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 Post subject: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 11:31 
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Am I the only one who thinks Joey behaves like an immature child in Eustacia?

She loses her temper at the drop of a hat, has to have Eustacia's unhappiness and POV explained to her because "her deep feeling for others" did not kick in, she snaps the younger girls at will and causes an argument in the hut. As the only prefect there she should have been helping rather than causing more problems. Then she won't tell the girls stories to entertain them until she is begged to. Again, not helping out when she could have.

And exactly WHY is Eustacia to blame for Robin's illness? The group would have been storm stayed anyway and they could not left the hut until help arrived. Should EBD have added a line saying they could have all left with the guide the next morning if it was not for having to stay with Miss Wilson?

Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 12:33 
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Joyce wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks Joey behaves like an immature child in Eustacia?


No, in a word! All my sympathies in Eustacia are with Eustacia, although I'm sure that isn't what EBD intended. Eustacia even asks the same question as Joyce 'Pray, did I cause the blizzard?' and is told that they would have been able to get away earlier if it had not been for Miss Wilson's accident.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 13:12 
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I think Miss Wilson was out of line when she blamed Joey for Eustacia running away, but I think Joey's behaviour was ridiculous as well. It was one of those House That Jack Built things - all that Eustacia did was pull away when someone she disliked tried to take her arm. It was hardly her fault that Miss Wilson happened to be just behind her, that she bumped into her, that Miss Wilson tripped on a large stone, and that the weather then turned nasty!

I find the whole storyline silly. Robin has apparently "been set back more than a year" (or words to that effect) due to the stress caused by Joey and the others being caught in the blizzard? I appreciate that it's very worrying when people go missing in bad weather, but "set back more than a year"? They were only gone for a few hours! Why didn't Anne or the woman at the hostel tell Robin that they'd have taken shelter somewhere, if she was that upset? And why was Robin even on the trip if she wasn't up to going out with the others? It was very unfair that Anne had to miss seeing the glacier because Robin needed a babysitter.

A few years later, in And Jo, Jo is still harping on about how it was all Eustacia's fault and how she will "never forgive Eustacia, never," if Robin gets TB! At that point, Madge more or less tells her to stop talking such rubbish. Round of applause for Madge, please!

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 13:38 
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I kind of agree, but I think that the authorial voice isn't necessarily on Jo's side in all of this.

And yes, her behaviour is a bit immature, but it's one of the first times she has come across a fellow school girl who really doesn't warm to her and I can believe that she doesn't quite know how to respond and ends up making a mess of it. I actually think this is more credible than her taking a dislike to Joyce for not wanting to kiss Robin a year or so later.

Might some of the explanations of Eustacia's behaviour to Jo by Miss Wilson be "the author" using that interaction to explain to us the readers? When she is a student, Jo's famed "getting under the skin of other people" isn't particularly evident... :D

But the Robin being set back more than a year, and Jo still harping on about it ages later really is ridiculous - I'm very pleased Madge snaps and tells Jo as much (more evidence that we aren't supposed to think Jo is in the right here?).


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 14:34 
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I think, in general, Joey wasn't a particularly sympathetic or mature prefect or headgirl. She used to embarrass the younger girls with insensitive teasing, snapped and lost her temper very easily, and generally behaved very childishly compared to her peers.

That's why all the talk years later about Joey having been a fantastic headgirl annoys me. She wasn't fantastic, she was quite poor at the job. Gisela, for example, was a far better leader.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 17:39 
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Joey was not the great head girl she is later reported to have been, she had faults that were conveniently forgotten about in Switzerland but she was much more human and real. I have never liked the too perfect adult Joey but could put up with the school girl.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 18:27 
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I'm very pleased Madge snaps and tells Jo as much (more evidence that we aren't supposed to think Jo is in the right here?).

But I think Madge is at fault in Eustacia, too, both in saying Robin could go on the trip, and in saying that Jo must see the glacier, which meant someone else had to miss it. What would have happened if no-one had volunteered to stay with the Robin?

I wonder what Anne Seymour's parents said, when they found she hadn't seen the glacier, but had been left to babysit some Junior, when the whole purpose of the trip, which they had presumably paid for, was to see the glacier.

Jo did go through a period of being quite obsessive about the Robin. She was quite rude to Grizel once, when Grizel was a mistress and she was still a schoolgirl. And she did get special treatment, and got away with behaviour that another girl wouldn't have done.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2017, 21:14 
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Funny how Robin isn't "set back more than a year" when Joey nearly dies after rescuing Maureen!

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 03:13 
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I rather like the way Joey is shown here - a flawed but interesting young woman, rather than as someone who is automatically considered perfect. But yes, she's being a bit of a brat.

