Idle comments on fire and hemlock books.

jessie shelton at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Thu Jul 29 21:52:35 EDT 1999

On Wed, 21 Jul 1999 sheeyun at wrote:

> Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin.
> To my American/Canadian eyes, however, Jones's use of "Uncle Tom"
> simply to suggest that Tom's a slave is unnerving. The term "Uncle
> Tom" has come to be used to signify someone who colludes with his or
> her people's oppressor.

You don't think that Tom Lynn did not collude with Laurel, or see himself
as colluding with Laurel -- or at least, have a violent reaction to the
idea of himself colluding with her?

> Actually, the second parcel and subsequent ones puzzle me generally.
> So many "boy's books".  Surely they aren't just camouflage for the
> book of "fairy stories" and the _Oxford Book of Ballads_? Are they
> simply intended to suggest Danger and Suspense?

I thought that Tom was taking the opportunity to send Polly books he
thought were good and enjoyable as well as those that had, in addition,
some deeper meaning; there were several dimensions to his friendship with
Polly.  He wasn't just interested in her as a way to free himself from
Laurel, which is his saving grace; several of the titles may just have
been motivated by a compassionate need to send this neglected kid
something she'll really like.

I know you put it in quotation marks, but you still got my back up when
you said "boy's books".  I think I've been hanging out on the snarkier
parts of Usenet too long.  (:


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