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Archive 08-19 BR & Challenges > Moonstone Part Second Period Narratives 1-4

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Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) This will be the thread for Narratives 1-4.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I will be starting this today, so I will report back later.

message 3: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 29, 2010 09:21AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) ***Spoilers*** Narrative 1

I just completed Narrative 1 and that Miss Clack was truly a hoot. Her religious fervor was so non inspirational and she really never "got it" that people wanted to avoid her preachings, her books, etc. I was laughing at her not with her and Collins's description was spot on for some religious who pretend to be faithful but then never practice the same in real life.

I could visualize her as the typical British spinster so ready with advice that no one wants. I was surprised that she was not followed around by cats! (a typically English possession for a spinster). I loved the way she fluttered around Geofrey, and the way Mr. Buff truly understood her motives even if Clack didn't. I was sad to see Lady Verinder die. I felt she left without us really knowing her story.

Rachel and Geofrey's on again off again engagement was not a shock. I just don't know why she accepted him in the first place. Oh, there were no clues I found in this narrative although Franklin's paying Clack to spy was quite disturbing.

On to Narrative 2, Mr Buff speaks!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Some possible question to think about while reading Narrative 2

1. How is Mr. Bruff's writing style and the organization of his document appropriate to his occupation as an attorney?
2. For what reasons does Mr. Bruff admire Miss Clack (can you believe anyone likes her?!)
3. What significant clue to the mystery lay hidden in Lady Verinder's will?
4. What is Mr. Murthwaite's opinion about "the theory of clairvoyance"? (To understand this better, look up "mesmerism.")
5. What important information do we learn from Mr. Bruff about Godfrey Ablewhite? about Rachel Verinder? the Indians?
6. Who is Mr Septimus Luker? (Look up the word "lucre" to understand the pun in his last name.)

message 5: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Just finished Narrative 1. Nice comic relief in this section. I wonder at Collins' motives here. When Roseanna died, it was all tension, dark and stormy, atmospheric. Just gothic and gloomy. He chose to have Lady Verinder's death during a comic chapter.

When Miss Clack was describing the attack on Geofrey, I though it was especially funny that he was saved by "Christian hands". Especially since it seemed to imply that he was aware the hands were Christian and he was being rescued by them. I'm sure that Rachel will enjoy her legacy of Clack's papers.

Speaking of Rachel, why is she so flighty? Why am I under the impression that this is a change in character since the appearance of The Moonstone?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I did finish Narrative 2 and though shorter than Clack's I did find it intriguing. We are introduced to Rachel's father for a bit and I loved the way he cut through the chase and decided his will. (just as Lady Verinder did!)

It was very typically brief and the lack of words seemed to declare what Buff's character was designed as. It was not the typical lawyer speak we are familiar with today however. I was appalled with Godfrey wanting to know the details of Lady Verinder's will. He definitely has turned out to be a shady character. I am now glad that Rachel has given him the boot.

Rachel is truly flighty which makes me think she knows much more than she is willing to say currently. I do like the way Collins allows us to see characters through the eyes of others. Very effective technique in this case and very clear in its description.

Hopefully, I can get to Narrative 3 today which is Franklin's. I wonder if much will be revealed here?

message 7: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Finished Narrative 2. Buff is kind of an odd duck. Deciding he liked the potentially thieving and murderous Indian because he didn't waste his time. I noticed that Collins is extending the whole "three" theme by saying that there were 2 opportunities to steal the Moonstone and we are now awaiting the third. I wonder what the Moonstone is being used as collateral for. It must have something to do with Rachel, right?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I surely think so, Shay. I am midway through Narrative 3 where Franklin is having his say. I don't know why I feel bogged down right now with this book. I do like it a lot, but find I can only read it in bits and pieces. I guess having my granddaughter here for two weeks has cut into my reading. She sure kept me busy!

As an aside, religiously the number three has significance too! I am wondering how religious a man Collins was.

message 9: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments I know Marialyce, I felt that the story was dragging. I would find myself stopping after only a page or two. But, just finished Chapter 3 of Blake's narrative. The thief is unveiled? Or is it a twist/red herring? Now I feel like I have to keep reading.

message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I felt the same. Marialyce, However I just finished a light read and I am going to dig back into Moonstone and not break in my reading of it and see if I still feel like I can only read in bits and picses.

message 11: by Shay (last edited Sep 05, 2010 10:47PM) (new)

Shay | 284 comments Marialyce wrote: "I surely think so, Shay. I am midway through Narrative 3 where Franklin is having his say. I don't know why I feel bogged down right now with this book. I do like it a lot, but find I can only read..."

His father was very religious and I think I read somewhere that he was disappointed that his sons did not enter the priesthood. I think his father turned him off religion. I mean, you can be not religious without being anti-religion, which I think Collins was.


Finished Blake's narrative. He was the thief after all. The scene where Rachel describes that she saw with her own eyes(through one of her 3 mirrors) steal the Moonstone was gripping. I mean, here I thought her cold and a bad person and all along she was protecting his reputation. Does it remind anyone else of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde? Is it because of the movies and all of the movies influenced by Dr. Jekyll that I think of people having conversations with their evil alter ego through a mirror? The mirror is what reflects their "dark" nature. It also reminds me of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in the sense that the narrator is the person who committed the crime.

His conversation with Ezra Jennings was interesting. Amazing how the life of Blake is like Collins' life. I feel that Jennings is a stand in for Collins' brother- the stomach condition (his real life brother died of stomach cancer), the feeling that Jennings kind of lives on sufferance of others. Collins' brother was a painter who got a lot of work through Dickens.

