Basic guidance before reading the works of these literary giants (2)

The second part of this long post highlights my short analysis about the novels by the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens.
Anne Bronte
If you want to read novels by the Bronte sisters, you can begin with those by Anne Bronte. Luckily, I do start with her books. Reading her books make me feel like I get into her personal lives. Plus, she uses first-person narrations in ‘Tenant of the Wildfell Hall’ and ‘Agnes Grey’. As such, her tales can move you so deeply.
Anne voices feminism, too, like Charlotte Bronte, her elder sister. The difficult life of being a governess becomes her source topic. The harsh life of being a single mother who flees from her own husband because of domestic violence I think at that time is revolutionary, particularly the latter one. Anne tries to break all religious rules through Helen Huntingdon.

Alcoholic husband, infidelity issues mark Anne’s writing achievements. Don’t worry, my friends. Anne’s stories end in happy tones!
Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is a very powerful heroine. She is blunt, stubborn, strong and idealistic woman you can ever imagine. Her faith and how she holds her religious values indeed cause her to face difficult situations. I still imagine the moments she starves that she wants to sell her handkerchief but is denied by a potential buyer. Then she eats porridge that is already thrown by former eater to keep her alive.
Reading the book moves me so much. Not only because of Jane’s firmness holding her values, but also the way Charlotte puts her heroine in difficult tests ever since she is a little girl. I am also amazed how the book doesn’t bore me as it is very thick one. Charlotte’s storytelling brings so much joy despite the tribulations Jane has to bear.
Emily Bronte
First of all, I dislike Catherine Earnshaw given her indecisive attitude. Her unwillingness to take risks to fight for her love. Also to be honest, I can’t say what Heathcliff does is correct. Their love story stirs mixed feeling for me. I call it as a deep, wild and destructive romance you can ever imagine knowing.
I have never read this romance-based fantasy as that frustrating, depressing, furious yet very strong at the same time. And Emily’s writing style is beyond my thought. Beware of physical and emotional tortures in the book for if you really feel them so profoundly, you will be haunted by the sensations they leave in your heart.
Charles Dickens
I think Charles Dickens is the most serious and social novelists in the Victorian era. While others take limited range of topics, such as women lives or people’ attitude at that time, Dickens write many books on child labor, the Industry Revolution, crime, legal affairs and many more.
I find it interesting that reading books by Dickens give me another shade of the Britons’ lives in London, a big city that is rarely touched by previous writers since their settings are mostly in rural areas or villages.
So, Dickens adds knowledge to what really happens in the big city when the machine starts taking over the lives of the people and how it leaves many problems. There haven’t been any writers who are very sophisticated in portraying individuals’ conflicts as he is. As such, reading his works challenge me a lot in understanding little things between characters and how their relations develop into something bigger in the end of the story.
Those are my opinions that hopefully can guide you a little bit before diving into that thick pages, hehe.. I hope this helps you, my fellow readers!

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Basic guidance before reading the works of these literary giants (1)

