"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blue, Blue, Blue

Here you go! Questions for L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle. Just because I know I am busy and assume you all are, too, I'll give us two weeks to answer. So either send them to me via email (link on left sidebar) or via comment. Have fun!!!

Valancy wakened early, in the lifeless, hopeless hour just proceeding dawn.

How did you feel about Valancy’s situation at the beginning of the book?


How do you pronounce Valancy’s name?

Dr. Trent’s letter was like himself—blunt, abrupt, concise, wasting no words.

How would you have felt if you received Valancy’s diagnosis? What would you have done?

“Will I do?” said Valancy.

With your personal morals and values, would you have done all of the “scandalous things” that Valancy chooses to do?

Valancy gave him a swift, furtive look as she hurried by.

What were your first impressions of Barney Snaith?

“You made me apologise to Olive fifteen years ago for something I didn’t do,” said Valancy. “That old apology will do for now.”

In all honesty, how would you rather have had Valancy react to Olive, particularly as the book goes on?

Valancy looked—and looked—and looked again.

Describe your mental image of The Blue Castle.

“That’s partly why I want to marry you,” said Valancy.

What do you think of living in the wild, tramping in the woods, and being so separated from the world as Valancy and Barney live?

Thirty seconds can be very long sometimes.

Describe your feelings when Valancy’s shoe is stuck in the railroad track.

There was only one thought in her dazed mind—an thought that seemed to burn it as a shaving of fire might burn her body.

What were your immediate thoughts after Barney saved Valancy?

“Yes. I noticed that. But I thought it was a mistake.”

Did you notice Dr. Trent’s mistake?

A year of misery!

Did you wonder about Valancy’s condition during her year of marriage?

“I have things I want to hide,” said Barney coolly. “You are not to ask me about them.”

Did you guess any of Barney’s secrets before Valancy learned them?

Valancy was not excited. She had absorbed all the shocks and sensations that she could compass for one day. This affected her neither one way nor the other.

How would you have reacted when you discovered the truths about Barney?

“You’re—a good actor, Barney.”

What do you think of Barney’s “confession” scene?

Valancy smiled through her tears. She was so happy that her happiness terrified her.

The Blue Castle is supposed to have a far-fetched and unnatural conclusion. Do you think L. M. Montgomery used this twist to give the reader what they wanted from the story? Did the ending detract from the story itself?

“You see—I’ve never had any real life,” she said. “I’ve just—breathed. Every door has always been shut to me.”

How do you relate to Valancy?

“You nice little thing,” said Barney suddenly. “Oh, you nice little thing! Sometimes I feel you’re too nice to be real—that I’m just dreaming you.”

Who is your favorite character?

So these were the people she had always held in reverence and fear. She seemed to see them with new eyes.

Who is your least favorite character?

She read them all to Cissy, who loved them.

What are your favorite parts of the book?

“Piffle,” said Barney.

What are your least favorite parts of the book?


Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Maybe I'll have to check it out.

Heidi said...

If you've enjoyed Shannon Hale, and anything with a bit of romance (but not the nauseating kind), then I think you'll really like this.

I know Sara Lyn and I both love it. I assume Becky R. is a fan of it, too.