Time of The Ghost, Spoilers, Questions on the ending

Ven ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Sun Apr 15 21:04:29 EDT 2001

                                                SPOILER SPACE

Back on the fourth of April I wrote

> >The question I'm asking myself is what happened to the Monigan 
> >doll. Didn't someone give it as a sacrifice and someone else 
> >(Julian?) retrieve it? I remember the mother finding it on the drive 
> >and then bringing it to Sally in hospital and I'm sure its significant. 
> >Can anyone help!  

and Melissa replied

> Phyllis (the mother) brings it to the hospital because she remembers that
> Sally was attached to it and thought it would be comforting.  And Sally
> gives it to Fenella and asks her to burn it.  I think it's, maybe,
> closure--not that Monigan ceases to exist, but that they destroy their
> ability to contact her.

I've borrowed a copy from my friend Asha, so I've finally been able 
to check what I was on about!

Liz's original question was about what things people gave to 
Monigan and their significance. In my original reply I referred to 
Sally making up tyhe religion -- it was, in fact, Cart (well nobody 
has ever said I'm always right <g>). Now that I've had a chance to 
check, here's what happened to the doll and why I thought it was 
significant. After summoning the ghost with blood, and in the ghost 
Sally's absence, the others trash Monigan's hut before setting off 
for the Downs. At this point Cart has taken the doll. Then after 
Monigan rejects her sacrifice of Oliver she adds the it to the pile of 
things. As she made up the religion, using the doll as the focus, I 
think this may have severed her personal link to Monigan. I don't 
think she ended up losing anything else.  

When the rain comes Julian smugly puts on a raincape and hood -- 
the only one to have brought them. After Imogen 
makes her sacrifice the ghost Sally sees a  plastic clad figure 
return and take the doll -- it has to be Julian. It's then found on the 
drive by Phillis, after the hen row. As Julian was denying all 
connectiopn to the nasty business by then, I assume he dumped 
the doll as incriminating evidence. I think it was the fact that he not 
only gave nothing, but took the doll, that bound him to Monigan and 
allowed her to take his life.

In one of my mails I was sort of identifying Phillis with Monigan -- 
insofar as it was her neglected daughters who made up this 
"negative female principle" religion in the first place. The horrible 
irony that she ended up preserving the hideous doll, after her 
daughters had gone seems to point up the connection, and 
probably gave Monigan another hold on Sally and her whole family.  
It's so typical of the way she never had the faintest idea what was 
really going on in her daughters' lives -- "You will become a great 
concert pianist, and you will be a teacher and you (who have been 
performing black magic whilst AWOL, though I never noticed) love 
this old doll. Yuk. I suppose there is an element of reconciliation in 
the fact that she turns up at the hospital in the end. And it's just as 
well from a magical/symbolic point of view that she gives the doll to 
Sally so that Fenella can take it to be burned.

I'm starting to think this book is so deep there's no end to the 
digging we could do. I'm going to try to think up a suitable 
"question for Diana" to ask about  it now.


If all the good people were clever,
And all clever people were good,
The world would be nicer than ever
We thought that it possibly could.

Dame Elizabeth Wordsworth, Good and Clever 1990
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