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Melissa_W
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THE DOLL: "The Doll"

Please use this thread for discussion of "The Doll".

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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dulcinea3
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"

Wow - what a bizarre story!  Did everyone else think that Julio was some sort of 'sex toy', or was it just me?  I guess Rebecca really didn't like other people, and so she was content to just have Julio to satisfy her needs.  I wonder where she got him, to begin with.  I also wonder how she lived without working, and where she went when she disappeared.

 

On the other hand, the narrator was so instantly obsessed by her and irrationally jealous, I kind of felt that he got what he deserved.  If he really was in love with Rebecca, he should have forced himself to be content to let the relationship progress slowly, on her own terms.  He should not have broken in to her apartment, with the intent of essentially raping her (I felt).

 

Of course, Rebecca was about equally obsessed with Julio.  He had, by far, the best room in the apartment.  When Rebecca spoke to the narrator about loving someone so much that you felt you had to make the other party jealous, he may have assumed she was talking about him, but she was really talking about Julio.  However, I do think that she let the narrator into her life to a greater extent than she had probably let anyone before.  She introduced him to Julio, although I think it was a sort of experiment to try to make Julio jealous by kissing the narrator in front of him.  I'm not sure if she really thought that he could get jealous for real, or if she just thought it would give her some additional thrill in her own imagination.  And when she and the narrator parted before the end, she seemed to be looking forward to seeing him again and said that she would have a lot to tell him - I still wonder what?

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Ryan_G
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"

I don't think you can read that story anyother way other than The Doll as a sex toy.  This is actually one of my favorite stories in the book because of the strange bent to it.

"I am half sick of shadows" The Lady of Shalott

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Fozzie
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"

Hmmm…not sure what that was about --- mental illness?  I think the man was driven mad by his love for Rebecca, who was herself mad.  I couldn’t help but notice the name Rebecca and wondered if the idea of madness and the name Rebecca in this story didn’t plant the seed for the author’s book Rebecca.

 

Laura

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Fozzie
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"


dulcinea3 wrote:

Wow - what a bizarre story!  Did everyone else think that Julio was some sort of 'sex toy', or was it just me?  I guess Rebecca really didn't like other people, and so she was content to just have Julio to satisfy her needs.  I wonder where she got him, to begin with.  I also wonder how she lived without working, and where she went when she disappeared.

 

On the other hand, the narrator was so instantly obsessed by her and irrationally jealous, I kind of felt that he got what he deserved.  If he really was in love with Rebecca, he should have forced himself to be content to let the relationship progress slowly, on her own terms.  He should not have broken in to her apartment, with the intent of essentially raping her (I felt).

 

Of course, Rebecca was about equally obsessed with Julio.  He had, by far, the best room in the apartment.  When Rebecca spoke to the narrator about loving someone so much that you felt you had to make the other party jealous, he may have assumed she was talking about him, but she was really talking about Julio.  However, I do think that she let the narrator into her life to a greater extent than she had probably let anyone before.  She introduced him to Julio, although I think it was a sort of experiment to try to make Julio jealous by kissing the narrator in front of him.  I'm not sure if she really thought that he could get jealous for real, or if she just thought it would give her some additional thrill in her own imagination.  And when she and the narrator parted before the end, she seemed to be looking forward to seeing him again and said that she would have a lot to tell him - I still wonder what?


I never occurred to me that Julio was a sex toy!  I thought the woman was just nuts!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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dulcinea3
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"


Fozzie wrote:

I never occurred to me that Julio was a sex toy!  I thought the woman was just nuts!


It was when it said, "He was a machine - something worked by screws" that made me think so.  And the narrator's reaction ("I was seized with a deadly sickness...").

But I would definitely agree that Rebecca was nuts!

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Melissa_W
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"

I was interested in finding out which magazine originally published this story - given the subject matter I'd have been surprised if it was a major magazine.

 

After some online digging, I found an article from The Guardian February 2011:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/feb/21/daphne-du-maurier-stories-discovered

 

The bookseller and collector knew of "The Doll" from du Maurier's biography - she claimed it had been published but no one had a manuscript/knew which publication.  The story was eventually found in a collection titled The Editor Regrets, published in 1937.  "The Doll" was apparently originally submitted around 1928 - du Maurier would have been barely 21 so she would have written the story earlier.  I can see why it perhaps wouldn't have made it into a magazine at that time.  Even in the permissive 20s the scene of discovery would probably have been too much for readers.

 

(The rest of the article goes on to explain that the first five stories in the collection we're reading are the "lost" stories from early in her career; the remaining eight are from the 1950s).

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
Topics: 516
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THE DOLL: "The Doll"

And can I just say that the name "Julio" made me laugh.  Such a generic Latin Lothario name for a mechanical gigolo.

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com