I read a lot of mysteries so it's amazing that he created or at least combined so many of its elements for the first time in this novel. The amateur slueth, red herrings, the culprit that we "least suspect", and at the drawing together of all of the suspects to recreate the crime.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) That's what I thought about Collins too! I am still slogging my way through Franklin's narrative. I guess I am too involved in my six other books at the moment but, will certainly end the narrative today. It was somewhat of a stretch for me to believe that Franklin didn't know he stole the diamond. I am aware of sleep walking (one of my girls did that!) and of alcohol/drug induced stupors but I guess I find it a bit unbelievable.

I didn't at all think of Jekyll & Hype but you are so right. The mirror (sometimes) reflects (like the eyes do) the soul of a person. It was especially evident here. Yes, Blake is Collins for sure, and I think all authors write in bits of themselves into their works. Collins, wrote a big piece of himself into Franklin, while other authors give us a tiny bit. (like John Irving)

Considering that this was the first novel of this genre, it was extraordinary how Collins was able to really lay down the gauntlet to the generations of mystery writers who have come after him. He must have been quite a brillant man.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I finished Franklin's narrative so now on to Ezra Jennings. I really don't know why I am having a hard time finishing this novel. I keep on putting it at the forefront of what I am reading, and then it gets moved to the back of the pile. I remember loving this book so much in high school. I guess tastes change as we grow older which is a good thing for sure. It makes us appreciate what we once thought was drudgery when we were young and vice versa.

message 14: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments I finished Ezra Jennings' narrative. Very short. Good point about how unrealistic the whole "Franklin stole the Moonstone while on morphine and didn't remember it." It made me think of that film, Reefer Madness, and how people might believe that it was possible to do all kinds of things while on drugs. This book was serialized in Dickens' literary journal. So, there was some lag time between issues. I wonder how much public reaction may have shaped the novels published by the journal. Might authors have been thinking to end it one way, but the public liked a character so much they changed the ending?

message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Marialyce wrote: "***Spoilers*** Narrative 1

I just completed Narrative 1 and that Miss Clack was truly a hoot. Her religious fervor was so non inspirational and she really never "got it" that people wanted to avoi..."

Her name is very fitting isn't it? What a funny lady. I enjoyed her comical relief narrative. I am just starting this section. Had to smile when Collins said "If you are as tired of reading this narrative as I am of writing it we shall enjoy ourselves a few pages further on".

message 16: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Sep 08, 2010 04:50AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I agree, Shay, about the way public opinion can and probably did effect the novel. Even today there are some movie makers who set up different endings to see audience reaction and then pick the ending that elicited the greatest acceptance factor. I also think that perhaps since this book was presented in a serial format, that Collins might have been playing out the storyline in order to keep the pieces coming. Not sure if he was paid for the number of pieces he was able to produce or had to produce a certain number to fulfill the tenets of the contract.

Rebecca, I did, as you did, enjoy this comical piece. I could just see someone stuffy and fill of herself playing this role. (hmm perhaps I have someone in mind from another group!) :)

I am going to read Ezra's piece today.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I finished Ezra's piece and although it was interesting, I found it to be a bit far fetched. I am not sure what coming off tobacco and taking opium can produce in a person, but I have never heard of a kind of sleep walking/ stealing something state.

I am truly going to try to finish this novel by the end of the week. It is, for me, dragging on too long.

message 18: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I just finished Narritive 1. I wondered that Miss Clack often repeats her exclimations 3 times. Is Collins saying Clack or her motives are superstious?

I was disturbed that Rachel had no real feeling, statements, or emotions when her mom dies.

Collins keeping thinks light during a death I suppose is a way to cope. I wonder if that is how Collins dealth with death?

Marialyce. Thank you I have excellent things to look and for in Narritaive 2 thanks for your posting in message 4.

I am jealous you are done. It's is dragging for me somehow this one for me is VERY different from Women In White.

message 19: by Rebecca (last edited Sep 19, 2010 08:25AM) (new)

Rebecca I know I must be one of tje last people to finish this book.

I was wondering anybody's thoughts on this statement by Mr. Candy "Physiology says, and says truly, that some men are born with female consititutions - and I am on of them" What is Mr. Candy referring to with this statment?

message 20: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Sep 22, 2010 06:56AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I think perhaps, Rebecca, that as woman we are thought to be frail, unable to cope well with illness, and faintish kinds of wimps. I think Mr. Candy is possible referring to his inability to deal well with his sickness. He does not (he thinks) possess the strong constitution needed to combat feeling unwell. I think that he dies of stomach cancer (am I right here Shay, as I think you mentioned that it was Collins's brother who Candy is representing?)

I could be all wrong here, Rebecca though. Don't worry about how long it took to read the book. I found it a drag in the end too! I have not read The Woman in White, but intend to sooner or later. :)

message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Marialyce, For me Woman In White took off from right from the start with the story and characters. Moonstone I didnt enjoy until the end when I was reading the narratives.

message 22: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Yes, Wilkie Collins' brother died of stomach cancer. One of the things about stomach cancer is that long before you actually feel really sick (and it seems like Collins had the slow growing form of the disease, which you can have for a decade or more before dying or even feeling ill), I believe it affects your digestion. So, I think it somewhat interferes with the body's ability to absorb nutrients well- people will lose a little weight, feel sickly, tired, etc.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Cancer, is the awful illness that refuses to be conquered. Thank, Shay, I thought you had spoken about the brother of Collins.

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