I think at this point Joey is used to being special. She's the sister of the founder, and sister-in-law of the San head, first student at the school, and personality wise, she's someone who loves being at the centre of things, and has a vivid personality that others tend to be attracted to. And she loves that part. But she's reaching an age where she's expected to mature a little, and take responsibility for how she acts, and the influence she has on other girls, and she doesn't like it. She'd rather go on as she has been - she's charming, and very caring to those she likes, but is also tactless, impulsive, and not quick to see other points of view, and she's also used to having her emotional volatility indulged in.

So she's facing the need to think about how what she says and does influences other people, and has also run face first into someone who doesn't either genuinely think she's amazing, or be willing to make nice because of her connections. And she doesn't like it.

I do agree with others on the Robin issue. If Robin were so delicate that a day of worry could threaten to send her into a fatal decline, she should not have been on that trip. And even if Miss Wilson hadn't fallen, they would still have been stranded on the mountain overnight, causing her to worry and stay up late! Eustacia's part of it was both an accident, and simply delayed their return by half a day. So if anyone is to blame for the whole thing, it's Madge and Jem.

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 09:34 
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Mabel wrote:
is told that they would have been able to get away earlier if it had not been for Miss Wilson's accident.


Then why not send Joey away with the guide early so she can get back to the Robin? At least get her to a phone to call the guesthouse. And Anne was clearly out of her depth looking after her when the group is late, which just goes to show the idiocy of sending the kid with them.

JayB wrote:
But I think Madge is at fault in Eustacia, too, both in saying Robin could go on the trip, and in saying that Jo must see the glacier, which meant someone else had to miss it. What would have happened if no-one had volunteered to stay with the Robin?


Maybe they could leave her at the Pension with the owner who was so moved upon seeing the Robin, she cried! And the Robin responds by asking whether her daughter was dead which is morbid to put it mildly.

Quote:
Anyhow, we are going up to the glacier.—Won’t it be scrummy, Anne?’
‘Splendid,’ replied Anne,


and then she doesn't go!

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 11:25 
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Joey annoys the hell out of me in this book. She's very immature, stirs up a pot of trouble, and gets away with it all. Admittedly she isn't the only one to blame, I think EBD got a but carried away with too many emotive storylines


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 14:52 
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Terrygo wrote:
Joey was not the great head girl she is later reported to have been, she had faults that were conveniently forgotten about in Switzerland but she was much more human and real. I have never liked the too perfect adult Joey but could put up with the school girl.


I agree. She was a believable schoolgirl, with faults as well as assets, and was often shown to be annoying Madge or irritating Jem. Just as a teenager would.

As an adult she suddenly morphs into this serene, saintly person who everyone thinks the world of. Obviously, most people do change and mature as they get older, but there is very little relation at all between young and old Joey, despite comments about her being 'an eternal schoolgirl'.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2017, 16:36 
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That's why I can tolerate the schoolgirl Jo, but abhor Mrs. Jo Maynard.

Merely putting a ring on someone's finger does not mean that they behave like mature people from that moment on.

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A certain edge when she spoke of Mrs Maynard, certainly, but, after all, not everyone could love Joey.
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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2017, 18:03 
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As an adult she suddenly morphs into this serene, saintly person who everyone thinks the world of. Obviously, most people do change and mature as they get older, but there is very little relation at all between young and old Joey, despite comments about her being 'an eternal schoolgirl'.


I think adult Joey has most of the same faults as schoolgirl Joey. Lack of tact and discretion, need to be the centre of attention, inappropriate or even rude remarks, failure to take responsibility for her health. All fairly normal in a girl in her early to mid teens, but not in an adult who should know better.

It's the way the author wants us to perceive her that changes. While schoolgirl Jo's faults are acknowledged by the author, there's rarely if ever any authorial criticism of adult Joey. That's what irritates me about adult Jo, more than the character herself. I really enjoy the occasional scenes where Hilda tells her where to get off!


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2017, 21:47 
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This was the first CS book I ever read, so I've got a soft spot for it, but I don't think anyone comes out of it very well. Eustacia's aunt just seemed to want rid of her. Eustacia herself behaved very unpleasantly to the other girls. Miss Wilson, instead of gently pointing out that sneaking wasn't the done thing, told her that, if she'd been a boy, she'd have got a good thrashing :roll:. Mlle Lepattre didn't really do anything. Mary's approach was to call a school council so that everyone else could slag Eustacia off - no wonder the poor girl ran away! Mary really was a very poor Head Girl, IMO: she handled things very badly in Rivals as well. Joey blamed Eustacia for things that weren't her fault. Robin shouldn't have been on the trip in the first place.

Madge and the original prefects were off the scene, and no-one seemed able to deal with anything effectively. It's a common problem in any organisation, when "leaders" leave ... makes you wonder what happened when Hilda retired. And Mary-Lou would soon have sorted Jack Lambert out! There just isn't anyone to sort anything in this book - and I do feel sorry for Joey, however annoying she is here, when Miss Wilson says it's her fault that Eustacia's run away.