When it comes to wanting reading books by Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens, surely we must bear in our minds that their works are so lengthy. About 300 pages, depending on the book edition that we have in our hands, are relatively short. Well, yeah. So, first and foremost, we must be very patient, especially those who are first-timers in enjoying their works.
Once we can slowly bury ourselves in the stories, I expect all of you can deeply delve into great literary adventures through their created characters in particular. For each and every author that I mention has the sort of memorable figures that are immersed in readers’ minds.
So here are my thoughts about each of them. I attempt to compose this post according to my experiences reading some of their works. This post may not be fair because of the different number of books that I read from each of the writers but I do hope my share is still worth reading.
Thomas Hardy
You will be wholly entertained by the way he appreciates beauty in daily life. Not only you will absorbed by his way of describing scenery, landscape, but also by his skill of crafting characters.
Hardy’s characters are very strong. His works are associated by characters you won’t forget not only because of their traits but also because of their fates. For instance, Bathseba Everdene who best portrays an independent woman whom, despite her wealthy and high social status, can still be willing to submit herself as a devoted wife.
Or who doesn’t remember Tess Durbeyfield, one of the most beloved literary heroines of all time? Reading her tale makes me learning the beauty of patience, endurance and faith. Her scenes when she walks very long, this happens a few times in the book, still stick in my mind. For me, they depict her struggles in life, the thing we can always look at it as a good example.
All in all, Hardy has special attention to woman issues, their positions in the society, their impacts to the lives of the men they love and their overall personal characteristics we can learn so much.
And by the way, if you dislike stories that end in gloomy, dark and bleak endings then I don’t think his works suit you best. Some of his stories are very depressing, but most of his end in, I call them as ‘realistic way of life that makes you viewing the plots as what human beings normally face in their life stories’.
George Eliot
Mary Ann Evans or popularly known as George Eliot will wow you with her complicated, brilliant way of putting her ideas into a book that hardly bores you. In her ‘Middlemarch’ you will be bedazzled with how she puts and weaves that many characters in the book so as they can relate to one another in such smooth ways.
Eliot’s works touch various subjects. While Hardy puts more focus on women, society and universal moral values, Eliot addresses issues, too, about corrupted religion, sibling relationship, family ties and even politic.
Her writing is very exquisite and deep. Unlike Hardy who prefers ending the fate of the characters in ‘realistic’ ways, Eliot still believes in happy ending, that those do good things completely deserve of enjoying joyful lives.
Jane Austen
Reading Jane Austen’s books is refreshing, silly yet are full of self-mockery. You will laugh at the characters’ behaviors in the novels but at the same time you will like look at yourself at the mirror.
Austen’s works are identified with match-making, dances and parties. You will seem associate them with trivial issues but actually those are the keys of her best works. Because from that social occasions, one can learn into another’s traits, overhears rumors and such. I call Austen’s works are amazing because she takes small things through which she actually voices her criticisms about people at the time the novels are produced.

A month after uninstalling Instagram

Uninstalling Instagram is one of the best things that happen in my life this year that doesn’t honestly make me happy all the time. A few times I miss moments being active in the social media platform where which I can post nice pictures and see those from my friends. Also, I miss sharing stories via Insta Story and finding out what my friends eat and where they hang out during weekends. It feels cool to be part of mainstream trend where everyone tells the world what they do, how they feel and what they wish them to be someday. Instagram is a good platform where which I can feel a little bit relaxed and see funny pictures, meme or videos going viral.
I quit playing Instagram almost 100% because of very personal reason that brings me to technical errors then makes me uninstalling it in my smartphone. Well, I plan quitting being active in Instagram long before I intend to stop stalking somebody’s account. So it is just a matter of time that I eventually do what I am supposed to do.
In between the time of realizing I have to stop stalking this person’s account and the moment I finally uninstall it, my fingers become more and more frequent checking my Instagram account. This gets more and more uncontrollable. I find it hard to concentrate during working hours. It seems that I need to check out Instagram. I get easily distracted.
Worse, I go to see some Instagram accounts owned by local celebrities or selebgrams. I watch their stories via Insta stories. Sometimes I read people’ comments in the pictures. Since most of them run business, I go to their Instagram business accounts. I click each of the pictures in the accounts. I am not interested in buying their products but still I spend minutes, hours on them. That is so silly!
Among other social media platforms, I think Instagram is more appealing. Not only from picture editing features but also from Insta Story that becomes more and more interesting. They put various stickers, features that invite users to spend more time and money in it. I get addicted so much. My internet bill soars. When my pictures, which I think are praiseworthy, don’t get as many ‘loves’ and ‘comments’ as I expect, I sometimes feel disappointed. I actually anticipate this kind of response but I am still a human being who deserves appreciation and recognition, so to speak. Unfortunately, I look for them in the wrong place.
Prior to the uninstalling moment, I already read some articles on the danger of uncontrolled social media use, biased perception about people via virtual world, and how social media is different than previous technology inventions. Realizing this isn’t enough to make me quitting it.
So a technical error to log into my Instagram account on a Sunday afternoon a month ago leads me to what I feel today. And I tell you my friends, the past four weeks have been such a gift.
Not only I can save a lot of money because I wisely use internet quota for something more important, but also I feel more at peace. I still check my phone during the job but not as frequent as when I still use Instagram. Once I look at the phone it lasts much shorter. Just for a few minutes then I get back at work.
I can, too, learn refocusing my mind. I try clearing my brain from something unnecessary, such as cute holiday pictures from the selebgrams’ babies. Slowly, I feel present in my real life. All those virtual garbage starts disappearing. My life becomes crystal clear. I begin adjusting the focus of my life. I use time more wisely now.
My interaction with my friends remains strong and solid. Sometimes I miss their updates but then I can use them as the topic of our conversation when we meet in real life. Though I sometimes feel lonely because I used to just go to Instagram for discovering my friends’ activities, I slowly get used to this condition. I go to Youtube instead then watch videos about Islam from my favorite ulemas. Alhamdulillah..(Praise to God)..
I still open Instagram but via websites and limited to community and travel accounts. I check out some of my best friends’ accounts, too, but not their stories in Insta Story. So far, this has brought so many good things more than I can imagine and I enjoy doing this very much..

