Monday, 30 September 2013

Flowers in the Attic.

So, these are my thoughts on the Flowers in the Attic meeting for book club, which was my pick because I read for the first time in sixth class, at the age of eleven, and had all the fond memories. We at book club discussed the problematic text and regaled eavesdroppers with talk of perfectly blonde incest and overwritten descriptions of things. It was a while ago, so instead of doing a point by point recap of our wonderful donllanganging, I have decided to make a list.

1. Corrine. Daft as a very expensive brush, shallow as a very expensive puddle.More beautiful than either of those things. Ultimately too selfish to not plot to murder her children with donuts. Although, if I had to go, I wouldn't be averse to donut-poisoning. As opposed to, like, a brutal stabbing. Assassins take note.
2. Steamer trunks full of old tat.
3. Cathy's hair. Pride of her father, glory of her head. Spite and tar could not erase it's corn-silk waterfallish splendor.
4. Sexy young Bart with his wealth and moustache. He's a lawyer. Hubba-hubba. Amirite? I would have kissed him too.
5.The bit when the Grandmother gave them a real flower for their fake garden. Because it told you she had a heart. Just one that thoroughly disapproved of having children by one's half-uncle.
6. This sentence: "On the attic walls, in our beautiful garden of paper flowers, we pasted up the epileptic snail beside the fierce and menacing worm."
7. Christopher Dollenganger, according to Cathy. And Corrine. And everyone. He was like Todd out of sweet-valley high, only better. His potent masculinity too soon sniffed out. I want a candle in the wind written specially for him that begins "Goodbye, Sexy Dad..."
8. The Swan bed. Where all the fun sins happen.
9. When Cathy got the sleep-shift off Bart.
10. Mickey the mouse, and basically everything Cory did. He was the Manic Pixie Dream twin of the book, with his banjo playing and his quirky death. Rest in peace, Good Twin.

Lists are great, aren't they? From shopping to sex-brothers, everything can go on one. And get ticked off. Speaking of ticked off, some people did not enjoy the glorious child-abusey romp what VC Andrews done wrote. Here is a list for them.

1. Corrine. she swans about, marrying her half-uncle like it ain't no thing and THEN she lands handsome Bart. He was, like EIGHT YEARS YOUNGER THAN HER you guys. It's basically child-abuse. Oh, wait...
2. Christopher and Cathy. The YA couple no-one ever shipped.
3. Carrie. Shrill much?
4. Christopher. And his organ. And his talk about his organ. And it being okay because he wants to be a doctor. Doctors do not get to be doctors by staring at their sisters in the jacks. That is not how life works.
5. Rape. And feelings of guilt/ complicitness in said rape thereafter. Poor Cathy.
6. The bit where they test the donuts on Mickey. Oh God.
7. Christopher Dollanganger Snr. according to common sense.  "Come greet me with kisses, if you love me!" 
8. I really feel that we should have gotten to see the Grandmother flog Corrine, instead of reading about it second hand. It would have been like Clash of the Titans only satisfying.
9. The phrase: "a fresh virgin."
10. The blood drinking. Although, maybe that could be a marketing thing now, like with a sexy cover like twilighty-Wuthering Heights? The tagline could be "And you thought Bella and Edward were forbidden.."
I may have been wrong about the lack of Chris/ Cathy shipping.....


  1. Firstly, these books are understood when read in series. They are extremely rich in symbolism and are riddled with subtextual meaning . The Dollanganger series is a mixture of all the other genres, with the correct proportions of each to give you the perfect story

    There is so much to these books that it would take me an entire book to explain each and every thing, Although these books may appear to be "simple as you think they are more complex than you can imagine." This book is an extraordinary example of implicit or subtextual meaning.

    *Book 1 - Flowers in the Attic
    The first book "Flowers in the Attic" uses fairytale- like tones to give the illusion of innocence but beneath the surface is the undercurrent of a shadowed truth. . I remember the line from V for Vengeance "Artists use a lie to tell the truth". Virginia Andrews certainly did, in the series, using her prime narrator.

    Every one pretty much read the books and they know of the story and it controversy.

    It is told in the naif narrative view by Cathy. Everyone knows that too, of course!

    So this is more a symbolic and subtextual analysis rather than a review. In fact this is more Chris's story.

    Besides the obvious understanding of the attic

    (1) being a place where stuff no longer needed is stored, the attic can represent :-

    (2) The Dollanganger (Foxworth) family history and legacy

    (3) The "way" of humanity. Way meaning its history and pattern. The family actually mentioned

    (4).The subconscious mind maybe many of you have heard of the saying "The Attic of my mind" where things are recorded and stored and never forgotten.

    (5) Using the biblical view can also represent a higher place (heaven) or the Garden of Eden". The philosophical view ties these two together.

    (6). The universe or the universal view - macroscopic where the book needs to be understood in all its different levels of symbolism - the ineffable.

    Knowing that, any one reading it further should

    a). Gain a better understanding of Cathy and Chris (draw a character analysis because knowing these two characters unlock the secrets to the subsequent mystery).
    Favoured child vs the envious child
    The realist vs the idealist

    "Chris coloured all his animals realistically, I decorated mine with polka dots .." Cathy (Flowers in the Attic). As you can gauge, Chris's interpretation of the story would be more realistic and to this series that is extremely important.

    b). Pay attention to their family history. -Lost Colony
    -Civil War
    -winslow demise and the rise of the Foxworths
    -the portraits
    -Doppelganger and it's meaning

    c). Nature
    -the wind
    -the colours green (most importantly), red, purple, white, black, yellow, blue
    - the sun
    - the rain
    - the moon
    - the leaves
    - the seasons
    -flowers and trees

    d). Perspective

    Knowing this lays down the foundation to understanding the subsequent books.

    **Book 2 - Petals on the Wind
    The second book, my word, is the second book the trick in this whole series but you can go to good reads and read my review Neisha Chetty.

  2. When Corinne mentions that her father convinced her children were so evil, was she lying? Remember she initially loved her children. .
    Bart's quote "Why was everybody doing bad things to everybody else and calling the excuse "inheritance""
    What could have made her turn against her own children ? It isn't explicitly stated but the truth of why she did what she did is in the book. All the clues are given. You just have to put the pieces together