Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Moonstone Week 4: It's guy love, between two guys

Woman in White was all about the ladies . . . and sure, there's a little of that in The Moonstone (Lucy + Rosanna FOREVER eventually). But can we talk for a minute about the varying degrees of manly affection that are RAMPANT (like a spinster) in this book?

We have the sweetly sentimental relationship between Betteredge and Franklin.
"There he wasthe dear old friend of the happy days that were never to come againthere he was in the old corner, on the old beehive chair, with his pipe in his mouth, and his Robinson Crusoe on his lap, and his two friends, the dogs, dozing on either side of him! . . . My own eyes were full of tears. I was obliged to wait for a moment before I could trust myself to speak to him." (p. 309)

Then there's the father/son dynamic between Sergeant Cuff and Gooseberry (aka Octavius Guy).
"In our modern system of civilisation, celebrity (no matter of what kind) is the lever that will move anything. The fame of the great Cuff had even reached the ears of the small Gooseberry. The boy's ill-fixed eyes rolled, when I mentioned the illustrious name, till I thought they really must have dropped on the carpet." (p. 448)
"'One of these days,' said the Sergeant, pointing through the front window of the cab, 'that boy will do great things in my late profession. He is the brightest and cleverest little chap I have met with, for many a long year past.'" (p. 449)
And let's not forget Godfrey's undying love for . . . Godfrey.

But my personal favorite is the complicated feelings Ezra Jennings harbors for Franklin.
"What is the secret of the attraction that there is for me in this man? Does it only mean that I feel the contrast between the frankly kind manner in which he has allowed me to become acquainted with him, and the merciless dislike and distrust with which I am met by other people? Or is there really something in him which answers to the yearning that I have for a little human sympathythe yearning, which has survived the solitude and persecution of many years; which seems to grow keener and keener, as the time comes nearer and nearer when I shall endure and feel no more? How useless to ask these questions! Mr. Blake has given me a new interest in life. Let that be enough, without seeking to know what the new interest is." (p. 407)

And a more beautifully tragic character than Ezra has never been written (by Wilkie) (I don't think). Falsely accused of . . . something really quite bad (WHAT WAS IT, WILKIE?). Forced to give up the love of his life to spare her the infamy of his name. Overcome by a deadly illness. Dependent on opium (500 drops!) just to function from one day to the next. Wracked by nightmares (again, the opium). Grateful to be instrumental in the reunion of Rachel and Franklin (or so he SAYS). Buried in an unmarked grave, the only way to be free of the rumors that follow his name.
"God be praised for His mercy! I have seen a little sunshineI have had a happy time." (p. 439)

And now, I'm gonna pull a Julie and hit some numbered points to close out this magical Moonstone journey we've been traveling together.

1. IT WAS GODFREY ALL ALONG (and also drugged Franklin, of course). And he wore an elaborate DISGUISE. (Alley wasn't far off with her Mission: Impossible guess.)

2. Is anyone at all concerned about that poor boy NEVER getting the money from his trust now that Godfrey spent it all and then conveniently died?

3. Was it just me or did Betteredge sound far less educated when he was being quoted by Ezra? He used the word wrostled. I just don't know.

4. "You have caught a Tartar, Mr. Jenningsand the name of him is Bruff" (p. 423). I had lofty plans to look this up, but now I'm tired. What is a Tartar in this context, readalong hive mind?

5. Of COURSE Franklin has Pamela and Man of Feeling in his room. Of course he does.

6. The Indians were finally rewarded for all their lurking about in obscurity. They may or may not have killed Godfrey (they definitely did), but the important thing is that the Moonstone has been restored to its rightful place in a lifeless deity's forehead.

And now The Moonstone readalong is over, and life is meaningless.



    Obviously that and my renewal of our blogs' engagement had to addressed first.

    I assumed Godfrey's estate would be sold and the money would go to the boy. Blammo.

    Dude, I Kindle-dictionaried Tartar, and it was just like "Those people Genghis Khan headed up" and I was like "THANKS FOR NOTHING, KINDLE DICTIONARY."