 

Three universal values that make ‘Middlemarch’ enduring work

I am so glad that I don’t throw ‘Middlemarch’ away during eight years I immerse myself in other titles. I suddenly want to read the masterpiece after I stumble upon an article about minimalism. The article cites the book so I take it again after two failed attempts and I enjoy reading it very much.
It takes almost two months to complete reading it. The period which I think is kind of short given the almost 700 pages it runs. Throughout the reading process, as I write in previous posts, I can’t help being bedazzled by George Eliot’s story technique, her brilliant ways of giving a life to each of its character, describing the places and emotions, and finally guiding readers to gain so many lessons for the sake of their own interests. The book is full of many life lessons. What makes it sticks into the hearts of so many people is that it doesn’t preach, it doesn’t instruct to do or don’t do specific things.
In fact, Eliot portrays memorable characters that you may find yourself part of their overall traits. If you are a social person, you can be like Dorothea or Caleb Garth. If you find yourself love learning you can look at Edward Casaubon. If you are very easy going person, then may be Will Ladislaw suits you best.
Each and every character in the book carries problems. Eliot mentions their ways of handling the problems according to their given traits and perspectives in such beautiful ways. Hence, readers can embrace many knowledge and even put their feet in the characters’ shoes. With the strong characters in the book herewith I share with you my friends, three values about life that make the book remains so profound. And for me, I can learn a lot and apply them in my personal life:
1. You don’t have to save the world to consider yourself a worthy human being.
It’s completely fine if you have certain mission in your life, be it being a humanitarian worker, beneficial technology inventor, international public speaker/motivator etc. Modern world seems require us to attain specific things or goals in life then show them to the world. For instance, certificates to prove something or meeting important people in your chosen fields. Then you will expect ‘likes’, ‘loves’ and bunch of comments to affirm that you are a ‘successful’ human being. It’s good if you can be one of the people but what if you aren’t?
If you find yourself questioning this sort of thing then Dorothea and Tertius are very good examples you can look at. Both are very kind, idealistic people, who want to contribute a lot of things to the society. Dorothea’s preliminary goal is providing homes for poor people at cheap cost while Tertius’s wish is taking care sick people while enhancing his medical skills in a hospital. As such, he works with Mr. Bulstrode whom he actually dislikes.
But life doesn’t go according to their plans. Their responses are what make the two living happy or unhappy one.
2. It takes years to build a good reputation and only seconds to destroy it

The case of Mr. Buldstrode serves special thing to review. Though he is considered by some, including by his relative, as a cold, wicked person, I am still surprised learning about his past via Raffles. That is why public scorns at him when they know when he gets his wealth and what he does with Raffles in his last days even though he doesn’t kill him.

But rumors and gossips are very deadly. They don’t care anymore about the money the banker puts for the public cause because they immediately consider his deed serves like ‘a money laundry’ for the bad things he does in the past.

What makes me hating the public is their perception about Tertius. They believe the money he gets from Mr. Buldstrode acts as a kind of compensation for helping him killing Raffles without actually having convincing evidence.

At this point, Tertius’s reputation is at stake. Will his care for the unfortunate sick people be helping him out of the mess? Who will actually believe he is innocent?

3. Love can be redefined

The love life of Dorothea is interesting to be talked about. It isn’t about her marrying twice but it’s how she acknowledges her feeling for each of the man whom she marries with.

