Quotes/Notes for Seedtime Essay

* ‘the harvest in his blood, whispering her to come to him, they’d done it in the Old Testament times, whispering You’re my flesh and blood, I can do with you what I will, come to me Chris, do you hear?’ – this is another negative sexual experience when her father is asking her to sleep with him!* ‘seeing father somehow struggling from his bed like a frog struggling, squatttering across the floor thump, thump on the stairs’ – this phrase contains many effects ‘struggling from his bed like a frog struggling’ a simile comparing the way her father was struggling to a frog, comparison to animals happens many times (beast, cat) conveying animal lust. ‘struggling, squatttering’ is alliteration and ‘thump, thump’ is an onomatopoeia.

By using all these techniques, it is really emphasised.* ‘And Mr Gibbon came over to see her, he’d been drinking a fell lot of late’ – this is showing the church and its ministers in a bad light again.* The funeral is another occasion when the whole of Kinraddie comes together and we can appreciate the strongly communal nature of their lives.

There is a real sense of community here, reflected in the fact that everybody turns up. Chae Strachan and old Sinclair make all the arrangements, whilst Rob and Alec Mutch bring the whisky to help out and ensure that the elaborate ritual of a Scottish funeral is carried out to the full.* ‘They’re to screw it down now, kiss your father, Chris. But she shook her head she couldn’t do that’…. ‘she just said Good-bye father, and turned from him’ This shows at this point she really did hate him – she couldn’t even bring herself to kiss him goodbye.

‘when that in the coffin had lain and whispered that she should lie with it’ she couldn’t even think of him as a person and say his name she just referred to him as ‘that’ and ‘it’.* This is when she totally turns around and realises that she did love him and that he had not always been the way he was in his last days (she reassess him). She also realises that the land broke him, the influence of religion and his consequent inability to come to terms with his own sexuality. She also realises that he had kept them fed and clothed by the shear hard work and that they did have good times. ‘father, father, I didn’t know! Oh father, I didn’t know.

‘, ‘he’d never rested working and chaving for them’ ‘he’d fought with the land and its masters to have them all clad and fed’. We can now feel sympathy for him to a certain extent (we see that the way he was, was a new thing)* ‘Reverend Gibbon but she couldn’t hear them at first; and folk were to say she must have been real fond of her father after all, the best of a coarse bit family in the end’ – this is the gossipy voice (community voice) coming through the narrative again* ‘Chris didn’t feel afraid at all by then, only lay and wept softly for the father she’d never helped and forgot to love’* ‘that it was an unco will, old Guthrie had been fair spiteful to his sons, maybe Will would dispute his sister’s tocher’ – this shows the gossip voice coming through again* at first she thinks that she is going to leave and follow with the English Chris again she even calls Blawearie it ‘the filthy soss of a farm’ but then she has a complete change of thought ‘that nothing endured at all, nothing but the land she passed across’ – ‘And she had thought to leave it all!’ – these show that the Scottish Chris had finally completely won over the English Chris. It is a turning point.

The lawyer is quite shocked by this announcement that she is going to stay on and run the farm, with a woman to stay with her for some company.* ‘home of the poverty toffs, folk said, where you might live in sin as much as you pleased but were damned to hell if you hadn’t a white stark’ – this shows his real views on Stonehaven- the place that he grew up!* We realise that she wants to experience a life with men and she supports her choice to stay on at Blawearie by saying how she could not of done this is she had become a teacher – ‘Chris thought for the first time then in her life how awful it would be to grew old like them, old maids without men, without ever lain with a man, or had him kiss you and hold you and be with you’* Labelling -‘you know them, saw through them, tied them up in a little packets stowed away in your mind, labelled COARSE or TINKS or Fine’ she thinks it is unfair how her Auntie could label Ewan in this way, personalities vary and she didn’t even know him.* ‘Chris went into Stonehaven again with Ewan and saw the man Semple, he was fair suspicious, at, first, but she argued him soon from that, and he got the lease changed to Ewan’s name, and well feathered his own nest in the changing, no doubt’ this is another example of gossip voice.* ‘Eh me! It’s fine to be young and be married, and maybe he’ll treat you all right, but mine, my first man, him that’s now dead, God! He was a fair bull of a man and not only the first night, either. He was aye at it, near deaved me to death he would’ this shows a negative attitude to sex from the wife of the grave-digger but Chris yet again manages to pick herself up from this and come through it unharmed.

* ‘Haver, are you trying to frighten the lass? She’ll be fine, her lad’s both blithe and kind’ – Mistress Melon says and ‘Chris loved her for that’ she always thought of her as jus ‘hard working, hard gossiping old body’ but she knows differently.* ‘the minister…telling of other wedding he’d made in his time, they’d all been gey funny and queer-like weddings, things that you laughed at, not fine like this’ .

..’maybe the minister no more than buttered her, shoe looked at him with the dark, cool doubt in her face, next instant forgot him in a glow of remembrance that blinded all else: she was married to Ewan!’ this sums up things which have been said through gossip voice – she realises that people that gossip may have others gossiping about them behind their backs as well – the minister was belittling others weddings and saying hers was great but would probably slag it of to others behind her back. She steps back to think during this and reflects – rationalises the situation (practical/ not fooled!)* ‘Rob was just saying what a shame it was that folk should be shamed nowadays to speak Scotch…

as though Scotch wasn’t good enough now’ – this shows how people try to loose their own traditional language to get on in life. ‘You tell me, man, what’s the English for sotter, or greip or smore, or pleitr’ – this shows that the word we are losing don’t have a translation really, so we are loosing sum ability to express ourselves. LGG obviously saw the old language dying out as a loss to community – loose words, loose meanings.* ‘they agreed that the land was a coarse, coarse life, you’d do better at almost anything else.

..work, work, work…hardly a living to be made’ – this shows that the attitude within the community was that they were all married to the land but hate it as well (love/hate relationship) they work hard, all day long and only come out break even.

* ‘Take things easy in married life…Don’t let Ewan saddle you with a birn of bairns Chris, it kills you and eats your heart away.

..you belong to yourself, mind that’ – this is the same sort of advice that she got from her mother (limit family) – that you don’t want to go through childbirth often (which was what even killed her mother). It was becoming more acceptable to limit family around this time (contraception was becoming more readily available) – another change.* When go to Edzell castle, Chris realises that they are not on the same intellectual level.

He has no interest in history and the kind of understanding it can bring.* ‘in her body the seed of that pleasure had sown with Ewan burgeoning and growing, dark in the warmth below her heart’ – Chris realises she is pregnant* At the end there is an incident where Chris screams at Ewan and he comes over – she is pregnant and this is part of the emotions – she is mad at Ewan for not realising what is going on – she smacks him. He reacts by punching her twice and he would of carried on if he hadn’t ran away, this is a slight clue to what happens later on when he returns from army) ‘he was at her himself like a cat, her head rang and dirled as he hit her twice’


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