Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Thoughts & Views on Butto....


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 19
Date: Sep 11 9:10 PM, 2017
RE: Thoughts & Views on Butto....
Permalink  
 


Mrs Gimlett wrote:


 Moorland Rambler - The private menagerie at the Bodrugans was chiefly Constance's affair.  They kept the following:

'Here the Dowager Lady kept her yellow rabbits in great boxes along one wall and bred her puppies in boxes opposite.  The smell was overpowering.  In the next room was a family of owls, some dormice, a sick monkey and a pair of racoons.  Downstairs they went again, to a passage full of cages with thrushes, goldfinches, canary birds and Virginia nightingales...'

All that was in addition to her many horses and a pack of hounds.

From Demelza, Book 4, chapter 2

After all that, an ape seems fairly commonplace!


Thank you, Mrs. Gimlett, for reminding me of Demelza's first visit to Werry House. I really should have remembered that because of the joke Ross shared with Demelza on the way home, comparing Sir Hugh with the old (sick) monkey.

 



__________________


Honorary Life Member. Forum Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 736
Date: Sep 11 9:21 AM, 2017
Permalink  
 

Moorland Rambler wrote:

 

Butto's antics in the churchyard are farcical (except maybe for the happy couple) and even though the way he is treated at Place House would be considered cruel nowadays, keeping exotic animals was an accepted way then for the more eccentric aristocratic families to amuse themselves. I haven't worked out, by the way, what Valentine was referring to as the 'private menagerie' kept by Sir Hugh Bodrugan unless it was his dogs.

 


 Moorland Rambler - The private menagerie at the Bodrugans was chiefly Constance's affair.  They kept the following:

'Here the Dowager Lady kept her yellow rabbits in great boxes along one wall and bred her puppies in boxes opposite.  The smell was overpowering.  In the next room was a family of owls, some dormice, a sick monkey and a pair of racoons.  Downstairs they went again, to a passage full of cages with thrushes, goldfinches, canary birds and Virginia nightingales...'

All that was in addition to her many horses and a pack of hounds.

From Demelza, Book 4, chapter 2

After all that, an ape seems fairly commonplace!



__________________


Student

Status: Offline
Posts: 188
Date: Sep 7 12:41 AM, 2017
Permalink  
 

Interesting thread.The whole of "Bella" is a bit weird to me, not least because there are so few likeable characters in it (apart from our faithfuls). Bella herself is proof that Ross and Demelza's laissez-faire attitude to parenting can go horribly wrong. Most of the time I wanted to figuratively, smack her.

Regarding Butto, I don't mind the introduction of an exotic pet. In fact, it seems most appropriate for Valentine and I agree that part of his motive was to cause a scandal in the neighbourhood. However, I don't like the storyline because WG imbues Butto with human personality traits, and even describes what Butto is supposedly thinking. That seemed like an attempt to make Butto into a character equal to others in the book, for example, on par with Selina. For me, this pushed the story into the realms of disbelief.



-- Edited by Fijane on Thursday 7th of September 2017 12:42:28 AM

__________________


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 19
Date: Sep 5 8:38 PM, 2017
Permalink  
 

My first thoughts after completing 'Bella' was that it was the one of the most melodramatic novels I had read for quite a while. If it had been written in 1800 it would almost certainly have been classed as a gothic novel and the scenes involving Butto would have contributed considerably to that classification. Considering the book's title is 'Bella Poldark' I am sure that WG deliberately rasied the level of melodrama to match her personality.  Also some of the descriptions seem (dare I say it) more lurid than in any of the previous books, but again I think this was deliberate. You can't ignore the heightened levels of mystery, suspense, tragedy and comedy, the latter provided mainly by Butto. Bella herself would have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

It is entirely believable that Valentine would befriend such an animal as Butto, almost as a defiant two-fingered gesture to his absent wife and anyone else who criticised him but the real pathos is the manner of Valentine's downfall, trying to save a creature he seemingly cared for more than any human being. Butto is a tragi-comic character providing a mixture of both amusement and fear for the local community and those who come into closer contact with him.