When Dorothea falls in love with Edward, she is a highly idealistic woman. As much as she admires Edward, a smart, sharp man with good reputation, I think her decision to be united with Edward in a matrimony is partly to her dream of making herself useful.

At this point, she wants to be a useful wife. Their marriage is often marked with reading together, working at the library, trying to submit herself to the study of her husband.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Because I think marriage aims at making each couple becoming more excellent in their respective fields. But the problem is Dorothea and Edward’s good intention is not enough to save their marriage. Or to be precise, their motive to be as one isn’t that strong. Marrying each other for the sake of helping one another isn’t adequate.

As such, Dorothea says she doesn’t fully submit herself to Edward because her definition of love hasn’t been solid. Sometimes it doesn’t any explanations why you love someone, you just feel it, you just know something unexplainable is brewing inside your heart. It’s you yourself who can feel it.

Such is the feeling Dorothea has with Will, and the former feels the same way, too. She can now whole-heartedly love Will and the other way around. Through pain and death she previously suffers, Dorothea can renew her definition of love, which is indescribable after all.

 

#JadiBisa Genggam Tujuan Favorit Terlengkap Berkat Traveloka

traveloka

Di suatu Sabtu sore yang gerimis, Masari sedang kebingungan. Ia dan teman satu grup sesama mahasiswa jurusan Sastra Inggris, Universitas Indonesia, mempunyai rencana untuk bertemu hari itu. Selain untuk nongkrong, Masari dan ke-5 rekannya, tiga perempuan dan dua laki-laki, ingin membahas tugas kelompok membuat drama untuk salah satu mata kuliah.

Kelimanya sebelumnya sepakat ingin pergi ke salah satu kafe di bilangan Thamrin, Jakarta Pusat. Tetapi hujan yang tak kunjung membuat kesemuanya malas bergerak ke daerah tersebut, yang memang terhitung sangat jauh dari tempat tinggal masing-masing, yakni sekitar Depok dan Lenteng Agung.

“Apa kita batalin aja ya, Sar?” kata Rina, salah satu kawan dekat Masari.

“Eh jangan dong. Kita belum ada ide sama sekali. Mesti ngumpulin tugas Jumat minggu depan. Nggak ada waktu lagi nich,” kata Sammy.

Grup WhatsApp lima sahabat baik ini kental dengan suasana kebingungan. Ada yang ingin memindahkan hari bertemu tetapi ada yang bersikukuh tetap berkumpul hari itu juga.

“Di rumah gue nggak ada ruang. Mau ada saudara dateng. Nggak enak,” timpal Masari.

Gue udah bosen di daerah Depok. Tapi kalau ke Thamrin kejauhan untuk saat ini. Di Kemang ada yang harga miring dikit nggak ya? Tetap bisa gaul tapi nggak sejauh kalau mesti ke Thamrin, hehe,” Masari menyambung lagi.

Setelah itu, grup perbincangan hening selama beberapa menit. Lydia pun muncul di grup.

“Eh, barusan gue tanya ke kakak. Dia bilang nyaranin kita unduh aplikasi Traveloka. Mau nongkrong dimana saja ada di situ.”

“Loh, loh. Bukannya Traveloka hanya buat pesen tiket pesawat sama hotel aja?”, tanya Rina.

Nah nggak tahu juga, Rin. Tapi kata kakak gue bisa. Coba deh kita unduh,” sahut Lydia.

Lydia, Sammy dan Anton mengunduh aplikasi Traveloka sembari terus memantau grup. Sedangkan Masari dan Rina mengecek kembali aplikasi Traveloka yang telah mereka miliki namun jarang mereka cek sebab mereka mengaku baru mengetahui ada bagian ‘Aktivitas dan Rekreasi’ di dalam aplikasi tersebut.

Gue udah lama sih ada Traveloka cuma jarang buka. Soalnya waktu itu juga cuma ikut-ikutan. Pakai sekali dua kali buat pesen tiket kereta api aja,” ungkap Masari.

Akhirnya kesemua anggota grup tersebut sama-sama memainkan jari mereka menikmati berbagai fitur di aplikasi tersebut. Cukup lama grup tersebut sepi hingga Lydia muncul lagi.

