The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by

Ann Shaffer

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Part 1: 12 Mar, 1946 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Dawsey tells Juliet about the soap he gave Mr. Dilwyn for Mrs. Dilwyn. Near the midway point of the occupation, soap became scarce and what people did get was ineffective. Some women, especially Mrs. Dilwyn, were very upset about this. One day, a pig died of milk fever and Dawsey acquired the carcass. Nobody wanted to eat it, so Dawsey and Booker decided to try to make soap. They gave it to the Society ladies as gifts.
The story of the soap shows that everything, not just food, was scarce during the occupation, which only made the experience harder to deal with. It's important to note though that the islanders weren't so desperate that they tried to eat the diseased pig.
Themes
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
Dawsey mentions that he's working at the port and the quarry. Amelia and Kit came for supper yesterday and Kit was bright and talkative as usual. He asks Juliet if she knows much about children. Dawsey says caring for Kit was easier when she was a baby, though it's more fun now that she can talk. He feels like he can't keep up with her questioning though, as he, for example, doesn't know what a mongoose looks like.
Like Juliet, Dawsey is also very interested in how to best care for a child. This indicates that both of them believe that it's best if they know something about how to interact with children, since both Dawsey and Juliet are in caretaker roles for Kit and Dominic.
Themes
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
Adelaide Addison writes Juliet again. She feels she must tell the whole truth: the Society is raising the "bastard" child of Elizabeth and her German lover, Captain Christian Hellman. Adelaide assures Juliet she wouldn't call Elizabeth a "Jerry-bag;" Elizabeth didn't go out with any German soldiers who offered gifts like other "hussies" on 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 continent not long before. Adelaide says she knew this would happen and told Elizabeth so.
"Jerry-bag" rudely refers to women who consorted with the Nazis during World War Two. In Adelaide's assessment of the "hussies" and "Jerry-bags" on Guernsey, she indicates a belief that those women were entirely wrong to sleep with Germans—even though, as other characters reveal, plenty of young women fed their families because their German lovers gave them food.
Themes
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Adelaide says she's not proud of knowing these things, as being proud wouldn't be Christian. However, a year after Kit's birth, Elizabeth sheltered an escaped prisoner and was sent to a prison on the continent. Amelia took over caring for Kit, but the other Society members care for her in turn and "take her out like a library book."
Adelaide's displeasure at Kit's familial arrangement indicates that she also believes that families should look a certain way, and a group of friends caring for a child isn't right. She puts blood relations over kind and caring friends, in other words.
Themes
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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