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: 25 Jan, 1946 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Susan writes to Sidney and assures him that no matter what the papers say, Juliet was not arrested. Juliet did, however, throw a teapot at Gilly Gilbert. Susan accepts responsibility, as she never should've let Gilly interview Juliet. What happened was that Gilly met Susan and Juliet at the hotel and begged them to have tea so he could interview Juliet. They agreed. Everything went well until Gilly mentioned that Juliet was almost a war widow, as she'd left Lieutenant Rob Dartry at the altar in 1942.
When Juliet throws the teapot at Gilly, she again tells everyone that she's independent and won't be bullied, especially by or about men. Susan's tone suggests that she, like Juliet, is an independent woman who takes great pride in her work and possibly prioritizes it over romance. This suggests that Juliet's not so much of an anomaly in her independence.
Themes
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
Snappily, Juliet corrected Gilly: she left Rob the day before they were to be married, and he was relieved to not have to marry her. When Gilly asked if Rob had "a touch of the old Oscar Wilde," Juliet threw the teapot at him. Susan says that Juliet is worried that she's embarrassed Stephens & Stark, as well as distraught that Rob Dartry is being insulted like this. Susan says that all the gossip is nonsense, but asks if Sidney knows why Juliet called off the wedding. She wonders if they should extend their tour for longer to keep Juliet out of London and asks if Sidney's figured out who Markham V. Reynolds is yet.
The comment about Oscar Wilde is an underhanded insult asking if Rob was gay, indicating that Juliet's society still relies on and promotes traditional gender roles and heterosexuality—not female independence, as in the case of Juliet and Susan, or being gay. Because of this, it's important to keep in mind that the novel's two gay characters (Sidney and Booker) keep this a secret from nearly everyone; they might face prosecution if they made this public.
Themes
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon