The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by

Ann Shaffer

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Eben Ramsey Character Analysis

Eben is an elderly farmer on Guernsey. His daughter, Jane, was the same age as Elizabeth, so Eben has a long history with Elizabeth. In the present Eben cares for Jane's son Eli, as Jane and her husband died during the war. Like many of the Society members, Eben was no lover of literature before agreeing to read Selections from Shakespeare. However, he soon found that Shakespeare was able to provide him words to describe his life that he never would've come up with himself. He shares with Juliet stories of the German occupation and makes it clear that though the Germans were mean and cruel, they were also hungry and desperate. During the occupation, he was forced to tell Eli of his parents' deaths via postcards. In the present, Eben leads the effort to plant trees on Guernsey and accompanies Juliet around the island. He acts as a voice of reason and sense, both during the occupation and in the present.

Eben Ramsey Quotes in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society quotes below are all either spoken by Eben Ramsey or refer to Eben Ramsey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Literature and Connection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society published in 2008.
Part 1: 28 Feb, 1946 Quotes

One poor soldier was caught stealing a potato. He was chased by his own people and climbed up a tree to hide. But they found him and shot him down out of the tree. Still, that did not stop them from stealing food. I am not pointing a finger at those practices, because some of us were doing the same. I figure hunger makes you desperate when you wake to it every morning.

Related Characters: Eben Ramsey (speaker), Juliet Ashton
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: 22 Apr, 1946 Quotes

There was an old canvas bathing shoe left lying right in the middle of the path. Eli walked around it, staring. Finally, he said, "That shoe is all alone, Grandpa." I answered that yes it was. He looked at it some more, and then we walked on by. After a bit, he said, "Grandpa, that's something I never am." I asked him, "What's that?" And he said, "Lonesome in my spirits."

Related Characters: Eben Ramsey (speaker), Eli (speaker), Juliet Ashton, Kit McKenna, Jane
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 12 Jun, 1946 Quotes

I also know that she cherished you as her family, and she felt gratitude and peace that her daughter, Kit, was in your care. Therefore, I write so you and the child will know of her and the strength she showed to us in the camp.

Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
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Eben Ramsey Character Timeline in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The timeline below shows where the character Eben Ramsey appears in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, 17th-18th February, 1946
Literature and Connection Theme Icon
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
...he could attend meetings and Elizabeth assured him he'd be welcome. Then, Elizabeth, Amelia, and Eben bought as many books as they could and casually visited every member and asked them... (full context)
Part One, 28th February, 1946
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Eben Ramsey writes to Juliet. He says that before the war, his family cut tombstones, but... (full context)
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Eben writes that the Germans arrived on the 30th of June, 1940, after bombing the island.... (full context)
Part One, 3rd March, 1946
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Juliet returns Eben's letter. She says that she vowed to not talk about the war, but she suggests... (full context)
Part One, 4th March, 1946
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...named Catullus. Clovis found Catullus's poems horrid since most of them were mean to women. Eben eventually gave Clovis poems by Wilfred Owen, who fought in World War One. Clovis also... (full context)
Part One, 10th March, 1946
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Eben responds to Juliet. He explains that Eli is his daughter Jane's son, but Jane and... (full context)
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
Eben explains that the Germans were particular about farm animals and kept strict count of live... (full context)
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The feast was magnificent, and Eben says that Elizabeth was brave. He says that Elizabeth and Jane became friends when they... (full context)
Part One, 12th March, 1946
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...the island, but the truth is bad enough. In April of 1942, Elizabeth gave birth. Eben, Isola, Amelia, and Dawsey attended the birth. Christian wasn't there; he'd been sent to the... (full context)
Part One, 31st March, 1946
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
...all the letters she's received from Guernsey. She says she's in love with Dawsey and Eben, wants Amelia to adopt her, and would like to adopt Isola. She writes that she... (full context)
Part One, 8th April, 1946
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...read about roasting pigs and about cakes, and the audience threatened her. The following day, Eben visited to remind Clara that most of the Society members only had turnips or potatoes... (full context)
Part One, 22nd April, 1946
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Eben also sends Juliet a letter of thanks for Eli's wood. He writes about the evacuation... (full context)
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...at the school so that kids wouldn't cry saying goodbye on the pier. Elizabeth and Eben walked Eli to the school and Elizabeth helped get the children ready. On his way... (full context)
Part Two, 22nd May, 1946
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Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
...Juliet was excited to see all her friends. Juliet could recognize all of them: Isola, Eben, Eli, Dawsey, and Kit. When she finally stepped onto land, Isola immediately hugged her. Kit... (full context)
Part Two, 27th May, 1946
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Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
...a child that Sir Ambrose painted. Sir Ambrose's big house is just up the drive. Eben and Eli are planting new trees around it to replace those that were cut down... (full context)
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Eben, Eli, Dawsey, and Isola have taken Juliet all around the island. The architecture is impressive... (full context)
Part Two, 1st July, 1946; Wednesday; Friday
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...London with him. Sidney wants to have a supper party too so he can meet Eben, Isola, Dawsey, and Amelia. Juliet is thrilled and explains that Isola will host Sidney. On... (full context)
Part Two, 3rd August, 1946
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...good thing to come of this is that, at supper last night, Isola was inspecting Eben's head and Remy was unable to contain herself—she burst out laughing. Juliet mentions that she... (full context)
Part Two, 5th August, 1946
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...says she's been studying hard and is thrilled to learn so much about her neighbors. Eben is "garrulous," and Juliet has a lot of "amativeness" and "conjugal love." Isola's surprised Juliet... (full context)
Part Two, 6th and 7th August, 1946
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Earlier, Juliet and Kit had supper with Eben and Eli. Eben told Juliet that when the children were being evacuated, Elizabeth was there... (full context)
Part Two, 29th August, 1946
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...for tea. The invitation was odd; they asked if Kit liked rituals. Juliet checked with Eben before accepting. He laughed and said the sisters were safe and often hosted Elizabeth and... (full context)
Part Two, 6th September, 1946
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...to train herself to solve mysteries—not that there are any on Guernsey. Isola says that Eben is having a beach party when Sidney is here and Sidney's invited. There's supposed to... (full context)
Part Two, Detection Notes of Miss Isola Pribby
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...and Dawsey are polite but Dawsey seems to stare strangely at Sidney. Then, Isola noticed Eben patting Remy on the shoulder. This is strange. When Juliet and Sidney walked with Kit... (full context)
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...Saturday night, Isola records her observations from the picnic. As everyone was poking the fire, Eben made an announcement, flanked by Remy and Dawsey. Juliet went strangely rigid. Eben explained that... (full context)