“Loh kok pada diem? Kita jadi ke Kemang nggak nanti?”

“Eh, eh sori gue malah keasyikan mainin banyak fitur. Ternyata ada banyak banget ya pilihan tujuan. Ada aktivitas pula. Wah ini sih nggak perlu cek medsos tiap minggu buat cari jadwal konser sampai tempat nongkrong,” balas Anton.

Akhirnya ke lima sahabat tersebut memutuskan ke sebuah restoran di daerah Kemang yang menyediakan aneka ikan segar ditambah minuman matcha, yang memang sedang digandrungi oleh mahasiswa di kampus mereka. Dengan harga yang masih terbilang ramah di kantong, mulai dari Rp60 an ribu per paket, mereka tetap bisa makan enak sekaligus bisa menikmati lokasi yang nyaman.

Harga tersebut dapat mereka nikmati dengan memesan terlebih dahulu melalui aplikasi ini. Dengan demikian mereka bisa berhemat sekitar Rp10an ribu dari harga aslinya. Yang membuat kelima sahabat ini girang tentu saja adanya informasi jarak tempat dengan stasiun terdekat. Awalnya mereka hanya iseng menulis stasiun Tanjung Barat sebagai stasiun terdekat sebagai antisipasi jika jalanan macet.

Mereka terkejut mendapati ada banyak pilihan tempat kuliner dengan jarak masih kurang dari 10 kilometer. Dengan demikian mereka bisa memesan ojek online untuk menuju ke lokasi kumpul dengan tarif yang tentu saja miring berkat lokasi yang relatif dekat.

Sementara Masari dan kawan-kawan telah terbukti berhasil memanfaatkan bagian Kuliner, pengguna aplikasi Traveloka dapat berselancar dalam lautan informasi bagian “Aktivitas dan Rekreasi’. Jika sekadar ingin tahu acara apa yang sedang hangat diperbincangkan oleh masyarakat, bisa mengintip bagian ‘Trending This Week’. Di bagian ini, siapa pun dapat mengetahui informasi kegiatan, konser, pameran hingga festival dalam waktu dekat.

Ada pula pilihan dari Traveloka yang dibagi ke dalam beberapa segmen, seperti Kesehatan, Kecantikan, Kuliner hingga Tempat Wisata. Kini tak lagi perlu mengecek berbagai jenis situs hingga media sosial untuk tahu konser dalam waktu dekat. Semua bisa diperoleh di bagian ini.

Kerennya lagi, Traveloka pun menyediakan pilihan pesan tiket dengan harga yang tentunya lebih murah dari jika membayar di tempat secara langsung. Selain dapat potongan harga kita juga tak perlu antri atau kecewa tak dapat kursi buat makan bersama teman padahal sudah menembus macet ke restoran yang hendak didatangi.

Adanya informasi jarak semakin mempermudah pengguna menentukan pilihan. Seperti Masari dan teman-temannya, pengguna bisa memilih lokasi pergi dihitung dari stasiun terdekat dari restoran atau mall yang ingin dikunjungi, misalnya.

Tak hanya banyak menyediakan informasi untuk kota-kota di Jakarta, Traveloka memilih pilihan tujuan populer internasional tentunya dengan menawarkan pembelian tiket lewat aplikasi ini. Selain memastikan tiket aman di tangan, pengguna tak perlu repot antri dalam membeli tiket. Jika masih ragu, bisa dibaca ulasan dan tanggapan yang pernah membeli melalui aplikasi ini. Pasti membeli terlebih dahulu akan sangat membantu jika pengguna ingin pergi saat musim liburan sebab biasanya tiket akan susah didapatkan.

Komplitnya informasi dari Traveloka membuat kita berhemat banyak kuota internet sebab tak banyak membuka situs untuk tahu akan pergi kemana akhir pekan ini. Kantong juga lebih ringan sebab dapat memanfaatkan potongan harga jika membeli lewat Traveloka dan banyak pilihan tempat makan dan aktivitas yang sebelumnya kita tidak pernah tahu.

