Monday, December 31, 2007

CCF ~ one more post from Bonnie

I have several comments about Cold Comfort Farm. First, the questions may have seemed skimpy, but about all there is to this book is Flora wanting to fix her relatives and, as Shirley asked, what was it that Aunt Ada Doom saw in the woodshed and why did the Starkadders take in Flora in the first place?

I found the best information ... and that wonderful Starkadder family tree chart ... at Wikipedia:

That's the place you will also find a list of Flora's solutions to the Starkadder problems. The novel ends when Flora, with the aid of her handbook The Higher Common Sense, has solved each character's problem. These solutions are:
Meriam: Flora introduces her to the concept of contraception.
Seth: Flora introduces him to a Hollywood film director, Earl P. Neck, who hires him as a screen idol.
Amos: Flora persuades him to buy a Ford van and become a travelling preacher. He loses interest in running the farm and hands it over to Reuben.
Elfine: Flora teaches her some social graces and dress sense so that Richard Hawk-Monitor falls in love with her.
Urk: forgets his desire for Elfine and marries Meriam.
Mr Mybug: falls in love with and marries Rennet.
Judith: Flora hires a psychoanalyst, Dr Müdel, who, over lunch, transfers Judith's obsession from Seth to himself until he can set her interest on old churches instead.
Ada: Flora uses a copy of Vogue magazine to tempt her to join the twentieth century, and spend some of her fortune on living the high life in Paris.
Adam: is given a job as cow-herd at Hautcouture Hall.
Graceless, Aimless, Feckless and Pointless: go with Adam to Hautcouture Hall.
Big Business: Flora lets him out into the sunlight.
Flora: marries Charles.
The future
There's one other thing I noticed ... Stella Gibbons seems to have been trying to predict the future! If you remember that the novel was written in 1932, you would be surprised at some of what was there. I wrote this in my reading notes when I got to Chapter XII (12), my pages 140-141, and then page 177:
What's with the television in 1932? Especially a phone with a television? Stella Gibbons must have been trying to predict the future ... especially since she mentions "the Anglo-Nicaraguan wars of '46" as something in the past!
The Wikipedia article mentions her use of air taxis. What sorts of things did YOU notice in the book?


Shirley said...

I'd never thought of Wikipedia as a source of information about books.

Although your comments shed some light and helped me reminisce about the book, I don't remember enough detail about it to recall the futuristic references. This wound up being the least favorite of the books we've read so far.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I wouldn't have thought of Wikipedia either, Shirley, but it was the best thing that came up when I googled Cold Comfort Farm. I was especially happy with that family tree because it helped me sort out the people.

Shelley said...

I noticed towards the beginning the restaurant they were in was made of glass-ceiling, walls, and floors. The phone-television thing caught me off guard too. I read it through about 4 times,and then I remembered the note at the start of the book that it was "sometime in the near future." I liked the book, but honestly, I like almost everything!

Candy said...

Shelly, like you the television phone thing caught me off guard too! Sorry it has taken me so long to finish the book and finally comment about it. All in all I enjoyed the book. I didn't like it too much in the beginning but once Flora started fixing her relatives I started to enjoy it more.

Ada Doom and the thing in the wood shed. I think in another post maybe by Shirley it was mentioned that no where in the book did it come out and say what was in the wood shed. That is correct. I got a big kick out of the outhouse being mentioned. I think that would have been funnier if it was the outhouse instead of the woodshed.

Here is what was mentioned. First Ada called it the wood shed then she kept changing it to the tool shed, the bicycle shed etc. This was in Chapter Ten the last couple of pages. It was also mentioned that what was seen in the wood shed had made her marriage a prolonged nightmare. And the other thing that was mentioned was that she had never told her mother. Seeing that she kept changing the name of the shed at will led me to believe that it didn't matter what kind of shed it was, that this nasty thing could take place in any shed. She didn't tell her mother and it made her marriage a prolonged nightmare. I am guessing that she saw her father having intimate relations with another woman. But of course the point of the nasty thing in the shed made her mad and this is how she controlled the people at Cold Comfort Farm. Lol.


Toby said...

I never thought of using Wikipedia either. How cool! I read that article after your post & yes, I did notice the anti-semitic remarks, especially when Mary Smiling referred to the bra lady as the Jew, instead of saying the Jewish lady. This would reflect the signs of the times. Also, remarks about class were noticed as well.
All those future references made me stop reading. I asked myself when did the first TV come out? I thought that it was much latter in the 1950's. :)
The shed - I didn't even realize that the name of the shed had changed names. LOL!! First I thought that the nasty was someone being raped, but the father having an affair sounds more like what happened, if anything happened at all. After all, the book is supposed to be funny.
I liked the family tree as well. Thanks for posting this, Bonny.