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We often forget the difficult work of the translators... I thank my friend Srikrishnan
Srinivasan, for the excellent work which he carried out.






Is it useful to introduce George, of the Famous Five ?  Everyone knows this character of Enid Blyton more liked series.  If I devote an article to her today, it is that I always loved George.  Child, I would have adored to meet her.  The meeting would undoubtedly have been tumultuous...  But this girl-boy, dice her first appearance, had already very to charm me.  This sentence especially had fully been enough to fix forever my taste for the young girl:  "once you will have become friendly all the four, you will be able to count on George:  she will remain your friend forever" 


George is certainly one of the most interesting characters created by Enid Blyton.  
Complex, contradictory character, whose features, the lights and the shades we will discover.  Did Enid Blyton say she had a share of herself there, in this character...

 Its in the first title of the series "the Famous Five", (Five on a treasure island), to Kirrin, that we intend for the first time to speak about the little girl. In the first chapter, one seeks where the children will spend their holidays there this summer. 
And its the father of Julian, Anne, and Dick who proposes :  
"What about Quentin’s ?"  
Quentin Kirren is the brother of Mrs. Kirrin, and uncle of the three children.  Quentin Kirrin and his wife Fanny have a girl named Georgina.  The children are happy to know that they have a cousin who they do not know and who they have never seen.  They are in a hurry to discover this unknown cousin ! 
Already, we learn in the discussion which follows that Georgina "
must be bored being all alone", and her mother, aunt Fanny, think "that the frequentation other children of her age would be a benefit for her.  Dice the beginning of the second chapter, the character of Georgina 
is specified :  she is not there to receive her cousins.  
"I must inform you, my dears, perhaps that you will find the character of George a little difficult at the beginning ?  you see, she always lived only and that explains its brutality partly"  known as aunt Fany. 
And children are amazed :  
"You call her George ! exclaims surprised Anne.  I believed that her name was Georgina.  
-- Yes, actually she is Georgina.  But George has horror of being a girl and, to please to her, we call George, which sound more male.  Beside, she is obstinate not to answer when called Georgina."

It seems that the parents of George avoid oppose of face to their daughter.  Their love for their single child the growth undoubtedly, (especially aunt Fanny), not to oppose the small girl, who could isolated even more.  They undoubtedly think that the life will come to regulate this problem of behavior gradually, and it is not necessary to use force which could ridge the girl and to draw up her against her parents?  It is not said to us if George attends a school or if it is home-coached.  The fact is that she seems well isolated, and attends little world.  She likes to be alone, and her passion for an island, (which belongs to her), is a whole symbol.  The island by definition is a ground isolated or at least separated from the remainder from the world by an extent of water.  George is a little an island in the medium of the adults and other children, and it is quite difficult to reach her.  Aunt Fanny, already, shows herself as a character who maintains the balance between her husband and her daughter.  Would uncle Quentin like to punish George, aunt Fanny is reserved ? 
Aunt Fanny also says to the dismayed children :  
"She a curious child.  She can be unpleasant and aggressive, but she has a heart of gold.  Moreover she is very honest, and one to trust.  Once you will have become friendly all the four, you will be able to count on George:  she will remain your friend forever..."
What else can one want !  
Good, honest, faithful:  they are most beautiful qualities.  Can one accept of a person having these qualities some mood-changes ? 
Some angers ?  How can one not have a feeling of friendlyness for this young girl ! 
The next morning, Anne the first faces the small girl.  
"I am George, and I will answer you only if you call me thus 
And George specifies she hates the plays of girl, climbs with the trees, sails with the veil like a sailor, in short, that she is a girl regrets and will answer only if one regards her as a boy.  Anne is sorry.  The first contact is disastrous.  Her brothers do not have more success near the small girl who walks past them without looking at them !  
George who does not wish their presence tries to be bad.  The small girl defends herself as she can. 
Often, not being able to modify the course of the things, children ridge themselves, draw up themselves like a horse in front of an obstacle.  This is surely not the best of the behaviors, but one cannot be mature at the age of 11.  George, in the bottom of her heart, know well that her behavior is not good.  She probably does not like to hurt others ?  But her age does not know the nuances, and the young girl "jumps like a scared horse" and obstinates herself in her attitude.  

