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Old 11-02-2013, 13:34
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,376

Random thoughts:

1. When Jimmy was acting out at Bert's restaurant, I thought Penhale was great when he gently said "There's something wrong with you Jimmy." Sometimes he seems to be Portwenn's version of the wise fool.

2. I have never been able to figure out what Pauline says in the scene in the question where she is interrogating DM about Louisa's appearance in the village. He says that she never intended to stay with him, etc., and Pauline has her back toward him at the sink and mutters something, to which he barks: "I am not." Does she say "heartless"? "unkind"? ????

3. Not quite sure how I feel about the subplot of "bi" Jimmy. (And by the way, why doesn't DM have a computer in his office and always have to use Pauline's?) It really wasn't played entirely or even mostly for laughs, and it did show DM being uncomfortable with these matters but attempting also to be compassionate. Interesting.

4. The scene at the beach where there is a very large shot of DM stepping on the hand of the child. We're definitely meant to notice this, and it seems to be in aid of setting up a situation which riles up the headmaster so that he pushes Louisa. But, is also shows why Louisa might be uncomfortable with the idea of DM as a father -- when his initial reaction to a child's pain -- that he caused -- is to tell him to stop whingeing. I found that deeply uncomfortable. And a clear indication of how his parents treated him.

5. Louisa says at the end, "Thanks anyway, Martin" to which he clearly takes offense. And he did try heroically to help in the situation. But clumsily, and convinced he was right and seemingly making the situation worse before he saved the day. I agree with Mona that on balance, the "anyway" was gratuitous and unnecessary.

6. We had a conversation a few pages ago about why Louisa didn't go through with the marriage, and one thought was that she knew she wanted children and decided that was not a realistic expectation of a marriage to DM. Holding on to that thought helps explain, I think, why she didn't tell him when she knew she was pregnant. I don't think she planned to return to Portwenn, but the implication is that the school let her go (or made things very difficult for her). But the fact that he wasn't told clearly upset Martin and made it easier for him to rationalize/believe that she didnt want him involved.

7. Whatever she wanted or hoped for in stopping to see DM, she was thrown for a loop when she saw Edith and leaped to the conclusion that he was in a relationship with her. Both were too agitated to sort that out on the spot, but of course she could have later pressed him further. But I think her pride would not let her do that, and she might have felt that given that she had rejected him, who was she to question his new relationship.
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