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 Post subject: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 15:01 
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I recently read Gerry Goes to School for the first time and really enjoyed it. I was expecting her to be priggish like Eustacia, so it was nice to see EBD had her as a nice, ordinary child adapting to new circumstances.

I was a bit baffled by the ending though. Isn't it out of character for Aunt Alicia and Aunt Charlotte to offer to send Jill to medical school? They seem to have quite set ideas about appropriate education and pursuits for girls, and medical school doesn't strike me as fitting in with them. Or wouldn't they be concerned that their little niece is being exposed to some unfitting ideas in the Trevannors' home?

The rector mentions that money is tight what with all the children, so it's bit weird that he wouldn't take the aunts' up on their offer to pay for Gerry's care and upkeep and instead invest so much money in one child.

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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 03:20 
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Unfortunately I can't help out with this one other than put in a few thoughts later down in this note. I haven't been able to read this book.

There was another character that had help with schooling (or maybe I have it wrong) but didn't Reg Entwhistle receive help for his doctor schooling?


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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 08:10 
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Yes - Jack agreed to pay for him to go to public school, and presumably also paid for him to go to medical school. It's very Victorian philanthropist stuff, given that Reg was a complete stranger, not a nephew.

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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 09:01 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
The rector mentions that money is tight what with all the children, so it's bit weird that he wouldn't take the aunts' up on their offer to pay for Gerry's care and upkeep and instead invest so much money in one child.
I think that was the kind of attitude that prevailed in earlier times, though - you wouldn't take money from outside the immediate family to feed and clothe a relative, however distant. This was often expressed as being 'for their daily bread', so reinforced by the reference to the Lord's prayer - and a vicar would be thought especially grasping for taking money for this purpose. A doctor's training would be one of the most expensive career options and hardest things to achieve for a girl at that date, on the other hand - I'm not quite convinced that Jill wouldn't have changed her mind in the end, but we'll never know!


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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 09:43 
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I know it's a plot device, but I always find it strange that Anne Chester won't accept the Lucys' offer to pay school fees for Beth, even though Peter has already accepted the Ozannes' offer to pay school fees for the boys. I think the excuse is that Paul Ozanne is their godfather as well as their uncle, and Anne wasn't aware that Peter had agreed because she'd been ill at the time, but it seems a picky distinction even so.

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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 30 Sep 2019, 03:16 
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That's a good point. Gerry's aunts are definitely of the opinion that it's a shame and a pity when a young woman from a good family has to work support herself. On the other hand, the Trevennors, with 10 kids an a small income (five of them girls), aren't going to be able to support their daughters indefinitely (or at all after their death). But there's a big leap from a young woman going out to work as a governess or giving music lessons and going to university to train as a doctor. It's also odd that the offer is made for Jill (a girl), rather than the aunts offering to pay for the education of one of the older boys (who would need the profession to support a family).

I can see how the Trevennors might feel awkward at taking a relative (however distant) into their family and being paid to do so - the offer to pay for education is in part a face saving thing. Although I think the aunts would have had to pay for Gerry's school fees and later music education anyways, as the Trevennors were pretty stretched paying their own kids' school fees, and certainly couldn't afford Italian music training. So they'd be mostly be paying for Gerry's clothes and food and pocket money.

With the Chesters, all I can think is that Anne was in the depths of a depressive episode after Barbara's birth and all the other stuff, and not thinking rationally, and that Peter was going along to not upset her too much, figuring Beth's education was a reasonable sacrifice. After all, with looks like hers, she'd be likely to marry young to a wealthy man and not actually need a decent education. :roll:

Because it's a completely daft decision. They accept help for every single child except Beth, who has to go to a second rate school but is not allowed to socialize with her classmates. And Peter and Anne are totally oblivious to what it's doing to their daughter, and determined to nurture their pride at the expense of their daughter's emotional well being and future. Accept the offer for Beth's sake, and start preparing for a future where she'll need to get a job and support herself.

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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2019, 11:17 
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I think Anne is likely to have been suffering badly after Barbara's birth with so many worries afterwards with her constant ill health. There's one mention in a later book (Goes to it, I think?) of a baby, Piers, who died. There's no mention anywhere else and no clue as to when this was. Since in Janie steps in the twins are about 5 and Barbara.about 18 months, perhaps he came in between. Even if longer ago, having lost one child, Anne would be concerned every time Barbara was ill.


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 Post subject: Re: The ending of Gerry Goes to School
PostPosted: 02 Oct 2019, 21:44 
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jennifer wrote:
That's a good point. Gerry's aunts are definitely of the opinion that it's a shame and a pity when a young woman from a good family has to work support herself. On the other hand, the Trevennors, with 10 kids an a small income (five of them girls), aren't going to be able to support their daughters indefinitely (or at all after their death). But there's a big leap from a young woman going out to work as a governess or giving music lessons and going to university to train as a doctor. It's also odd that the offer is made for Jill (a girl), rather than the aunts offering to pay for the education of one of the older boys (who would need the profession to support a family).


It would make more sense for the aunts to offer to pay for one of the boys -- except the one who wants to be an actor since he is preparing himself for a life of debauchery and wickedness, apparently. You'd think they'd zero in on Paul, who shows an aptitude for both teaching and music, even though it's unclear what he actually wants to do with his life.

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