George does not makes friends easily.  Just because Anne, Dick and Julian are her cousins will not make her closer to them.  She thinks that its stupid to like people because they are your brother, your cousin, your relative !  So she is very astonished when Julian answers him :  
"Its just like us.  It may be that we do not like you either, of course !"
George astonished, never ever thought of that.  She realizes that heaps of people can not like her.  
George has qualities.  She never lies, because she considers that its a proof of cowardice.  She is too frank for words.  But she is difficult to tame:  as all those which are alone, without brother, sister, comrades, she is binds with difficulty.  Comrades, it n en does not receive with the Kirrin cottage.  Also it is very solitary.  She  has an adorable mother, and who is understanding, but an irritable father, very busy, and who requires a perfect peace.  
George has a secret :  she has a dog which adores, Timothy, whom she has entrusted to a young fisherman of the village.  She who has never ever cried, acknowledges to have poured streams of tears when her father asked her to separate her from her dog.  
George has principles:  a boy does not cry !  Only girls cry, and the young girl always tries to keep her eyes dry.  And then she is eleven years old:  she is not any more a baby to cry.  
George is honest :  she refuses to receive anything in gift, because she cannot return the courtesy.  All her pocket money is spent on her dog. 
Also it is necessary much talent for Julian to convince his cousin to accept an ice. 

Aunt Fanny was right to think that the presence of Dick, and Julian would have a good influence on her daughter.  George, who does not want accept too quickly, starts to undergo the charm of right Francois, the shy Anne, the cool Dick.  She discovers that she takes pleasure to live with her cousins, that to share her riches, (her dear Timothy, her boat, her island), with them, is a happiness larger than to only have them for her.  
When George gives a kick to Anne, (to preserve the secrecy of Timothy :  Anne, very talkative, was going to give away his name), aunt Fanny deprives her of dessert and orders her to leave the table.  Anne, who almost let the cat out of the bag, is sorry.  George, as it had to be feared, reacts badly :  
"I have a good mind not to take you along to visit the wreck !  She declares.  You silly girl! 
Anne’s heart misses a beat and with humility she nevertheless requests George to take the others to see the wreck.  George is moved by the speech.  Also she does a surprising thing :  she smacks a kiss on the cheek of her cousin, and ashamed, takes a deep voice to declare :  
"Let us go, that’s okay!    You made a boathook, I prevented you by giving you a kick.  We are free.  Naturally, you will come with us this afternoon ! "
George is already under the influence of her cousins.  She starts to be civilized.  And she is a highly moralistic person!  A fault, a punishment, a repentance, and all is forgotten.  No resentment.  

This period when George tames herself is included in the first title of the series.  We will see that, socialized, George is still a tiring girl at times.  Her taste to be behaved like a boy, her angry character, have still not disappeared.  But she keeps her qualities of frankness, of friendliness, and of courage.  Perhaps George takes her rebellious character after her father.  This inattentive scientist is sometimes hard and demanding towards his daughter.  When he orders, George has to obey.  Isolated by his work and his responsibilities, he tends to see the world from his image, and seems to be unaware that a young girl 11 year old, real tomboy in addition, must be able to spend her energy and to have a little freedom. 

George, like all the children, lives in a parallel world, which is not that of the adults.  Is Enid Blyton placed better than others to understand it, she who was, by her books, an eternal child ?  
George has an acute sense to judge people.  Sometimes, with a detail, her judgement is made.  In " Five go adventuring again ", Mr Rolland, the tutor, hates dogs.  George also hates him.  Anne, Dick and Julian manage to live in his presence, even if they do not think good of him.  George does not make any concession :  a man who hates animals cannot be good. 
Then the small girl folds up herself on herself.  She becomes again gloomy, puts herself in anger, and only against all, takes refuge in her love for her dog.  When this one is punished, sent in his kennel, outside under snow, its the revolt. 
George is ready to all.  Let us say for his defense that her father shows himself quite hard with it, and quite tolerant for the tutor !  Vis-a-vis adversity, George has no limit.  
"When I set a goal to reach, I go till the end" 
Like all revolted people, the people suffering from an injustice, George does not look at more with the means to be used to achieve his goal:  to trap her enemy and to make him punished.  Like the well known proverb, "the end justifies the means".  
Julian thinks that is quite difficult to help someone who is folded up thus.  
But did the young girl however overcome her antipathy for Mr. Rolland, and made efforts, concessions, and even smiled to her enemy ?  The cruel tutor has not decided to forgive and the father of George, badly inspired, maintained the punishment.  The judgement of George however was not so bad.  Without the culprit weakness of uncle Quentin, the error of judgments of Anne Dick and Julian, one would have easily guessed that Mr. Rolland was not as sizeable as he seemed to be.  But is the father of George perhaps most responsible for all the protagonists ?  Enid Blyton does she not write :  "the children hardly dared to look at their uncle, so much they had shame to discover such a weakness in front of Mr. Rolland, and so little indulgence for his own daughter" 

