Login   Register     FAQ    Members

View unanswered posts   View active topics


Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Lemon Biscuits & Liberty Bodices
It is currently 23 Sep 2017, 01:13



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 11:09 
Offline
Getting all your textbooks for lessons

Joined: 07 Jun 2016, 11:30
Posts: 84
Having finally managed to get hold of a complete School at the Chalet, I was struck by the negative effect of having to be obedient on Grizel, when her stepmother marries her father, and that her whole personality seemed to change. However, in many other exchanges Jem and others sing the praises of teaching children obedience at a young age, as in the case of the Robin who, Jem says, in better off health wise because of her training. Is this a conflict or is it the case that if Grizel had been through the 'right' sort of training instead of starting at 10 years of age that she'd be better off?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 11:25 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7178
Location: Manchester
I think we get a similar conflict with Richenda. Professor Fry bans her from going into the "Chinese room" - which doesn't seem that unreasonable to me, given that a) it's his workspace and b) the antiques are very valuable and accidents can happen all too easily. He then says that she's not allowed to go on the half-term trip because of her attitude, which seems harsh but seems to fall in line with the CS ideas on "instant obedience", and we're evidently meant to think badly of him for that, and Joey calls him all sorts of names.

The way it comes across to me is that instant obedience works if you've got the "right" sort of parents (which Prof Fry and Mr and Mrs Cochrane evidently aren't), and the "right" sort of children. There doesn't seem to be an answer as to what you do otherwise - which I think is part of the ongoing issue of Margot and the way that we're repeatedly told that Joey and Jack are perfect parents, even though one of their daughters behaves so badly.

We're told that Grizel was spoilt by her grandmother, but we're evidently also supposed to think very badly of Mr and Mrs Cochrane and to feel that they are bad parents.

Again, maybe it's the case of it only working if you've got the "right" sort of people. The Maranis or the Mensches would presumably not have forced their daughters into careers that they were unhappy with, or threatened to cut them off financially if they hadn't followed orders. But we never see these conflicts arise with the "good" parents. Suppose Frieda had wanted to go to university, but Herr and Frau Mensch had said that she was needed at home and or that university was only for boys? Or Con had decided to dress like Joan Baker? Or Sybil had wanted to marry someone whom Jem thought was unsuitable? Or is the idea that obedient children would never do anything their parents didn't want anyway?

There's a really interesting conversation in which some of the Middles, mostly the Austrian girls, say that Grizel should study music because it's what her father says, whereas others, mostly the British and American girls, disagree, and we aren't told who's right and who's wrong but are allowed to make up our own minds.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 14:35 
Offline
Castor Oil!
Castor Oil!
User avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006, 17:54
Posts: 544
I think a big difference for EBD was that the insistence on 'instant obedience' should be backed up by loving treatment, which it certainly isn't in Grizel's case, and by understanding, which there's a lack of in Richenda's relationship with her dad, even though they love each other.

So Grizel is expected to obey her step-mother and her father but is never shown much affection from what we can see. And Richenda's dad doesn't try to understand her behaviour, which is fueled by her shared passion for ceramics, and simply sees her as a disobedient child.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 15:02 
Offline
Being a disappointment to Miss Annersley
Being a disappointment to Miss Annersley
User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2004, 21:57
Posts: 563
Location: UP NORTH
I agree Loryat. The 'good' parents are adored by their children and wouldn't want to displease them by disobeying.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 15:37 
Offline
Remove to Inter V
Remove to Inter V
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 13:26
Posts: 407
I agree with Loryat as well. The 'instant obedience' is part of an overall package, expected from children who have been nurtured and protected by their parents. When it is demanded by parents who have not been shown to put their children's needs first, it becomes a negative and selfish expectation.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 17:27 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7178
Location: Manchester
Juliet's another example. When the Carricks first appear, walking round the lake, some of the girls remark on how disobedient Juliet is. It's Grizel who points out that Juliet appears very unhappy ... but, IIRC, Herr Mensch is with them, and says that children should always obey their parents. Saying that it's part of an "overall package" is putting it brilliantly :D. But I feel that some of the characters don't get that - which is why we get that dispute between the Middles over Grizel's future (why are they all gossiping about Grizel anyway?), when Evvy and Corney sympathise with Grizel but some of the others feel that Grizel should do what her father says even though it is going to make her unhappy.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 17:43 
Offline
Taking your duties seriously
Taking your duties seriously
User avatar

Joined: 08 Feb 2005, 15:50
Posts: 2059
Location: Cheshire
I think it's the same in teaching, certainly at junior level. If you show you enjoy being with them, are even-handed and good-humoured, don't have favourites, like to have a laugh with them, show them you care and will stand up for them against all comers, then they will give you back that same trust and you have no need to demand obedience. Okay, I haven't taught for the past ten years, during which time respect for teachers seems to have gone out of the window, but I taught in all sorts of schools, from those in deprived areas to private schools, and never had problems with any class. I've watched others struggle badly with discipline and wondered, because I'm not a forceful person myself. So are obedience and having a good relationship the results of having respect for the children in one's care and listening carefully to them?

Poor Grizel certainly had neither respect nor a listening heart from father or step-mum, and neither did Richenda, though her dad had a change of heart later and learned to respect her love and knowledge of porcelain.

_________________
"The dark is bright with quiet lives." (Malcolm Guite)


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 21:58 
Offline
Spending time in the san
Spending time in the san
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2004, 08:41
Posts: 492
Location: Manchester
I think the interesting thing with Grizel is that we're presented with such a shades of grey situation from all round.

Her mother being a frail yet decorative figure, her father living the bachelor life when widowed, her grandmother spoiling her, her father finally providing her with a stepmother but doing it badly, her stepmother being misled and taking it out apparently on Grizel, her father not getting involved, the money thing...

None of those individual things is I would say completly bad, and written another way woudn't be dissimilar to other families, but add them all up and everyone is at fault at some point or to some extent. Apart from Grizel. Although perhaps her personality helps her remain unhappy and embittered when other characters might not be for so long, despite equally tragic circumstances and unhappy childhoods...?

Great writing by EBD.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 08:49 
Offline
Rescued by doctors
Rescued by doctors

Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 00:07
Posts: 794
Location: Taiwan
Madge makes a disparaging remark about Mrs Cochrane nagging Grizel, as well.

I came across a theory of parenting styles a while back that made a lot of sense. There were two variables - discipline and affection. Discipline could be lax, with kids allowed to do what they want, and no particular consequences for misbehaviour, or it could be strict, with lots of rules and punishments. Affection could be warm, with parents who loved their children and let them know it, or cold, with distant, non-loving parents.

Kids did best overall when the parenting was affectionate but reasonably strict. Kids with loving but lax parents had more of a tendency to have problems because of spoiling, or getting into more serious trouble later because they were having to make decisions they weren't mature enough for (re drinking, sex, etc) without parental help. Cold and lax tended to mean neglect, and cold and strict tended to result in kids who were outwardly well behaved but very unhappy, with a higher chance of rebelling and getting into trouble as they got older.

So Grizel's parents were strict but cold. Ted's mother was lax and cold. The Maranis and Menches were strict but loving, while Lavender's aunt was loving but lax.

Richenda's an interesting case. Her behaviour is pretty bad - she's been told outright not to go into her father's study, but deliberately and repeatedly disobeys. And she's actually broken valuable artifacts as a direct result of her disobedience, which interferes with her father's job. The fact that she loves ceramics doesn't excuse it - a kid who really really wanted to be a doctor and snuck in to play with their fathers' medical bag would have been treated a lot more harshly.

Sending her to boarding school in a different country is a bit much, but I can see her father struggling to find a punishment that would get through to her. I could definitely see being grounded and no allowance for a couple of months as a pretty reasonable response, given that she's still disobeying after breaking something.

_________________


Ring the bells that still can ring; Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything; That's how the light gets in
Anthem: Leonard Cohen



Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 11:01 
Offline
Getting all your textbooks for lessons

Joined: 07 Jun 2016, 11:30
Posts: 84
As I work through complete books as opposed to the Armadas, I am really growing more empathetic towards Grizel and she's emerging as a more complex and nuanced character. Especially as she get older and her life is constricted by a combination of her father and stepmother's attitudes and her own personality, but then how much of her personality is a result of her upbringing, early loss of her mother and transition from what was a loving home it appears to one where she became cowed. She doesn't manage to break free entirely until the stepmother dies. I can see some of this with some of my female relatives who grew up with a very domineering mother-it wasn't until she died that their real personalties emerged.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 11:17 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7178
Location: Manchester
They are horrendously controlling. Grizel's father threatens to cut her off financially - bearing in mind that, in CS-land, the thought of actually having to manage on your salary appears to have been unthinkable :roll: - if she won't do as he says. And she only wants to be a PE teacher, which by most people's standards is a perfectly respectable profession: it's not as if she wants to join the Moulin Rouge! Then, when he dies, his money is put in trust for her until she's 35, which is very unusual - 21, 25, or, at the most, 30, would surely have been a more usual age. And her stepmother, who presumably controls the trust, won't let her have access to the money: she has to borrow from a friend (Hilda) in order to set up in business with Deira.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 11:46 
Offline
Getting all your textbooks for lessons

