[identity profile] sprog-63.livejournal.com
Inspired partly by the question from [livejournal.com profile] schwarmerei1 about sexting and partly by my boredom at my own incompetence technologically I am wondering which Marlows, indeed which characters in Forest overall, would embrace technology and social media and who would struggle ....

Ginty, of course I see as facebook (and similar) obsessed, on her phone all the time.
Lawrie perhaps following actors/actresses she admires on Twitter?
Ann competant and a surprisingly enthusiastic user of social media.
Karen, having left University before the web, found it hard to get back into academic work, as she lacked the necessary on-line research skills.
Anthony Merrick becomes an early adopter of all things web-based, one of the first MPs to tweet reguarly, and Chairing parliamentary committees about social media.  Some are surprised at this, but he explains that his theological position does not make him a Luddite.  He is also an anti-pornography campaigner, much to Helena's emabarrassment.
Patrick held out until not having an email address made functionning in the adult world very difficult, but has never read one of Anthony Merrick MP's tweets on principle.

At school ...
Jan didn't join the class of 19xx leavers facebook page set up by Val ...
The consquences of sexting are immediate expulsion, but it takes a while for the staff to believe that such a thing could happen, let alone at Kingscote.  That is as far as I care to go down that street - but others may be braver!
[identity profile] bookroom.livejournal.com
Hi all, am new here, but can't see that this has been discussed before.

I was reading End of Term recently, and got thinking about whether AF's account of who precisely can tell Niccola and Lawrie apart stands up to scrutiny (aside entirely from the implausibility of their mother not being able to find the merest freckle, mole or scar to distinguish the unconscious Lawrie from Nicola in The Marlows and the Traitor.) There are lots of indications, not surprisingly, that members of staff and other Kingscote girls who don't know them that well can't tell them apart throughout the series. What interested me more in End of Term was the extent to which their siblings and close friends and classmates can or can't distinguish them.

When Lawrie and Nicola switch for the netball match after Lawrie bruises her leg, they sleep in one another's beds, and Ginty and Ann don't spot the ruse in the morning when Lawrie (as Nicola) pretends to be ill, though Nick at least seems to have a moment of tension when she's afraid Ann will realise - but both twins seem to be able to presume that neither of their sisters will see through the switch, or presumably they would have known in advance it would never have worked. Nick walks in to the gym, and Miranda, her best friend, likewise thinks she's Lawrie until she's told otherwise. Yet when they go in to breakfast Tim knows immediately Nick isn't Lawrie, and we're told she 'had never had the least difficulty in telling them apart'. From Nicola remembering what Peter once told her about how Lawrie always hitched at her stockings and Nick put her hands in her pockets, presumably he can tell them apart too (despite seeing an awful lot less of them than their sisters)? It's unclear whether Jan Scott has guessed before Lois guesses 'Lawrie' is really Nick, while watching her play brilliantly in the netball match, but it emerges that the outcast Marie Dobson has guessed, based simply on the way in which Nick bumped into her and apologised in the gym doorway earlier that day.

Is it plausible that siblings who share a room with the twins would be taken in by an identical twin switch, basing their interpretation of who was who entirely on situation stuff like who was in which bed/wearing which games kit etc? Is Ann just too honest and straightforward to suspect, and Ginty too self-absorbed, and we are to assume that the redoubtable Rowan would have seen through it in a millisecond, even if all concerned were wearing identical school uniform?

Are there ever any indications that any of the other Marlows can't tell the twins apart? Why has Tim never had any difficulty telling them apart, yet observant, intelligent Miranda is fooled initially, when Marie Dobson isn't? (Just that Tim has known both twins since the start of their schooldays, and is Lawrie's best friend, while Miranda only becomes Nick's close friend at the start of End of Term? Or has Marie's outcast status sharpened her powers of observation when it comes to pranks she's being left out of? She's sharp and sly enough to check Nicola's hat name tag to confirm her suspicions.) Esther is a new girl at the start of End of Term, and very diffident, but there is never the slightest reference to her checking that she's talking to Nick, rather than Lawrie, in the way that, say, Jess Geddes does when they find the hawk carving in the Minster.

