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« HELLO Dolly! act 1 | Main | let them eat cake! »

March 07, 2006

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*sigh* love this film...let me know if you ever track that book down.

The ending to this book is awful im afraid to say.. The chapter starts with Edith going back to the picnic area. Miranda, Irma and Marion push forward. Irma looks down and compares the people on the plain below to ants. When the girls walk past the monolith, they feel as if they are being pulled from the inside out and get dizzy. After they leave it behind, they lie down and fall asleep.

A woman, who was also climbing, falls on the spot they are sleeping. She is only wearing her underwear. This woman is not referenced by name and is apparently a stranger to the girls, yet the narration suggests she is Miss McCraw. Miranda loosens the woman's corset to help her breathe. Afterwards the girls remove their own corsets and throw them down the cliff. The woman points out the corsets appear to be static in mid-air as if stuck in time. She and the girls continue together.

After the women experience dizziness, the group encounter a strange phenomenon described as a hole in space. It influences their state of mind. They see a snake crawling down a crack in the rock. The woman suggests they follow the snake and takes lead. She transforms into a small crab-like creature and disappears into the crack. Marion follows her, and then Miranda, but when Irma's turn comes, a boulder falls and blocks the way. The chapter ends with Irma "tearing and beating at the gritty face on the boulder with her bare hands".

You might want to visit this URL http://www.mck.com.au/users/brett/index.html?content=picnic.htm. The author summarizes the information contained in "The Secret", as well as providing his own solution to the mystery (which makes a lot of sense to me). Love the film!

Ashy, the person's summary on the link you provided is excellent, and halfway through reading it I found myself starting to sway to his idea of the solution to the mystery, having first been skeptical. But, there was one thing that bugged me about it, and that was that it failed to really explain why Greta McCraw was in her underwear. I mean, why did she take her clothes off? And she kept her corset on? What DID make her get up and rush to the top of the rock? Why did all the girls on the rock and below it fall asleep? 'Chapter 18' and its addition of a hole in space seems to fit more with the drowsiness of everyone and the stopping of the watches - although I do find the clue in Lindsay's autobiography intriguing, I find both this and the idea of the red cloud can both be linked to the final chapter. The red cloud fits in nicely with the theory of the landslide on the rock, which trapped the girls, but can also fit in with the final chapter's explanation of a boulder blocking Irma's passage into the hole - was this also to do with a landslide? Hence the loose rocks and missing path and discovery of Irma.
The final chapter makes mention of their corsets being suspended in mid-air, as if being stuck in time, so we know that the hole has an effect AROUND it - the same effect that drew those of a certain mind towards it. The same ripple effect that affected many people after the disappearance of the girls.
I personally believe the final chapter makes the story much more intriguing. For instance, why did this hole in space seem to summon four intelligent females? Not Edith, who is commonly referred to as unintelligent and idiotic - the hole in space seemed to repel her and reject her to the extent she went screaming back down the rock in a state of panic. Was her unintelligent mind incapable of comprehending what the other girls and Greta McCraw could? The hole pulled the girls from the inside out towards it, but had the opposite effect on poor Edith. Not even she knew why she had fled because she didn't totally understand why herself. And was her experience on the rock, near to the hole in space, related to her death 13 years later? We're not told how she died, just that she did... Was her mind overwhelmed by her experience, eventually becoming to much to live with?
I feel the girls ascended to a higher state of being. The final unpublished chapter tells of them transforming themselves to fit through the crack in the rock. Several mentions are made to a white swan in the book - Miranda? There are also parts where Mike seems to "see" her, as well as Sara in her dreams, and we mustn't forget that Mike also seemed "drawn" to the hole in space, well, the rock the hole resided at. Had the hole chosen him too? And not forgetting Sara - it appears she too might have been meant for the same fate. Had she not stayed behind at the college and gone with the rest of the girls I am certain she would have ascended the rock with her beloved Miranda and followed her into the hole. I think it is for this reason that she commits suicide (that is if she wasn't murdered by Mrs Appleyard) - after this she also ascends to the same higher state of being that was intended for her from the beginning and uses this state to visit her brother, Albert within his dream, and to also get her revenge on Mrs Appleyard in the final pages. It does seem that Albert dreams of her the very night she dies and this seems a bit too coincidental to me.
As for Dora Lumley's fate - who knows? Coincidence? Revenge? Or just another effect of that strange rippling pattern following the disappearance of the girls...? She wasn't a particularly nice character, evidenced in the scene at the gymnasium with Mademoiselle De Poitiers, and Lindsay writes of her petty rules and how she was a figure of fun to the girls. She reminds me a little of Edith in the way I felt about her in the novel. Maybe her death was something to do with Mrs McCraw? But this may be hard to believe so for now I'm going to stick to the idea that this was merely a misfortune connected to the ripple effect of the disappearance of the girls.
Finally, Irma - the only girl found. She was found after several days had passed and surely should have died? All those days unconscious in the sun without food or water? Unless, for her it wasn't several days that had passed? What if she was "stuck in time" like the corsets in the unpublished chapter... This would explain why she didn't die, if less time passed for her as she lay near the entrance to a hole in space, it may have only been hours that passed by. Is this also the real reason Mike was drawn to the rock? To ascend with the other girls or to find Irma, who regarded him as her beloved later on, despite his not being interested?
Why was Irma unable to enter the hole? Was she not meant for it, as Miranda, Marion and Mrs McCraw were? Was this why there was a landslide, or why the boulder blocked her entrance, or was it a landslide that caused the boulder to block her entrance. Either way, like Edith, she forgets her experience. The hole in space seems to do something to the mind to make it forget - a ripple effect into the mind? A ripple effect that later caused Edith's death?
There was also a point where a dog gives hope to the search by barking at a flat slab of rock. Was this where the girls had slept earlier? I forget. Or was it because, as the author of the article on the site linked in the previous comment, the girls were actually trapped underneath it? I personally think the dog either sniffed them out there because it is where they previously had sat, or because he could detect, with that animal sixth sense, the hole in space deep below the rock.
And after being stuck in time, were the corsets obliterated? A piece of Greta McCraw's is found later on - if found earlier would it have shown signs of their fate? Would it have pointed to something unnatural or supernatural? And again, just why did she remove her underwear? Was it to ascend the mountain quicker? Why? Why did she not also remove her corset, then? Greta McCraw was clearly the most intelligent of the group, so I believe her mind more easily comprehended what was going on at the top of the rock. I believe that is why she rushed to ascend it and why she seems to lead the girls into the hole in the unpublished chapter and how she seems to know the corsets are stuck in time. I believe this all had something to do with her realising just why her watch had stopped. She was also the only person not to sleep at the bottom of the rock, like the rest of the party, and I believe, again, that this was due to her being able to comprehend and physically handle the effects of the hole in space, and also because it was drawing her in.
Even Mrs Appleyard seemed to have some fixation on the rock at the end of the novel. Did she know or come to realise that there was something out of the ordinary with it that had caused all the trouble and misery for her following the disappearance.
She was not meant for quite the same fate as the girls either, and this is shown through Sara's ghastly appearance to frighten her to suicide. The same Sara that chose to appear to her brother in a form he recognised, before going all "misty" and transparent and saying goodbye.
Even Mrs Appleyard's last action seemed to be an act of mindless evil as she looked for something to strike the spider with that she'd seen sleeping in the sun on a pile of rocks. She had no respect for anyone or anything but herself and it led to her death and I suspect something similar to do with the deaths of Dora Lumley and Edith.

hey why did u copy everything from another page of internet and post it on your blog?

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