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Post Info TOPIC: Ross and Demelza’s Evolving Interactions


Graduate

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Date: Oct 24 11:36 PM, 2018
RE: Ross and Demelza’s Evolving Interactions
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Hollyhock wrote:

Mrs Gimlett, thanks for sharing your reading of the comment; it certainly fits with Ross's state of mind at the time. He was still smarting from the malicious gossip he'd just overheard at Trenwith. Polly Choake and confidants were having a field day at his expense. He would want to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

I like the comparison between the Pump and Tree scenes. The narrator tells us that Demelza has grown in mind and body since she came to Nampara, but the Tree scene illustrates the change. Her anxiety is gone and her actions display her happiness and sense of belonging. She loves Nampara, is comfortable with Prudie, and Ross is her rescuer/hero.

Of their many other interactions in the early books, Julia's christening party is equally illustrative. Demelza's father ruined the party and humiliated her in front of the gentry. Ross finds her sprawled on the bed, nursing her grief. A lesser man would have also been humiliated by the fiasco, but Ross attempts to console Demelza. She's having none his sympathy and resents his equanimity. Her comment regarding the second party--"I cannot go on Ross..."--evokes all the pathos felt by anyone who's ever suffered a similar humiliation. But it is also melodramatic, and I wonder if Ross was able to keep a straight face. 

But most of all, the interaction shows how comfortable they've grown with each other, and it shows Ross in a wonderfully supporting role. 

 


 I think it also shows the respect that Ross had for Demelza and, therefore, his wish to keep appropriate boundaries.



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Student

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Posts: 249
Date: Oct 23 11:50 AM, 2018
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Mrs Gimlett, thanks for sharing your reading of the comment; it certainly fits with Ross's state of mind at the time. He was still smarting from the malicious gossip he'd just overheard at Trenwith. Polly Choake and confidants were having a field day at his expense. He would want to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

I like the comparison between the Pump and Tree scenes. The narrator tells us that Demelza has grown in mind and body since she came to Nampara, but the Tree scene illustrates the change. Her anxiety is gone and her actions display her happiness and sense of belonging. She loves Nampara, is comfortable with Prudie, and Ross is her rescuer/hero.

Of their many other interactions in the early books, Julia's christening party is equally illustrative. Demelza's father ruined the party and humiliated her in front of the gentry. Ross finds her sprawled on the bed, nursing her grief. A lesser man would have also been humiliated by the fiasco, but Ross attempts to console Demelza. She's having none his sympathy and resents his equanimity. Her comment regarding the second party--"I cannot go on Ross..."--evokes all the pathos felt by anyone who's ever suffered a similar humiliation. But it is also melodramatic, and I wonder if Ross was able to keep a straight face. 

But most of all, the interaction shows how comfortable they've grown with each other, and it shows Ross in a wonderfully supporting role. 

 



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Honorary Life Member. Forum Moderator

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Date: Oct 22 9:30 AM, 2018
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I always enjoy that scene too. I don't think Ross is admitting defeat at all.  Essentially he is a practical man and this scene at once shows Ross' concern for his staff and his willingness to join in and do whatever they do - very much beneath many 'squires';  but it also acknowledges his realisation that Demelza was growing up.  His asking Prudie to doctor Demelza's cuts and bruises was surely because she would have needed to bare various parts of her body, which Ross' sense of propriety told him was beyond him. 

This will, for some posters,  bring us back to the Pump Scene when Demelza first arrives at Nampara.  I have expressed my thoughts about it before but it may be worth adding them here to point the difference a year or so has made within the household.  When Ross got home from Redruth Fair with his extra baggage, no-one except Jim was around.  He was despatched to help Jud and because Ross was adamant about cleanliness he took Demelza to the pump himself.  It was pure expediency on his part to work the pump.  He merely wanted her to wash and knew she wouldn't do a good job if left on her own trying to work the pump.

If anyone has ever used one of those pumps they will know how awkward they can be. 

There would have been an enormous change in Demelza from Pump Day to the Tree Incident.  I think Ross was perfectly well aware of her development, both mentally and physically, but only in the ordinary way. To me there was nothing to suggest anything improper in the first event that I know some of our members seem to feel,  but I think his awareness of how she has changed prevented his attending to her when she fell with the elm.

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 22nd of October 2018 09:38:59 AM

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Student

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Date: Oct 20 7:16 PM, 2018
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Some of the exchanges between R&D are not only entertaining, they mirror the nature of their relationship over time.

As a young man, Ross finds himself with two unexpected tasks. He has to restore Nampara and assume responsibility for a young servant girl. From the beginning, Demelza is hardworking, witty, determined, and has a mind of her own. Ross's head of household and big brotherly skills are challenged on several occasions.

Once, returning from CG's christening party, Ross finds his household trying to pull down a dead tree. Jud and Cobbledick are ignoring both Prudie's instructions and an excited Demelza. When a rope snaps, Demelza climbs the tree to re-tie it while Ross demands that she come down. (Jud is happy for her to do so because otherwise Ross might have ordered him up the tree.) Suddenly, the tree snaps and comes crashing down--with Demelza in it. Ross is terrified until he sees that her injuries are minimal. Relieved, he tells Prudie: "Take the child and give her some balsam for those cuts." He ends by saying:

"She's beyond me now."  (RP, Ward Lock, ch. 21, 189.

I find his comment both amusing and enigmatic. Amusing because I imagine the unflappable Ross, who easily manages teams of burly miners, mentally wringing his hands at his inability to curb Demelza's obstinance. (Many people today with young charges find themselves in similar situations.)

Enigmatic because I'm not sure if Ross is admitting total defeat; if he is only saying that Prudie is better equipped than he to deal with D's bruises, or something else.

Does anyone have a different interpretation? Are there other interactions that you find interesting?

 

 

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Tuesday 23rd of October 2018 11:57:00 AM

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