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mv5ocean
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎12-03-2008
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


Rachel-K wrote:

 

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

The romance of it is magical and surreal and forms bonds that can last a lifetime. The irony seems to be that life long bonds for these girls could be very short lived, depending upon their illness.

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received?

The invitation is surprising and exhilarating and comes complete with bagpipes on occasion, and the girls feel amazingly special and chosen, whereas the diagnosis is also a surprise it becomes something they live with because they have no choice. And I'm sure as far as the diagnosis they wonder "Why am I the special chosen one who has to deal with this?"

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles?

Unfortunately when a child experiences an illness of this type they are forced to face reality and "grown up" situations on a regular basis. It is amazing how they adapt most generally eaiser than an adult with the same circumstances.

 

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

She is one with the water, faces uncertainty in her life as far as her medical condition.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

I believe they are saying their legacy or time or experiences they have with the other girls will live forever in this water, with the next group of girls,etc.

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different?

Well they are very appreciative of simple things in life and value everything. They don't seem to argue or fuss and are accepting of everyone.

 

What do you make of Wally?

Great person, heart of gold........very wise.

 


 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

You are very welcome pen21,I know so much information,and how it all plays out,well I am only in the middle of Chapter 9..reading slowly..I still have my Angel Dust,but I don't think it will help,but one can only wish it could.many complicated senarios...Best Vtc

pen21 wrote:

Thank You. Your post helped me figure out what Chungamunga Girls brought to the book.

It fit in the story, but it seemed a little forced to me. I have only read the first section.

So I was having a little difficulty with the story as a whole and how it all fit in.

pen21

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

The romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl"The Creation of this Camp is just a story within a story,like a fable,reality mixed with a bit of fanatsy and I just want to sprinkle some Angel Dust all over them.and all will be well,and wonderful for them..I think thats how they feel.Living with this knowlege of their illness,and without any notice they are tranformed,and brought into a safe,beautiful world,where just maybe they will heal spiritually .The "Girls" also feel so special in a good way,not because of their illness.Mary was chosen by another older "Chungamunga Girl' who passed down her experience to Mary by inviting her.Eternal on the Water,they will live forever..like Mary will.I guess I have trouble accepting that all the girls are so sick,so I just see them as girls having an exceptional camp experience that they will remember forever.Wally is their pilar of strength and knowledge.. Vtc


 

 


 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

Remember the "Family Circus" cartoons where the kids go somewhere for the first time and think that they have discovered a totally new place where no one else has been? Yet they are surrounded by little ghost children from the past who have also played there. That is the way that I have been thinking about the meaning of "eternal on the water". It is an experience that each girl will have forever and can never be taken away from them. But that experience is also imprinted on the river because each girl has been there at one point in time. The past is still there even though we are living in the present.

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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girlie0620
Posts: 30
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

The secret society of the Chungamunga Girls is amazing. It allows them to be apart of something larger than themselves. They push themselves to live with whatever diagnosis they have rather than allow the diagnosis to dictate for them. It is support and a continued family for them. The invitations play a big part in this because it is a ritual and an honor when they receive one. I think the idea for "eternal on the water" is that a part of them will always be there on the river and those moments will never leave them. Older girls continue to return and play a part in the ceremonies....so the younger ones see how meaningful this experience truly is; that they will always have this river and be able to return if they choose. Wally is amazing because she takes care of them while having them contribute.   

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Lildove3
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

The Chungamunga Girl is awesome,with todays young kids maybe they should read this book,so

they would have a more wholesome outlook on life.

 

It's a very tasteful approach and also very clever.

 

It's obvious these girls are aware of their own personal conditions. Mary is not disreguarding her condition

she chooses not to be informed totaly of what her current condition because she want to live now, because

she knows there's a possible of no more tomorrows.

 

Each girl feels they are eternal because they know they are continuing a legacy.

 

Wally is a cool charcter, wish I knew somebody like Wally in real life.

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sconcannon
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-02-2007

Re: Chungamunga Girls

Myrtle seemed so mature for her age when she answered that question.  on the one hand it is quite depressing.  On the other hand, Myrtle and these other girls seem to understand the value of life and have a purpose in it.  Even at such young ages, they live each moment and do not let their diseases debilitate them.  It seems as if they are free here in this moment

"Yes she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision." - Virginia Woof, To the Lighthouse.
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jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


Rachel-K wrote:

 

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"It is a wonderful experience for these girls. They get an exclusive invitation to a private club and have an adventure to make them forget for a little while that they are sick.

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received?The diagnosis is a frightening experience. The invitation is thoughtful and personal.

