Chicks On Lit discussion

Archive 08-19 BR & Challenges > Moonstone Chapters 12-13

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) This book is referred to as love story and not a mystery Any ideas why this is so?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I think we will take a break here and allow everyone to catch up (including me!)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I will be away for a few days but I will be back on Monday and hopefully everyone will be able to catch up and be on the same page so to coin a phrase.:)

message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Marialyce were should we be in the book right now?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I am up to chapter 13 so hopefully about at that point, Rebecca.

message 6: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 23, 2010 06:30PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Right now Sergeant Cuff has arrived on the scene and is somewhat disappointing in both his appearance and manner. He loves roses, and reluctantly Betteredge who thought Cuff to be ill equipped to investigate comes to like him. Cuff notices the smug of paint on the bedroom door and decides to search everyone's possessions looking for paint smudged articles of clothing. He also asks for the washing book and who should bring it to him but Roseanna. When Cuff sees her he recognizes her as a convicted thief although Lady Verinder says she has been good. Seegrave, who ordered the initial search of the servant's quarters is now off the case.(btw the servants hated him!) Cuff handles everyone differently and tries to enlist the support of the servants and all the people in the house. Geoffrey has to leave but leaves his luggage for Cuff to search. Then the haughty Rachel refuses to have her things searched and so Cuff calls off the search. What is with that girl?

Still to me everyone looks very suspicious. Is Rachel protecting someone? Was the diamond insured? Is Cuff a Sherlock Holmes type detective?

I am ready to go to Chapter 14-15.

message 7: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I was thinking of Cuff like Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie, though I have read little of him, but he may be incredibly bright, but bizarre at the same time. It's interesting how Lady Verinder was worried about him. I am interested to see how he adds to the story.

I felt the same way about Rachel. What is with her character? You'd think she'd want to help and since she doesn't, what is she hiding?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) From now on, since we are all at different spots in the novel, please try and post the chapters you are referring to as Spoilers. We don't want to give anything away too soon.

message 9: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 24, 2010 01:20PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Spoilers *** Chapter 15

So Cuff believes that Roseanna is acting on behalf of someone else and that she is surely implicated in the theft of the moonstone (perhaps). Cuff gains the support of friends of Roseanna and wheedles out of Mrs. Yolland (Roseanna's friend) that Roseanna is leaving the employ of Lady Verinder unbeknownst to Betteredge. He also learns that Roseanna has purchased a tin and two lengths of dog chain from Mrs. Yolland. I thought at this point ah ha! better to hide the Moonstone in and sink it for a time into the shivering sands, but I like Betteredge have again guessed incorrectly according to Cuff. He believes that it was her painted stained garment but wonders why she just didn't destroy it in the fire.

In the meantime, the men leave the Yollands and head back to the house where they have found that Roseanna has arrived and Rachel has left the premises. Cuff believes these two things are related which leaves me totally confused. Onto chapter 16.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Spoilers Chapter 16

Ok, I am getting a headache thinking of all that has happened. Now Cuff seems convinced that Rachel had a part in all of this ...and Roseanna had a confrontation with Franklin (who couldn't even look her in the eye) in the billiard's room. I feel like I am playing of game of Clue here. Was Roseanna in league with Rachel? Is Franklin in league with Roseanna? How can this be a love story with everyone skulking about and so very sneaky? ...and Cuff sleeping out in the middle of nowhere on three chairs looking to catch who?

"I wish to God the Diamond had never found its way into this house!"I (betteredge) broke out. ..."So do I" he (Cuff ) said gravely.

..oh and the Indians are back!!!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) What does everyone think of Cuff? There is sense of the unreal, the unexplained now."The horrid mystery hanging over us in this house gets into my head like liquor, and makes me wild." Cuff seems to be in surveillance mode as he seems to stalk the hallways, the people, and grounds of the house and the area.

Does anyone know if this book was before Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books? It would be interesting if Cuff was a model for Holmes.

message 12: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments The Moonstone was before Holmes. Dr. Joseph Bell, a doctor at Edinburgh University was. Bell was a forensic scientist who Conan-Doyle worked for as a clerk.

message 13: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments To follow up, I think that maybe Queen Victoria may have been the force behind the fascination about India. Was anyone aware of her relationship with an Indian man who she promoted to her confidant/aide/teacher names Abdul Karim? I've never come across that Victorian tidbit before.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Chapters 17-19

Well, I guess for me the biggest shock was the suicide of Roseanna although I guess it was foretold in the beginning as she spoke of shivering sands. It was a horrible way to die and I couldn't help think that in the setting up of Roseanna by Cuff (with Franklin's statement) that he precipitated her demise. I am not liking Cuff btw.

Rachel has left for Frizinghall after asking her mother to forgive her (don't know yet for what however) with a tail on her. (one of Cuff's men) Betteredge is beside himself over the loss of Roseanna (I wonder why he was so very distressed. It seemed a little over the top for this very staid man. Hmm, could Roseanna have been his child by a lover???) Franklin is on the outs with Rachel it seems for when he came to say goodbye she ignored him and left without a word to him. (Did she find out he was secretly seeing Roseanna?)

