Polly and Nina (FIre and Hemlock, was Hexwood)

Nat Case ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Wed Jan 30 22:07:38 EST 2002

>On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:
>>  girl".  So I thought it interesting that DWJ set these two
>>  descriptions up as strongly contrasting, and then had Polly envying
>>  Nina's being fat and "the fat, pink staring look" Nina had without
>>  her glasses.
>>  Maybe there are tons of you out there who WERE extremely pretty
>>  little girls, and did desperately envy less attractive ones, and it
>>  just seemed unusual to me?

Kyla responded:

>I think the point is that Polly a) is a bit weird and b) doesn't think
>much of adults/conventions. It seems like she's sick of everyone saying,
>"You're such a pretty little girl!" and trying to pinch her cheek. She
>wants to look interesting, which Nina does; maybe she wants to look some
>way that won't lead to people patronizing her.
>I always pictured Nina's eyes as slightly bulgy in that really fascinating
>way. :^)
>Also, there's always the appeal of wanting to look how you don't. This is
>why there companies that make curling irons and straightening lotions and
>potions and hair dye, plus all sorts of other things.

Polly's attractiveness is, surprisingly when you look at it, not all 
that different from Laurel's--Tom Lynn has a thing for fair-haired 
females. Nina's sense of making herself attractive later--she shows 
off her developing bust, dyes her hair, chases boys, etc., while 
superficially about beauty, stand in contrast to Laurel's literally 
stunning elegance. Polly is in the oddly powerful position of growing 
into the physical ABILITY to give Laurel a run for her money, but not 
wanting to be judged on that OR on the vulgar sorts of things Nina 
gets into in her teens.

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