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The Arsonist
One of our most elegant and engrossing novelists at her inimitable best.
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What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

Created: 07/27/14

Replies: 5

Posted Jul. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 558

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What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

As Alfieā€™s illness progresses, Sylvia finds "the managing of appearances increasingly difficult." (p. 29) What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 22

RE: What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

This is a never-ending situation. "Keeping up appearances" has always been part of society and will continue in the future. Pomeroy was more unique then many small towns because of the large number of summer residents. We all engage in gossip--just listen to the conversations of children, teens and young adults--social media has allowed even more gossip to be possible among people.


Posted Jul. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 23

RE: What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

I felt there was more Attitude problem than Gossip.
Frankie mentioned checking out at Snell's behind a summer person "in her pearls"
The Fire Dept was inadequate because of the summer homes in outlying areas. Perhaps resentment
on this issue was fuel/provocation for the Arsonist. (Whoever he was!)


Posted Aug. 09, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 244

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RE: What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

As with most small communities it is a fact of life and does influence many things. Having grown up in a very small town I was able to relate to all the references to gossip but I do not feel it is always a bad thing. In communities where most everyone knows each other it serves as a sort of glue and communication tool. Also most of the time a community member can sift the truth from the opinion and prejudice which is not a bad skill to develop. Though I do not think I was ever particularly targeted or affected by gossip I must admit a strong desire to not live is a small, insular community when I reached adulthood and I haven't.


Posted Aug. 11, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviag

Join Date: 03/25/13

Posts: 12

RE: What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

I think all communities have gossip. Sometimes it's social currency, sometimes it's a way to spread essential social information, and sometimes it's just malicious fueled by resentment or jealousy. I have been the victim of gossip, some so untrue it was actually funny. I think all gossip should be taken as questionable at best. I think that the gossip in town was a form of verbal arson. Spreading and damaging, sometimes smoke, sometimes fire.


Posted Aug. 11, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
allwright91552

Join Date: 08/11/14

Posts: 4

RE: What is the role of gossip in Pomeroy? In what ways is gossip a form of social currency? Have you ever been affected by gossip?

I agree with sylviag's comment about the gossip occurring in the small town was "verbal arson"... gossip does indeed blow smoke to keep people from seeing the truth about a situation or a person and their actions. Gossip can add smoke to cause more volatile fuel to the fire. Unfortunately, people seem to thrive on gossip even if it is unintentionally harmful. This happens in small towns (you may know more about the persons involved), but even in large group situations whether it be life or work gossip happens. Some people/characters thrive on hearing and/or delivering gossip.


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