[EPUB] ✻ The Group ❀ Mary McCarthy – Motyourdrive.co.uk

The Group summary The Group, series The Group, book The Group, pdf The Group, The Group 6ff32ea297 Mary McCarthy S Most Celebrated Novel Follows The Lives Of Eight Vassar Graduates, Known Simply To Their Classmates As The Group An Eclectic Mix Of Personalities And Upbringings, They Meet A Week After Graduation To Watch Kay Strong Get Married After The Ceremony, The Women Begin Their Adult Lives Traveling To Europe, Tackling The Worlds Of Nursing And Publishing, And Finding Love And Heartbreak In The Streets Of New York City Through The Years, Some Of The Friends Grow Apart And Some Become Entangled In Each Other S Affairs, But All Vow Not To Become Like Their Mothers And Fathers It Is Only When One Of Them Passes Away That They All Come Back Together Again To Mourn The Loss Of A Friend, A Confidante, And Most Importantly, A Member Of The Group

10 thoughts on “The Group

  1. says:

    I can remember my Dad s married sisters discussing this book they were voracious readers always in the 1960 s I was determined to read it and finally got hold of it in 1967 when I was studying to be a Catholic priest My Student Director immediately confiscated it, so I knew its reputation was still going strong He didn t see my two volumes of Nietzsche I d also bought with money my Mum had given me for my 20th birthday I d only bought them because I d already seen him confiscate a Nietzsche on the grounds that it could destroy one s faith and I was already seeing large holes in the Church s fabric myself I mentioned what had happened to my History tutor, a Russian woman, at Adelaide University South Australia and she gave me her copy of McCarthy which I still have.I have read it three times 2007 was the last time and seen the movie several times, a very faithful rendition.This book is so eloquent and dry and upfront and honest All of these make it totally outrageous but dreadfully refreshing How many books do this And not missing are McCarthy s wit and humour.It makes me believe in intelligent Americans in a way that Sex and the City doesn t It s sad to notice that there is only one American male on this site Well done, Dave Aren t they interested in the experiences of their women Great to see another generation of women responding to this great author.By the way, I never became a priest.I left the monastery two years later an atheist And I never read the Nietzsche it was too difficult I still have them thoughlike a symbol I have two copies of The Group nowone to lend out and the one given me by my Russian tutor in History, the sentimental memory copy And I m looking forward to another reread of The Group.Cheers from Wayne,Sydney.PS.Have any of you folk read another magnificent American woman, Janet Flanner, Paris correspondent for the New Yorker 5 YEARS LATER The Group came back into my TV Life a few weeks agoa long time since I had enjoyed the filmand did so again When I wrote this review on 4th Feb 2011 there was only one other male reader.Since then there have been many others which is GREATbut, of course, overwhelmingly womenare the main readers I m curious to know if this book is read as an important part of American Lit on College or Uni Campusesor is it still scandalous for being upfront And I never thought to mention Lakey whose presence must have added to the book s scandalous reputation In these days of Marriage Equality she takes on a Very Modern role in a book set just before WWII But of course Gay men and women have always been living as married coupleswhy would they ask for anyone s permission Lakey has the last word in the noveland she socks it to its Meanest Man The scene is done to Perfection in the Film It was Candice Bergen s first roleand definitely NOT her last Hope You All get a chance to see it.And I m glad my review has been enjoyed by many readers Thanks

  2. says:

    Take THAT Candace Bushnell Every woman who moves to NYC after becoming obsessed with Sex and the City should be compelled to read this book Even though this book takes place between the WWI and WWII they d probably be shocked to discover that the things change, the they stay the same If anything, this is probably the most realistic picture of the dynamics of female friendships and their impact on male female relations that I ve ever read.Frank discussion of pre marital sex, birth control, hasty marriage, loveless marriages, adultery, domestic violence, mental illness, pregnancy, post partum depression, lesbianism etc etc etc you ll be stunned that this takes place in the 30 s Because, you know, we didn t like, invent promiscuous sex and neuroses or falling in love with the wrong men or anything.