Benar-benar #JadiBisa tahu banyak tempat asyik dan kegiatan seru cukup dengan hanya berselancar di ‘Aktivitas dan Rekreasi’ di Traveloka!

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When we can never get it enough: a study case of Dr. Tertius Lydgate

Dr.  Tertius Lydgate is a tragic hero I wish every one of us can learn so much from. Among all characters in ‘Middlemarch’ this is the one I am very interested to talk about though my personal resemblance is with Edward Casaubon and I highly put Dorothea Ladislaw as a strong model for women.
I share a few things in common with Dr. Tertius Lydgate. Thank God, I am not like him anymore. I used to have the similar mindset as he does but thankfully I become much more relaxed as life experiences force me to.
For those who haven’t read the novel I am sorry that I am going to drop a lot of spoilers here as I don’t know yet how to create good posts without touching some parts of the book.
On top of the doctor’s mind is a mission not only to become an exceptional one but also be beneficial for those around him. As such, he sets on a journey to Middlemarch then supports Mr. Bulstrode in exchange of a new hospital in the place. There is nothing wrong with the doctor. He is a very kind person though some people, including his own wife, Rosamund, kind of hates him because Tertius is someone who doesn’t like asking for helps even when things get tough. He holds his pride so high that asking for money when he is deep in debt taints his honor. He eventually asks for money from Mr. Bulstrode after his wife can’t resist anymore with the tension and he doesn’t want to make her much more miserable than she already is.
The thing is Tertius is the type of person who doesn’t like putting any masks in his face, the same that he applies in regard to others. If he doesn’t like someone then he says or at least he takes a distance away from him or her. This honesty, according to his wife, is one factor that troubles him when he is actually in a dire need.
In my opinion, Tertius is much an idealist than Edward Casaubon. While Edward’s perfectionism is mixed up with his jealousy to Will Ladislaw and stubbornness to admit his real feeling, Tertius has no problems about that.
Yet Tertius’ perfectionism puts him in a very constant point where he barely sees other things that actually see him excel. His idealism of wanting making himself as a touch bearer in Middlemarch through the hospital he oversees becomes like a way of life that he doesn’t see any other means by which he will call himself “a successful person”.
When Rosy complains that Tertius should be paid for what he does in setting up the hospital, the learned man should have considered her opinion. But his idealism already places him in unbalanced position where his idealism is above realism or what reality throws at him, which is the amount of debt he has to pay.
He should not put a blind eye to the fact that he can’t always spend his life prioritizing helping sick people who can’t pay him. He shouldn’t forget that he needs money to make ends meet.
Tertius eventually realizes this and follows his wife’s advice. They depart for London after the debt is fully paid with the help of Dorothea. He finally puts the happiness of Rosy on top of all then works for money. In the new city, Tertius is a commercially successful doctor. His practice is excellent.
But at the end of his life, Tertius still regards him as a failure because he doesn’t fulfill what he is meant to do which is curing poor people in the Middlemarch’s hospital. Isn’t his life a very tragic one? Despite his good deeds to others, his ability to make his family happy, Tertius dies unsatisfied.

This is the deep hole George Eliot leaves my heart with. And I wish my friends and a lot of people will read then know this character because his life relates much to what we, as modern people face, some will realize, but some will not.
Thankfully, again and again, I know what goes wrong in his life and I believe many of us are familiar with the story.
It is ingratitude.
Tertius is ungrateful that he helps so many people in Middlemarch, particularly the ones who are unable to pay him. Tertius is unthankful that Rosy is finally happy they can live a good, financially-sufficient life in London.
Tertius’s mind gets so absorbed in his own thought that he only has one sort of success that is embedded in his mind even before he marries Rosy. But life changes. Problems occur which may change people’ life purposes. Tertius can deal with his marital problems but unfortunately he can’t do so with his self-aim. The ways he handles his matters go in line with his circumstances but his idealism isn’t. He slowly changes his behavior and this helps him so much going out of the problems but his dream is not. What he fails to realize is that the only constant thing in life is change, including changes in one’s life goals. If he could accept the fact that he is still unable to fulfill his mission no matter how hard he tries then his life will be joyful.
What makes his fate so miserable is that Tertius is unthankful for himself.
And I think that is the worst kind of unfavorable behavior to oneself.

