‘Sense and Sensibility’ such a reading challenge for me

Reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is like diving into a deep ocean without having sufficient diving or snorkeling tools. Honestly, I don’t really enjoy reading the book not because it tells a boring story or easy to predict. But it’s more because I find Jane Austen’s language is too heavy for me. Too polite, too abstract. The book’s language is much higher than Emma’s.

Emma is more cheerful with a lot of dialogues here and there. But Sense and Sensibility contains lesser number of conversations. Jane Austen applies difficult writing style here. My mind finds it hard to even describe what goes on in the scenes given Austen’s well-chosen words.

Sense and Sensibility is more decent than Mary Barton, the one which I used to think the softest novel I have ever read. Sense is so sensible that it sometimes sounds too dramatic but another time it makes the pain endured by Marianne and Elinor seems so devastating.

I have never come across a woman whose heart is so completely broken by a man who doesn’t even declare his love than Marianne. And I have never found a female leading protagonist whose fate is stagnant as she gets herself busy takes care of the affairs those surrounding her than Elinor Dashwood.

Sense and Sensibility offers more than love but the novel is extraordinary because it conveys messages about family relationship, social and marital conditions at that time. Of all Victorian classics that I have read so far, no books that highlight the importance of money, so essential that you have to mention the calculation of your property, than those by Jane Austen. In this novel, such calcuulations play very important roles that even Willoughby leaves Marianne in exchange of a high social status by marrying a rich woman.

On the contrary, Edward Ferrars opts to be expelled from home and loses his inheritance as a consequence of marrying Lucy, an ordinary woman with no wealth. Jane Austen portrays this fact in such polite ways that readers are left to take their own perceptions about that. It’s funny that the book stands out not only because of the romances of Marianne and Elinor but also because of people’ behaviors in the 19th century.

All of these themes are beautifully, courteously captured in the book.

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I wish I were Austen’s Elinor Dashwood

I wish I were a mysterious being like Elinor Dashwood. I hope I have a lot of masks to put on whenever I need it the most just like her. Of all fictional heroines that I have enjoyed so far, Elinor is the one who makes me envious. She is the one of the kind who knows how to handle her heart with so much care. You can call her a hypocrite for frequently hiding her emotions. Once you realize letting them out in whatever moments you are in may cost you a lot, you understand Elinor behaves the way she does.

Elinor is a very interesting character because she is so reserved. She is the sort of person everyone loves being around with. She knows how to interact with the so-knowing-it-all-people affairs like Mrs. Jennings. She can, too, befriend with the woman who steals the heart of the man Elinor admires so much, Lucy. As much as she wants to cry it all out when she knows Lucy is engaged and later is married to Edward Ferrars, Elinor keeps her promises of not telling every one about the secret engagement.

When her heart is still broken because of Lucy and Edward, Elinor manages to console her sister, Marianne, as Willoughby leaves her for another woman. Elinor puts forward her brain and logic when it comes to love that results in the despises from her mother and Marianne. It turns out that Elinor’s suspicions about Willoughby are indeed true.

The way Elinor is so patient with everything happening to her life and those around her is amazing. She isn’t trapped in materialistic view of the people surrounding her. Elinor is very strong woman, so tough that she can withshield the sadness in her heart for months. Even so, her life is so full of patience. On the surface, Elinor’s life seems flat and boring as she has to wait and see for all things to come into her life. Not many active actions she actually does to pursue her dreams, unlike Marianne to Willoughby.

Yet in her circumstances, she has no other better options. She can’t force her feelings to Edward while Colonel Brandon, as I come to the page of 279 out of 367, remains attached to Marianne. So Elinor keeps trying being cool and patient while watching things turning out as they are. And that is the damn difficult thing one can ever have to do.

