Polly and Nina (FIre and Hemlock, was Hexwood)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Jan 31 16:07:14 EST 2002


Nat:

>
>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.

Hrmm...   I see what you mean, but I have a hard time fitting her 
very young self's envying Nina's looks with her not wanting to be 
judged on her physical attractiveness later.  Although had it been 
mentioned *after* the funeral, it would have made a very attractive 
explanation.

Your comments did go a long way towards reconciling me to Tom's 
"thing for fair-haired females", though.  The only sentence in that 
whole book which consistently irks me is Tom's telling Polly that he 
always loved her hair - just as he's about to be done in.  Somehow 
it's now fallen into place as consistent with that whole idea of 
Polly, Laurel and Ivy as aspects of the Three-Formed Goddess.  So 
Tom's attraction to the Goddess is first misplaced in Laurel, his 
next one gets it right.  I suppose it *could* also suggest an 
explanation for Polly's puzzling mistaking of Laurel for Nina.  If 
another grouping of three is Nina, Polly and Fiona, it could be the 
(physical) association of Laurel and Polly transposed on the 
(non-physical) association of Nina and Polly.  Maybe?

Then I got to wondering if there were physical descriptions of Ivy - 
other than the "stony" part.  I didn't find much, except for the 
little glimpse through Polly's eyes, when she says Ivy's so much 
better looking than Nina's mum.  There is also "Ivy smoothed at her 
beautifully set hair", which I found interesting, coming after the 
meeting with Laurel.


Hallie.



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