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 Post subject: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:28 am 
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Let’s discuss Celeste Temple. What does her character bring to the story? Why do you think the author deliberately continues to call her Miss Temple instead of Celeste?

(Thanks for keeping to the code on no casting ideas yet!) :cool:



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Celeste is well drawn - Dahlquist's physical descriptions of her are brief, but present a vivid picture. I also liked the sparse but very telling details he gives about her back ground, "came from an island, very hot"/the mention of slaves/a plantation - immediately I thought of the Caribbean and began to supply my own imagery. I must admit I did find her transformation from rather prim Victorian miss into someone happy to handle a gun and start killing people a bit of a stretch, but now I'm well on with the book I've got used to this and no longer think of her as she was in chapter one!

I can't really fathom why Dahlquist calls her "Miss Temple", other than perhaps he is trying to add to the Victorian atmsphere, when all young gentlewomen would have been addressed as "Miss". Life was strict and formal then - for example children would address their own fathers as "sir". I also think the revealing of her christian name as "Celestial" quite well well on into the story when she is with Chang and Svenson, is meant to emphasize the new intimacy between the characters.



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:45 pm 
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Celeste or Miss Temple to me appears to have come from a privileged background. Complete with slaves, servants and she is quite use to being waited on or coddled to by all around her. I believe this is brought out by Dahlquist to better show the transformation of the character. She takes the rejection from Roger and spends time crying and feeling sorry for herself. Then she gathers up all her being and goes on to find out why - not believing it could be her fault or shortcoming. She grows in character and becomes angry and revengeful. She is helped with this growth by the comradity of Chang and Svenson. Together this trio becomes quite a force. I think Dahlquist continues to call her Miss Temple to illustrate her place in Victorian society.


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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:13 pm 
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I think literally without Miss Temple there would be no story. She is the catalyst for the entire adventure. It's her womanly curiosity that sets the events in motion. Had she not been jilted by Roger Bascombe then she wouldn't have followed him to Harschmort, and Chang wouldn't have been hired by the Contessa to find "Isobel Hastings." And Dr. Svenson never would stopped at the hotel, if he didn't see her green shoes through the window. More than likely, he would have returned to Macklenburg or merely left the city.

However, she also brings innocence to the story. Chang is far too jaded by his work, his misfortunes, his back alley deals, etc. and Dr. Svenson is no stranger to death and carnage because of his medical profession and military background. But Miss Temple has lead a sheltered life. The reader sees things through her eyes and we experience her wonder, shock, curiosity, repulsion and excitement. And for obvious reasons, she's the money of the operation. She provides financial security for the other two heroes. Miss Temple also brings a sense of growth to the story. Throughout the adventure, her eyes are opened to the world in which lives. She can no longer fall back on her naivety. She receives an education that her upbringing was unable to provide.

Perhaps the author continues to refer to her as Miss Temple instead of Celeste because of propriety. Miss Temple inspires a sense of respect and order. And she herself believes in order, rules, and the proper way of doing things. And through our reading, we know that she doesn't give many the permission to use her first name so maybe the author thinks he hasn’t earned the right. :lol: I also think it's because Miss Temple acts much older than her twenty-five years so using her last name seems more appropriate.



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Great answers!

I felt referring to her as "Miss Temple" set a mood. Perhaps it was establishing the Victorian setting, but there was something more -- dignity, perhaps. When he called her Miss Temple I felt like she stood a little taller and walked with a little more proper grace.

Whatever the intention, it created a feeling for me that would have been very different if the author had used her first name. I was aware of it from page 1 and I liked it.


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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:14 pm 

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I was not particularily impressed with Celeste Temple at the beginning. But as soon as she shook off her "disappointment" at the breaking of her engagement, and decided to find out WHY, I liked her a whole lot more. As we get to understand her better and better, the question becomes why she was engaged to Roger Bascomb in the first place. She seems too independant to need a man. I'm guessing that she was actually sent to England to find a husband, and at one point one of the characters referrs to her as a "spinster". But I'm guessing she did not really buy the "need to be married" mandate. Seeing how little time it actually took her to get over Roger makes me smile. She was way too good for him. He is weak and lacks any true backbone or ethics. Just think what a horrid life Celeste would have had, if Roger Bascomb had not been a critical part of "the Plan". So, in effect, her unceremonious dumping by Roger was the very platform Celeste needed to propel her into a great adventure, and also gave her the freedom to be who she is...without a man. A true heroine.


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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Celeste Temple

Somehow she didn't appeal to me the way I think the heroine was supposed to. I disliked her most at the beginning but she did grow on me towards the end. I admired that she was different and from the Islands and even that she was strong for a young girl. It was her mannerisms and the way she acted, using her money as a threat or a shield, to those around her, that turned me off. This power may be why Dalquist referred to her as Miss Temple. Celeste doesn't carry the authority she threw around.

I did feel her fear and understand many of the things she did but her stupidity in following Roger when even she admitted that she didn't really care for him, showed her to be a spoiled little rich girl. I think she did learn many lessons in life along the way, but I wonder if the second book has her back to the girl I disliked.