Lots of questions and very few answers.

message 15: by Amanda (last edited Aug 26, 2010 06:24AM) (new)

Amanda | 118 comments I am just starting chapter 14. I have fallen a bit behind cause things have been crazy this last week and I haven't had a chance to read.
Everyone is make such great points and it is really helping me make my own conclusions!! Thanks Ladies:)

I also think that Rachel is acting very stangely...why couldn't they search her closet? and what is going on between her and Franklin?
What is the relationship between Rosanna and Franklin?
Is the diamond hidden in the house, has someone snuck it out, or is the thief carrying it around with him/her???
and what about Sergeant Cuff? Still haven't figured him out. I really enjoyed the passage where he is figuring out the significance behind the paint smudge on the door.

So many questions!!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Don't worry about falling behind, Amanda. The end of the summer does become filled with lots to do I know. I guess we all have questions as Collins wanted us to. I keep on going back to this book being labelled a "love story" (romance). I have yet to see any romance happening and I am up to Chapter 20. :)

message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 118 comments Marialyce, maybe they don't mean romance as in a 'love romance' but rather 'romantic' as in adventurous, charming, and mysterious....I believe this was written after the romantic era in literature, but perhaps it contains its defining characteristics. Just a thought.

message 18: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Marialyce, I guess you could say it's sort of a romance as there is the unrequited romance between Roseanna and Mr. Franklin. Also, Rachel did turn down a proposal and appeared to be in love with Mr. Franklin. Also, I'm picking up that Mr. Betterege is in love with "his lady".

Also, as far as symbolism, The Moonstone itself, egg-shaped, was considered symbolic of fertility. Maybe not so odd that it was given to Rachel on the birthday she came of age.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Thanks Amanda and Shay. I was just thinking of a love story and not the other variations of romantic story telling.

So I am coming to the end of Part 1 where Rachel has vehemently denied her involvement in the missing diamond affair and her mother has believed her. Cuff has been paid off and has left with the concept placed in Betteredge's mind that Rachel is not the innocent she claims to be. A money lender's name has appeared and his presence will be felt shortly according to Cuff.

As an aside, I truly loved the comparison of marriage to smoking a cigar made by Betteredge and Franklin.

message 20: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Marialyce wrote: "Chapters 17-19

Well, I guess for me the biggest shock was the suicide of Roseanna although I guess it was foretold in the beginning as she spoke of shivering sands. It was a horrible way to die an..."

Do you think that perhaps Betterege's pity for Roseanna is Collins' pity? Collins was something of a pariah- he lived openly with women he wasn't married to. I guess, common-law wives. He would not introduce them as such, but he would present them and make his friends socialize with them. I can see his sympathies for the lower classes, the outcast in this novel. After all, Betterege is the hero, not Franklin. You would kind of suspect Franklin, as the most socially prominent man, to normally be the hero of a story.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) How very true is that, Shay! I guess that is a way of looking at it that I hadn't considered. It just struck me as so odd that Betteredge had such a reaction. Of course Collins would be ever so sympathetic to Roseanna. He did run around with the unconventional and did live with two woman almost simultaneously. I guess some people would think of him as a "modern" man. I, myself think that his behavior was odd and well there was the drugs too!

message 22: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments I'm reading Chapter 22, where Cuff is listing the three reasons why The Moonstone affair is not done. It's so striking, the use of "threes" in The Moonstone. It's divided into three parts, but also, the three Indians. The three main male characters- Cuff, Betterege, Blake. The three female characters- Rachel, Roseanna, the mother. Makes the death of Roseanna kind of ominous doesn't it? Will there be three deaths as well?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Wow! Shay I love when you do that! You see things so clearly and well it is amazing. Perhaps you are right about the deaths. Who do you think they might be?

message 24: by Shay (last edited Aug 29, 2010 10:37AM) (new)

Shay | 284 comments Marialyce wrote: "Wow! Shay I love when you do that! You see things so clearly and well it is amazing. Perhaps you are right about the deaths. Who do you think they might be?"

Thanks, Marialyce. I almost think Rachel and her mother based on how Collins portrays them. I mean, they both have some kind of fatal flaw. (And don't male authors love to kill off women for being less than perfect.) The mother who cares more about appearance even when someone has died under her roof. When Betterege is notified of Roseanna's death, he steels himself for it because servants aren't allowed their feelings- to withdraw to their rooms because they're "sensitive". They have to endure and continue to work. You see clearly where Collins' sympathies lie- with the servants. Rachel because clearly Collins doesn't like her and doesn't allow us to like or sympathize with her. Cuff states that even if Blake's rejection put her over the edge, the theft of the Moonstone started her on the path. Roseanna's involvement is Rachel's fault and yet Rachel doesn't care and we are given no reason for her cruelty. Almost like Collins wants us to dislike her and feel no sympathy for her so that if he kills her off, readers will feel like she's gotten what she deserves.

message 25: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Oh, and killing of those two would be perfect literary symmetry for Collins. The deaths would be a perfect literary trilogy- three deaths, three women.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) It is true about Rachel and Collins doesn't really give us much to go on with her mother. His sympathies do go with the hired help so to speak. He seems to be a champion of the common man showing their goodness at the forefront while making Rachel and her ilk look basically like spoiled fools. This novel has been a series of contrasts. We see different classes of people, different values, and different approaches to the solution of the mystery and basically the leading of their lives.