Joined: 07 Jun 2016, 11:30
Posts: 84
It's more horrific as an adult than it was as a child reading how controlling her parents were. It is a form of financial abuse really. I know she could have managed on her salary but the psychological control would have been immense. I wonder if Grizel is based on cases EBD knew of older parents controlling their daughters' lives through financial control.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2016, 14:57 
Offline
Castor Oil!
Castor Oil!
User avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006, 17:54
Posts: 544
Her stepmother refusing to release the money for the music shop is nothing short of malevolent.

I think it's interesting the way Richenda's relationship with her father in portrayed - unlike Ted's or Grizel's relationship with their parents and guardians, clearly both parties are at fault. Richenda has been very disobedient - she has even broken one of the vases. But her father hasn't made much effort to understand her behaviour. You get a good picture of a widowed man struggling to raise a teen-aged girl. And I think Joey points out to Richenda that even if her father hasn't made much effort to understand her, she hasn't tried to understand him, either. Why is it he has decided to send her to the CS, anyway? I know she is sent away as a punishment, but why the CS specifically?

It's interesting as well that Richenda's accident is one that affects her eyesight - it's a very unusual accident to have happen. For both Richenda and her father, sight loss is the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, because sight is so important to their shared passion. Most other girls who have accidents are threatened with either straightforward death (Joey, Maureen) or paralysis (Mary-Lou, Stacie). And the accident is caused by another child being horribly spolit (in EBD's eyes, anyway). I suppose it would be a bit much to have a CS girl squirt acid in Richenda's eyes, but it's unusual for the accident to be the result of an outsider's bad behaviour, rather than the protagonist or another girl in need of reform.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 03:31 
Offline
Rescued by doctors
Rescued by doctors

Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 00:07
Posts: 794
Location: Taiwan
I actually don't see withholding money if a child (even as an adult) doesn't follow the career the parents have in mind as being all that unusual, for the time period and class. Not a standard thing, and not very nice or loving, but certainly something that more authoritarian parents would feel justified in doing. I could definitely picture the Marani or Mensch parents refusing to fund their daughters if they wanted to do something significantly outside of their expected roll of helping at home until marriage. It would be done with the genuine desire to do what's best for their daughter, rather than malevolently, but they'd still do it.

Grizel's in a pretty tough spot. She's got a good private school education, but no official certifications. She has no money to train for another career. And the people she's closest to would quite likely side with her parents if she tried to rebel. She'd be horribly unprepared for domestic work (maid, nanny, etc). She could get a job as a waitress or working in a shop or something like that, particularly in a touristy area where her languages would be a plus, but she would be stuck in it - it would be hard to save for, say, training at a business school on a waitress salary. And she'd be disowned by her family, and cut off from her friends.

I can see Madge being sympathetic, but alienating the Cochranes, who are known to be vindictive, could have been a disastrous move at that point, when they're getting most of their students by word of mouth. Having them going around complaining that Madge had encouraged Grizel to defy her family and run off wouldn't be good for the school's reputation.

_________________


Ring the bells that still can ring; Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything; That's how the light gets in
Anthem: Leonard Cohen



Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 08:45 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7178
Location: Manchester
Jem's parents disowned Margot completely when she went against their wishes and married someone they disapproved of. But she went ahead and did it anyway. Given what a disaster the marriage is, I always feel as if that storyline's meant to make us feel that you should obey your parents in all things, even your choice of partner :roll:, but Margot did have the courage to defy them.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 11:48 
Offline
Being a disappointment to Miss Annersley
Being a disappointment to Miss Annersley
User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2004, 21:57
Posts: 563
Location: UP NORTH
It's a pity that Grizel didn't join one of the services during the war. She would have learned some skills and may have been able to embark on a different career afterwards.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 16:46 
Offline
Spending time in the san
Spending time in the san
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2004, 08:41
Posts: 492
Location: Manchester
jennifer wrote:
Madge makes a disparaging remark about Mrs Cochrane nagging Grizel, as well.

I came across a theory of parenting styles a while back that made a lot of sense. There were two variables - discipline and affection. Discipline could be lax, with kids allowed to do what they want, and no particular consequences for misbehaviour, or it could be strict, with lots of rules and punishments. Affection could be warm, with parents who loved their children and let them know it, or cold, with distant, non-loving parents.

Kids did best overall when the parenting was affectionate but reasonably strict. Kids with loving but lax parents had more of a tendency to have problems because of spoiling, or getting into more serious trouble later because they were having to make decisions they weren't mature enough for (re drinking, sex, etc) without parental help. Cold and lax tended to mean neglect, and cold and strict tended to result in kids who were outwardly well behaved but very unhappy, with a higher chance of rebelling and getting into trouble as they got older.

So Grizel's parents were strict but cold. Ted's mother was lax and cold. The Maranis and Menches were strict but loving, while Lavender's aunt was loving but lax.


The interesting factor for me in Grizel's upbringing is her grandmother - loving but lax, by this definition. We can't make judgements about her mother, as we didn't meet her and don't really get any reports of her mothering abilities, but the grandmother, much as Grizel evidently loves her, was actually quite unhelpful in terms of bringing Grizel up - being spoiled rotten, for whatever reason, over a period of years isn't exactly going to prepare you for adult life. The contrast is then even more marked with the strictness of the second Mrs C (strict but cold).

But Granny gets away with it more or less completely in the books, I would say. And Mr C seems to have no opinions of his own either way, leaving it to the ladies to bring up his one and only - lax but cold?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2016, 07:54 
Offline
Being told to stand on your own two feet
Being told to stand on your own two feet
User avatar

Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 06:47
Posts: 150
Location: North Carolina, USA
jennifer wrote:
Madge makes a disparaging remark about Mrs Cochrane nagging Grizel, as well.

I came across a theory of parenting styles a while back that made a lot of sense. There were two variables - discipline and affection. Discipline could be lax, with kids allowed to do what they want, and no particular consequences for misbehaviour, or it could be strict, with lots of rules and punishments. Affection could be warm, with parents who loved their children and let them know it, or cold, with distant, non-loving parents.

Kids did best overall when the parenting was affectionate but reasonably strict. Kids with loving but lax parents had more of a tendency to have problems because of spoiling, or getting into more serious trouble later because they were having to make decisions they weren't mature enough for (re drinking, sex, etc) without parental help. Cold and lax tended to mean neglect, and cold and strict tended to result in kids who were outwardly well behaved but very unhappy, with a higher chance of rebelling and getting into trouble as they got older.

So Grizel's parents were strict but cold. Ted's mother was lax and cold. The Maranis and Menches were strict but loving, while Lavender's aunt was loving but lax.


I really like these categorizations, and I wonder where Cornelia Flowers and Evadne Lannis' parents fall. Probably loving and lax, and it's by virtue of good fortune/their own personalities the girls turn out as well as they do? (I know Corney was a problem child, but her reformation is a one-eighty.)

_________________
"I -- I didn't think!" -- Carola Johnstone


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2016, 09:40 
Offline
Rescued by doctors
Rescued by doctors

Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 00:07
Posts: 794
Location: Taiwan
I picture the Flowers and Lannises as being indulgent but having limits. The girls would get lots of clothes and toys and spending money, and probably things like bedtimes and meals were erratic, and they could coax their parents into stuff, but there were some standards for behaviour, and their parents had other demands on their time and energy. I also can see their parents knowing that they were indulgent, and having trained nannies and governesses when the girls were young, to provide training, and arranging for good schools later to complete the process.

_________________


Ring the bells that still can ring; Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything; That's how the light gets in
Anthem: Leonard Cohen



Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Conflicting views on obedience?
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2016, 14:22 
Offline
Castor Oil!
Castor Oil!
User avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006, 17:54
Posts: 544
I think Evadne would have had limits, but until Cornelia comes to school it doesn't seem like she's had much discipline. Was Mr Flower too indulgent, or just too busy building his business empire?

I think the difference in the way the absent (physically or emotionally) fathers are treated in the early books and later books is interesting - Mr Flower, Mr Cochrane, and Mr Winterton are treated fairly leniently but Mr Fry is not - a sign of the times?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Lemon Biscuits & Liberty Bodices
It is currently 23 Sep 2017, 01:13

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group