George is a sensitive character.  She is not also likely to wants to say it well.  In "Five run away together", she puts up with the teasing of Edgar, the foolish son of the Sticks.  
George adores her mother.  She is completely upset by her getting admitted to the hospital.  Like all the too weak beings, (when one is sensitive, one is weak), she dramatizes the whole affair, she is unhappy and sees everything dark.  Julian comforts her, tries to give again the smile to her.  
George reacts always violently to the events, with the circumstances.  When her dog is threatened of poisoning by Stick, she does not ask for help of anybody, and wants to run away to Kirrin Island.  Once again, the young girl, caught up with by her cousin, ends up noticing that one is stronger, happier, when one divides one’s sorrow, one’s concerns, the dangers, with the others.  
George is hot tempered, wild, does not like being mocked at.  Throughout the adventures of the Famous Five, we see it.  
If George loosed her temper quickly, she often has extenuating circumstances. 
She wrongly gets angry with her parents, (in Five go to Kirrin Island again), of camping on her island.  Of course, it is in fact to her parents that the island belongs, but knowing the character of their daughter, they could bring the things carefully, and avoid fight.  Aunt Fanny warned well her daughter, but uncle Quentin, as an absolute Master, went to the island without caring for anyone. 
In the same book, George chokes with rage when Dick crushes the tail of Timothy to oblige her cousin to take care of him, and thus to prevent the young girl from speaking about her father’s work.  George is furious and takes the affair to heart.  Dick yields willingly, and excuses himself.  The quarrel is finished.  But George, who knows itself well, known as :  
" Be nice, do not speak this evening to me.  I am in anger, but that will go away " 
Enid Blyton says to us of George :  
She felt all with an extreme violence, madly happy or sad until the depth of the soul, in the seventh heaven or diving in an abyss of anger 
or sorrow ".  

George does not support excessive authority.  In "Five go to smuggler top":  she is punished and locked up in her room by the scary Mr. Lenoir.  George would accept to be punished by her father, not by a stranger. 
Doesn't Julian, in "Five go off to camp", under the pretext that Anne is afraid, in the night, if she is alone, (is there not the reassuring presence of Mr. Luffy ?)  affirm to George : 
"Its my adventure and that of Dick;  perhaps also that of Jock.  But we want neither of you, nor Anne."
George feels excluded !  She is irritated because of Anne, a real coward !  Anne has the tears with the eyes, and George is ashamed of her behavior.  But she is too proud to ask sorry.  George is not the only culprit of the situation.  Julian is far too authoritative!  Anne could make an effort, Mr. Luffy is there to protect her.  Boys, for once, do they not desire to exclude girls ?  Nothing offenses George than being relegated with the girls.  

Single child, real tomboy, George can very difficultly resist the jealousy.  When the young girl, Jo, with boyish looks, makes her appearance in "Five fall into adventure", her meeting with George cannot occur without conflicts.  However Jo is sporting, nimble, looks like a boy, her hair buckles less than those of George.  George, wrongly, believes that Jo will attract the boys better than her !  The higher bid is of setting between the two young girls.  George will end up admitting Jo, and to recognize her qualities, but there will remain always a certain distance between the two children.  It will be the same later between George and Henrietta, in "Five go to mystery moor".  

How to summarize the personality of George ?  First of all, George evolves.  The young distant, solitary girl, of the beginning, is replaces by a still difficult child, but of which the character is improved.  That’s because George went to boarding school with Anne, in Gayland.  And that was not so terrible as thought.  The discipline, the frequentation of the other children and the professors, were for George a drive with the joint life.  
Reading again the 21 titles of the series of the Famous Five for the needs for this article, I make this observation :  the essence of the psychological study of the characters is practically completed with the first seven volumes.  One discovered the personality of George, her angers, her qualities and her defects.  These the first seven titles are richest in atmosphere, the relations between the characters there are complex, and have an importance as strong as the adventure itself.  George, Anne, Dick and Julian are from now on well established, who will not undergo any more large changes.  George will still hate some characters, like Tobby, (the scene of factitious spider, in " Five go to billycock hills" or Wilfred, in "Five have a mystery to solve".  It will be aggravated by Tinker, in "Five go to demon rock", and will be shown a little ridiculous in "Five on a secret trail", when uncle Quentin, and the villagers make fun of the flange of Timothy. 

  It thus seems to me well that George joins together qualities that one seeks in a friend:  Fidelity, qualities of heart, honesty, courage.  Her sad or wild mood should sometimes be put up with, she does not understand jokes well, and is put easily in anger!  But her angers are short, and George recognizes her wrongs easily.  And how to find better person?  George, if you want it, can be at the same time your boy-friend and your girl-friend.



Serge Sohier

Translation : Srikrishnan Srinivasan


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