Butto's antics in the churchyard are farcical (except maybe for the happy couple) and even though the way he is treated at Place House would be considered cruel nowadays, keeping exotic animals was an accepted way then for the more eccentric aristocratic families to amuse themselves. I haven't worked out, by the way, what Valentine was referring to as the 'private menagerie' kept by Sir Hugh Bodrugan unless it was his dogs.

The whole surreal nature of Place house being set alight by a cigar smoking ape, hurried evacuations through dark passageways, Ross desperately searching in the dark, gasping for air and then having such a lucid dream, is hugely symbolic of the tragic nature of the relationship between Ross and Valentine. Ultimately Butto becomes a final catalyst for Ross and Valentine to come closer together if only fleetingly. In the time leading up to the the fire there seemed to be an increasing recognition of what they each meant to each other.

 

 

 



__________________


Undergraduate

Status: Offline
Posts: 284
Date: Sep 3 3:10 PM, 2017
Permalink  
 

Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Umm, Butto.  When I first read BP, I did think his introduction was a bit odd.  It soon becomes clear that the ape is the one creature Valentine relates to.  Butto becomes a kind of security blanket for him.  An intelligent animal who adores Valentine unconditionally - something he has never before known - appeals to his ego.  It makes him feel needed.  Valentine is lonely and misunderstood for the most part.  His many sexual encounters together with his perverse nature are surely some kind of quest for acceptance and adoration.  Butto needs Valentine, if only for a source of food and protection from the climate.  No-one has ever really needed him before.

In a port town like Falmouth, where Valentine tricked the sailor and acquired Butto, a monkey or other exotic monkey-like animal, whilst not seen everyday, would not have been such an unusual sight.  Several members of the aristocracy kept strange creatures - look at Harriet with her galago - and this became more commonplace later in the nineteenth century.

WG had great fun in his final book.  The introduction of Butto might just have been a vehicle for Valentine's demise, but Butto eventually became 'just another character', slipping into the story so easily that he almost fails to be thought of as an oddity.

Without his introduction, how would Valentine have met his end?  Maybe lost at sea, or falling over the cliff?  Those rocks at Trevaunance are treacherous.  Or would he have been arrested and gone off to Bodmin Goal?


 Mrs G - I agree with you about Valentine's reasons for wanting Butto although it is a pity that he couldn't have chosen a large dog instead. Perhaps a dog would have loved others too and Valentine, as you say, needed something that really needed him and no one else. The aspect of Butto that has always troubled me somewhat is the surreal aspect of owning such an animal in that time. It is incredible! To me, it would not be as incredible now. So, for me, the introduction of Butto affected what I felt about all the parts of the book that he featured in. It had a circus like quality that didn't fit with early 19th century Cornwall



__________________


Honorary Life Member. Forum Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 736
Date: Sep 3 9:50 AM, 2017
Permalink  
 

Umm, Butto.  When I first read BP, I did think his introduction was a bit odd.  It soon becomes clear that the ape is the one creature Valentine relates to.  Butto becomes a kind of security blanket for him.  An intelligent animal who adores Valentine unconditionally - something he has never before known - appeals to his ego.  It makes him feel needed.  Valentine is lonely and misunderstood for the most part.  His many sexual encounters together with his perverse nature are surely some kind of quest for acceptance and adoration.  Butto needs Valentine, if only for a source of food and protection from the climate.  No-one has ever really needed him before.

In a port town like Falmouth, where Valentine tricked the sailor and acquired Butto, a monkey or other exotic monkey-like animal, whilst not seen everyday, would not have been such an unusual sight.  Several members of the aristocracy kept strange creatures - look at Harriet with her galago - and this became more commonplace later in the nineteenth century.

WG had great fun in his final book.  The introduction of Butto might just have been a vehicle for Valentine's demise, but Butto eventually became 'just another character', slipping into the story so easily that he almost fails to be thought of as an oddity.

Without his introduction, how would Valentine have met his end?  Maybe lost at sea, or falling over the cliff?  Those rocks at Trevaunance are treacherous.  Or would he have been arrested and gone off to Bodmin Goal?



__________________


Administration

Status: Offline
Posts: 1611
Date: Aug 31 4:14 PM, 2017
Permalink  
 

"BELLA" - Book 5, Chapter 7.

Thoughts and views on Butto....?



__________________

"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.

 

 

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.