Why ‘The Warden’ is not one of my favorite novels

Pardon me for all Anthony Trollope fans who happen to read this post for what I am going to say may not be in line with your opinions but I’m saying the truth anyway.

Although I prefer ‘The Warden’ to ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ in previous post, I must say the former falls short of my expectations. I know this is subjective and many will oppose my ideas of comparing ‘The Warden’ with some of my most-beloved titles but surely I have to use my own standard to decide whether of not ‘The Warden’ is really good or not according to MY OWN VERSION.

As I have often said in this blog, a story method is really important to me. I highly value beautiful words, very detailed descriptions and such in SHOWING KIND OF WAY. Not only this method allows my mind to wander, create its own kind of world, I feel so satisfied with this kind of beauty. I believe writing is an art. It’s the kind of human invention that not only feeds your mind but also more importantly entertains your soul.

Sadly to say, I don’t get emotionally nourished while reading ‘The Warden.’ I love its grand idea, the moral lesson it has conveyed but I have to admit the book has failed to give me a beauty. It’s too direct, I feel like I am so easily guarded while as a matter of fact I can guide myself, find another satisfaction other than the messages of the novel itself.

I have expected the book would present me with tiny details on people at that time, landscape background, more information about minor characters but I don’t get as much as I have wanted. The book is too wise as well, particularly about Mr. Harding and John Bold, whom I describe as too perfect fictional characters.

I am not a Victorian literature expert or so but after reading a number of really great titles mostly by Thomas Hardy, I sadly say ‘The Warden’ is well below Hardy’s works. Again, this can be so subjective but Hardy’s works or Elizabeth Gaskell’s are much more … satisfying, whatever that means to each and every reader. But the wholeness sensation that follows after completing reading their books is beyond words to express them all. Although I prefer Hardy to Gaskell in general, Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’ is such an exception in terms of language.

By that comparisons, I brutally honest conclude ‘The Warden’ is a flat reading. May be I should read another Trollope’s title but given the first plain reading experience with ‘The Warden’, I am not going to give a second try to read his another work, at least for the moment.


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