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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2017, 12:31 
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I think to be fair to Len she didn't realise at first that it wasn't something she could deal with herself.....

I don't go along at all with the idea that Joey is unable to cope with her children, nor that she is unduly protected and pampered. In fact I get a bit cross about the Joey-bashing that we see such a lot of on here!

Rant over.....

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2017, 20:12 
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I think I'm with you, cestina. I'm not trying to get at anyone, but it always struck me as a bit weird to like a series enough to take to the Internet about it, but not like the main character.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2017, 21:53 
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Surely though it is all credit to EBD that she was able to create a character with the depth of Joey? Also, just because she was the main character does not make her immune from criticism. Just because someone is popular does not make them good.

The very first book of the series I read as a 9 year old was Wrong Chalet School. Joey was in Canada. As a 9 year old I wondered why everyone made a fuss about this person who wasn't even in the book. I remember thinking "why do they think so much of her?"

I am not a great Joey fan but I do like reading about her. Books about Joey such as Rescue, Oberland, Joey & Co are every bit as good as the better school based books.

I love Mary-Lou and I also like Jem but I can see why others criticise them. If I have a character I am "meant" to like but don't really, it is Len.

We are all different with our likes and dislikes and should all have the right to express this (in a mannerly way).


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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 01:11 
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Audrey25 wrote:


We are all different with our likes and dislikes and should all have the right to express this (in a mannerly way).

Oh yes indeed. It just seems to me that the Joey detractors are often much more vocal than her supporters.....

Maybe it's just that there aren't many of us :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 03:34 
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cestina wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:


We are all different with our likes and dislikes and should all have the right to express this (in a mannerly way).

Oh yes indeed. It just seems to me that the Joey detractors are often much more vocal than her supporters.....

Maybe it's just that there aren't many of us :shock:


I was going to say it is maybe because it is easier to knock down than build up but I think that is only part of it. Lots of other characters are praised.

Part of it could be that some readers go deliberately against the "wishes" of the author i.e. dislike the characters she wants us to like and vice versa.

It is probably easier to take pot shots at Jo because there is "more" of her than any other character both in terms of times she is present or discussed and also because she is so vocal.

One thing that stood out for me in Joey Goes to the Oberland was that on the car journey from Frieda's to the Platz, for about 2 whole pages, EBD does not refer to Jo by name. Jo is only referred to as "she". Such was her presence she did not need a name. I think it is this almost hero worship given to her main character by the author that got some people.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 05:00 
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I apologise if anyone is upset at the Joey bashing which I think I inadvertently started, but she ... ahem... doesn't actually exist so it's safe to bash her :D

It is a tribute to EBD's writing skills that she has created a character (in fact, several characters) that are so lifelike that we can cheerfully disagree on their behaviour and yet keep right on reading the books and enjoying them.

It reminds me of when I complain on Facebook about characters (the character, not the actor/actress!) on Neighbours only to be met with a chorus of "don't watch it then!" But they are missing the point - I watch it precisely because I like watching characters I dislike behaving badly.

But Joey's voice is also EBD's voice and sometimes she's just downright wrong, or at least questionable.

I was rereading Rescue last night when Phoebe was describing what had happened with a wedding gift she had been commissioned to make and then the order was cancelled and not paid for when she was too ill to finish the gift on time. Neither she nor Debby (her nurse) sent any word regarding the gift to the person making the order and the wedding guest was essentially left in the dark regarding it.

Joey gets all indignant about it and blames the guest for cancelling the order.

But put yourself in the wedding guest's shoes. She makes the order then receives no word about it - this is the days before telephones were common, no email etc. So for all she knows Phoebe never bothered to finish the gift and then didn't have the courtesy to tell her.

Then she probably showed up at the wedding with no gift because there was no time to buy a new one. I would be pretty upset too. But then couldn't she have bought the gift anyway and given it away to someone else?

Frankly I can see both sides. Joey is being a good friend by taking Phoebe's side but the wedding guest also had every right to be upset.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 08:29 
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I think it's a shame that we're denied the chance to see Joey having to cope with a big crisis with her children. Margot's serious illness as a young child, whilst Jack was away in the army and Madge, however supportive, had 8 young children to look after at the Round House, is only mentioned in retrospect. And Phil having polio all seems to be over very quickly, in the space of a few weeks between books. I always feel as if that must be included somewhere and I must be missing it, but it isn't! We see poor Madge sitting by Joey's sickbed umpteen times in the early days, and we even see Jem and Dick talking about the likelihood of Joey failing to recover in Rivals. And we see Joey sitting with Mary-Lou after her accident, but we don't get to see her coping when her own children are ill.

