the two doors open on purpose knowing Maud's always drunken state would lead her to the wrong door. I even had thoughts that he might have gave Maud a push down those stairs.

 
 
 
Grapes
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grapes
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



julyso wrote:
I enjoyed these chapters, things are really starting to move now! What will happen to this baby???


I can't imagine what will happen to the baby. It's even a stronger mix now because Vivi is pregnant too.


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grapes
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



renhair wrote:
Is it possible that Vivi for all her glitz is a cold fish and that somehow Arthur found comfort and companionship in Ginny - a very unexpected source.  When they began having sex, she approached it clinically and he approached as a job - very distracted.  The 2nd time, it's almost like he gave the whole thing some thought and decided that he wanted to know Ginny.... I don't know, it's an odd situation, but it just seems that Arthur was looking for something from Ginny that he wasn't getting from Vivi and I don't mean the baby.


After Ginny became less practical, she began to enjoy Arthur. I thought their walks together and talks together were cute, pleasant. Is she in love with him? Is he in love with her? I agree with you. I don't think Arthur was happy with Vivi not after he became closer to Ginny.



 
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SweetReaderMA
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I have seen bits and pieces of the movie Pleasantville but never the whole thing.

Sweetreader, Kristen
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. ~Gilbert Highet
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Oldesq
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



KxBurns wrote:


mwinasu wrote:
Ancestors contribute genes as well as accumulated wealth.  Alcoholism tends to run in families.  Alcoholism also causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I think the contributions of Ginny's ancestry have had a significant bearing on this story.


Interesting thought. If FAS is the case, then Ginny is the living embodiment of Maud's mistake/weakness, and therefore could be perceived to have ruined Maud's life by acting as a constant reminder...


I don't think it is FASD as the most prominent feature - the inability to understand the consequences of one's actions- seems to be missing from Ginny.  She understands if A then B she just doesn't care what A or B are.
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pheath
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



Oldesq wrote:


KxBurns wrote:


mwinasu wrote:
Ancestors contribute genes as well as accumulated wealth. Alcoholism tends to run in families. Alcoholism also causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I think the contributions of Ginny's ancestry have had a significant bearing on this story.


Interesting thought. If FAS is the case, then Ginny is the living embodiment of Maud's mistake/weakness, and therefore could be perceived to have ruined Maud's life by acting as a constant reminder...


I don't think it is FASD as the most prominent feature - the inability to understand the consequences of one's actions- seems to be missing from Ginny. She understands if A then B she just doesn't care what A or B are.





I agree. This goes along with the very robotic nature of Ginny that has been on display from the beginning of the novel. She is merely waiting to play out the instructions that she has been programmed to do.
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dordavis33
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Chapter 14

Ginny seems to be obsessed with her sister! Really, she watches her like a cheetah stalking its prey. This is eerie for real. "I didn't want Vivien to go, and as I watched her walking away I was desperate not to lose sight of her...and this is the unexpected part--now that she's gone and I've finally lost sight of her, I'm not craving for her to turn back at all..." She pines for her sister and yet at the same time, she finds her sister a source of grievance. I couldn't not believe this over sixty year old woman is riffling through her sister's purse! Unbelievable! She has no sense of right and wrong. she appears to always be justified in her own eyes. Is she like this because she hungers to know her sister or is she just plain three shakes away from certifiably crazy?!

Chapter 15

Maud has deteriorated drastically; the alcohol has made her a bitter and cruel person. This hatred is directed at Ginny. I can't believe that Clive or no one else for that matter, does not know the condition of Maud. I believe Clive knew because he showed up in the kitchen that night before Ginny got her brains bashed out. I think he knew all along. I just don't know why he never stood up and protected his daughter and got his wife some serious help.

Chapter 16

Clive had something to do with Maud's death, whether it was a gentle push or intentionally leaving the door to the cellar unlocked, he orchestrating the whole thing. Which would explain his urgency to leave the house almost immediately. He offered no comfort to his child, he just left.
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Readingrat
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Well this section really answers the questions as to whether Maud's death was an accident or murder and why Vivien is so upset with Clive. We also get a glimpse of how very aware Clive was of what went on in the house (and his great sense of timing). What I don't understand though is why Vivien takes out her anger at Clive on the house (and consequently Ginny) - it just seems a little misplaced.
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



dordavis33 wrote:
Chapter 14

Ginny seems to be obsessed with her sister! Really, she watches her like a cheetah stalking its prey. This is eerie for real. "I didn't want Vivien to go, and as I watched her walking away I was desperate not to lose sight of her...and this is the unexpected part--now that she's gone and I've finally lost sight of her, I'm not craving for her to turn back at all..." She pines for her sister and yet at the same time, she finds her sister a source of grievance. I couldn't not believe this over sixty year old woman is riffling through her sister's purse! Unbelievable! She has no sense of right and wrong. she appears to always be justified in her own eyes. Is she like this because she hungers to know her sister or is she just plain three shakes away from certifiably crazy?!


I agree -- no matter what Ginny does, she rationalizes it. I think it is especially telling that she pauses to consider the safety pins before putting them back in the bag, contemplates how nice it would be add them to her collection, and then thinks that she "wouldn't dream of taking them" (emphasis mine). One second she is literally picturing them on her bed and the next second she's professing that she would never even entertain the idea of taking them. It's a small thing, but I found she had moments like this throughout the book that indicate her actions have little effect on her perception of herself.
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