  3. says:

    I read this book when I was really young, maybe 12 I just saw a review on it, it said, The book was very frank about sexuality, describing some sex scenes in great detail However, it felt clinical , like a sex ed text than erotic Not to me it was HOT and very inspirational Masturbation, the First Time, and Girls who like other Girls, what s clinical about that It was my favourite secret book That is, until I found my father s The Kama Sutra The Perfumed Garden drying in the airing cupboard after his weekly bath He had showers every day, but a bath on Sunday with an adult book I read his Freemasons book that way as well.

  4. says:

    This is pretty much my ideal novel It s set in 1930s New York and follows the lives of several Vassar graduates There has been only a few truly slow portions of this novel I laughed aloud in several parts of the novel All of the talk of New York high society, 1930s politics, Freudian psychotherapy, and modernism generally was like candy to me All of these characters were pretty darn interesting to me and I was sad when the novel ended.

  5. says:

    After tearing through Mary McCarthy s The Group, I m kinda shocked that it hasn t been inducted into the canon yet The book is a stunning, scary look at gender relations in the 1930s, yet so searing that it s a shock to see it was written in the 1950s Even Mad Men, written from the perspective of today s improvements, isn t as damning as McCarthy can be about the oppression of the time.McCarthy gets quite a bit out of the tension between characters being comedically wrong and worryingly wrong And that s putting it lightly some of the dialogue can be absolutely chilling, especially the prisoners who have learned to love their prison Each of the characters seems promising and aware of their times, until they incidentally slip into some pattern of behavior that perpetuates the oppression of women at the time.As far as those patterns of behavior, McCarthy has wonderful treatments of internal dialogues and how women at the time sort of reasoned their way through the world More than their actions, it shows the assumptions and prejudices they worked under, and the rationalizations that justified horrible results for themselves There s also a tremendous insecurity from the expectations of the day, primarily marriage.So many of the dialogues would start with the character considering something and, like pulling on a sweater s thread, slowly unraveling what they thought they knew Sometimes it s accurate, but most of the time you get the sense that they re just running around in circles missing some central lacuna And so many of the dialogues pulled from the pop psychology of the day, primarily Freud s It s hard to imagine today how large his impact was, but at the time it rivaled Darwin s and possibly exceeded.Sometimes McCarthy steps back and looks at things from an incidental character s point of view, showing how these young women are perceived and in that perception, constrained by men and older women There are yet other episodes that show the fruitless of their analysis and pop psychology by upturning one character s inferences using the experience of another in one memorable case, she has one character remember a party that was already described matter of factly, except this character s rememberance is overtaken by a single, surprising urge.I was surprised by how much the novel was also focused on class how it in some senses liberated the women of the novel to worry less about material needs, but at the same time gave them to lose if they worked against the social order It s hard to say whether class lended itself to or less equitable relations I d guess because these women had access to education, but it s hard to tell given the shared social background of most characters It would certainly vary dramatically by region though, with women in East Texas not yet receiving electricity and expected to perform any number of back breaking duties in a day.That s not to say that our monied characters don t have terrifying experiences of their own The mental ward chapter was especially scary, having gone through a similar experience myself Kay s admission is still very similar to how it s done today, and is enough to drive one to madness if they weren t already there Public mental health care in the US is like maintaining a fire department without fire codes, and it hasn t markedly improved in the last 80 years One s husband cannot trap you in the ward merely on his say so, but the criteria for release are still frustratingly vague.This is in many ways a tremendously important novel to read today, even though things have certainly improved for the better Most people today understand that it was bad for women in the past, but it s hard to imagine the ways that such oppression sustained itself For so many historical studies of sexism and racism, it s a tempting answer to just say they were dumber back in the day while this is somewhat true when you consider lead poisoning and alcohol consumption of the day, it s a dangerously incomplete answer Grappling with the particulars of how we demeaned women is gruesome but necessary so we understand that oppression doesn t come in flashing neon It slips into your very ways of thinking, masquerading as a web of supporting assumptions that can t be eliminated until the entire system has been unmasked and hacked away.

