The story really took a turn within the last few chapters. Ginny went from being this caring and compassionate person to “Mother,” a terrible and abusive superior. It was a sudden change, too, which is why I think I had trouble understanding. I couldn’t believe Ginny was capable of such cruelty. At this point, I cannot possibly see Ginny as being the “Kind One,” so I am back to square one. Who could it be?
The power shifts throughout our novel have altered our characters significantly. When Linus began visiting Cleome and Zinnia at night, Ginny started beating the girls. She knew that it wasn’t the girls’ fault, but she was weak and took revenge. Likewise, when Linus died and the girls took over, they enacted their revenge upon Ginny. It seems that, up until this point, it is a revenge novel. It also appears to be a slave narrative according to the link Jennifer posted. Ginny is on track to experience the four phases (loss of innocence, mortification, escape, freedom obtained). We know she escapes to Lucius Wilson’s farm and obtains freedom from Zinnia and Cleome, but it is clear that she still has an immense amount of guilt weighing on her, so she can never truly be free.
As an aside, I have a few lingering questions regarding Linus’ first wife. Why does Bennett Marsden look to Cleome and Zinnia when Ginny asks about her? Is their relationship more than what we have been led to believe? I am beginning to wonder about the relationship between everyone on the farm. I hope this is explained eventually.