The Pat series

Discuss the author's literature and life.
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Wild Roses
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The Pat series

Post by Wild Roses » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:32 pm

Yes, I'm on a spree!

Pat is one LMM's more neglected heroines. If not the most neglected of the series heroines. Unlike Anne, Emily, or the others, Pat is a homebody. She isn't adventurous and she loves her family dearly. But still, she is fun!

Pat's connection to nature and love of wild flowers (in the ground, not picked!) is strongly emphasized.

It's easy to root for Pat because she gets stuck with the worst villianess since Anne had to deal with Josie Pye. May Binnie! May might actually be even worse than Josie...

Welll, anybody read? Thoughts on Pat, or Jingle or Judy or May?

hannikan
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Post by hannikan » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:58 pm

I haven't read the Pat books but they're on my list. Sounds like she's an interesting character. I love the original book covers for the Pat books, too. So maybe in a few months I'll be able to discuss Pat with you!
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Wild Roses
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Post by Wild Roses » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:11 pm

I think you'll probably get to the "Pat" books sooner than I will. I'm just finishing "Further Chronicles of Avonlea" and will be starting to reread the "Emily" series soon.

Pat is the most ordinary of all the heroines, but she seems to be one of the more polarizing since her only ambition is stay at home. Which puts her at quite the contrast to Anne, Emily, Sara, etc. (I guess Anne did become a home type but prior to marriage she was very ambitious.)

Wild Roses
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Re: The Pat series

Post by Wild Roses » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:40 pm

I'm finally on my Pat reread. I just finished PoSB and am rereading MP. I think Pat gets an unfair rap from LMM scholars. It's been a long times since I've read the criticism, but most seemed to believe she was too limited (because she only wanted to stay at Silver Bush) and too unbending (because she always complains about change, be it good or bad).

I think LMM was actually more honest with Pat then she was with Anne and Emily though. Pat CHOOSES to be an old maid. She doesn't feel that life is tragic just because she is single at Silver Bush. She feels bad for Hilary because she doesn't love him enough to want to marry him, but she's content with her station in life. What is more, she is an ACTIVE homemaker. Contrast to Anne, who basically leave the household running up to Susan (even after so many countless rereads, I'm still perplexed by what Anne does all day since she obviously isn't cooking, or cleaning, or even mothering her own children. Oh, that's right! She ...gossips. How fulfilling of her!). Then, there's Emily who wants marriage and a career but is forced into her own self-made tragedy because she is too proud for too many years (almost until it is too late) to tell Teddy that she loves him. (Emily the novelist does more than Anne around the house though!)

LMM herself even calls Pat an old maid in MP, and she doesn't mean it in a bad way. She also repeatedly tells us in the first book that Pat is average and hints that she is a loner. Pat will never be an Emily or even an Anne (and, let's not forget that Anne largely lets her literary talent go to waste), but she knows what she's good at and she excells in it. (Albeit cooking, but LMM has never dismissed that: to the contrary to be a good cook is to be a good person. Even Marigold, largely a failure as a heroine, gets her moment to shine when she saves the day by cooking.)

I think there is still a stigma around old maids which is why many readers and critics feel uncomfortable with Pat. Pat does pay for her choice. What other heroine has her enemy as a sister-in-law and has her home burned down? Not to mention, loses her childhood best friend to death and the other to journeys around the world? Pat is practically as isolated as Emily is by the time MP ends. (It's like LMM knews Pat by nature was an old maid and nothing was going to induce her to marry but Hilary had to have his happy ending...so Pat got punished so that she would have no other discourse but to marry Hilary.)

I don't deny Pat can get annoying in repititions about hating 'change.' However, one thing to remember is that in both books we're with Pat for well over a decade (12 years in PoSB, a missing 2 gap +11 years in MP). We're only seeing slivers of her life, and only when the momentuous moments occur at that. Also, if you pay close attention, you'll notice her family just "leaps change" on her. Rather, then prepare her little by little, they just tell her before it's about to happen. That has got to inform why Pat finds change so disconcerting. Also, we start out with her when she's really young (only Marigold has a comparable start rate) rather than when she is in her teens like with most heroines.

I went on way longer than I intended to. Sorry about that.

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