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles?Myrtle is wise beyond her years, she has come to terms with her illness. Mary seems to be running away from the possibilty of her condition.

 

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?I don't know because she does'nt even know if she has Huntington's.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"Their names will be recorded as having been a Chungamunga girl and traveling the river. Their spirit will live on as long as more girls become Cuungamungas.

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different?The girls do not seem sick, they seem like ordinary girls.

 

What do you make of Wally?She is a very caring person, possibly a Chungamunga herself.

 

 


 

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sconcannon
Posts: 10
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

The whole process of being a Chungamunga girl gives these girls hope, promise and a purpose.  The way they are invited into the club makes them feel like a princess for a day.  They activities that take place at the camp seem to give each girl such pleasure.  Pleasure in learning new things and probably most importantly nature. They are out in "gods country" Also they are right near where Thoreau camped and was one with nature.  This creates a picture of peace and tranquility.  Being at camp and all of the activities seem to offer these girls a place where they can just be girls (they dont talk about the illness).  They are out there experiencing life and nature and the beauty of that.

"Yes she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision." - Virginia Woof, To the Lighthouse.
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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Chungamunga Girls

[ Edited ]

I am intrigued by the magic thinking that is used to help the Chungamunga girls deal with their illnesses. I love the way they are shown the beauty of nature and how they are educated in rituals of varying cultures.

 

But one thing puzzles me. On page 89 Wally says, talking about girls in general: "We sexualize them, vamp them up, then scorn them if they actually misbehave sexually. You know all that line of thinking, I'm sure." And then about the Chungamunga girls: "Sometimes our motto is that we reclaim their girlhood. They put on plays and skits, they make up songs and invent rituals to add to the existing rituals. They skip rope and do hand-clapping games. They tell stories, but not about boys and kissing and all that. They make their own culture, where the girls are strong and heroic."

All this means to me that sexuality is downplayed in favor of "girlhood." Then why a wedding? Aren't these girls old enough to understand what a wedding means? I am not asking this out of prudishness; I only wonder why a ritual that binds male and female together (an adult man and adult woman in this case) is chosen as highlight when all other aspects of Chungamunga society seem to be non-sexual. Men aren't supposed to spend the night at the camp, but one man is allowed to take one of their favorite teachers away in the dark.

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lovetoreadLW
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

I'd like to start by saying that I am really enjoying this book! It grabbed me right from the beginning. I have only read Ch 1-8 because I don't want to 'spoil' anything.

 

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?" It was described as a 'secret society' and these girls belong to it wholeheartedly. I believe it gives them this feeling of having a secret and of course, the experience on the river is something they will never forget.

 

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles? These girls know that they are going to die and they accept it, just like Mary accepts her condition. They live life to its fullest.

 

What do you make of Wally? I'm not sure what to make of Wally yet. She is obviously wise and very giving of herself to these girls. She provides Cobb (and therefore, us) with a lot of insight on the Chungamunga girls.

 

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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

 

Mary keeps restating that she doesn't want to kow whether or not she has the Huntington's Gene (if she does, the disease will manifest itself); however, the Chungamung experience is for girls who are sick (maybe no active symptoms at the time) not for ones who might have an illness. Since she went on a Chungamung trip as a girl, she knows on a subconcius level that she does have the gene. She also indicated that her mother had a feeling that she might receive and invitation (don't remember the page number). I would think that someone would have needed to submit her name/history in order to be considered/chosen for the Chungamunga experience.

 

Once again, on a subconcious level, the disease has influenced her way of living life fully.

 

I think her not admitting it is the only thing that makes it not real.

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Lisa1971
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

I think that being a "Chungamunga Girl" gives these girls a sence of identity. It gives their life meaning and a belonging to a thing larger than themselves. Yet for a moment they don't have to worry about anything else other than there being part of a group of equals.

 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re:Chungamunga Girls

[ Edited ]



Sunltcloud wrote:

I am intrigued by the magic thinking that is used to help the Chungamunga girls deal with their illnesses. I love the way they are shown the beauty of nature and how they are educated in rituals of varying cultures.

 

But one thing puzzles me. On page 89 Wally says, talking about girls in general: "We sexuality them, vamp them up, then scorn them if they actually misbehave sexually. You know all that line of thinking, I'm sure." And then about the Chungamunga girls: "Sometimes our motto is that we reclaim their girlhood. They put on plays and skits, they make up songs and invent rituals to add to the existing rituals. They skip rope and do hand-clapping games. They tell stories, but not about boys and kissing and all that. They make their own culture, where the girls are strong and heroic."

