O Caledonia Janet was a sensitive, gentle and thoughtful character who was a victim of circumstance and did not deserve to die.
Chapter 1 Right from the start they would have preferred a boy “Her father came home and looked into the blue wicker basket” This is what happened at the birth of Francis “Vera’s pedantic friend Constance wrote to congratulate her: ‘In the manufacture of human pride there is no ingredient so potent as the production of a son.’”
Chapter 2 Her Grandfather loved her most and bought her a parrot. Francis also got a bird. “This bird was no rival to her parrot” Shows her Grandfathers love for her. Her sensitive side comes through in the landscape of the beach “Janet was afraid of this place and did not like its sinister jutting outline.” Her feminine side comes across when she was younger, “Janet built castles for princesses with strandy green lawns and walls hung in pink shells”
Chapter 3 Janet becomes self-reliant when she overhears her mother talking “Janet heard Vera telling her friend Constance that she only really liked babies and found children annoying.” Janet imagines herself as part of a story in which a lord lived at Auchnasaugh with his family. The king kills his son so his wife takes revenge on the king before killing herself. Janet likes this story as it is a romantic fairytale which she would like to be the lead of. This chapter also reveals some of Janet’s weird side as she is friends with Lila who is described as hippy and eccentric. The villagers do not speak to her and children point and jeer at her as they think she is mad and is a witch. Janet however gets on well with Lila.
Chapter 4 She was forced into an all boys school - Which means she wasn’t in an appropriate environment. “For this reason he had started a boys’ school for his daughters to attend” When Janet hurts herself Vera doesn’t seem to care, she only gets mad at her for climbing the tree. This shows that when Janet is sensitive she is told off for it. In this incident she is also showing sensitivity for trying to prove her worth to the boys who say she cannot climb the tree Janet is also shown as being gentle when she doesn’t like playing rough games such as rugby and cricket.
Chapter 5 Janet is being sensitive when she shows her love for Autumn and it shows her home (ironically where she dies) is the place she feels most comfortable and safe in. She becomes sick easily in the car which shows a vulnerable side to Janet. She doesn’t get any consolation from Vera so takes comfort in reciting ballads.
Chapter 6 Janet was teased by the boys about puberty which plays an important part in making her feel uncomfortable with the facts of life “Show us your tits, Janet” She already has planned where she wants to be buried which shows her sensitive side. She is betrayed by the books she finds in the secret room by her favourite poets and authors this conveys her gentle side to us. Raymond Dibdin tries to put the charm on Janet when he sees her in the secret room reading the erotica, it reveals her sensitive side, “He was panting; he brandished and twirled a dreadful dark pink baton out of the front of his shorts.”
Chapter 7 It shows her sensitive side when she overhears Hilary Dibdin talking about Auchnasaugh. “Janet fled to her icy cubicle and sat clutching her photograph of the dogs on the back drive” When Janet starts her new school she finds that life at Auchnasaugh goes on without her, and that no one truly cared for her. Through this she becomes more independent. “She was drowned in desolation” Also she shows her thoughtful side when she feels sympathetic for Lila and wants to defend her as she is the closest person to Janet. The Pigeon was dying and she wanted to help it conveys her thoughtful and gentle side.
Chapter 8 Sensitive side comes across when she longs for spring time to remind her of her early childhood. She shows her thoughtfulness when she warns Cynthia about the seals in the water. She’s guilty and ashamed of her attitude towards helping Vera with Lulu’s new shetland pony. It shows that Janet really was a good person.
Chapter 9 In Chapter Nine Janet begins to think and find out about death. She doesn’t seem to be upset with her own death, and makes plans for her funeral, however the deaths of animals deeply upset her. “She buried the squirrel and then she sat by the small grave and was overwhelmed by grief”. This shows her sensitivity towards all living things, and how she cares. “She mused upon her own remote and unalarming death and the arrangements for her funeral.” This shows how she cares about other thing’s deaths more than she does about her own.
Chapter 10 When they’re reading something in class Janet becomes emotional, “Janet had burst into tears, uncontrollable, flooding tears which she had been unable to explain apart from saying she found the image moving” “It was as though her intense love for her jackdaw had unlocked her heart and left it open to the weather.” This shows that she is capable of love, even if it is only to a bird.
Chapter 11 Janet finally seems to be happy in herself in the final chapter. –“She felt strong and bright and beautiful. Perhaps it was worth being female after all.” –She also finally admits to herself that she is lonely; –“ ‘O who would inhabit this bleak world alone?’ she said aloud. She yearned for her love.” –When she dies, she is happy, believing that she has finally discovered true love. –“She did not feel the knife as it stabbed again and again”.