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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 17:40 
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I can't stand Jack, but I think she's a very realistic character. The bully who leads a big gang, and gets all the others to pick on anyone he/she doesn't like, is a familiar figure at most schools. It would be great if people like that always reformed, but, unfortunately, they usually don't. What I have a problem with is that Jack comes across as the major character/heroine of the books she's in, as opposed to Thekla who is clearly the "villain", and even Phil Craven whom the reader's clearly meant to dislike.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 19:54 
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Just going back to that greengage jam, just how many pots would be needed for a school that size?

I quite like Jack because she is real and different, not the goody goody we sometimes get.She is a bully at times but that is realistic as Alison H says, it would happen in most schools.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2018, 07:05 
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I could deal with Jack if she was *only* a bully, but what I cannot deal with is that in part she is someone we are meant to sympathise with, and that after the triplets were gone she was due to be the next star of the series following in the footsteps of Joey, Mary-Lou, Len and others not so prominent. No matter how good she became, I would always have had doubts about a girl who started off as a bully nor were the characters of her friends to be admired.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 02:18 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I could deal with Jack if she was *only* a bully, but what I cannot deal with is that in part she is someone we are meant to sympathise with, and that after the triplets were gone she was due to be the next star of the series following in the footsteps of Joey, Mary-Lou, Len and others not so prominent.


Jack does suffer from the deterioration in writing so she's not the fully rounded character I assume EBD wanted her to be.

But I agree, it's hard to sympathise with her especially as I was bullied myself. I suppose you have to see it via EBD's eyes as she clearly does not regard Jack's bullying as all that bad.

But if you compare Jack with a young Joey or ML and there is a startling contrast.

Both were mischevious and sometimes broke rules for fun. But they both also led their respective gangs in good ways and I cannot imagine Marie or Vi agreeing with going along with ignoring Jane and leaving her out just because Joey or ML said to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 10:19 
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I can deal with Jack in her first couple of books. She’s a little kid, she’s out of her depth, yes it’s not quite the nice naughtiness EBD talks about for other cheeky 11 year olds but most of it isn’t so bad....

However, the problem for me is that she doesn’t grow or mature. In later books she really just seems to be a 15 year old sized naughty 11 year old. If that makes sense. By 15 OOAO was being head of the middles and wasn’t that far off being a sub prefect. She had left naughtiness far behind. Not so for Jack. And what might have be understandable (if not strictly forgiveable) when she’s a very young newbie, really isn’t at all aceptable any more. She has become a domineering bad influence on her peers.

I would have liked to see EBD introduce a new girl into Jack’s form with a decent sense of schoolgirl honour and a strong personality to sort them all out. Or just have the staff actually deal with Jack’s behaviour, maybe, rather than lesve it all to Len, who is also out of her depth... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 14:47 
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In later books she really just seems to be a 15 year old sized naughty 11 year old....what might have be understandable (if not strictly forgiveable) when she’s a very young newbie, really isn’t at all aceptable any more.

Agreed. The Juniors' fight over Impertinent Questions in Three Go was funny, but they were also punished for it. Jack's fight with Jane isn't in the least funny, and in comparison to the punishments dished out for much lesser crimes at the CS, she pretty much gets away with it.

I also have to say the prefects at this time weren't terribly effective. On a quick skim read, it seems to be mostly Rosamund who was pushing for them to do something about the feud among the Middles, while Maeve was wafting round saying 'but what can we do?'


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 15:09 
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JayB wrote:
I also have to say the prefects at this time weren't terribly effective. On a quick skim read, it seems to be mostly Rosamund who was pushing for them to do something about the feud among the Middles, while Maeve was wafting round saying 'but what can we do?'
Though we've been here before, with Joan Baker: the prefects note that Mary-Lou is trying to do something about Joan, and agree that they shouldn't be leaving it up to her. And that's it! It seems to me that in the later books we're increasingly told how important the prefects are as a body, and increasingly presented with evidence to the contrary. OK, massive simplification - but if they were it that much of a factor in school life, we wouldn't need to be told so often, surely?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 15:19 
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Although I do have time for Jack I have always felt that the fight with Jane over the car was dealt with most unfairly on Jane's side, and perhaps shows that EBD intended Jack to become a favourite although she did a bad job of it.Jane was not at fault, just doing as she was told, yet was punished which goes against the grain of the CS surely.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 15:28 
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Noreen wrote:
JayB wrote:
I also have to say the prefects at this time weren't terribly effective. On a quick skim read, it seems to be mostly Rosamund who was pushing for them to do something about the feud among the Middles, while Maeve was wafting round saying 'but what can we do?'
Though we've been here before, with Joan Baker: the prefects note that Mary-Lou is trying to do something about Joan, and agree that they shouldn't be leaving it up to her. And that's it! It seems to me that in the later books we're increasingly told how important the prefects are as a body, and increasingly presented with evidence to the contrary. OK, massive simplification - but if they were it that much of a factor in school life, we wouldn't need to be told so often, surely?


I agree with this. If there is no evidence to support something then EBD "tells" us.

Also agree with Joyce's comments that the deterioration in EBD's writing was a factor. Maybe she saw Jack as a leader and a bit of a fireband but also as loveable/mischievious - words that might also have fitted the young Joey - but unfortunately it was the nasty side of Jack's character that came across, maybe because that was the strongest part of her character.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Feud in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 16:30 
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I'm not sure it's just that EBD's skill as a writer was deteriorating, although I think it was a factor. She was turning the books out at the rate of two or three a year during the 1950s and '60s, down to Adrienne and Summer Term in 1965. She really didn't have time to think up new and original storylines and do a lot of rewriting.

I think Jack's character got away from her, and developed along lines she hadn't planned, and she didn't have the time and/or the skill to sit down and work out the problem and bring the character back to being what she'd intended.


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