The Spanish Moss Theory Part Two

The Spanish Moss Theory – Part Two

By Neisha Chetty

***Book 3 -If there be thorns. The technique Andrews uses here is of a second, third narrator to discredit Cathy in case you didn’t get the hint Bart’s transformation into a killer echoing some of their ancestor Malcolm, Catherine, Garland, the second Corinne. Jory’s growing awareness that gives you a closer voice to Chris as a child. “Try as I might, I resented what they were doing, what they had done, risking scandal, risking ruining my life and Bart’s, Cindy’s too, and all because one man couldn’t find another woman to love. And that one woman must have done something to keep him hopeful and faithful. ” Jory (If there be Thorns). What becomes very apparent here is that the prime antagonist is actually not Corinne but Malcolm. It is a brilliant literary device of not introducing us, the reader overtly to the antagonist, we see merely a glimpse of Malcolm through accounts, the protagonists never meet him. It is just through descriptions from other characters and his diary that we gain insight into Malcolm. His spirit lives on when he makes Corrine realise her sin and turn into killing her children (more about that later), through Cathy’s revenge previously now through John Amos Jackson, and then Bart using Malcolm’s diary. Bart’s quote “if there be thorns” “Why was everybody doing bad things to everybody else and calling the excuse “inheritance” So we can finally state : – prime protagonist is Christopher Sheffield and prime antagonist is Malcolm Foxworth  Why Corinne turns up here will be initially is to take avenge Cathy. To steal her children away from her. Corinne believes Catherine doesn’t truly love Christopher, that she seduces Christopher and turns him against Corinne. She believes that Cathy’s evil, seductress ways are selfish. she wants to take turn Cathy’s sons against her as Cathy turned her son against her. However when Corinne and Cathy are imprisoned in the basement, she realises that Cathy actually is really in love with Chris. And the reason she stole Bart from her mother was to avenge her mother for making her fall in love with a man she couldn’t have. That’s why Corinne gives her life to save Cathy in the end.

*****Book 5- Garden of Shadows Notice I changed the order of explanation?!! “My father always taught me that when something was terribly wrong, there was a reason. And the reason was always hidden. If one wanted to know the truth, one should search for it.” “But Olivia” he had cautioned me,” when you search the shadows to find that truth, often you find things more horrible, more painful than you would imagine. ” Garden of Shadows We finally meet the primary antagonist, Malcolm. This book also tells us why Corrinne and the first Christopher’s love couldn’t be justified. Corinne seduces her uncle to hurt her father Malcolm Chris’s quote “if there be thorns” “When your father’s younger half brother walked into Foxworth Hall at age seventeen, did you immediately seize hold on an inspiration?- the supreme way to punish your father for making you hate yourself. Did you set out to make our father fall in love with you? Did you? Did you hate him in a way too because he looked like Malcolm. I think you did. I think you schemed and plotted to wound your father in the one way that would shatter his ego most, so that it might never recover. And I think you succeeded! You eloped and married the younger half brother he so despised. And you thought you’d won in two ways. You had stung him where it hurt the most. Now you had the power to gain his tremendous fortune through our father!- but it didn’t work did it ? I haven’t forgotten those days when we lived in Gladstone, when I overhead you pleading with my father to sue, to get what was rightfully his. But our father refused to co-operate. He loved you and married you for what he thought you were, and not for the money you kept dreaming about.” Christopher Garland the fourth (Corinne’s first husband) steals his half brother’s daughter their love can’t be justified, it was a impetuous act, one that had immense ramifications which Cathy and Chris suffered for.  Cathy’s quote “Petals on the Wind” “So when Alicia had a son, you suspected that child was your own husband’s, and that’s why you hated our father, and why you sent for him, deceiving him into believing he’d found a good home. And you educated him and gave him the best of everything so he’d have a taste of the good, rich life and be more hurt and disappointed later on, when you threw him out and left him nothing in your wills. But my father fooled you instead, didn’t he? He stole your only daughter, whom you hated too, because her father loved her more than he loved you.” Hint here is that Christopher Garland Dollanganger (Chris and Cathy’s dad) researched his background when he left Foxworth Hall.

Finally why Corinne tried to kill them The point of all this is to give you the answer as to why Corinne killed her children. Bart’s quote “if there be thorns” “Why was everybody doing bad things to everybody else and calling the excuse “inheritance” So can using the clues in the book let’s build a case for the suspected antagonist, Corinne?

