The tea rose.

I just read Chapter Two of Adrienne's updated TTTT. I really love the parts added about Una and Hope's relationship as step-mother and -daughter. It got me to thinking: all of our Unas are very different. I like to make her happy in my stories because she's my favorite and I think she deserves it after such a hard life (Though MANY people don't like that at all and think she should have stayed true to Walter). A few other people, including lovejag, if I am remembering correctly, have her do somewhat of the same thing (end up with Shirley). In Adrienne's stories, she is very much like the traditional Una of the LMM books, only stronger and more secure, more spirited. Elouise's Una isn't a main character, but sticks to the shadows most of the time (as does kslchen's Una) and that suits her, I think--it's a very real interpretation of what would have happened if she never got over Walter or if he never found his way home.

Iffie makes her spirited, faerie5 has her taken up by the other girls and nurtured, while she nurtures them, AmericanGirlAnne makes Di and Una better friends than most people consider them to be.

All of these are such interesting, varied choices, and I thought it might be cool to talk about why we've "made" these choices for our dear Una.
13 Responses
  1. That's a very interesting analysis. I also have Una and Nan being closer friends, which was supposed to be a major backstory in my Nan of the Island because I had Nan being the sister most like Walter, which is why he gravitated toward Di and Rilla.

    In Once of Ingleside, Una isn't secure, she's just a broken, adult version of her earlier self I think. I mean, I had her engaged to the slimiest man on earth and resigned to do so. She basically existed after Walter's "death," but never really lived. She ran off to do missions because Shirley thought he wanted to marry her, and because her best friend, Nan, was pushing for it because Shirley was her closest friend and was planning to live at Green Gables, which was in close proximity to the Avonlea manse.

    It's not until the end of Once of Ingleside when I have Walter smash that tablet that was sacred to his memory in the church that she really allowed herself to let him love her.

    In their early marriage (all of this is planned out but not written) she feels somewhat inferior because it takes them so long to have a child. That's one of the reason Joy is their Joy. Of course in the mean time, she's trying her best to be the mother that Tenny and Hope deserve.

    When we see her in Through These Trying Times, she's been married for I think twelve years, Hope and Tenny have grown to be decent people, and she also has Joyce and David, as well as Walter's love and devotion. She's the type of person who flourished being loved, but is still quiet, unassuming, always internalizing Una.

    I will say that at a point near the end of TTTT, there are a few tense moments between Una and Hope planned out. This will makes Walter's relationship with both a little sticky. Well, things will get very interesting by the end, which won't change from what I always planned it to be.

  2. I meant to type that Shirley was Nan's closest brother. Well, he and Jem were both closer to Nan than Walter was, just because of their personalities.

  3. Connie Says:

    I always thought even at the beginning of OoI Una has at least some spirit: she travels halfway around the world to do missionary work, which I think would take a LOT of gumption. Maybe security was the wrong word.

    I think it's so interesting because in your stories we see Una with the life she wanted. In my stories, she loves Shirley, but a part of her always wonders what life with Walter would have been like. I feel so unhappy sometimes when I think of the depression I threw Una into when Susan died. I think if I had to write Cecilia of Ingleside over again (no plans in the future) I would have her sort of waste away from a depression disguised as an illness instead of outright cutting her wrists. I think Una is too sweet to ever really do anything like that, but hey, it's interesting, I guess.

  4. On one hand, I like the way you have Una cut her wrists. On the other, it's hard to believe that she would do that. Of course that's how everyone in her family seemed to see it.

    In my stories, I have her as being spirited and having gumption in spurts. She will never have the gumption of Faith for many reasons. First of all, she's not Faith. She can't be Faith. Secondly, I see both Una and Carl as lacking some of the social graces that Faith and Jerry had because they were so young when their mother died. They had less time to be nurtured the way they needed to be. Let's face it, once Cecilia Meredith died, her children were on their own, whether or not they were ready to be so.

