?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Page | Next Page

Alright, since I'm awake and restless, I might as well do the post for today!


Poor Jane Helier, she really is treated as just a ditzy pretty face, isn't she? I'd complain about it, but Christie's had other beautiful women who aren't so dim, or are even shrewd, so I at least I guess it's just a character quirk, not a stereotype.

And man, I always feel bad for people who ARE trying to tell stories about (or get help for) a real life actual friend, because you know no one's going to believe it. And their specific reasons for being suspicious here are especially cruel (ie, she's too selfish and/or dumb to think about anyone else.) Still though, I can't help but be amused at by how it's handled. (Sir Henry wondering how long before she starts using "I," etc...)

Miss Bantry's very careless I think about her jewels - not so much leaving them unlocked, but just blabbing out to anyone interested where she keeps them!

Anyhow, the bad thing about this case is that we don't get to see how Miss Marple figured it out really, or that it hasn't happened yet, or... well, anything. We do get the result with Jane Helier's confession to Mrs. Bantry, but that's about it. Boo.

And it seems rather out of character for Miss (Mrs.?) Helier to come up with what seems to me a fairly clever plan like this, and not give herself away, when she couldn't even give away that it wasn't her that it was (would be?) happening to. Unless she's an even better actress than people give her credit for, and she's really not nearly as dim as she sees - but why would she pretend to be quite so vapid, all the time?

(And I feel bad putting down even a fictional woman like this by calling her dim and vapid all the time, but I don't know what else to call her, because dude!)

Anyhow, in some ways this is one of the most unsatisfying stories to me, because as mentioned we don't get any of Miss Marple's thoughts on the whys or wherefores of the solution, and because it's all "could-be's" rather than actual (well, in terms of the fictional story!) occurrences.

Any other thoughts?

Comments

( 6 Notes — Write a Footnote )
annewashere
Aug. 27th, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)
Heh. Out in the real world, women act dim and vapid when they aren't all the time. For admittedly f'd up reasons. So that is what I assumed she was doing when I read this.

I think we're supposed to assume that Marple figured it out through her encyclopedic knowledge of human nature.

Which, and this seems as good a place as any to say this - I have always enjoyed reading about her and laughing over her ability to do this with fictional characters, but realized when I got older that if someone assumed they had me figured out that thoroughly it would offend the hell out of me.
stormfeather
Aug. 27th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking about the real world thing, but I don't think it's quite *that* extreme, is it? Usually? Or maybe I just haven't run into that myself!

And IK,R? About the pigeonholing aspect of what Miss Marple does. I've thought the same about Sherlock Holmes - granted, it was probably easier to more accurately figure people out then, with more limits on many things, and especially the still somewhat more rigid class systems. But still, while it's a lot of fun to read about, if anyone actually walked up to you and started the "I see you are..." schtick, I'd probably tear into them. (Unless they were totally right, in which case I'd at least be impressed, and might hold off.)
annewashere
Aug. 27th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Real world: to be fair, I think it peaks at about age fifteen. But that also could be a function of how I have spent my time since leaving home.

I might be impressed, but I'd probably hate that person forever.
khedron
Sep. 1st, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
And it seems rather out of character for Miss (Mrs.?) Helier to come up with what seems to me a fairly clever plan like this, and not give herself away, when she couldn't even give away that it wasn't her that it was (would be?) happening to. Unless she's an even better actress than people give her credit for, and she's really not nearly as dim as she sees - but why would she pretend to be quite so vapid, all the time?

I originally thought the convolutedness of the plot supported the reading of Jane Helier being a bit dim. It seemed like a rather awkward way to get revenge on someone. But you know, I agree with you. Her main goal was a very public burglary which couldn't be hushed up, and that's why there were mysterious telegrams and the unfortunate young man who got dragged into the police. And she was using the Tuesday Club as a group of beta-readers for the scheme. Not bad, not bad at all!

There were a number of touches in the story that I liked, actually -- the character interplay, and the subtle suggestions early on that Jane was writing the script. "When he woke up, or came to himself, or whatever you call it -- he was lying out in the road, by the hedge of course, so that there would be no danger of his being run over." Emphasis mine, and, of course! His mysterious malefactor wouldn't want him injured. Also, "Sir Herman tried to hush things up all he knew how. But he couldn't manage it, and I rather fancy his wife started divorce proceedings in consequence. Still I don't really know about that." No, she doesn't, but that's the entire drive & goal of her scheme! So certainly she fancies it, but it's made up out of whole cloth.

I guess that is one place where on first reading you think she's stumbling about because she's not bright, and instead it's just that she's weaving the story as she goes, and coming up with answers and details on the fly. There are a few of those in there.

(I thought suggesting the rich city man was "Sir Herman Cohen" was odd. Is Cohen ever not a Jewish name? But he's knighted? Interesting. I don't know if "Sir Joseph Salmon" reads similarly.)

Is there a mixed message in Marple's saying "we women should stick together" and "never put yourself too much in another woman's power" in the same story?
stormfeather
Sep. 1st, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm really not sure now on whether I want to think that Helier is really as dim as she seems, or just really really good at her job (acting).

Maybe the Cohen = Jewish was intended, since everyone knows that Those Jewish Guys are rich? (I mean, if you're in a society where servants are "that class" and such...)

And I don't know about the mixed message. It might just be that Miss Marple's moral but also a realist... she feels that women should stick together, but realizes that not all the rest of them feel that way...
khedron
Sep. 1st, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
And I don't know about the mixed message. It might just be that Miss Marple's moral but also a realist... she feels that women should stick together, but realizes that not all the rest of them feel that way...

I suspect you're right, it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. Despite being a computer programmer, I should look beyond binary choices...
( 6 Notes — Write a Footnote )