Myrtle is the nickname for a family of shrubs and trees collectively known as Marketplace. Myrtle is very popular as an insect repellent, for both human and animals. In Greek mythology and ritual the myrtle was sacred to the goddesses Aphrodite and also Demeter. Dunning: Loose wood, matting, or similar material used to keep a cargo in position in a ship’s hold/ inexpensive or waste material used to protect and load securing cargo during transportation/ mats, brushwood, grating, etc. Stowed under or among cargo to prevent wetting and chafing.
A person ‘s belongings, especially those brought on board ship/miscellaneous baggage. Physical description: Slender, slim, pretty, dresses in trousers (1 sass), a young woman, well reused to the world-but strangely for the town’s society, exotic. Details about them revealed in the narrative: When Till is first introduced as a mysterious character, getting off the night bus in the fog, the readers know very little about her, but the inhabitants of the town allude to knowing something more about Myrtle and their connected past.
As the book progresses, Tills past is revealed; when she was a child she was targeted and victimized by her prejudiced and negligent schoolteacher (Miss Dim), and abused physically, verbally and sexually by her schoolmates. Eventually, in what can be assumed to be her first attempt to stand up for herself, Till caused the death of Stewart Pattern (Marigold and Van’s son, and revealed to be Myrtle’s half-brother) before being sent away to a ‘school’. After finishing school she began to work in a factory to pay off her benefactor before running away (to Europe) and becoming Till; the talented dressmaker.
Throughout the text Till alternates between Myrtle: a child, ‘cursed’, innocent, naive, abused, molested and weak and (- transforms into-) Till: strong independent, clever, intelligent, knowledgeable, cultured ND sophisticated. Till changed her name seek a new, painless identity and forget her past however in parts of the novel, for example, after Teddy’s death when Till is talking to Sergeant Fart, she request that he call her Myrtle-the name and person she believes to be cursed (pig. 191).
How they sound, what they say, to whom they say it: Till doesn’t have speak very much, it seems that whenever Till speaks, especially to the town’s people, that she only speaks the minimal, keeping to short answers that rarely give anything away. However, when Till is talking tit characters such as Teddy and Molly (towards the end of the book), she talks more about herself, and in a more personal manner. But it is shown often through Rosalie Ham’s writing about Till that she is very intelligent and perceptive, not at all fooled by Dungarees outwards appearance.
How they relate to others in the town -their actions, reactions and interactions: Till is disliked (immensely) by the residents of Dungaree, but throughout the novel when they come to realist her dressmaking talents they attempt to manipulate and use her to further themselves. This occurs with almost all the harassers she comes into contact with in the town with the exception of the Messiness and her mother, Molly; “On the contrary, I’m used a lot”- (Till pig. 168). Sergeant Fart’s first thought when he sees the Hill and town ablaze at the end of the book are his dresses and outfits.
But, the important thing to remember is that Till is completely aware of Dungaree’s horrible nature of the occupants and in the end has her revenge. Where they live, description: Till, while in Dungaree, lives on the Hill above the town ‘detached but seeing everything’ (pig. 18), William Beaumont expresses interest at the beginning of he book at the looks up to the Hill, removed from the general landscape of the town- he is attracted to the idea of the Hill. Before Dungaree, Till had lived throughout Europe; London, Spain, Milan, Paris (pig. 57). Whether Ham uses them to convey particular messages or concerns- Till is the character who, initially, was the weakest. She was innocent and unable to defend herself, yet Dungaree’s resident adults and children both abused her in terrible ways. Myrtle, as a young girl, represents pure innocence and naivety tarnished and broken by the wretchedness of society and its flaws. As an adult, Till is a strong and independent woman who is intelligent and unable to be misused by Dungaree.