The big bust-up between the triplets is Mary-Lou's Finest Hour, with Joey not even told about it afterwards. And, at the worst crisis of Joey's life, when Jack is reported dead, we see it all from Madge and Jem's point of view rather than hers. I just think it would have added depth to the character if we'd been able to see her coping with a big crisis ... which she must have done, certainly when Phil was ill.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 09:25 
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As a woman who has had two children, a home to run single-handedly and a full time job all at once I can sympathise with the Joey-bashing. She chooses to have eleven children, most of whom are away at boarding school, she has Anna and Rosli to help her out and a husband who doses her and packs her off to bed for the slightest thing. She IS pampered and petted!
When the Maynards are packing up for the move to Switzerland she falls into a crate, hurts herself and Jack makes sure she goes to bed. Most women I know would say they hadn't got time to go to bed and would just have to get on with things.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 13:33 
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RubyGates wrote:
As a woman who has had two children, a home to run single-handedly and a full time job all at once I can sympathise with the Joey-bashing. She chooses to have eleven children, most of whom are away at boarding school, she has Anna and Rosli to help her out and a husband who doses her and packs her off to bed for the slightest thing. She IS pampered and petted!
When the Maynards are packing up for the move to Switzerland she falls into a crate, hurts herself and Jack makes sure she goes to bed. Most women I know would say they hadn't got time to go to bed and would just have to get on with things.

So true.
I am a real fan of the younger Joey, but in her older years I feel that Jack maybe turns her into someone that is just there to be protected and nurtured and he turns her into a different woman.
A member of my family has a chronic illness which means there are days on end she cannot get out of bed, and what makes it worse is that she wants to be up and caring for the kids (who are 16-20 now thank goodness!) and the house andher husband is so good and supports her whenever she can be up and about. He realises the last thing she wants is to be a protected princess.

I feel that maybe its Jack we should have an issue with not Joey. Loving someone means helping them to be alive, to have a place in the world. It doesn't mean putting them to bed and keeping them there at all costs. Jack never seems able to help her get back on track, he just wants her out of the way.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 15:12 
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It's quite interesting to contrast how the two leading couples get together.

Madge and Jem first meet when Madge has just rescued Frau Berlin from a burning train. Although she feels faint afterward and Jem helps her, he says that it was one of the bravest things he's ever seen and compliments her on her pluck.

After Jack has been keen on Jo for years, they finally get together when she is hysterical over not being able to find Robin, and is in such a state that she can hardly walk and he practically carries her into the house and on to the settee. Presumably it's at that point, when she's in a very emotional and distressed condition, that Jack proposes, because Robin says later that they got engaged on the day of the picnic. A few weeks later, Jo is clinging to his arm and collapsing over him during the escape to Switzerland. This is the same person who climbed a mountain, skated across a frozen lake, confronted a madman and chased two dangerous kidnappers to rescue her friends!

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 18:44 
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cestina wrote:
Oh yes indeed. It just seems to me that the Joey detractors are often much more vocal than her supporters.....

Maybe it's just that there aren't many of us :shock:


One here, cestina! :wink: When I included Jo in ND someone told me I'd made her too kind and thoughtful - so I now keep her out much as I can, even though Jack is often in. Same with ML. I'd probably be slated for using her, as well, if I used her as I see her.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 23:09 
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MaryR wrote:
cestina wrote:
Oh yes indeed. It just seems to me that the Joey detractors are often much more vocal than her supporters.....

Maybe it's just that there aren't many of us :shock:


One here, cestina! :wink: When I included Jo in ND someone told me I'd made her too kind and thoughtful - so I now keep her out much as I can, even though Jack is often in. Same with ML. I'd probably be slated for using her, as well, if I used her as I see her.


Oh no Mary, you should use what you like and as you see. Only opinions. I am neutralish about Jo now but as far as M-L is concerned, I think she is the greatest and anyone that does not share that opinion, I think, is a fool! :D :D :D Just joking (mmmm)


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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 07:21 
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cestina wrote:
It just seems to me that the Joey detractors are often much more vocal than her supporters.....

Maybe it's just that there aren't many of us :shock:


It could be attitude as much as numbers. For example, if the set of people who enjoy EBD's Joey includes a larger proportion of readers who go to the CS as a respite from the sniping of real life, it may also include a larger proportion of people who avoid discussions in which sniping at characters seems de rigueur and positive comments are rapidly squashed. Whether or not those under attack are fictitious, the negative atmosphere is just what those readers are trying to avoid. On the other hand, readers who heartily enjoy literary criticism, and find poking holes in characters much the best way to enjoy them, may be more likely to post and revel in the ensuing arguments.

