One Cannot Make an Omelette Without Breaking Some Eggs {Book Club}

What a surprise treat  Right Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse has been. Delicious. Light. Fun to share. Thanks for reading along! Always more fun to share a laugh, than to laugh alone.

Phyllis mentioned how her family enjoys watching the episode of Jeeves and Wooster together. They are on youtube and I found this one from Season 1 that is straight out of Right Ho, Jeeves. For those of you who have watched the TV show House, Dr. House is Bertie! Hugh Laurie is one versatile actor. Thanks Phyllis!

And for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read through last week’s discussionSpring shared that “Ask Jeeves” is from the PD Wodehouse series we are reading now. Many of us didn’t know that and feel slightly smarter now. Thank you, Spring!

From our friend Wikipedia: Stephen Fry, in an article titled “What ho! My hero, PG Wodehouse,” remarks on the popularity of the work, especially the prize-giving episode:

“The masterly episode where Gussie Fink-Nottle presents the prizes at Market Snodsbury grammar school is frequently included in collections of great comic literature and has often been described as the single funniest piece of sustained writing in the language. I would urge you, however, to head straight for a library or bookshop and get hold of the complete novel Right Ho, Jeeves, where you will encounter it fully in context and find that it leaps even more magnificently to life.”

In our previous book, Around the World in 80 Days, we discussed who the Christ figure was. Today I would also like to talk about another aspect of good stories: the external and internal journey the “hero”/main character goes on. Because the Jeeves and Wooster books are a series, the internal journey will not be as great as say for Walter Mitty (movie) or Kit in The Witch of Blackbird Pond (our February book).

Still, I think we can see both the Christ figure and the external/internal journey in this book. Jeeves seems to be in the undisputed Christ figure as everyone seeks out his wisdom, knows he can solve their problems, and is a servant! (Some might even argue a “suffering servant” working for Bertie.) Obviously the external journey of the story involved Bertie “helping” the three couples:

  • Gussie and Madeline Bassett
  • Angela and Tuppy
  • Aunt Dahlia and the money she needs from Uncle Tom

And the internal journey involved Bertie changing and growing. Because this is a serialized comedy, we won’t see the kind of growth as we would in a more contained story. That being said, what growth do you think Bertie experienced?

///

Wodehouse sure can turn a phrase.

1. “Turned you down?”

Like a bedspread in this very garden.”

Oh to be so witty in person!

2. “I heard a story the other day. I can’t quite remember it, but it was about a chap who snored and disturbed the neighbors, and it ended, ‘It was his adenoids that adenoid them.'”

I don’t know why I laugh so much at this and don’t groan . . . but it gets me each time I read it.

3. “Are you a pessimist, Bertie?”

I could have told her that what was occurring in this house was rapidly making me one, but I said, no, I wasn’t.”

Oh my word. This about sums up occasions I’ve had on team, in meetings, or in a “culture vortex.” Anyone else?!

4. “I say that my place was by her side, but it was not so dashed easy to get there, for she was setting a cracking pace.”

5. “It isn’t often that Aunt Dahlia, normally as genial a bird as ever, encouraged a gaggle of hounds to get their noses down to it, lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.”

This slayed me.

This was a fun summer read and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and what you enjoyed. Thanks Kay for the suggestion, I’m still laughing.

Amy

P.S. Next week we’ll start A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Huffman Rockness. Because we have five weeks to read it (with a Sabbath week in the middle), here is the plan in brief:

July 5: Forward – Chapter 5
July 12: Chapters  6- 10
July 19: Sabbath (reading a larger section)
July 26: Chapters 11-21
August 2: 22-26 (the end)

 

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6 Comments

  1. Michele Womble June 29, 2016

    Jeeves as the Christ figure – I didn’t think about him being a servant – but thought it was so apropo that he waited until Bertie was ready to turn everything over to him – always there, “materializing” when Bertie wanted him – well, most of the time – and when he finally handles things it is not without some discomfort for Bertie, but all for the best all the same.  😀  Also that Bertie only understands Jeeves’s plan in part – still didn’t understand it in full until afterward (and maybe not even entirely then) , and how it would be good for them AND him in the long run, although unpleasant for a bit, and achieve not just the end of getting the couples righted, (which Bertie knew about) but help adjust the others’ attitudes toward Bertie – which Bertie didn’t suspect needed adjusting….

    Bertie’s…growth?  – the only real growth I see (and I’m not sure if this is growth or not, but it is a character arc) is he finally comes to a place where he takes his hands off the situations and puts them (or leaves them) in Jeeves’s hands – where they were supposed to be in the first place.  But only out of desparation – which I suppose is something – But I think he still doesn’t appreciate or even understand Jeeves’ character fully.  or maybe at all.

    I loved this story.

    some lines I loved not mentioned yet:

    “the spectacle was enough to make me feel like a fellow watching a pal going over Niagra Falls in a barrel…”

    “The last time this relative and I had enjoyed a tete-a-tete, it will be remembered, she had sketched out plans for drowning me in the kitchen garden pond”

    “She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression”

    I was SO SURE that Aunt Dahlia and Tom were each going to save Anatole when the fire alarm went off.  I’m still a little disappointed that they didn’t.  😀

    But I really like the idea that as much as Bertie understood Jeeves’ plan and his role in it, he still completely didn’t understand Jeeves’s plan – in part because he couldn’t understand it, and in part because Jeeves didn’t reveal it to him completely.  (and wouldn’t have gotten it and wouldn’t have participated in it if he had).

     

    1. Amy Young June 29, 2016

      Michele, I LOVE how you teased out the “Christ figure!” I had missed how patient Jeeves was and how he knew the plan all along, but only shared as much as Bertie could handle at the time.

      And those quotes! I laughed just reading through them :)!!

  2. Michele Womble June 29, 2016

    Amy – Unless I missed something, when I follow your link to A Passion for the Impossible, there’s a part one and part two – and the chapters go to chapter 8 in part one and then start over from one in part two and go to 18.  – and so they don’t go to 26.  It’s actually not hard to figure out what to read (to “translate” the chapters) for each week, but could be confusing maybe (unless I’m just confused. 😉  )

    1. Amy Young June 29, 2016

       

      Michele, you are the best to check things out!!! I might have linked to the kindle version and bought the physical version. I think they are similar . . . but I will list both chapters numbers. Mine also has a part one and two. I think book makers just like to mess with us :)!!

      1. Michele Womble June 30, 2016

        Well, isn’t that funny!  In the kindle addition  – or at least, on MY kindle – the contents looks exactly like yours except that the chapter numbering starts again at one in Part two.  So your chapter 15 Closed Windows Open Doors is my Chapter 7 (in part Two).  Anyway, like I said, it’s not hard to figure out, but thought it might throw someone off if they didn’t have the time to delve deeper…

        1. Amy Young June 30, 2016

          I agree, it could! So thanks for helping to keep us all talking about the “right” Chapter 7 or whatever.

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