The bunny teeth man

Two larger front teeth
Small eyelids, pointed face
Lush beard on two sides of the countenance
Bigger, broader, chubbier
How three years have made all the difference

Thanks for the time that never does me wrong
As this heart of mine knows what it wants
The mind has no clues at all

As time passes by
The mind knows the heart is right
It always is

I love the way you keep your words
You easily make me shutting up my mouth
When I am not that much relieved with others

Your calmness is what I have been looking for
This time around this feels different
This time around this eventually makes me at ease

Like a ship after battling in a storm
I hope you’re the shore I have been searching for
To put this ship on a hold
Till you rise our flag high
Ready to set sail with our home imprint in our hearts
Wherever we go in a pair

‘Sense and Sensibility’, my second escapade with Jane Austen

sense and sensibility

For how many times I can’t remember I made a vow to myself which I knew I was going to break it. Before the payday came this Tuesday, I promised to myself I wouldn’t buy a book because I have planned saving a sum of money for other things. Only a few days I kept this promise as yesterday I went to the Kinokuniya bookstore after my job was done. I couldn’t help fighting against the temptation of not reading a novel. So even if my money is so tight I kept going there. Even when I have known I can’t expect the bookstore offers more classic titles I went home bringing Jane Austen’s evergreen romance story, ‘Sense and Sensibility’. Although I once watched its movie version I kept purchasing it because I have known written version will always be much more joyful for a reader like me.

The best realistic thing about Victorian books is that they are sold in various editions that match with my pocket. I bought the book edition at just around US$7 (see picture), which is still very affordable for me. I can still enjoy a very lovely story under cheap price. I actually wanted to buy ‘The Vegetarian’ but the price is too high for me at the moment. So never mind with ‘Sense and Sensibility’, though.

I watched ‘Sense and Sensibility’ years ago. All I remember is Kate Winslet still looks so young at the movie.  I don’t even know the name of the actress who plays the oldest one as the central protagonist of the book. I was considering my experiences of having watched the movie version before I bought the canon. As the amazing experience of reading ‘Jane Eyre’ after watching its movie version proves my capability of enjoying the novel, I grabbed ‘Sense and Sensibility’ then headed home.

Unlike ‘Emma’, which was opened with rather cheerful tone, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, so its first pages suggest, invite me to probably read it in a serious mode. So far, I am at its first 13 pages so I can’t say many things yet other than the novel is quite solemn. Since I am accustomed of reading books by Thomas Hardy which are way stressful than Austen’s I bet ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is not that much depressing. At least let’s hope this classic isn’t as distressing as ‘Jane Eyre’.

 Thank you for providing the picture.

For this particular reason Anne Bronte is my most favorite Bronte writer

anne bronte

Hail to the Bronte sisters who have left enduring legacy in English Literature. I wish they write more books so that I can go inside their unbelievable minds. Though I know I can never reach their super high imagination level put into magical words at least I can enjoy more of their works. They die relatively at young age because of sickness.

So far, I read four books; ‘Agnes Grey’, ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’, ‘Wuthering Heights’ and the last one is ‘Jane Eyre’. I know some titles remain unread, particularly by Charlotte Bronte but I believe reading them is sufficient for me to draw a conclusion that Anne Bronte is my most favorite one.

I agree to most literary fans who say ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Jane Eyre’ stand higher than ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’. I sum this up because of what I feel after I read each of them. I go crazy when I read ‘Wuthering Heights’. I am so moved when Jane Eyre becomes a beggar then so relieved when she eventually becomes Mrs. Rochester. I still remember I find it hard to put ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ down because the plot completely moves me. I get addicted to the book but if you ask for my opinion the novel remains below the other two titles in the paragraph. I think this is perhaps due to Anne’s writing technique which doesn’t dramatize Helen’s life as tragic as Jane Eyre or as horrific as ‘Wuthering Heights’.

Anne Bronte is my personal favorite because I find pieces of my personality in her two stories. The reason is so private. As much as I adore Jane’s trait that is so rebellious and as much as I am blown away with the wildness of the love between Cathy and Heathcliff, Anne’s characters are engraved in my heart. The simplicity, patience and strong-willingness of Helen Lawrence Huntingdon and Agnes Grey are what make them ordinarily outstanding.

You may call them boring because they don’t pose one or two particular traits that make them distinctive. Jane Eyre is very notable for her obstinacy and independence while Agnes Grey and Helen Huntingdon are both hardworking women but not that very stubborn. Agnes Grey and Helen Huntingdon are so-so if compared to Jane Eyre or Cathy. But beneath their average qualities lie endurance and strength. In my own words, they are very humane. Not just I but I think a lot of women or people out there will easily relate their characteristics with theirs.

‘Agnes Grey’ is the second novel that bedazzles me after ‘Wives and Daughters’ because of their ordinary protagonists who experience simple lives. Like Molly Gibson in ‘Wives and Daughters’, ‘Agnes Grey’ follows the life of Agnes Grey, all the choices that she makes and how they contribute to the final trait of the female leading figure by the end of the novel.