Anyway, just wondered what anyone else's thoughts were. Is it plausible that even siblings' recognition of identical twins might depend heavily on context (that is Nick's bed, therefore the person in it is Nick)..?
[identity profile] geebengrrl.livejournal.com
This has been puzzling me (ignorant young colonial with no clue about how the British school system works that I am).

In Autumn Term, Karen is in the Sixth. Rowan is Upper Fifth, as is Lois Sanger. Jan Scott is in the Sixth also. In End of Term / Cricket Term, Lois is Games Captain, which presumably means she is in the Sixth; and she leaves at the end of Cricket Term, as does Jan Scott.

However, Rowan says that Jan Scott was always a year ahead of her.

So is this just an inconsistency? Or is the Sixth actually two years long and members of the Sixth can leave at the end of either year? Or what?

Jan Scott

Dec. 13th, 2005 06:13 pm
[identity profile] childeproof.livejournal.com
Jan Scott - gorgeous, glacial Sabrina Fair; psychopathically uninvolved?

I was reading The Cricket Term lately, and noticed particularly Jan's response to Nicola's attempt to thank her for having been kind when N is shocked by her mother's letter telling her she's possibly in her final term at Kingscote. Nicola says (again, I haven't got my copy to hand, so am not claiming accuracy)'Thanks, Jan [...] I know you don't like to be bothered.' Jan is portrayed as being genuinely bemused by this, as apparently she has been by various staff comments down the years to the effect that she is uncommitted, uninterested (plus a couple of adjectives I can't remember). Certainly, she is always portrayed as utterly neutral, apparently contentedly isolated, completely self-reliant. Is she really so unaware of her own effect, given that she is presented as an excellent reader of others, whether Lois's machinations, Nicola's sensibilities, or staff moods?

Also, do we intuit a subtext giving some context for Jan's isolation? I can't remember which novel includes the reminiscence about her refusal to do voluntary weeding and being marked down thereafter as an unco-operative type, but in Cricket Term we get Rowan's brief account of Jan's background (father a surgeon in Lincolnshire, presumably why he doesn't attend the play, leaving Jan to talk briefly to Rowan and make her 'unobtrusive exit') and her apparent motherlessness, with the possibility that the absent mother is not dead but Mad or Criminal, or Adulterously Elsewhere? (A propos of not much, AF can be rather harsh on mothers - Esther's is 'no nicer than Nicola expected', Helena Merrick is a cypher, also disliked by N, Edward Oeschli's mother doesn't come up trumps, Miranda is dubious about her mother, Pam Marlow is another cypher, and Madame Orly is from hell...)

In a set of novels full of characters getting madly involved in everything from the tidiness picture to the diving cup, and where people are continually looking at lists to see if they're in plays or on teams, the only other character who at all resembles Jan for uninvolvement is Latimer, the gorgeous Jersey cow, too lesirely to scold, but both are depicted as admirable.

Anyway, thoughts on Jan?
[identity profile] ex-ajhalluk585.livejournal.com
I wonder what other members of the community think about Kingscote as a school? One of the strengths of Forest, to me, is that Kingscote comes over both as authentically rather awful but also an environment which Nicola (for example) finds it devastating to imagine not being part of.

Rowan and Jan (who are two of the most mature characters in the series) are both characterised by their scepticism about whether Kingscote actually matters; essentially, Rowan grows beyond Kingscote very fast as soon as she leaves it, and Jan never is really part of the structure at all (something for which the staff consistently and with that sort of plausible, long-rankling grudge-bearing that seems to be characteristic of a certain type of teacher punish her; except she is so uninterested in the game that she doesn't really seem to notice that by their standards she's losing heavily at it). Lois's hanging desperately on to the school at a time when the rest of the Sixth are looking forward, growing up, is very definitely another aspect of Lois's flawed character.

But - is Kingscote a leading school, a good school or merely a school? Or, if you wanted to create a spectrum, with, I suppose, Dotheboys Hall at one end, and the Chalet at the other, where would you place Kingscote?

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