No problem starting any sort of discussions
. The books are being discussed in chronological order, but there's no problem discussing other things too.
Rosamund does say that what's done at school isn't the same as what's done at home, and that Joan can always wear her new dresses at home, but the general attitude seems to be that there's only one correct way of doing things and that that's the way things are done at the Chalet School, which is what I find quite frustrating about this book. There also seems to be an attitude that being interested in boys is vulgar and not something which Proper CS Girls do. Elma Conroy, in Oberland
, has got a boyfriend, but she has previously attended another school, and her dad owns a cosmetics company with a tacky-sounding name, so she's clearly not quite "one of us". Peggy, who's the same age but is a Proper CS Girl, is not interested in boys ... even though her own mum, Mollie, was "barely eighteen" when she got married. EBD could have had a character from the same background as the other CS girls who was interested in boys and wore make-up, but chose to make it a social class issue, and I do find that quite annoying. As you say, there are girls of all backgrounds who are interested in boys from an earlier age than others. It's dealt with much better, IMO, in Adrienne
, when Janice, Judy and Ailie discuss the subject of boyfriends and say that they'd rather concentrate on tennis and other hobbies and generally having fun with their friends for the time being.
I don't think Joan ever gets the credit she deserves, and generally gets a raw deal. She's unpleasant during her first half term there, but doesn't really do anything wrong afterwards. We're told later that she wants to help pay for her sister's school fees, as her parents have spent up by then. She also helps some of her smaller classmates across a flooded river in Richenda
. But everyone's still negative about her - Rosalie Dene, who's hardly a bitchy person usually, makes some really nasty comments in one book about Joan's background and upbringing, and Richenda takes an immediate dislike to her (Joan, not Rosalie!) because of her "cheap prettiness". And I think anyone would have stopped to listen if they'd heard their own name, and would have been extremely upset to discover that two people who had been friendly towards them actually thought that they were a horrible person and were just pretending to be friendly as some sort of project to reform them. That's very badly put, but hopefully it makes sense
. Margot had absolutely no excuse for eavesdropping on Joey and Rosalie's conversation about Ted, but no-one makes half as much fuss about it as they do about Joan's eavesdropping.
I wish Jack had told Mary-Lou to mind her own business, but Mary-Lou was the one who raised the subject in the first place, to be fair.
The issues between Margot and Ros seem to have been invented retrospectively, to back up the storyline in which Margot becomes jealous of Len's friendship with Ted. All the friendships in that group get mixed up ... Len is friends with Ros in Problem
, then in Richenda
she's friends with Ricki and Odette, and Ros isn't mentioned, and then in Theodora
she's friends with Ros again, and Ricki and Odette are friends with Con!