    Omg what are we going to DO during the month of September? I have no idea. Barely make it from day to day I guess.

  2. Holy manlove, you solved the REAL mystery of the Moonstone (being "Where's Marian?")!! You are so right.

    #4. says
    8.catch a Tartar, to deal with someone or something that proves unexpectedly troublesome or powerful. Also, catch a tartar.

    Well, that clears that up! And here I thought it was the mayo fish sauce thing. The book makes more sense now.

    #2. Oh crap, I forgot about the kid! I hope Alice is right.

    #5. Ahaha, I forgot about that! But at least Ezra took the time to point out that those books never stimulated anyone's mind, and so were perfect for a sleep experiment.

    ... Now what?! I'm going to order one of those OMG WILKIE shirts and cry into it. That's the only option.


    Oh I didn't even think of all that STUFF Godfrey owned being turned into cash money. Yes, very good. I feel better now. But I wonder what his trollop will do when she finds herself out on her bustle?

    September is promising to be a very gloomy month indeed.

  4. Bless you for clearing up the Mystery of the Tartar (sauce).

    I might have to order two OMG WILKIE shirts. One for wearing, and one for dabbing my endless tears.

  5. Was that an X-Files reference or no?

  6. It was an Omen reference. But, you's up for interpretation.


    *Resurrects* Godfrey loves himself, and maybe his woman in his villa? Or he just likes sexing her? We shall never know now! Aaaand I totally didn't pick up on the Ezra-Franklin thing (was too busy looking for lesbians, obvs), but I completely agree and OMG Ezra loves him so! Poor poor Ezra...

    Oh yeah, and Pamela. Bad bad bad bad bad.

  8. But didn't Wilkie make a point that Godfrey left all that stuff - paid for free-and-clear - to the trollop(e) with the bustle? So it couldn't have been sold, right? Oh Victorian law, you baffle me.

  9. 3. Was it just me or did Betteredge sound far less educated when he was being quoted by Ezra? He used the word wrostled. I just don't know.

    I NOTICED THIS TOO! He definitely used incorrect grammar a few times, too. I suppose it's easier to make yourself sound impressive when you're the one narrating...

    Oh, the Ezra quotes make me all weepy again. POOR EZRA! If his grave wasn't unmarked (and he wasn't, you know, fictional) we could all go give him lots of posthumous affection through flower bouquets and such.

  10. I'm so happy Wilkie didn't leave those Indians hanging. I mean, they didn't get to do much other than hang out in jail for awhile and kill Godfrey

    Betteredge is Alfred/Michael Cain! Awww.

    And yeah I totally guessed the mask thing except it was really more Scooby-Doo than Mission Impossible. Which really is way better

  11. Poor Ezra. He and Rosanna have their unmarked graves and no one can leave them flowers and now I'm depressed.

  12. Poor Ezra and his unrequited love for Franklin.

  13. Shit., I REFUSE to believe this. Because I can.

  14. Remember how we kept forgetting about the Indians, and then the book was like "I'll bet you forgot about the Indians" and I was like "TOO TRUE."

  15. "They didn't get to do much other than hang out in jail for awhile and kill Godfrey." ALLEGEDLY. WE DON'T KNOW.

    Pretty much any older English gentleman who is ALSO delightful will be compared to Michael Cain. And the stuffy ones get to be Bill Nighy. Everybody wins!

  16. It's like he put his hand to that giant forehead and READ our minds in the future.

  17. I actually loved Betteredge MORE when he wasn't speaking properly. He was much more Michael Cain-ish that way.

  18. At first I read that as, "he just likes sexting her," and then I was wondering how that would work in Victorian times. Would the butler deliver a dirty note on a platter?

    Lesbians were scarce in this one, so I understand how you could be too busy looking for them to see the EPIC MAN-LOVE happening right in front of your face.

  19. I stand with you in stubborn refusal to believe this perfectly plausible argument. It's what Betteredge would have done.