All this means to me that sexuality is downplayed in favor of "girlhood." Then why a wedding? Aren't these girls old enough to understand what a wedding means? I am not asking this out of prudishness; I only wonder why a ritual that binds male and female together (an adult man and adult woman in this case) is chosen as highlight when all other aspects of Chungamunga society seem to be non-sexual. Men aren't supposed to spend the night at the camp, but one man is allowed to take one of their favorite teachers away in the dark..


Vtc  Wrote  .Good Point..But to me its irrelevant .Many different ages,one never knows what "Girls" at that age are thinking,or what they know about sex .It  was "A Wedding" A Ritual,that is bonding Mary and Cobb for eternity. Into the woods together,does not constitute sex,just disappearing into the woods,like a Fairytale.Rules are made to be broken....Especially in this setting and circumstances...Vtc

 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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PB684
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


Sunltcloud wrote:

 

But one thing puzzles me. On page 89 Wally says, talking about girls in general: "We sexualize them, vamp them up, then scorn them if they actually misbehave sexually. You know all that line of thinking, I'm sure." And then about the Chungamunga girls: "Sometimes our motto is that we reclaim their girlhood. They put on plays and skits, they make up songs and invent rituals to add to the existing rituals. They skip rope and do hand-clapping games. They tell stories, but not about boys and kissing and all that. They make their own culture, where the girls are strong and heroic."

All this means to me that sexuality is downplayed in favor of "girlhood." Then why a wedding? Aren't these girls old enough to understand what a wedding means? I am not asking this out of prudishness; I only wonder why a ritual that binds male and female together (an adult man and adult woman in this case) is chosen as highlight when all other aspects of Chungamunga society seem to be non-sexual. Men aren't supposed to spend the night at the camp, but one man is allowed to take one of their favorite teachers away in the dark.


Hi Sunltcloud,

I'm not sure if anyone has addressed this point yet because I haven't had the time to read through all of the new posts but here are my thoughts.

I think it was stated that the girls are pre-teens, specifically between 10 and 12 I think. Girls at this age still have very innocent and romantic feelings towards relationships between men and women and weddings are very special occasions to them. I don't think sexuality really plays a big part in their minds yet. They have probably fantasized many times about how their own wedding would be. Unfortunately, in this case, many of them will not have that experience. I think that having a "wedding" for Cobb and Mary is their way of fulfilling some of their own fantasies about marriage and also maybe feeling that if there is hope for Mary then maybe there might be hope for each of them to find love.

Paula

PB684
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literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


CathyB wrote:


How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

 

Mary keeps restating that she doesn't want to kow whether or not she has the Huntington's Gene (if she does, the disease will manifest itself); however, the Chungamung experience is for girls who are sick (maybe no active symptoms at the time) not for ones who might have an illness. Since she went on a Chungamung trip as a girl, she knows on a subconcius level that she does have the gene. She also indicated that her mother had a feeling that she might receive and invitation (don't remember the page number). I would think that someone would have needed to submit her name/history in order to be considered/chosen for the Chungamunga experience.

 

Once again, on a subconcious level, the disease has influenced her way of living life fully.

 

I think her not admitting it is the only thing that makes it not real.


Hi Cathy,

Page 95, half way down the page  "I think my mother knew...".  That's where Mary talks about receiving the invitation.

For a better explanation, have patience until Chapter 9.  I agree with you that on a subconcious level the disease has influenced her way of living life fully.  In her mind, she already has the disease.

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rosia408
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?" I think it is a "fairy tale" kind of experience for these gals who have terminal illnesses. Just for once they get to leave it all behind and experience something magical!

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received? The invitation to be a Chungamunga girl is presented as a fantasy. Imagine being sick all the time, being so involved with a life of disease and suddenly the prospect arrives of adventure! Each girl getting picked up in a limo,

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles? I was so totally blown away by Myrtle and her acceptance of her life and what there was to live. Actually it seemed all the Chungamunga girls seemed to have that attitude. I don't know if I would have had the same attitude. Mary's attitude seems to be similar only she really doesn't want to admit to having a future, which I guess is kind of like admitting to having the disease!

 

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl? She went to the camp as a young girl and now she teaches there. She is a possible carrier of Huntinton's.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?" When they say that, I understood it to me that I will live forever on this water....my spirit will live on always!

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different? The girls all seem ordinary in that they are all young girls, but they are different in that they all have fatal illnesses and seem to have accepted them so well.

 

What do you make of Wally? I think that Wally was a former Chungamunga girl. I think that she must have gone into remission from her disease.

 

 

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basson_mommy12
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎05-27-2008
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

 


Rachel-K wrote:

 

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

 

Being a part of anything outside the family is a stretch for many of these girls with serious medical conditions.  It may be that much more stressful and wonderful because they never thought of having something so special in their lives, or that they may not be able to separate from their family.  They do not take for granted the future opportunities of college, and their own adult relationships hence, creating their own families through children of their own.

