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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
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Passing objects and values to the next generation

Created: 03/24/11

Replies: 10

Posted Mar. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
BookBrowse

Join Date: 11/16/10

Posts: 44

Passing objects and values to the next generation

For Major Pettigrew, the Churchills represent societal standing and achievement, as well as an important part of his family's history. However, as events unfold, his views start to change. Why is this? What important objects and values have you inherited from the previous generation, and what do you hope to pass on to the next?


Posted May. 06, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 16

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

This was an interesting concept to me since the Major almost seemed to value his treasured "Churchills" more than the relationship with his brother. As the story evolved, however, he was tested to demonstrate the greater importance between humans and objects when he saved Abdul Wahid while losing one of the guns. (It speaks to his practicality that they were insured! Smart Major!)


Posted May. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
virginiaw

Join Date: 05/07/11

Posts: 7

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

Different generations have different values. I know from my own experience that my children do not treasure items that I think are important. In regard to values, I do see inherent values crop up occasionally and when they do crop up, it is a pleasant surprise.


Posted May. 09, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davidv

Join Date: 05/09/11

Posts: 9

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

I believe that the Major was a person of much greater depth than we first realized when we were introduced to him. Even at his age he was willing to accept some changes quite easily (being of the same approximate vintage I know that change isn't always easy to deal with as we grow older). His obvious affection for Mrs Ali made it easier for him for him to deal with pre-conceived notions about people from other cultures. He appeared to have more difficulty dealing with his son's values, although I think he realized a grudging respect for Sandy, Roger's girlfriend (I wish she had remained in the story or returns in a sequel because she was vital and interesting). The generation gap was obviously at play. I can identify with the Churchills, having inherited an valuable ring from my father which has been passed through our family for generations). It is often a topic of conversation among my family and has been an object of some jealousy among my siblings. This will continue when my son receives the ring from me.


Posted May. 09, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 483

Expert

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

David's comment reminded me of the Q&A our reviewer did with Helen Simonson at the time the book came out and, sadly, she has no plans for a sequel: http://www.bookbrowse.com/author_interviews/full/index.cfm/author_number/1815/helen-simonson. While I think she's probably right to stop at just the one book with these characters, it doesn't stop me pining for a sequel - perhaps a series of cozy mysteries featuring the Major and Mrs Ali solving clues together over a nice cup of tea!


Posted May. 10, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marthad

Join Date: 05/10/11

Posts: 25

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

Oh my gosh Davina you're the best. I would totally read a cozy mystery series staring the Major and Mrs. Ali. What fun that would be. I think I'm going to be making some up in my head now.


Posted May. 10, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
trezelineb

Join Date: 04/24/11

Posts: 16

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

As far as objects go, I don't think my kids value anything that I have to past down to them. They could care less about my expensive fountain pens and artwork. It saddens me to think thst when I leave this world my prized posessions will disapear too. As far as my cultural and emotional values are concerned, I think my children have adopted them hook line and sinker.

I am very glad for this. I'd much rather my children carry on my values and beliefs than worry about things. Roger seemed to reject both kinds of Major Pettigrew's types of values. This is what I think bothered Major Pettigrew more than anything else. He felt he didn't know his son and wondered at times if he had truly raised him.


Posted May. 10, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 483

Expert

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

Hi Trezeline, I'm with you that absorbing positive values is more important than prizing possessions, but could it be that you don't see your children valuing the things that are precious to you now, but that they would do so after your death - not because of their value as such, but because they were yours?

My parents have many beautiful pieces but I wouldn't feel comfortable expressing overt enthusiasm for any of them as it seems to me that there is a fine line between appreciation and coveting, and I wouldn't want to give the impression that I feel a sense of entitlement to these things, as while my parents are living, indeed even after their death, it's up to them how they distribute their belongings. I would like them to feel that they can sell whatever they need or want to, without feeling guilty of depriving the next generation; and that they are free to pass them on to whichever of their children or relatives they wish on their death.


Posted May. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
trezelineb

Join Date: 04/24/11

Posts: 16

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

I think you may be correct Davina. My mother tried to give me her silver while she was living. I felt very uncomfortable and said I didn't want it now. She gave it to a cousin and that bothered me some. I never said anything about it to her. However, my feelings were the same as yours. She is still alive, I wanted her to keep it.


Posted May. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
princessa

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 10

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

To me, the Major exhibited his fondness of a memory or tradition in those Churchills. I can't think of an item that I'm attached to. Maybe because I haven't formed any intense memory that is connected with an object. Maybe it's a sign that he didn't want to let go of something because it filled him with something. Now that Mrs. Ali was in his life and he experienced so much, he didn't need the Churchills to fill that void. I guess it's the same when I was briefly attached to a poster of a movie star and I didn't have a boyfriend at that time. It just felt important to me to see that poster to rekindle feelings that I wanted to experience as if I had someone in my life. Later on, it just seemed so silly to think of an object that can replace the real thing.


Posted May. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 116

Expert

RE: Passing objects and values to the next generation

I don't really have any possessions passed on to me from pass generations but certainly have values passed on. I learned good work ethics and to have a good name for myself. My name is my honor. Caring about others was a value passed on from my mother. And while these values may at first not seem to be part of the younger members of my family, as they get older I start to see some of these values surface. So I can see the seeds planted by the older generations now sprouting.


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