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Amanda_R
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎09-25-2006
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Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location

Throughout the novel, attention is paid to the differences between city and country, with Maggie and Jem each representing their home turf. Which does Chevalier portray more sympathetically-city (Maggie) or country (Jem)? In what ways??


Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for the earlier chapters of Burning Bright.

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maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location

I'm not far into the book but it seems to me that she is leaning more towards Jem as he is the character coming from the country into a city he has never been to before. You have to feel sorry for him and no knowledge of surroundings. Maggie on the other hand is citified and is in her element and no sympathy there for someone used to the ways of the city.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Mariposa
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location



Amanda_R wrote:
Throughout the novel, attention is paid to the differences between city and country, with Maggie and Jem each representing their home turf. Which does Chevalier portray more sympathetically-city (Maggie) or country (Jem)? In what ways??




Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for the earlier chapters of Burning Bright.







I intitially thought the country was portrayed more sympathically than the city. The city was a frightening place where you could get lost in a minute. It was noisy, crowded and dirty. Coming from such a place of peace and familiarity, where almost everyone knew eachother, getting adjusted to the city must have been a difficult experience.

But what the country lacked was excitement. The city might have been frightening, but it was also interesting. There was always something going on. There was always something different to see. The sameness of the country would be stultifying to someone used to the city.

Even Anne Kellaway could not resist:
"Anne Kellaway sometimes felt that a cord was tied at one end to her wrist and at the other to the window in the front room. She would be scrubbing potatoes, or washing clothes, or cleaning the ash from the fire, and find herself at the most inconvenient moment--hands smeared with dirt, sheets half-wrung, ash dusting the air--tugged to the window to look out. Often there was nothing unusual to see, but occasionally she was rewarded with something worthwhile: a woman wearing a hat trimmed with long peacock feathers; a man cradling a pineapple as if it were a newborn baby; a boy carrying an uprooted bay tree, its leaves trimmed into the shape of a dove." (45)

So I think the portrayal of city and country, in the end, was balanced.


Lizabeth
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LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location

It seems that Jem is portrayed more sympathetically. Or perhaps, more accurately, Maggie is portrayed darker.

Jem is shown as being honest, helpful, innocent, caring, and hard-working. Maggie comes across as sly, deceitful, under-handed, and way-too-knowing. She's as comfortable in a tavern drinking beer as she is sneaking around. On page 58 there's the scene where she takes the circus tickets right out of Jem's hand, and begins to put them down the front of her dress, smirking at him (OK - it says grin, but the impression I get is one of a smirk). She was planning to make off with them, knowing that Jem wouldn't try to get them back from down her dress.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location



Amanda_R wrote:
Throughout the novel, attention is paid to the differences between city and country, with Maggie and Jem each representing their home turf. Which does Chevalier portray more sympathetically-city (Maggie) or country (Jem)? In what ways??




Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for the earlier chapters of Burning Bright.






I like the contrasting of opposites in this novel. Country represents Jem well, quiet,soulful,innocent,shy, lovable and congenial.

And for Maggie, City respresents her well, harsh, cold, worldly, direct,crudeness, and cruel.

I think they are well reprensented with their places they are raised up in.

The Country brings out alot of heart and soul in Jem. Being in the country, where crowdness is not a virtue at all, Jem learned to recognize the beauty of this world, the open sky, the many stars, the blueness of the sky. The greenness of the pastures and the delight in smelling of the open spaces.

Where Maggie didn't breathe the freshness of the open air, but the crowded air polluted by people and progress. People rushing here and there, giving the atmosphere of not having time to see or hear any beauty in the world.
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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location

I will be interested to hear your opinion of Maggie when you have finished the book LizzieAnn - I think it might change:smileyhappy:.




LizzieAnn wrote:
It seems that Jem is portrayed more sympathetically. Or perhaps, more accurately, Maggie is portrayed darker.

Jem is shown as being honest, helpful, innocent, caring, and hard-working. Maggie comes across as sly, deceitful, under-handed, and way-too-knowing. She's as comfortable in a tavern drinking beer as she is sneaking around. On page 58 there's the scene where she takes the circus tickets right out of Jem's hand, and begins to put them down the front of her dress, smirking at him (OK - it says grin, but the impression I get is one of a smirk). She was planning to make off with them, knowing that Jem wouldn't try to get them back from down her dress.


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LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location

I have finished it, and it does change. I do come to like Maggie, but I wasn't crazy about her in the first few chapters.



Choisya wrote:
I will be interested to hear your opinion of Maggie when you have finished the book LizzieAnn - I think it might change:smileyhappy:.

Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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JulieZ
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Location, Location, Location

I think it's important to realize that while Maggie is a product of her city upbringing, she isn't always as comfortable in the city as she may try to appear, and that the city hasn't always treated her well. For instance, the moment she brags to Jem at the beginning about finding a dead body on Cut-Throat Lane, she looks terrified by the memory; although she tries to pass it off as an act of bravery on her part, it must have been traumatizing for a young girl. Additionally, later in the story, Maggie's work in a mustard factory quickly transforms her -- her skin and hair are yellow, she laughs less, and she is exhausted. This type of work is expected of a poor city girl like Maggie, but it is clearly not good for her. Though Maggie scoffs at Jem's country ways, her many questions about the city might also reveal a subconscious longing for a simpler, kinder environment.
Julie
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