Hexwood -- Catchup

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Jan 31 16:17:44 EST 2002

JOdel wrote:

><< 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. >>
>I think she had Polly envying Nina altogether. Polly may have been an
>extremely pretty little girl, but with Ivy as a mother she sure as hell never
>was given much scope to be anything OTHER than an extremely pretty little
>girl. And Reg was more than happy to leave Ivy to it. Nina got to play with
>trucks and whatever, and seems to have been absolutely unafraid of what
>anyone might think of her. (That part of this fearlessness might have been
>due to a total lack of imagination is not necessarily something that Polly
>might have realized at the age of ten.) I can just imagine the hullabaloo
>that would have ensued had Polly tried any of that kind of boldness at home.
>Polly very likely would have been throughly trapped in the role of the
>"pretty one" had Ivy contiued to pay attention to what was going on about
>her, and not developed into the delusionarily, self-absorbed monster she
>ultimately became. 10-year-old Polly would have delighted in a bit of the
>freedom that Nina's parents lavished on her.
>And you should be careful of what you wish for. Because, after she
>gatecrashed the funeral, and once Reg and Ivy split, Polly was landed with
>more "freedom" than she could handle.

Yes, I hadn't thought of it that way.  Nina's parents gave her a lot 
of freedom, but they're still shown to be concerned with her safety. 
Does contrast rather nastily with Polly's terrible abandonment in 
Bristol, doesn't it?

I did see Polly's envying Nina's personality and family, but just 
thought it interesting that it was so pointedly separated into 
envying Nina's looks AND envying her disposition. Maybe this goes 
back to what someone (Catherine?) said about DWJ's not often giving 
us a lot of direct information about character's looks.  Possibly 
that's why this little bit of pointed narrative caught my attention 
so much.


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