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Archives > 4. Discuss the ways in which the bells function in the novel.

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
The bells function throughout the book as both a structural device and as a dominant set of metaphors. Discuss some of the ways that the bells function in the novel. Can they be considered characters in any sense?


message 2: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
The bells were used to announce a death. In these small communities people would know by the telling; thus the name “teller Paul” Paul being the largest (tenor) dedicated to St. Paul, and tailor being the dialect for teller.


message 3: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 2064 comments Mod
the bells were used to keep the parish informed of events such as death and flood warnings also to call to Church and celebrate new year.

Each chapter had a small paragraph about bell ringing that gave a clue about what was going to happen.

The bells are also integral to the mystery and to how it is eventually solved.


message 4: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1451 comments Certainly some of the bell ringers referred to the bells as if they were alive and with their own personalities. The bells are vitally important to the plot, because most of the pertinent action centres on them. each chapter is prefaced by a quote about bell ringing which keeps the reader focussed on them, even when the action is elsewhere.


message 5: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 976 comments The bells (and bell-ringing) were central in this novel. They provided the basis for the cipher used by Deacon (aptly named for this novel). The title, The Nine Tailors, evokes death, as the sequence is rung on funerals (something I learned from this novel; before reading the book, I thought this would take place in a clothes/suits designer...).


message 6: by John (new)

John Seymour As others have noted, bells were central to the story, being central to the structure, the score providing the basis for structure and even being "who done it."

One of the more interesting tidbits, was the information that was conveyed when someone died, first the fact of a death, then male or female and age. Enough information to let the village know who had died in most cases.


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