The Ginger Man Question #17 - The Kangaroo

by J.P. Donleavy

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

The Ginger Man Question #17 - The Kangaroo

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:17 am

Pg. 296., Chapter 26. What was the purpose of the kangaroo scene?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Bix
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:14 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Status: Offline

Unread postby Bix » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:03 pm

I've been thinking about this question all morning and I realize I need some clarification on this scene. Can anyone tell me if the following are true or not?

1. McDoon and Danger leave a baby in its box when they go out for a drink.

2. McDoon wears the kangaroo suit out to the pub and all the while until he & S part ways for the evening.

Don't know what bearing this has on my eventual answer, but I just wasn't sure about either thing.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

User avatar
PhD
Posts: 5754
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:34 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Status: Offline

Unread postby PhD » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:05 pm

I think I need clarification, too. I stayed a tad confused from the time the kangaroo suit was introducted through the end.
"Because, you know, it seems to me that, I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal"

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:30 pm

I was hoping you guys could tell me. :biglaugh:

The first time I read the chapter I was totally lost. The second time through at least I was able to follow their little trip through Soho. But I've read the first few pages over and over again and feel like something is missing. Maybe SD had a blackout. A baby in a box was mentioned. And I think it was MacDoon's son. Where did the kangaroo suit come from? And why? :-? :eyebrow: :perplexed:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
PhD
Posts: 5754
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:34 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Status: Offline

Unread postby PhD » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:40 pm

I'm a science/math girl myself... I was counting on you more literary types to help me with the significance of the kangaroo! :lol:


Was the baby really in a box or was it more like a playpen? Was it really a kangaroo skin or just a costume?

(Liz: Congratulations on your 5,000th post!)
"Because, you know, it seems to me that, I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal"

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:03 pm

The way I read it is MacDoon has made the kangaroo suit - which is mentioned in an earlier chapter - which SD then wears out on the town. There is a comment about MacDoon getting inside the little one (baby kangaroo) and Dangerfield carrying him in the pouch so as to make it cheaper traveling to Soho'.
I'm going to post this now and then continue. (I've just lost what I had written up before.)
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:16 pm

I think this section is hilarious, the funniest part of the book: 'A woman, touched with a long furry lapping ear, turned and saw this animal sitting behind her and screamed... The kangaroo was talking at the bar. It raised its voice in song... Fourteen in all moving toward the kangaroo which was singing come all ye faithful... The kangaroo reached behind the bar... when a chair was lowered on his head from behind.... But the kangaroo... shot out the door and came in the other until they were racing around the taxi in one door and out the other the next'. This is so visual, slapstick in places. Even the fight is good-humoured: 'Outside a great war whoop'.But I love the way the author only refers to 'the kangaroo' and 'it' all the time. Sorry about quoting so much. As I said, my last attempt at answering this was lost in the ether somewhere, but I have spent a happy couple of hours giggling away to myself reading the lines aloud to my friend - my ever tolerant friend who is allowing me to use her pc while mine is at the repair shop.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

User avatar
PhD
Posts: 5754
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:34 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Status: Offline

Unread postby PhD » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:34 pm

suec wrote: but I have spent a happy couple of hours giggling away to myself reading the lines aloud to my friend - my ever tolerant friend who is allowing me to use her pc while mine is at the repair shop.


Having good friends is wonderful! Thank your friend for me, suec! I'm glad you're able to post and help us understand this kangaroo business.