  6. says:

    You know when you re in the middle of a good book and you have to put it down, you still think about the characters and the story Well, that was NOT the case with this book I never connected and never felt anything about it Apparently, this book first came out in 1954 1963 and I think the reason it was popular was because it had very taboo content at least for the 1950 s I could see young girls back then giggling and hiding their copies of it Other than that, it s filled with flaws No plot the author tries to tell a story of 8 Vassar graduates, but it s too many characters and she doesn t do any of them justice There are also about 30 side characters Plus, the bulk of the story is supposed to take place from 1933 1943, but McCarthy never brings that 30s feeling instead, it feels so 1950 1960, the time period when she actually wrote it Another major flaw is that no relationships are developed Everyone is talking AT each other, instead of WITH each other It s a constant, running monologue, rather than dialogue It reminds me of old Woody Allen movies Not the good, funny part of Woody, but Woody movies when he has himself or other characters go on ad nauseam about communism, psychoanalysis so 1950 s , and sexuality It s one character talking just for the sake of talking There was a movie made about it in 1966, but it bombed I always try to find one positive thing so I guess it made me glad that I came of age in the 1980 s after the birth control pill was invented And I learned what a pessary is

  7. says:

    Re read.

  8. says:

    There s this story Laura Jacobs recounts in her definitive essay about this book I used to keep seventy five dollars of mad money in a book We had The Group on the shelf in our guest room and I thought, I ll remember where it is if I put it in there Every guest we had would come down the next morning and say, Did you know you had money in that book She should have stashed it in Herzog, right No one would ever have found it This book, on the other hand, which gets almost immediately to a long scene of orgasmic deflowerizationthis is a poor choice for a hiding place.Written in 1963 and set in the 30s, it follows eight women, and assorted hangers on, after their graduation from college and through about seven years of their lives McCarthy s penchant for thinly disguising her Vassar classmates made her not the most popular kid at reunion Here s a daisy chain, which was when the most bright eyed Vassar women carried shitloads of flowers around and has probably been awkward to modernize.The plot is not compelling It or less falls into the connected short story genre, with linking characters and themes and sometimes you get the sense that it s not even that, it s of a series of excuses for instructional manuals Here is how to use a pessary That s pretty much a diaphragm Here are some competing philosophies re child rearing They re using cry it out Characters pass the story off to each other like relay batons the stories overlap like a series of cresting waves.But for all that it isn t boring Although the child free might nod off a bit during the two chapters about baby strategy Partly that s because much of it is about sex But it s also extremely funny, and not just because of the recipes straight out of the 70s Dinner Party Twitter account A marvelous jellied salad called Green Goddess, made with lime gelatin, shrimps, mayonnaise, and alligator pear People are described as Given to large tight brassieres and copious menstruation, and The sort of girl that people s brothers took out Dottie mishears pessary as peccary and wonders what she s supposed to do with a pig There s even a Jeevesian butler.I mean, it s dead serious too McCarthy means to fight, make no mistake She tackles miscarriage and rape and death One of the ongoing threads is men making decisions for women, with increasingly dire consequences Birth control, breastfeeding, institutionalization the effect of men on women gets worse and worse as we go It s not an accident that the final story is about a gay woman.On publication, as Elizabeth Day puts it for The Guardian, The Group rapidly became a book that everyone read without wanting to admit it Birth control, right Ew The good news it s been 70 years, and now you can admit it all you want This book is great.