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received?

 

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles?

 

I think they understand completely.  I think my son at 7 years of age has a pretty firm grasp on the meaning of death and illness and sadness.

 

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

 

Someone else here already said it better than I can, but I'll add that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.  It is a spiritual connection to the world and nature and gives them a real sense of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different?

 

I think they're ordinary in that they have hopes and dreams, the same as any other girl of the age, but different in that they are checked by the reality that their aspirations are on a tighter schedule but they still want to make the best of it.  The most different aspect is that they already have a real sense of mortality that some adults never attain.

 

What do you make of Wally?

 

 


 

 

"The Answer to the Great Question of ... Life, the Universe and Everything ... (is) 42." -- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Ruth W.
Grand Rapids, MI
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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Re:Chungamunga Girls

 

Sunltcloud wrote:

I am intrigued by the magic thinking that is used to help the Chungamunga girls deal with their illnesses. I love the way they are shown the beauty of nature and how they are educated in rituals of varying cultures.

 

But one thing puzzles me. On page 89 Wally says, talking about girls in general: "We sexuality them, vamp them up, then scorn them if they actually misbehave sexually. You know all that line of thinking, I'm sure." And then about the Chungamunga girls: "Sometimes our motto is that we reclaim their girlhood. They put on plays and skits, they make up songs and invent rituals to add to the existing rituals. They skip rope and do hand-clapping games. They tell stories, but not about boys and kissing and all that. They make their own culture, where the girls are strong and heroic."

All this means to me that sexuality is downplayed in favor of "girlhood." Then why a wedding? Aren't these girls old enough to understand what a wedding means? I am not asking this out of prudishness; I only wonder why a ritual that binds male and female together (an adult man and adult woman in this case) is chosen as highlight when all other aspects of Chungamunga society seem to be non-sexual. Men aren't supposed to spend the night at the camp, but one man is allowed to take one of their favorite teachers away in the dark..


Vtc  Wrote  .Good Point..But to me its irrelevant .Many different ages,one never knows what "Girls" at that age are thinking,or what they know about sex .It  was "A Wedding" A Ritual,that is bonding Mary and Cobb for eternity. Into the woods together,does not constitute sex,just disappearing into the woods,like a Fairytale.Rules are made to be broken....Especially in this setting and circumstances...Vtc

Yes, that's how I decided to look at it too..... a ritual..... a fairy tale. I guess I am often too analytical when it comes to writing; it comes from having a longtime teacher who points out details that are set up against the whole picture and asks how they fit into it.

 

 

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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

 


PB684 wrote:

Hi Sunltcloud,

I'm not sure if anyone has addressed this point yet because I haven't had the time to read through all of the new posts but here are my thoughts.

I think it was stated that the girls are pre-teens, specifically between 10 and 12 I think. Girls at this age still have very innocent and romantic feelings towards relationships between men and women and weddings are very special occasions to them. I don't think sexuality really plays a big part in their minds yet. They have probably fantasized many times about how their own wedding would be. Unfortunately, in this case, many of them will not have that experience. I think that having a "wedding" for Cobb and Mary is their way of fulfilling some of their own fantasies about marriage and also maybe feeling that if there is hope for Mary then maybe there might be hope for each of them to find love.

Paula


Of course, you are right, the wedding addresses their own fantasies. And, as you point out, it gives them hope. Thanks for guiding my analytical mind back into the direction of wishful thinking and the beauty of rituals of commitment.

 

 

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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

Thanks! :smileyhappy: I didn't have my book with me at the time.

 


literature wrote:

CathyB wrote:


How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

 

Mary keeps restating that she doesn't want to kow whether or not she has the Huntington's Gene (if she does, the disease will manifest itself); however, the Chungamung experience is for girls who are sick (maybe no active symptoms at the time) not for ones who might have an illness. Since she went on a Chungamung trip as a girl, she knows on a subconcius level that she does have the gene. She also indicated that her mother had a feeling that she might receive and invitation (don't remember the page number). I would think that someone would have needed to submit her name/history in order to be considered/chosen for the Chungamunga experience.

 

Once again, on a subconcious level, the disease has influenced her way of living life fully.

 

I think her not admitting it is the only thing that makes it not real.


Hi Cathy,

Page 95, half way down the page  "I think my mother knew...".  That's where Mary talks about receiving the invitation.

For a better explanation, have patience until Chapter 9.  I agree with you that on a subconcious level the disease has influenced her way of living life fully.  In her mind, she already has the disease.