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.