  9. says:

    I don t think sex is comical to the people taking part in it It s comical to others Mary McCarthy, on the Jack Paar Show 1963https www.youtube.com watch v OmZ2iIt is easy to overlook McCarthy s wit because she has so loaded up this novel with a lifetime of observations on the kind of women she turned out not to be There is plenty of T.S Eliot s The women come and go, talking of Michelangelo in these sketches of Vassar girls, as they discuss C zanne, O Keefe, and read Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Croce, Tolstoy s What is Art They have Marx, Spengler, Edmund Wilson s Axel s Castle on the shelves which is amusing considering that McCarthy was married to the man The furniture in Kay s apartment, for example, was meant to be talked about, in Norine s nothing had been admitted that did not make a relevant statement though what the polar bear was saying Helena could not make out I reacted against Lakey s empty formalism, Norine was saying I went up to my room that night and spewed out the window That was Armageddon for me, though I didn t see it yet I didn t discover socialism till junior year All I knew that night was that I believed in something and couldn t express it, while your team believed in nothing but knew how to say it in other men s words In that quote you can see a lot of Sylvia Plath s impotent rage which McCarthy didn t have because she was too concerned with being artistically great, politically active, sexually adventurous This novel cries out for comparison with the Daddy oppressed poet, the Vassar girls being of Plath s class I was about a fourth through the novel when picking up a few details I realized that it was set in the 1930s You could ve fooled me, I thought, because its language and morality seem firmly rooted in 1950s American culture There is Fanny Farmer, and Campbell s tomato soup poured over meatloaf recipes when pissed off people say drat her and when they end up at tiny restaurants they are called dinky ones I went back to the beginning and saw that oops, it s spelled out there in the opening line we are in the 1930s The privilege of these girls doesn t jibe though with the quarter of the country unemployed these years, which is helpful to keep in mind The opening scene is a wonderful panorama of these sister graduates at a wedding We are dizzy meeting everyone like the uninvited guest that we are Names go by without us able to latch onto who we are meeting, but we pick up on the moral atmosphere all the same No one really thinks Kay has married well Kay doesn t intend on being one of this class She has married Harald, but since the marriage Harald has lost his stage job and reads The New Yorker and soon enough we find out he s been hiding a few secrets from his newlywed You picture Kay clipping out hearty recipes from McCall s magazine Lately she s into cooking casseroles and those with beans They might have to change residence due to financial concerns, but hopefully not move into a place that is too unsightly Kay wouldn t live in a basement it was unhealthy She glanced at her beans again and slammed the oven door This is where McCarthy the intellectual might be pressing her case too hard, though I don t mind it Kay had a ruthless hatred of poor people, which not even Harald suspected and which sometimes scared her by its violence, as when she was waiting on some indigent in the store as she turns the heat off for the brewing of Maxwell House coffee.You can practically feel the advice columns McCarthy s early readers were reading, a target audience if there ever was one There is lots of helpful, gaudy detail about what it was like to be sexually active at this time losing one s virginity, contraceptive options, ejaculation habits, premature and otherwise one memorably shot out by the ridiculously named Dick Brown landing on the virgin from Boston s tummy and don t call her Brahmin You better believe there is plenty of detail on the vulgar mating rituals, of affairs, friends screwing each other behind their backs, all of which must have caused fainting fits in the early 1960s to its first readers, as they turned the pages eagerly while steadying themselves for the sexual revolution This is too much fun any one novelist should ever be allowed Norine, she of the evening jeweled tiara and the long white gloves, instigated a fracas between Harald and Putnam over sleeping partners Helena s mother Mrs Davison is not surprised I said to your father this reminded me of the old suffragette demonstrations Chaining themselves to lampposts, and that young woman, Inez something something, Vassar she was too, who rode a white horse down Fifth Avenue to demonstrate Dressed to kill It s good to see the hypocrisies of feminism haven t changed in sixty years though it s comforting to see the relationships between mothers and daughters haven t changed either.Mother Davison says I said to myself No man ever planned this fight But why asked daughter Helena No grown up man will ever put on a tuxedo unless a woman makes him No man, whatever his politics, Helena, is going to put on a tuxedo to go out and sympathy strike, or whatever they call it unless some artful woman is egging him on To get his picture in the paper Helena laughed and patted her mother s plump arm What was her field at college English, said Helena She did her main work for Miss Lockwood Contemporary Press Mrs Davison smote her forehead Oh, my prophetic soul she said, nodding.

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