I think she and the Dr. changed the most in the story. She went from a spoiled rich child, to an accidental killer, at first in self defense, but later
Spoiler! :
a cold blooded killer ( when she seduced Mr Blenheim into looking at the blue glass and stabbed him to death)
She in the end became much more like Chang and and personally I thought a better match for him.
Her most redeeming feature to me was her accepting Chang as he was, and growing to care whether he lived or died.



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:10 pm 
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Jennak wrote:
I was not particularily impressed with Celeste Temple at the beginning. But as soon as she shook off her "disappointment" at the breaking of her engagement, and decided to find out WHY, I liked her a whole lot more. As we get to understand her better and better, the question becomes why she was engaged to Roger Bascomb in the first place. She seems too independant to need a man. I'm guessing that she was actually sent to England to find a husband, and at one point one of the characters referrs to her as a "spinster". But I'm guessing she did not really buy the "need to be married" mandate. Seeing how little time it actually took her to get over Roger makes me smile. She was way too good for him. He is weak and lacks any true backbone or ethics. Just think what a horrid life Celeste would have had, if Roger Bascomb had not been a critical part of "the Plan". So, in effect, her unceremonious dumping by Roger was the very platform Celeste needed to propel her into a great adventure, and also gave her the freedom to be who she is...without a man. A true heroine.

I think that marriage was the accepted way in those times. It was the proper thing for a respectable lady, such as herself, to do. I don’t think that she had considered any other possibilities until she embarked on her adventure. And I believe it was her pride that was hurt when Roger left her more than anything else. Plus it did not make sense to her. Something was off. Now if she was innately a meek personality, she would not have pursued her investigation of his abrupt break up. But I imagine she always had the strength, independence and spunk in her to embark on such an adventure. And I think it was her years spent on the plantation--away from high society--that gave her that strength.

I agree with all of you who say that Dahlquist refers to her as Miss Temple in order to give her respect and to set the Victorian tone, as Nebraska points out. But I also think that in referring to her as such it becomes more noticeable that the Contessa and Mrs. Stearne feel that they may call her by her first name. Coming from them it serves to intensify their lack of respect for her, and in the case of the Contessa, her feeling of superiority or dominance over her.

Great discussion so far!



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:50 pm 
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gemini wrote:
I think she and the Dr. changed the most in the story. She went from a spoiled rich child, to an accidental killer, at first in self defense, but later
Spoiler! :
a cold blooded killer ( when she seduced Mr Blenheim into looking at the blue glass and stabbed him to death)

I was a bit shocked and put off by how easy that became for them. I think they were surprised also.



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Very good ideas all around! You all have pretty much said what I was thinking about her. She definitely grows from innocent, spoiled rich girl to a confident, independent young woman. I was rather shocked by how quickly she came to accept what she had to do.

I agree with you all that calling her Celeste is appropriate for the times and it gives her respectability. Liz that is an interesting point about who calls her Celeste. That had not dawned on me when I read the story!
:cool:



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:30 am 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:

Liz that is an interesting point about who calls her Celeste. That had not dawned on me when I read the story!
:cool:


I had not realized it,either, although the use of "Celeste" made me uncomfortable when the villians used it. Now I know why.


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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:14 pm 
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There are many aspects here that I hadn't picked up on - thank you everyone for sharing your views!

Despite her feisty nature, Miss Temple would have had few choices open to her as a woman in Victorian times. Women had few rights in law, and limited options for employment. If a respectable woman could not find a husband, her most likely option was to become a governess (surely a very limiting occupation for a woman such as Miss T). As Miss Temple is from a wealthy family, her father would have expected her to make a suitable match, both to add to the family fortunes and increase social standing. For a woman of wealth and fortune to be unmarried by a certain age was considered a social embarrassment, almost disgraceful, for her duty was to marry well and honour her parents.



_________________________________________________________
"Easy on the goods darlin!"

"Tis not an easy thing to be entirely happy, but to be kind is very easy, and that is the greatest measure of happiness" - John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:18 pm 
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I didn't like the her character at the beginning, but as the story progressed I think she became more interesting.

Spoiler! :
The murder of Mr Blenheim was shocking. I wasn't expecting it. Chang told her how to shoot someone, but the stabbing seemed more violent for some reason.

As for the comment about the villains calling her Celeste, I thought maybe they were looking down on her like she was a child because they believed they were more enlightened because of the process.


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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Beatrix wrote:
I didn't like the her character at the beginning, but as the story progressed I think she became more interesting.

Spoiler! :
The murder of Mr Blenheim was shocking. I wasn't expecting it. Chang told her how to shoot someone, but the stabbing seemed more violent for some reason.

As for the comment about the villains calling her Celeste, I thought maybe they were looking down on her like she was a child because they believed they were more enlightened because of the process.

Spoiler! :
She seemed to take it in stride after a while.
And that was the one thing that bothered me about her. Otherwise, I very much liked her character. It was her chapters that I most looked forward to reading.



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 Post subject: Re: Glass Books #6 ~ Celeste Temple
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Perhaps because of her island background and the violence she had witnessed there she was more easily able to adjust her behavior than a "typical" Victorian lady.


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