I'm sure the bashers don't really mean to poison fans' joy in the series, though. To some extent, it may just be the old Anna Karenina problem. ('Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way' etc.) Everyone here is presumably a fan of Chalet School, but there are more ways to nitpick than to compliment. Especially in a culture that seems to consider niceness boring. Even in School at, we find Jo explaining that authors of school stories have to put in some dishonourable characters to make a story.

Mary_R wrote:
When I included Jo in ND someone told me I'd made her too kind and thoughtful - so I now keep her out much as I can, even though Jack is often in. Same with ML. I'd probably be slated for using her, as well, if I used her as I see her.

But I would agree that adult Joey is normally kind and thoughtful! (Even if Mary-Lou is more so :lol:)

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 21:43 
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Audrey25 wrote:
cestina wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:


We are all different with our likes and dislikes and should all have the right to express this (in a mannerly way).

Oh yes indeed. It just seems to me that the Joey detractors are often much more vocal than her supporters.....

Maybe it's just that there aren't many of us :shock:


I was going to say it is maybe because it is easier to knock down than build up but I think that is only part of it. Lots of other characters are praised.

Part of it could be that some readers go deliberately against the "wishes" of the author i.e. dislike the characters she wants us to like and vice versa.

It is probably easier to take pot shots at Jo because there is "more" of her than any other character both in terms of times she is present or discussed and also because she is so vocal.

One thing that stood out for me in Joey Goes to the Oberland was that on the car journey from Frieda's to the Platz, for about 2 whole pages, EBD does not refer to Jo by name. Jo is only referred to as "she". Such was her presence she did not need a name. I think it is this almost hero worship given to her main character by the author that got some people.


For me that is the issue. If a character is too popular or we are meant to like them, my very contrariness means I will do the opposite. i don't mind Joey and I am a rare being in that I like adult Joey, much better than teenage Joey. That said Hilda Annersley has fallen into being my least favourite character simply because people on the Board love her so much and so dearly. I didn't mind her when I read the books, but when almost every drabble written is her as the main character and so dearly beloved, the contrariness in me rises up and says: "I don't like that woman." I think it's too much of a good thing. That said, the quality of someones writing will hold me in reading something, where I don't necessary like the main character, but love the story, and I don't see that as a bad thing. I think it shows what a good writer someone is, to continue to hold your attention and love for a book (or drabble) for a really long time especially when you don't like the main character.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 04:07 
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Fiona Mc wrote:
For me that is the issue. If a character is too popular or we are meant to like them, my very contrariness means I will do the opposite.


Not to mention that this forum would get quite boring if we all agreed!

I don't mean we should get stuck into one another and get insulting about each other or the characters - that would be completely wrong and very upsetting.

But if can all cheerfully agree to disagree sometimes, keep a mutual respect for each other and love of the series (which I think is the driving spirit of the forum), then why not criticise the characters/plots occasionally?

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 14:55 
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I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I wasn't trying to turn people who don't like Joey out of the board, or even say that it was a bad thing - I merely intended to contrast your opinion with mine. I have read many books which I didn't enjoy due to dislike of the main character.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 15:39 
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I like Jo at certain points in the series, and find her really irritating at others, and I suspect this may be the case for quite a few people. I like Jo as a Middle and in the war books as a young mother, but as a Senior I find her very negative - snappish, irritable, obsessive about the Robin, etc. - and post Canada she's just too over the top in general for my taste.

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 23:18 
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Someone the Younger wrote:
I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I wasn't trying to turn people who don't like Joey out of the board, or even say that it was a bad thing - I merely intended to contrast your opinion with mine. I have read many books which I didn't enjoy due to dislike of the main character.


Someone, you haven't offended anyone - or if you have, no more than those who don't like adult Joey might offend those people who do, so turn about is fair play.

I do feel that this is the real problem - that those who like and defend Joey always seem to be apologising to those who don't for daring to defend her. A thread that says how good she is always ends up with those who dislike her being so critical that her fans can't enjoy talking about her good points. Perhaps it's time to stop apologising for a difference of opinion, which might allow those on both sides who are afraid to express their opinions to comment more often. :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 02:30 
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Well said KB. I am no great Joey fan but it might be quite nice to see a few posts on her good points without immediately having all her well known faults trotted out again.


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 Post subject: Re: The Trips Boarding
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 14:02 
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My problem with this area is not individuals who like or dislike Joey (or any other character), but just the sheer number of threads, often on random topics not initially connected with the Maynards, which eventually come around to criticising Joey for some reason or another. Then - as said above - all her well-known traits are racked over again...

I read them and think: "Not again! Please can we discuss (whatever topic it is) without any Joey-bashing!"

I just find it a bit of a shame.


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