Changing & Rearranging SC

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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Sep 18, 2016 1:58 pm

Anfinwen wrote:I've had an idea in my head for a few days and didn't want to be insensitive because so many people have experienced this, but it really ties in with the current discussion about Jill's past. What if Jill's parents were in the process of separating, and that was why they sent her to boarding school? Divorce used to be more of a rare thing, and I can easily see the bullies finding out and really tormenting her with it. That would really tie in with Jill's trust issues, or problems with authority, or obedience as fantasia_kitty suggested in the SC Theme topic.


That's a very intriguing thought, Anfinwen! Based on what we see in the book, it seems like it might be the most likely explanation. (There is no obvious struggle with the concept of death, for instance, but it does seem quite apparent to me that she is really struggling with having anyone to turn to, and that would certainly imply that she's estranged from her parents one way or another.)

From a movie-making perspective, going through a divorce is something that a lot of kids can unfortunately relate with nowadays. I can imagine the filmmakers possibly taking Jill's story in that direction in order to make her emotions more accessible to the audience. On the other hand, though, I get the sense that at Experiment House, a lot of the kids may have come from broken or unorthodox homes, so I'm not sure if her parents being separated would account for the bullying. (And the bullies seem to bully everybody who isn't currying favor.)

I think it might be best dealt with if the filmmakers left Jill's backstory as very ambiguous... if I were writing the script, I think it would set it up in such a way that you couldn't quite tell whether or not Jill was wrestling with the death of her parents, their splitting up, or just simply being disinterested in their little girl and sending her away to a boarding school so they didn't have to think about her. One reason I think the filmmakers might go in this direction is because more people may be able to relate to her feelings of abandonment if they don't know exactly what those feelings stem from.
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Sep 21, 2016 4:55 am

Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:On the other hand, though, I get the sense that at Experiment House, a lot of the kids may have come from broken or unorthodox homes, so I'm not sure if her parents being separated would account for the bullying. (And the bullies seem to bully everybody who isn't currying favor.)


The bullying might have gone on anyway, for a myriad of reasons, not only dysfunctional family backgrounds. Lack of discipline and boundary setting by means of enforcing set school rules, seems to be the main factor at Experiment House, and also lack of tolerance for anyone who is deemed as "different" from the bullies, plus a liking of having power over other children. Not only those brave enough to defy them, but also over their "hangers on". The Experiment House bullies, too, can be tinpot dictators in their own lunch time, mimicking the people they see in the news. Or on TV if they had access to it.

And in communities world wide, at whatever level of society, especially where it was still considered a man's right to beat his wife whenever she annoyed him in any way, domestic violence, defined as controlling and mistreating other family members by using against them verbal, physical, and other forms of abuse, could also be a reason for bullying when children go to school. Including in boarding schools like Experiment House. The point about the 1940's and 1950's when Jill and Spivvins were there, was that so much that you might consider as "unorthodox" or "dysfunctional" was not at all unusual, but was often swept under the carpet, for fear of the press and "what the neighbours thought", even when marriages remained intact. I suspect that Experiment House is just another microcosm of wartime and postwar society, bullying and all. And that it was also a relevant backdrop to enable Jill to meet Eustace, whose character and family life we already know about.

Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:From a movie-making perspective, going through a divorce is something that a lot of kids can unfortunately relate with nowadays. I can imagine the filmmakers possibly taking Jill's story in that direction in order to make her emotions more accessible to the audience.


That is a fair point. On the other hand, when divorce and family breakdown is so frequent, there is a danger that mentioning Jill's parents in such a scenario, might merely be so commonplace that the audience lose interest. I like your idea of keeping her background a bit vague, also the suggestion that in some way or another she is estranged from her parents. On the other hand, since Spivvins, a minor character, is already mentioned in the book, I wouldn't mind if Eustace's keeping his secret involved a recent family breakdown or loss of some sort, thus provoking the bullies to torment Eustace, instead.
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby Eustace » Sep 28, 2016 4:02 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:
The bullying might have gone on anyway, for a myriad of reasons, not only dysfunctional family backgrounds. Lack of discipline and boundary setting by means of enforcing set school rules, seems to be the main factor at Experiment House, and also lack of tolerance for anyone who is deemed as "different" from the bullies, plus a liking of having power over other children. Not only those brave enough to defy them, but also over their "hangers on". The Experiment House bullies, too, can be tinpot dictators in their own lunch time, mimicking the people they see in the news. Or on TV if they had access to it.





I think you make a pretty fair point about bullying. Also, I think because the filmmakers may want to make the audience really connect with Jill, they might want to do some scenes showing the bullying mentioned in the book rather than just having the characters mention it. This plus making her family a sore part (either not really in the picture or estranged in someway) may connect the audience to Jill right off the bat.
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