What were the intentions behind her actions ? ” Joel can tell us more about our mother when she was young, and what life was like for all of them, and perhaps when we know the details, we will be able to understand how she could betray us, and why the grandfather wanted us dead. There has to be an awful truth hidden back in the past to warp Malcolm’s brain so he could override our mother’s natural instincts to keep her own children alive.” Chris to Cathy (Seeds of Yesterday) Corrinne finds out that she actually “married” her half brother not her half uncle which was a bigger sin (Malcolm tells her). That’s the detail that made her want to kill her own children. Throughout the series it is hinted that Corrinne and Christopher Snr were brother and sister and the true extent is revealed in of this is confirmed in “The Garden of Shadows”.  Corrinne was seeing signs of her children suffering hidden inflictions for her sin of marrying brother. The twins didn’t grow, and her two older children were becoming sexually attracted to one another. She actually knows this and tries “not to see “. She tries to take away her fears by buying Cathy small girl’s clothes. She tries to save her children by killing them rather than living with that realisation similar to Oedipus’s mother/wife killing their children when she learns of her sin.  The reason why this revelation of Corrinne and Christopher Snr is hinted rather that explicitly stated in the book, is that it is a clever subterfuge by Andrews to highlight Catherine our prime narrator’s inability to comprehend her mother’s actions or to find “forgiveness” as demonstrated by the following  “Appealingly Chris gazed into my eyes, making his heart and soul vulnerable for my scorn to injure. “I’d like to hear about our mother’s youth, Cathy, so I can understand what made her the way she turned out to be. She wounded us so deeply I feel neither one of us will ever recover until we do understand. I have forgiven her, but I can’t forget. I want to understand so I can help you to forgive her . . .” Garden of Shadows also leaves us with what happened to the first Corinne ! There is a hint in Flowers in the Attic about a woman shoved into the trunks. She begins to hate her half uncle because he should have known he was actually her brother.

****Book 4- Seeds of Yesterday The key thing to remember “in mathematics, no matter what the variable is, the axioms remain the same”. There is a pattern to this book. That’s why the uses and play on the word doppelganger.  This is to round up the series Joel now takes on the role of Malcolm the primary antagonist through, he gained some insight into the deeds through olivia’s diary (25 years later) that’s why he returns to get rid of the seeds of incest. But also to realise there is a pattern in everything. Chris was always waiting for Cathy to become aware of her true self. At the end when he dies, Cathy consciously realises what Chris knew all along. She finally makes sense of it all before she dies she becomes awaken to there is a pattern in everything. ” I saw him racing on his bike yards ahead of me, then slowing down deliberately so I could catch up and we’d both reach home at the same” Cathy (Petals on the wind). He was merely waiting for her to to catch up. Chris quote on death Seeds of yesterday “Life is a gift, and perhaps death is another kind of gift” Cathy “Seeds of yesterday” “As I walked on and on alone, but for Chris’s spirit, it came to me that there was a pattern in our lives, and nothing that had happened was coincidental.” Cathy finally realises consciously what her brother knew all along ! She finally realises that she did have perfection and with that realisation she finally ascends the stairs to the attic one last time ….  The authors view on death and reincarnation :- “That dream was to haunt me many a day, pleasantly. It gave me peace. It gave me knowledge I hadn’t had before. People never really died. They only went on to a better place, to wait a while for their loved ones to join them. And then once more they went back to the world, in the same way they had arrived the first time around.” If you haven’t guessed it by now this is a microcosm for the human story.  The compelling story of a family’s betrayal and heartbreak, love and revenge. The family is actually the whole of humanity. The secrets they learned in the attic ( higher place) is the story of human history. Human beings have the the ability to hurt, kill and destroy (the bad gene) and the only saving grace is our ability to love. The doppelganger pattern.

Mm, the universe is sure strange, I am currently reading a Dean Koontz book and a hour ago came across a single word to sum up my thought – “SUBTEXT” -” the underlying, implicit meaning of the story, which the writer never directly expressed”. “-the readers did not need to be consciously aware of the subtext to enjoy a story fully, because if the tale had been told well, they would subconsciously absorb the implicit meaning.” I just wish more people could be aware of the subtext in these novels, because this story isn’t just good – it is sublime when they fully understand. There is more always … But I will leave that up to you. Hope you enjoyed this :- please if you have more info check out my facebook account Neisha Chetty


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