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2017, 23:02 
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I agree that no-one in Eustacia is shown in a good light though EBD seems to think that everyone did their best for Eustacia. There is no shame-faced discussion afterwards where the staff and prefects berate themselves for their clumsy handling of the situation. And I don't buy the idea that E was secretly very taken with Jo.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2017, 03:22 
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I have been wondering about the adult Joey. Could it be that adults, in that era, were put on a pedestal? It seems so from the way some of the teachers behave unfairly and unjustly to the pupils, yet their behaviour is upheld by the Headmistress on principle, as children are not allowed to question any adults behaviour. There are several examples of such unfairness in the books.

And the continuing belief that adults were beyond making mistakes which a child was permitted to point out. In that case, Joey, by becoming an adult, would straight away move into the grown up always right/authority figure arena. Her behaviour, unacceptable in many ways and open to correction while still seen as a child, becomes something which cannot be challenged once she becomes an adult.

I have to keep reminding myself, when reading the books, that the concept of childhood was different back then. The adult/child dynamic was different. Authority seems to have been unquestioned. And the books were being read by 11 year olds who would have been taught to accept that double standard for adult behaviour.

I dont suppose that the target audience would have been allowed to read books questioning and criticizing adults, even such young adults as Joey. It appears that all one had to do, to qualify for adulthood, was put ones hair up and immediately one becomes an authority figure who can rule over all and any children.

I am just re-reading The New Chalet School where Dr Jem smacks, repeatedly, a child not even his own, and the child's father supports him in doing so!!! astonishing in these days (and illegal), but quite acceptable behaviour for an adult in those times.


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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2017, 07:37 
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I think it's more a Joey (or maybe protagonist) thing than an adult vs child thing. EBD regularly shows adults who are mean, or annoying, or unfair, or misguided. Even some of the mistresses are shown as flawed, sometimes. Grizel is prickly, Miss Slater doesn't get on well with students who dislike her subject, Herr Laubach insults students and throws things, Miss Yolland doesn't like teaching outside of her classroom. Sometimes mistresses have a bad day and are unfair.

The authority of mistresses issue is a real thing, but it's not just a thing for kids. You can get a similar dynamic with, say, police officers, who have authority over people, but sometime behave in unfair ways, and pushing back or questioning them in the moment can end badly.

I can't help but feel that some people would regard adult Joey the way she thought of "the Sodger" in Rescue - a woman who had lots of connections in the community, very firm ideas about how things were to be done, and a tendency to interfere where she wasn't wanted. Some people would like her style, but there would definitely be a few would would grit their teeth when she came breezing in with her golden voice and interrupted the conversation to drag it around to what she wanted to talk to. Or would roll their eyes when she started on-upping people other people. Not to mention those who would be genuinely hurt or angry when she was tactless, or blurted out confidential information to the wrong person.

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2017, 09:08 
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I'd agree that it was just Joey generally. There's that ridiculous scene with the greengage jam, in which we're told that Joey and Mary-Lou in the entire history of the school would think of making such a kind gesture. Leaving aside the fact that it's only a few jars of jam, and Joey didn't even make them - Anna did! -, it's so insulting to all the many kind girls who've been at the school over the years!

And what particularly annoys me is the way Hilda, Nell and other CS staff go on about how brilliantly well brought up the Maynard kids are, and how it's a shame that all CS parents haven't done such a good job. Margot is one of the worst-behaved girls in the entire history of the school! Apart from Thekla and Betty, I can't think of anyone who does anything as nasty as plan to blackmail Ted. That's not necessarily Jo and Jack's fault, but it's ridiculous to hold them up as an example to us all! They're very quick to criticise other parents - notably Mrs Pertwee, a widow who is having to bring up three children on her own with, by CS standards, relatively little money.

And, as Jennifer said, there must have been people who didn't like her, but they aren't given a voice.

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 Post subject: Re: Joey in Eustacia
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2017, 13:35 
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Mel wrote:
I agree that no-one in Eustacia is shown in a good light though EBD seems to think that everyone did their best for Eustacia. There is no shame-faced discussion afterwards where the staff and prefects berate themselves for their clumsy handling of the situation. And I don't buy the idea that E was secretly very taken with Jo.


Not only the staff and prefects, but also the aunt who packed her off to a boarding school in a foreign country when she was still coming to terms with the death of her parents and the complete upheaval that had caused in her life.

And I agree. In real life many people would have found Joey very irritating and seen her as someone who interferes in things that don't concern her, instead of leavilng them to people who actually know what they're doing.

She also strikes me, at times, as being the type of mother that thinks having children puts her on some kind of pedestal and makes her 'better' than non-parents. I could see that really annoying people. It is particularly strange given that she was never the kind of young girl who couldn't wait to get married and have kids. In fact she was very adamant that she wanted to do no such thing.


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