Really enjoyed reading this section of story, as I think we are getting some anchors regarding what Weer is exactly telling us, and some sub-text regarding that.
As you guys rightly pointed out that this section is dominated by Mr Macafee, and the Chinese egg, although there is a lot to come as regards to Chinese egg, we get lot of information from Weer, regarding Mr Macafee, the first fascinating aspect which I found was that the name Macafee is actually composed of two words, and one of the words is Peace. Also Weer talks very high of Macafee, which he hasn't talk so much about Professor Peacock, and he is not only impressed by the style of Mr Macafee's clothes, but he thinks him to be a genuine kind person, who is interested in music.
The part about when they visit the park to hear the band playing, he specifically mentions to us that his Aunt Olivia sat between him and Mr Macafee, and this seems strange to me, but I think we can concur from this that, Macafee is the only person except Hannah, who behaves kindly with Weer, and Weer actually seems to enjoy his company. Also when the store is purchased by Weer, he tries to get more information into Macafee as a person, so I think he may be acts as a sort of role model for Weer when growing up.
The monument part was really a fascinating listen when you guys talked about it, because nowadays we just don't care that much about them, but they represent kind of milestones in our specific country history, and when you guys pointed out that Wolfe is actually trying to view history from a different context here, and as part of that he is using Weer as a guinea pig of sort, because Weer does not have any caring adults in his vicinity who can answer correctly regarding all the doubts he has as regards to a monuments in his town, and due to that he has started making some wrong assumptions about the same, but these wrong assumptions can be other context with which Wolfe may be trying to view the American history.
Other significant point which you guys said was how money is coloring relationships in this family, and also socially with regards to suitors of Olivia, and how Weer has started noticing that, and he is naturally attracted to a person who is best dressed and has significant wealth and status in the town i.e. Mr Macafee.
The fairy tale is clearly about Aunt Olivia because the symbolism of princess name associated with olives, but the words
Fire will win her
I interpret them that Olivia will be consumed by her hobby, and her hobby is definitely red china and dragons, dragons fully symbolize Fire and the red color of Chinese flag may be another symbol pointing to Fire.
Also when Olivia opens her booth, Weer mentions she painting crocodile tears on a bowl, and he immediately says to us that he can still find it in the house, the same thing he mentioned to us regarding the Napoleon bust, so Weer clearly has some part of his house which is dedicated to Olivia or has some of her artifacts tucked away, and this is strange because till now he tells us that he has his house designed in such a way that it reminds him of some old memories, but those are just places which he is trying to reconstruct, but Olivia till now and Mr Macafee are only people whom he seems to be genuinely interested in.
Perhaps once in a lifetime an infant comes into a life as though he or she had been dropped from sky.
We know that Weer has associated a lot of symbols with Olivia, we have Olives,George Sand, Cloistered Princess, Songbird, China, Dragons.
From the above lines can we take that he is also trying to call Olivia a Changeling, now there have been specific mentions of changeling in this book, because we have Midsummer's Night dream, invoked time and again, we also Wolfe mentioning his short story Changeling here. Also I will try to argue about one more reference, if we see at the start of the book, Wolfe has specifically dedicated this book to his wife Rosemary, and she definitely was responsible for Wolfe becoming catholic, and not only she was a changeling in Wolfe's life but she also was responsible for bringing Peace, in his life as he was a complete mess after the Korean war.
Now I have been reading Odepius The King since last few weeks, and there is Freudian analysis of the play which states that subconsciously a child wants to murder his father and sleep with his mother, now I won't go that far here, but I have read about a theory where in we try to find partners in our life who have some characteristics of our parents, but what about Weer ? He spent the significant amount of his teenage years in the company of his Aunt who does not like him, but may be afterwards he is trying to find some partner in this town which mirrors Aunt Olivia, who will be changeling in his life.
The dream sequence is really weird it felt more like he is imagining a painting of a sort he has seen, and this is due to the fact that he tells us that the boundaries appear as to they are coming towards him. Another part is he is completely aware of he is in a dream, and this I don't occurs when you are in a nightmare and trying to justify this isn't happening, but this certainly doesn't seem like a nightmare to me. Also I don't have any dreams where I am able to tell me exact age, but Weer tells us exactly he feels like an 25 year old in the dream, and doesn't want to comeback from it, also as we some symbolism as regards to the troll the bird and the colors along with the broken paper lantern, some of which point to Olivia again.
May be I am reading into this too much but weer gives us an observation from store in Macafee's where in he says that Men tend to observe the furniture regarding how sturdy and strong it was, while women just glossed over the surface, this suggests to me that Weer is trying to come to conclusion based on observing very few people in his life, and that too people who are fortunate enough or have money enough to visit a furniture store and buy there.
The Electric Kiln which Weer mentioned I think gives us some definite date regarding the story because he tells us that his aunt has just started using it, and looking into Electric Kilns I found that they filed for patent in 1929 and the patent got approved in 1931, so our story is definitely taking place during that period of 1920-1930's.
Another strange thing which Weer says in this chapter was Bobby black's incident happened 4 years ago, but Eleanor visits his aunt when Bobby would have been grave for at least 4 months past, again another strange time dilation for me.
Also part of resentment which his aunt felt for him may be due to the fact that Eleanor was one of her best friend in the town, and Weer staying with her, may have consequences on the friendship between Olivia & Eleanor.