This mind wrestling after bidding farewell to ”Middlemarch”

I complete reading “Middlemarch” a few days ago, much faster than my expectation. Overall I take about two months reading the masterpiece’s 688 pages. It isn’t the thickest novel I have read so far. ‘’Wives and Daughters” runs more than 800 pages. But ‘’Middlemarch” is way more difficult to read. It takes a lot of efforts than the other title which is written by Elizabeth Gaskell. A lot more characters, more serious issues, much more detailed descriptions about the people and the places in ‘’Middlemarch” are some of the things that make Eliot’s way above ‘Wives and Daughter’. Anyway, I am not going to compare the books in the post, well ever, because each of them gives different nourishment to me, or readers in general.

It has been two days since I close the last page of “Middlemarch”. Call me sentimental but I feel like I have lost my best friend in the past two months, especially when I commute. The fact is I read almost all of its content in a train and public transport vehicle. I carry it when I go to the office. I intentionally use it to shield me away from my smartphone. The book is so thick that I find it hard to put it into my brown bag. So I bring it on hand.

Something breaks my heart when the book is coming to an end. A small crack that still lasts until now. The novel leaves mixed feelings. I am contented that Eliot provides clear and fair fate to each of the book’s major and semi major characters, particularly about Dorothea and Will Ladislaw. I feel so, so sorry with the life of Dr. Tertius Lydgate (will talk about this topic later on in a separate post). Even when I write this I don’t know exactly how to properly express my feeling about the book.

The novel is so remarkable, a wholeness that gets me thinking “how she does this?”

I can’t imagine her writing process hence she can put her imagination into this sort of complete tale. She creates vivid places as the settings of the book. Each and every character is described in detailed ways that they look as if they were real. Eliot also mentions political and social backgrounds that happen in larger scale, not only in Middlemarch. Small gossips, scenes in gambling house are alive, too. Eliot pays a lot of attention to even what look like trivial things.

Every time I get bored when it comes to minor figures which I am hardly able to memorize, the plot quickly shifts to major people whom I follow closely. So the boredom immediately goes away.

Eliot puts quite a lot of wise sentences, which miraculously don’t bother me, as a reader who doesn’t like books that sound preachy. And the most praised aspect of the book is character development. Eliot invites readers to get knowing very humane characters that for myself, will stick at my heart for very long time.

Whenever I look for a female character who is generous, overwhelmed with her wealth, I quickly come to the name of Dorothea. Her interest of helping others is so great that she makes it as one of the factors that makes her accepting the marriage proposal from Edward Ladislaw. She wants to make her life useful to her husband. The reason that later on proves inadequate to make her marriage life a happy one.

When I think about a figure who is too social that he becomes poor, I put Caleb Garth as the perfect example.

Rosamund Vincy, later Rosamund Lydgate, is the typical model for a beautiful woman who cares much about image, social pride, levelling.. as in ‘he is on par with my level’ sort of thing.

I can’t believe there is a man namely Fred Vincy who, despite his gorgeous looking that becomes his mother’s pride, is such a useless man. The kind of person who doesn’t know what to do in life.  An undecisive person, a dumb one. It is so sweet that he has Mary Garth by his side. She is not pretty but her intelligence and vision of life rescues him. Fred and Mary are such a perfect blend where Fred’s physical beauty meets with Mary’s intelligence and cleverness. Thank God, their strong love unites the two. Thank God.

And personally, the character that suits me most is Edward Casaubon. I write about much about him in previous two posts, much earlier than Dorothea and Tertius. I haven’t written about the two leading characters in details (will later work on them).

I can’t think how Eliot makes this book, her creative process. How many books she read so that she can come up with fragments from a lot of poems, proses not only in English Language but also in French Language. How many hours per day she dedicates her time making this story. Does each and every character that she puts into the book goes through thorough research?

Those are some questions that emerge when I read the book then after I conclude it. Too many questions, curiosities that I wish I could get her answers as the book is done reading. The last one is I would like to know how she can make this balanced overall story that makes it so round that finishing reading the novel leaves me a void I don’t know how to fill it up. The book is so exceptional that I find it hard to part with no matter how relieved I am that it ends fairly.