Welcome to the final discussion about National Velvet by Enid Bagnold.
Did you enjoy the ending? The final chapters did not go down like I thought they would. I was genuinely surprised by the way things turned out. What did you think?
Like I mentioned in the blog post last week, Velvet did not seem well-prepared for the race. I'm still not sure how she actually made it all the way through the event since it didn't seem like she had any prior notice to the course. I was surprised during the racing part, Mi couldn't even see what was happening. I thought that was a little bit frustrating because readers didn't really know what was happening to Velvet. It felt like we built up her conquering the race, but we didn't even get to see her participate, and we didn't get to see her perspective. Were you disappointed by that? The racing scene was so chaotic since it was so busy and packed. I didn't enjoy it.
Then, Velvet dismounts from the horse too quickly after winning, and the doctors realize she is a girl. I guess Mi and Velvet just never expected that she would win and that's why they had no contingency plan for people finding out her gender? The whole plan was a mess from the get-go. Were you surprised that the racing officials were so upset that she was a girl? The men believed that she was committing fraud and was trying to get prize money in a dishonest way. But, it really seemed that Velvet didn't care at all about the prize money. She just wanted to jump and she wanted The Pie to have the experience of winning. And, she wanted him to be famous. Don't you think The Pie will continue to be famous even though he didn't get to keep the title?
In the end, Velvet is not convicted of fraud, and she is able to continue on with her life. At the end, we figure that this isn't the last adventure Velvet will have since she is the kind of person who just has great things happen to her. It is pretty spectacular how many great things happened to Velvet in a short time over the book. She was given a bunch of horses in an inheritance, she wins a raffle, she wins a race and is given prize money to enter another big race. Then, she wins that big race. What else could possibly happen to her? I can't imagine what would be left for her to do in life.
Are you curious about how some of the racing scene played out in the movie? Check out the clip below to see Velvet and Mi working to get into the race.
Do you think Elizabeth Taylor plays a convincing Latvian young boy in that scene? I think it was pretty obvious that she was incredibly young to be participating in the race, but I guess people weren't as concerned about that sort of thing back then. Want some more behind-the-scenes information about Elizabeth Taylor and the movie? Check out this list of facts from the filming. Which fact were you most surprised by?
And, if you'd like to read more about the mother character, check out this article. I thought Velvet's mother was so kind and generous, but she wasn't described in a very flattering light. So, I enjoyed how this article reinforces that she was a great mom.
Finally, if you enjoyed this book and are looking for similar books or movies, check out this list I created. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list!
Thanks for following along this month! I can't wait to read your thoughts about the last section in the comments! Come back next month as we read The Great Train Robbery. I hope to hear from you in the comments!