Ginger / Passports

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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Fairblue » 23 Jan 2014, 12:14

kylie_koyote wrote:He suggested a side trip to Jerusalem in Flies South but Biggles nixed the idea. It says he did so for reasons he kept to himself, so it's anyone's guess as to whether he had a religious yearning or a just wanted to see it as a tourist.

I go for the tourist bit - he would definitely have heard of it and it would be from sheer curiosity.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 23 Jan 2014, 12:17

Why are you so against the idea of Ginger having some religious feelings Fairblue?
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Kismet » 23 Jan 2014, 13:37

Fairblue wrote:
kylie_koyote wrote:He suggested a side trip to Jerusalem in Flies South but Biggles nixed the idea. It says he did so for reasons he kept to himself, so it's anyone's guess as to whether he had a religious yearning or a just wanted to see it as a tourist.

I go for the tourist bit - he would definitely have heard of it and it would be from sheer curiosity.


I think if Ginger had strong religious beliefs, Biggles would have been aware of them and know why Ginger wanted to go to Jerusalem (and been more tolerant). As Ginger's suggestion is presented as one of a series of side trips, I'd agree with KK that it was curiosity and wanderlust.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Fairblue » 23 Jan 2014, 13:40

It is perfectly possible that WEJ wanted to avoid mentioning religion. At the time of writing there was an awful lot of things going on in Europe in the name of religion.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 23 Jan 2014, 13:52

Very true but I think most people in the 1930s went to Church or Chapel and I think there was some allegiance to religion in the Scouts at that time as well. I do not mean to say that Ginger was very pious or overly religious but I do think he had had some religious education as I am sure Biggles, Algy and Bertie would have had at their Public Schools.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Fairblue » 23 Jan 2014, 14:14

Jenny Rob wrote:Very true but I think most people in the 1930s went to Church or Chapel and I think there was some allegiance to religion in the Scouts at that time as well. I do not mean to say that Ginger was very pious or overly religious but I do think he had had some religious education as I am sure Biggles, Algy and Bertie would have had at their Public Schools.

Church parade in the Forces was compulsory, even up to he 1970's. If you didn't want to attend you had to have a awfully good reason. And in the Scouts, too; certainly when Ginger would have been in. Whether you believed or not, if you were C of E or RC you had to go. And in those days, the majority of children were christened by their parents. Choice wasn't an option. So that could well have put some people off and they might have stopped observing it as soon as they could.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby SaintedAunt » 23 Jan 2014, 14:20

Fairblue wrote:[Choice wasn't an option. So that could well have put some people off and they might have stopped observing it as soon as they could.

My parents certainly did ;)
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby kylie_koyote » 23 Jan 2014, 14:31

I was trying to find it this morning but ran out of time, but I think it's in "2nd Case" where Biggles and Ginger bury two dead sailors and they say the Lord's Prayer.

I'm assuming that they would've learned this in school even if their home lives weren't particularly religious. In the USA it's illegal to have teacher-led prayer although that didn't stop my teachers when I was growing up. (I think it's more of an issue today with more diversity and all.).
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 23 Jan 2014, 14:37

Yes it is 2nd case. That is quite a grown up book.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Fairblue » 23 Jan 2014, 14:46

kylie_koyote wrote:I was trying to find it this morning but ran out of time, but I think it's in "2nd Case" where Biggles and Ginger bury two dead sailors and they say the Lord's Prayer.

I'm assuming that they would've learned this in school even if their home lives weren't particularly religious. In the USA it's illegal to have teacher-led prayer although that didn't stop my teachers when I was growing up. (I think it's more of an issue today with more diversity and all.).

I don't know about religion in schools today but in my day you had to learn the Lord's Prayer, and it was recited every morning in assembly. It was fundamental and absolute. Apart from one Jewish boy I can't recall of one instance in my schooldays (1957-1969) when we had someone in the school who was not C of E or RC. The Lord's Prayer was really the only thing that most people remembered and commonly was the one recited over someone's grave in the wars when there was no minister to perform a proper service.
Last edited by Fairblue on 23 Jan 2014, 14:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 23 Jan 2014, 14:54

Yes we had to say The Lord's Prayer every morning at school assembly. They do not have religious assemblies in schools now there are so many different faiths etc.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Kismet » 23 Jan 2014, 14:58

Fairblue wrote:
kylie_koyote wrote:I was trying to find it this morning but ran out of time, but I think it's in "2nd Case" where Biggles and Ginger bury two dead sailors and they say the Lord's Prayer.

I'm assuming that they would've learned this in school even if their home lives weren't particularly religious. In the USA it's illegal to have teacher-led prayer although that didn't stop my teachers when I was growing up. (I think it's more of an issue today with more diversity and all.).

I don't know about religion in schools today but in my day you had to learn the Lord's Prayer, and it was recited every morning in assembly. It was fundamental and absolute. Apart from one Jewish boy I can't recall of one instance in my schooldays (1957-1969) when we had someone in the school who was not C of E or RC. The Lord's Prayer was really the only thing that most people remembered and commonly was the one recited over someone's grave in the wars when there was no minister to perform a proper service.


It was 2 Jehovah's Witnesses at my secondary school who were officially exempt from daily assembly and RE. The 2 Muslim girls attended. At junior school we said grace before school dinners, and were sent to church every Wednesday during Lent. it was never questioned: you learnt it just like any other subject then attended church only for weddings, christenings and funerals as soon as it became optional.

They stopped having assemblies in my children's state school because there wasn't a room big enough to house the school all together, and my eldest daughter found compulsory chapel the hardest thing when she moved to the public school. She got very upset at some of the sermons.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby kylie_koyote » 23 Jan 2014, 15:03

In "fails to return", Bertie goes to the church to buy some candles as a thank offering after his narrow escape on the staircase.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Fairblue » 23 Jan 2014, 15:04

Did you remove a post, Kismet? I was trying to reply to it when it disappeared!
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Kismet » 23 Jan 2014, 15:55

Fairblue wrote:Did you remove a post, Kismet? I was trying to reply to it when it disappeared!


Sorry - when it went up I saw that you'd already answered the question in your previous post which for some reason didn't display when I pressed submit. I thought I'd been fast enough that no one would notice I was removing it.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Sizzling Sausages » 23 Jan 2014, 23:05

This is a bit hard to put in context, but it's from In the Gobi, where they're sent to recue a bunch of missionaries from the communists. The scene is after they've all been attacked, and are in hiding waiting for rescue. Ginger is watching the missionaries eat lunch and generally go about their business. Part of the paragraph goes thus:

'Ginger could feel for the missionaries. He realised how awful it must be for them, after months of misery, to see the possibility of having the cup of salvation dashed from their lips at the last moment. He admired their courage and fortitude, for not a word of complaint did they say. He thought of some of the people at home who were forever complaining of the hardness of their lot. What, he wondered, would they think of this. The two women went about their work quietly and efficiently. The men, oddly enough, represented several different forms of Christianity, yet here they were, all pulling on the same rope, each doing his best to help the others. To Ginger there was something fine about this, something which put him on his mettle'.

To me there's a few things going on here. In the context of the Cold War times, Johns is highlighting the superior nature of the Christians against the godless commies, who of course have been terribly and unnecessarily brutal in the events leading up to this point. Religion played a big part in the whole ethos of the western stance against communism. Johns is basically saying that in the last resort, the innate 'goodness' of Christianity will come through. But to me he's painting Ginger as somebody who doesn't normally think in such overt terms about Christianity - it's only in such a situation that the underlying principles shine through. There really isn't much religion in the Biggles books, this is one of the few instances where Johns makes a bit of an issue about it. It's part of the plot, of course, but is also saying that in the end, such bedrock beliefs will always win out against those who don't share these values - and Johns is also exhorting others to remember that with his line about people at home. So religion is something that's automatically there as part of the society in which Ginger and the others live (it's part of Johns' whole concept of Britain and Empire, as it was to most British people of the era) - it doesn't rule their lives, but it provides part of the basis for their society.
End of lecture. :)
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 24 Jan 2014, 10:35

I agree with that SS. I think Biggles and the others had a very strict moral code and all their honour, honesty, decency towards other races and their quest for justice in a very unjust world must have meant they believed in something religious or otherwise.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby SaintedAunt » 24 Jan 2014, 11:53

Jenny Rob wrote:I agree with that SS. I think Biggles and the others had a very strict moral code and all their honour, honesty, decency towards other races and their quest for justice in a very unjust world must have meant they believed in something religious or otherwise.

Their moral code was surely due to their upbringing? Or more accurately, WEJ's upbringing perhaps. The strict moral code of the Victorians was a legacy that has been slow to die. Many people subscribed to the values of honour, decency, etc. (and still do) without necessarily attaching them to any religious values. In the Biggles books, I get no sense of serious religious belief, although a respect for other people's beliefs is there.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 24 Jan 2014, 12:00

Of course the Victorians gave lip service to all the moral codes but some of them behaved dreadfully. The whole point of Biggles is that he has moral values wherever they came from. I am not in the least suggesting that any of the team were motivated by religion but I do believe that they would all have much more knowledge of the Bible etc. than people today. Religion as such was taught in schools in the form of the old Religious Education part of the syllabus and church going etc. was much more prevalent in the early part of the twentieth century than it is now. I think Biggles is tolerant of other people's beliefs, religions and way of life - the only thing he hated was anyone interfering with other people's beliefs and of course none of them liked the head hunting in the Far East.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Purple Pigeon » 24 Jan 2014, 12:29

Could someone please explain what Chapel actually was?
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Inactive User 149 » 24 Jan 2014, 12:36

It was a place of worship for a slightly different form of religion. There are different churches in England for Methodists and Congregationalists etc. which are still Protestant but not as high church as the actual Church of England churches. Methodists for instance are very frugal and ban all forms of alcohol. A lot of the Methodists were from working class backgrounds.
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Re: Ginger / Passports

Postby Kismet » 24 Jan 2014, 13:51

There was sometimes a certain amount of movement between the different denominations: eg: if a Congregationalist moved to a village without a Congregationalist chapel, they'd probably go to the Methodist chapel. If the Methodist chapel needed roof repairs, arrangements would be made to share the Baptists' premises whilst they occurred etc. Everyone with a chapel background would be expected to attend the CofE for certain events such as school carol services.
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