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Post Info TOPIC: Ross's mission to Rouen


Student

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Date: Nov 4 4:03 PM, 2018
RE: Ross's mission to Rouen
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Isn't it interesting, how we all interpret these books slightly differently? 





Definitely - this is just why I'm asking! I'd also love to hear what the others think

I feel, though, that I should explain a bit better my view on the irony - I do not think Ross was being ironic in his reply to Bella, but I also don't think he was dead serious - my sense is that he was speaking his mind, but making light of it in order to make the message easier on Bella. He would have realized that the message itself was embarassing enough for his daughter and didn't want to make her more embarassed about it than she already was. Hence he said what his mission was about half-jokingly - but he did mean every word of it.

That's how I see it, anyway - happy to hear different opinions, though!

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Date: Nov 4 11:13 AM, 2018
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Isn't it interesting, how we all interpret these books slightly differently? 

I recall, that when R&D received Bella's letter about her opportunity in Rouen, they are all for her going, except that Mrs Pelham is left in the dark and of that they do not approve.  Clowance also agrees.  It's only some time later when more facts come to light from Christopher they begin to wonder exactly what is going on. 

That is when I think they must discuss the possibilities of travelling to France and if they both turned up it would have looked more like a delegation. Also, Demelza had such deeply sad memories of France she would have been very reluctant to leave Cornwall.  Ross, on the other hand, very often went travelling and relished some variety.  It was natural that he stayed until the end of the opera's run and understandable he and Bella should travel back together.  There was no question of reproof or enforcement for her to go back home and had the company moved to Paris straightaway, Ross might very well have returned without her. I agree with you, Blackleburr, Ross wanted to see the lie of the land for himself.  But I still think his remark was ironic.  She needed to go home for herself, to sort out her thoughts and rest; that Ross arrived unexpectedly gave her joy but also reminded her of her duty towards Mrs Pelham. They travelled companionably, not as a runaway daughter being dragged back home by her father. R&D respected and supported their children.  In the event, Ross probably saved her life.

I am sure other members will have differing views.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Sunday 4th of November 2018 11:16:24 AM

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Student

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Date: Nov 2 11:44 AM, 2018
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Hm, I don't think Bella's age was relevant here at all - I'm sure Ross and Demelza would have felt exactly the same about the situation even if Bella was over 21.

My understanding is that Ross's mission was indeed to bring Bella home, and seeing her in the opera was just an excuse - not entirely made up, but still only an excuse.

I don't see Demelza's explanation for why she hadn't come as valid, though - when Ross arrived in Rouen alone, he still did look like the jealous parent who's come to fetch her home. Demelza's absence did not make any difference, except perhaps to make her look less like the jealous parent. On the other hand, had Ross and Demelza both come, it might have made the excuse of seeing Bella on stage more plausible. Having seen her, they could have even let her make her way back on her own, e.g. by claiming they were staying longer in France for some other reason - travelling, visiting, etc.

The question still remains whose idea it was that Bella should be brought back home? Ross claims it was Demelza's, and I'm inclined to believe him. In fact, if he were equally concerned about bringing Bella home, I doubt he would have hidden behind a "your mother sent me" explanation, even in irony. I think Ross's motivation was rather to "see what Bella was up to & make sure she was fine", but he has agreed to bring his daughter back for Demelza's peace of mind.

In the end, I think both were lying by omission to some extent: Ross by not admitting to his own concern about Bella, Demelza by not admitting to having pressured Ross to bring Bella home. I do love how Bella appeared to see all through her parents' covering of their tracks in this!

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Date: Nov 2 9:18 AM, 2018
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I don't think either of them was lying.  Wasn't Ross being ironic in his reply to Bella?

It would have been perfectly normal for R&D to have had that conversation and of course Ross wished to see his daughter perform.  However, they were both concerned for Bella and so his mission was twofold really.  She was young - under 21 - and still legally under their protection.  They had a duty towards her safety and well-being.

Bella, I'm sure, would have realised exactly why her father had arrived and was most likely grateful it was only him, for the reason Demelza explained later.



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Student

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Date: Nov 1 10:24 PM, 2018
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I detect a discrepancy in the back story that Ross and Demelza give for Ross's mission to fetch Bella from Rouen.

The following bit is from the first conversation between Bella and Ross in Rouen:
Bella: You said that Mama had sent you on a mission. Darling Papa, have you come to see me on a mission?
Ross: Yes. To take you home.

Later, back in Nampara, Bella talks with her mother, and we hear the following:
Bella: I wanted to ask you: did you send Papa to Rouen to bring me home?
Demelza: It was not like that. We talked about it and talked about it and then your father said: I would like to see this opera. Its not every man who has a daughter who, before she is twenty, is playing the lead in a professional musical production in a foreign country. He said: Why do we not go?
Bella: He asked you to go?
Demelza: Yes. And I would dearly have liked to come with him, but I I am at sea with the language and I felt we must not look like jealous parents come to seize you and return with you to lock you up in Cornwall.

Clearly, Ross and Demelza can't both be telling the truth in this. Which one of them do you think is lying?

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