The symbolism of the moonstone to me seems a religious one. It brings with it the mystery of first its loss and then the ill luck it brings with it. It is interesting that the mysticism is the part of the Hindu religion that seems to fascinate Collins. I do believe that at the time hypnosis, spirits, and the like were the rage. The Indian characters continue to remain on the fringes of the story yet seem to be central to it. So very mysterious like the stone, they represent all that is not understood by the "white"man of British society.

message 27: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Yes, Marialyce, thanks for making me remember the whole mysticism-spiritualism fad. It made me recall the book The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. The author was saying that the Victorians began exalting science over religion and that left a void in society that got filled with mysticism. Moreover, that mysticism was viewed as being able to quantify and look objectively at the spiritual. Also, that the Victorian age was an age where they were mapping the world. So, all of the places where "Here there be monsters" began to get filled in. I guess the world shrank, mysteries solved and yet people don't ever stop looking for meaning in their life. So, mysticism is what they used to replace what they had "lost".

message 28: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 31, 2010 08:14AM) (new)

Rebecca I am chapter 16. The fact that Collins keeps mentioning the Last Rose of Summer I am wondreing if there is a clue in the poem? Intresting that Cuff wants to prove Rosanna's innocene. Some how these two must be linked? I am intriqued by the poem so its posted below. Also a recurrent phrasing of human infirmaties. I still have to think on that one.


'Tis the last rose of summer

Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
From Love's shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit,
This bleak world alone?

message 29: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Great thought Rebecca! I am going to think about that. It definitely is mentioned quite a bit.

I have read a little further, up to 20 I think, but I am going to wait until I finish part one before I read the rest of the points. I apologize it is taken me so long. I started researching methods of creating a writer's workshop with my students, and it is requiring a lot more work reading, but I am still interested and moving along, slowly, but moving.

message 30: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Me too Vicki, My mom had surgery so I have been tied up with work and her cars. I am really into it at this point though and think I am going to be doing more reading this week.

message 31: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I had to laugh Marialyce. I thought it sounded just like clue to. Trying to figure out "Who Dunnit" plus who has been involved with whom is also a mind boggler.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Rebecca I so appreciate you putting the poem up. This is why I love reading with others so much. We all bring such great things to our reading. I hope your Mom is better too.

Don't worry about the reading pace just enjoy and read when you can. You too, Vicki! The beginnings of school can be tough. So much to do so little time to get it done.

I haven't been reading much as my granddaughter, Natalie is here and we have been busy everyday. :)

message 33: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Very odd poem. A plucked/cut rose was a Victorian symbol for death/mortality. Interesting that when Cuff was asked if wanted to pick a rose, he said that he preferred them on the bush. So, symbolically, he's denying death or turning away from it. The poem goes on to say, the author will pluck the rose so it won't be lonely. In other words, the rose will be killed and joined with the others. It is better to be dead if all you know and loved is gone than to live life alone. What does this foreshadow?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Well, Shay, I would say that you will find out soon as to the "who" (and yes, there could be more than one) of the foreshadowing. I didn't know that about the cut rose, a very odd symbol of death I think. In a way, I guess not though. The rose will look lovely for a day or two and then start to decay and smell awful, just like the human body.

So very much in the symbolic nature of this tale. For some reason, I am drawn back to the shivering sand metaphor again and again.

message 35: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Rebecca, I hope all is well with your mom. And Marialyce, I hope you enjoy your time with your granddaughter.

It is interesting, because I didn't even think to look up the song. That was a great call, Rebecca. There are some many interesting allusions to other pieces of literature in his work.

message 36: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Did some more research on Victorian Symbols: white roses- innocence, secrecy. A dead white rose: some say death while still "innocent". (The white moss rose was the rose that Cuff and the gardener were arguing about.) So, the last "innocent" in the book would be Rachel.

Marialyce, your comment about roses decaying and dying made me think of the phrase "the bloom is off the rose." Wonder if that's Victorian in origin. Also, getting pricked by a rose thorn was symbolic of loss of virginity. (Or getting pierced by anything, including for an earring. Maybe that's why pierced ears used to be so taboo.)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Very interesting, Shay! ...and the piercing so very different too! Makes me think that when I read a Victorian type I am probably missing a lot of the symbolism. Perhaps Cuff's love of roses means more than a hobby more of a passion for the innocent. I wonder what the Victorians would have thought of the many piercings people do to themselves today? Rather shocking I assume!

back to top