    I've also always seen Una as a very human character. She envies the Blythe girls having a normal home life, even their having chores on Saturdays. She envies Mary her nice coat and muff, especially since Mary would have had none of it had Una not asked Miss Cornelia to raise Mary. She loves Walter from the background, knowing that she's overshadowed by Faith. I wonder if she ever envied Faith for Walter's love? In some ways it matters not because she would just internalize those feelings and be her sweet and pleasant self.

  5. Connie Says:

    Something I like from OoI is that Una is going to marry Samson Bell because she wants a family--she's willing to fight for what she wants. It's easy to see her doing that.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I love both your Una's--I have a hard time writing her well, which is why I have her stick to the shadows in my stories; it's easier than trying to do her very complex character justice. I did try, in Diana of the Island, to give Una some life--like Adrienne's Una she went off to do missions and while in India's slums learned that there were many other people in the world who had suffered far more than she did, and came home having gained quite a bit of confidence. Then once she was home I didn't know what to do with her (I'm being brutally honest here!), so she faded again. I justified that to myself with the idea that, once back in the Glen, with its conventional life, Una gradually lost her sense of purpose and faded into the background once more. However, as some of you might have noticed with Will's Uncle Kip, I am gradually introducing the concept of romance back into her life: slowly, as I think it would have to be after so many years alone.

  7. I have noticed Una's burgeoning relationship with Kip, and I love it.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I like what you said, Adrienne, about her spiritedness and gumption coming in spurts. Even in RV we see that--she has the gumption to ask Miss Cornelia to take in Mary, and to ask Rosemary to marry her father, yet most of the time she fades into the background and isn't even noticed. I'd say she's one of those people who manages to have the courage to act out her convictions when they're strong enough, but most of the time is content to let others dictate how her life goes.

  9. EXACTLY! She has this courage when she feels she must have it, but other than that, she's content to be in the background more. I guess that's the way I see my decision to have her go to India. She had the courage to go there, because she didn't see any other options for her life. However when she got there, she quickly let Samson Bell dictate her life and didn't really care because she saw it as the only way to obtain the things her heart desired. She knew she didn't love him and was ok with it because she believed that kind of love had passed her by. The next time she has real gumption is when she realizes that she cannot marry him

    I'm not saying that Walter dictates her life at all, by the time we get to TTTT, but she's content and has little need to step outside of her comfort zone now. Happily, she's in the background, letting her children and nieces and nephews have the spotlight.

  10. Connie Says:

    Oooh, I didn't notice about Uncle Kip--but now I can't wait to see that develop in the Meg sequel.

    And the part about Una having gumption in spurts based on her Rainbow Valley actions is spot on.

    I do agree with a lot of the commenters who get mad at me for marrying Una off to Shirley so soon. In my stories she only "mourns" him for about 6 years, and then she marries Shirley and learns to love him by 1923, when Cecilia is born. I think that it would have happened more realistically like it does in you guys' stories, but at the same time, I needed Cecilia to be born before 1925 so she could go overseas during WWII!

  11. I think six years is more than enough time mourn Walter because in your universe she still mourns him even after she has married Shirley. When Susan died, I think that brought out all of her feelings of loss that probably even stemmed back to her mother dying. As a person who lost a parent at a young age, I can tell you that loss like that never fully leaves you.

    I love that even thought they're together, Una's love for Shirley is gradual. I think it's very appropriate for your universe.

  12. Connie Says:

    I don't know. I'm torn between wanting to stay true to LMM's intent for Una, and wanting her to be happy. It's hard. I don't know if Maud would have approved.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I think Una deserves happiness ... whether that's what LMM intended or not! (heresy, I know) I know that with Walter's death she was trying to show the end of the era of innocent joy and beauty, but I'm not sure that there was any deeper point to prove with Una's loneliness, unless it was simply how many lives were broken by the war, even those who may have appeared to the world unaffected. In any case, I think that a redemption of sorts for Una, a redemption of happiness, is in keeping with the general tone of LMM's works, even if it may not be what she intended for Una specifically.