I'll have to go back and re-read the kangaroo passages. I got confused because I just couldn't imagine why someone would dress up as a kangaroo to go out for the evening. But, that's the point of today's discussion, right? Now that I know that there REALLY was a kangaroo costume, I should be able to appreciate those parts more. I was very confused trying to figure out whether or not all this was really happening. (But, like I said, I'm a math & science girl, so alot of literature goes right by me!)
"Because, you know, it seems to me that, I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal"

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:36 pm

I think the purpose is to entertain. They are young men out having fun, letting their hair down. Maybe celebrating the money coming in, and maybe a release from stress for SD. Possibly a heightened sense of in the midst of life there is death, although MacDoon was making the outfit before the news came in. But I like the joie de vivre, the giggling as SD gets into the costume.
I don't know about the significance of the kangaroo. Perhaps just escapism. I think it is fun and liberating to dress up. Perhaps it is a comment about the inner beast. Probably it is as an outlandish a costume that they could think of. They are enjoying being outrageous and getting the attention.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:52 pm

PhD wrote:
suec wrote: but I have spent a happy couple of hours giggling away to myself reading the lines aloud to my friend - my ever tolerant friend who is allowing me to use her pc while mine is at the repair shop.


Having good friends is wonderful! Thank your friend for me, suec! I'm glad you're able to post and help us understand this kangaroo business.

I'll have to go back and re-read the kangaroo passages. I got confused because I just couldn't imagine why someone would dress up as a kangaroo to go out for the evening.


It's fun - if you like that sort of thing. :eyebrow: I have never dressed up as a kangaroo... but other things, yes. Fancy dress pub crawls - misspent youth. Actually, I think the costume would be too much and he would need to take the head off. It's the sort of thing students would do in Rag Week. Some outrageous stunt to raise money for charity, but in their case, they get to spend it on themselves.
Edit
I suppose that is really why MacDoon was making the costume in the first place. Perhaps it is another con. It certainly brings in the money for them. Maybe it also explains why the men in the pub think they are Oxford intellectuals.

My friend is even more wonderful because she is trying to read Shantaram and I keep interrupting her. :blush:
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

User avatar
Gilbert's Girl
Posts: 163130
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:14 am
Location: UK

Status: Offline

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:06 pm

I'm sure whatever the reasons it will make a fun scene for the film. :lol: thanks suec as usual you are always on the ball, I have to admit I couldn't recall the episode at all and as I don't have the book couldn't look it up.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:42 pm

PhD wrote: Was the baby really in a box or was it more like a playpen? Was it really a kangaroo skin or just a costume?

(Liz: Congratulations on your 5,000th post!)


I'm thinking playpen and costume. And thanks for letting me know I had 5000 posts. :lol: I had no idea.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:48 pm

suec wrote: But I love the way the author only refers to 'the kangaroo' and 'it' all the time. Sorry about quoting so much.


I thought that was good, too. :thumbsup: It was like Sebastian actually became the kangaroo for a bit there.

And don't apologize for quoting so much. I think it's helpful for those who've returned their books to the library or didn't bring them to work.
:cool:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:51 pm

suec wrote:I think the purpose is to entertain. They are young men out having fun, letting their hair down. Maybe celebrating the money coming in, and maybe a release from stress for SD. Possibly a heightened sense of in the midst of life there is death, although MacDoon was making the outfit before the news came in. But I like the joie de vivre, the giggling as SD gets into the costume.
I don't know about the significance of the kangaroo. Perhaps just escapism. I think it is fun and liberating to dress up. Perhaps it is a comment about the inner beast. Probably it is as an outlandish a costume that they could think of. They are enjoying being outrageous and getting the attention.


It reminds me of the Halloween I dressed up as Capt. Jack. It's fun to pretend and get reactions from others.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Bix
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:14 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Status: Offline

Unread postby Bix » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:53 pm

No wonder I was confused! I was in the wrong chapter! Sorry! :lol: A thunderstorm last night knocked my computer at work off the Internet connection somehow, so I thought I remembered Liz had said page two-ninety-something and went looking for the scene. But I found the earlier scene in Chapter 25 and thought that was it. I had a feeling this scene was much more complicated and silly the first time I read it. So now that I have been set straight and have reread the proper passage - I'm still a bit confused. But S does have a couple of serious bits of news at the beginning of the chapter: his father is dead and Mary is really coming to London. As we all know how well he takes responsibility for his own life and future, maybe he has to push the limits of outrageous behavior to counteract that serious stuff. And with MacDoon and Parnell as willing participants, that's what he does.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame


Return to “The Ginger Man”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest