Countingcrows’s Blog

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Do YOU know the capital of Borneo? January 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Morgan @ 11:53 pm

Why does Mr. March keep asking Madeleine “Do you know the capital of Borneo, little girl?” I don’t understand what the point of this question is. I dont even know what Borneo is? How would an 8 year old girl possibly know that? And there isn’t even a capital of Borneo anyway. I suppose it could be his way of making madeleine feel like she should be mistreated, and like she doesn’t deserve to have a hare in school. I don’t know, but whatever his reason is, it bothers me. 
Speaking of madeleine, not only is she feeling undeserving, she is also beginning to feel a lot of anxiety. She knows that something isn’t quite right at school, with her marks going down, and her teacher keeping her after school. Especially when her teacher is making her do things like exercises, and making her touch his ‘muscle’. This is revolting. What I am confused about, is how he isn’t worried about being caught. He is touching little girls after school in his classroom, not only touching them, but actually sexually abusing them. What kind of excuse could you make up to worm your way out of that one? THERE ISN’T ANY! This makes me feel sick. And Madeleine knows that it isn’t right, but she just doesn’t want to hurt or embarrass her family by telling them anything. It’s almost as if she thinks that they will be dissapointed in her, and it’s not only that, i think she is also confused about what is means, especially since he tries to give her chocolate afterwards, like a bribe not to tell anyone or to make them think they did something right.
I thought maybe something would have been done, however, when madeleine started to tell her father about the exercises. I thought that maybe he might figure out that something odd was going on, until she told him she was doing them on her own, and not after school, with Mr. March. She could save herself so much grief if she could just tell someone. Yet she seems to take it out with violence, like yelling things at Colleen, the very interesting, yet seemingly decent (particularly when she takes Madeleine fishing), sixth grader with the knife, and not only that, she vandalized the school, beat up Marjorie, and is thinking thoughts like ‘I will bash his head in with a rock’ in regards to a passing car and its driver.
However, I have to admit, i think that Marjorie deserved to be punched in the face. I have had enough of that child and her horrific rude comments! I think it would’ve taken all I had when I was 8 not to punch her, so I just can’t be upset about that. And what I don’t understand is why Marjorie can be acting to normal about the whole ‘exercise group’? Is Mr. March on physcally touching Madeleine, and not the other girls that he keeps behind?
One thing that drives me absolutely crazy, is that Jack could have caught Mr. March. After Madeleine had told him about her tortoise in school, he decided to have a word with her teacher. WHY DID HE FORGET ABOUT IT??? It crushed me, reading that part. He was just so close to stopping something horrible.
But as for stopping something horrible, I would have thought that Mimi might be a little more concerned about finding blood on Madeleine’s underpants after Mr. March violated her. She just let it pass when Madeleine told her she hurt herself on a bike. Well, that must have been one hell of a fall, because i have been riding and falling of bikes a good majority of my life, and have yet to bleed ‘down there’ as a result. And as for it being her period, well, she is 8 for god sakes! I haven’t heard of an 8 year old girl with her period. Although, i am sure it has happened. I just think, that as a mother, i would be a little more concerened, maybe not thinking of something as bad a Mr. March, but i would definitely be thinking something was going on. And maybe Mike would be concerned too, when his sister wets the bed, although, when you are young, it probably isn’t that un common. I was just glad he helped her, and did the thing that a good brother should. It made me like him a little bit more.
Why did Mr. March stop keeping Madeleine after school? Is it because she confessed to the vandalism, and therefore he thought perhaps she would tell people about his doings? I suppose she indirectly told Claire’s parents about the excercise group by writing a note telling them that Claire, who seems truly lovely, was being kept after school, and it was signed ‘the human sowrd’. I personally think that was amazing, but i am not quite sure of the significance of the name that she signed it with. Is it an old childrens story or something? Nonetheless, the note worked, seeing as Mr. March never asked Claire to stay again. But Grace starts coming home with bruises. Is he becoming sexually and physically abusive now?
And I think it may be claire who gets murdered. She does have the fitting charm bracelet…
But when Madeleine confessed to Mr. Lemmon, the principle, about vandalizing the school she did find out something interesting… Henry Froelich is Jewish (aha! I predicted right!). And when she told Jack, he felt awful, particularly about all the ‘typical german’ banter. I couldn’t help but kind of feel kind of embarrased for Jack, because it seems that he enjoys Henry’s company. However I would prefer it if he didn’t notice the way Henry’s wifes breasts curved in her shirt. Not appropriate! Is something going to happen with those two?
Of course, Mr. Oskar Fried has to come into the picture as well. What I don’t like, is how unfriendly he is. You would think that a man in a strange country would want companionship, but instead he is an unfriendly rude jerk of a man. There is something about him that just doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like him, and I get the feeling that Jack doesn’t either.


One Response to “Do YOU know the capital of Borneo?”

  1. Ms. Tong Says:

    You have made excellent observations Morgan. I enjoyed reading all three of your response journals as they are very emotional 🙂 I also like your titles, by the way.

    It seems that you have a strong understanding of the characters. MacDonald sure paints a vivid picture of the characters, good and evil. You are right to be suspicious of Oskar Fried. Also, the plot twist with Jack forgetting to visit Mr. March is gut wrenching.

    Some of the main themes that you hopefully are picking up on are:
    – Things are not always as they seem
    – Too many secrets

    Well done! 5/5 x 3 = 15/15

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