Agnes Grey wants sufficiency for her and her family needs. The problems she face during the life in the book seems ordinary; the difficulty in finding jobs, the negativity she has to receive as a governess. She sometimes hates her job because she has to deal with naughty children and some even put her position as a maid. But a job is a job. She has to complete her tasks for the sake of making ends meet. Her simple thought in job is also applicable in the romance side. She doesn’t pursue her crush but chooses to be patient and wait. Until when the universe goes in favor of her feeling, he comes and proposes her. There lies indescribable power beyond Agnes Grey’s simplicity.

Helen Huntingdon lives a more complicated life compared to Agnes Grey thereby she is a lot of tougher than Agnes Grey. Not only she has to deal with her alcoholic husband, Helen must go against public norms; fleeing from her husband while they are still married. Unlike Jane Eyre who is completely obstinate, Helen’s firmness is understandable, that she escapes from her husband to save their only son. Helen does this by force. Jane, on the other hand, could have stayed in Thornfield Hall while teaching Adele, for instance. Jane still has other choices that Helen doesn’t. Similar to Agnes Grey, what Helen wants is her son security and good moral sample that he will never get that from his own father.

I can’t imagine what strength Helen poses when she has to take care of her ill husband. She completes the duty of a devoted wife (I know the term ‘devoted’ here stirs debate at that time) by returning back home. As much as she hates him, she performs the responsibility until he dies. This part is so mixed. I feel that in this part, Anne Bronte softly brings up two opposite climaxes at the same time: the downfall of masculinity as portrayed by Arthur Huntingdon and the victory of feminism by Helen Huntingdon. Again, Anne Bronte describes this part in slow, soft ways that makes it very powerful.

Agnes Grey and Helen Huntingdon.. For some they may be boring, plain and not spontaneous. But you and I can’t bet they are beautiful souls because they stick at what they believe to do. They are stubborn because of strong reasons. Though patience and hardworking, they live the lives they dream to have no matter how many bumpy roads they have to undergo. They are awesome fictional characters and for myself they describe my personality.

Thank you for providing the picture.

After reading ‘Jane Eyre’: satisfied, contented, joyful

jane eyre

I know it’s a little bit too late to say I become one of the many million people out there who agree ‘Jane Eyre’ is named as one of the world’s best novels of all time. Reading it gives me various kind of feelings but to sum it all I feel so, so satisfied after closing the last page of it yesterday evening. This is actually the sort of feelings each time I finish reading books by Victorian authors. That’s why I still get stuck reading books by the writers.

First and foremost, the character of Jane Eyre is, I can call her, as the proper representation of a feminist. Though the novel is composed hundreds of years ago I can still find myself in awe with Jane. Rebellious, independent, stubborn, idealist and at the same time genuine and very kind person. I love her dearly, really. Because some part of her identity match with my own. Ah, I can even call her my favorite heroine by now.

I love the way Charlotte Bronte portrays her as not an attractive female leading figure, which is in par with her tomboyish trait. Charlotte Bronte doesn’t describe Edward Rochester as a handsome person but rather a well-built, strong and decisive man. So when both falls in love makes the story all makes sense. That’s not a fairy love story but rather realistic one. In fact, at the end of the tale, Edward is blind and has very few possessions left. On the contrary, Jane is a rich person who bequeaths the money left by her uncle.

How the two major characters swift positions in and after the turbulence of their romance makes the novel is again, logical. Following what happens in the life of Jane and Edward makes me thinking what makes the novel is something so whole. Anything can happen in our lives, anything. That what makes me admiring the book as it completely tells the lives of human beings, mirrors and says much of what life is in general.

The way Charlotte Bronte tells the readers, by the way, is smooth that I am so engaged with it. Oh her writing technique. Damn it! How can I write as beautiful as she can.

Charlotte Bronte successfully highlights the life of Jane in such comprehensive ways that by the end of the novel I am left satisfied. From an abandoned orphan, a lonely teenager, a hardworking, loving governess until she crumbles down then gets up being a wealthy woman. What is remarkable here is that no matter how well-to-do she is, how calamity robs Edward’s eyesight, her feeling and stance remains the same. That Jane Eyre is still Jane Eyre, the woman who holds her belief and sticks to what she feels. Because of what she experiences in her life, poverty and she turns into a beggar, Jane can appreciate whatever she has. She firmly holds her ideas and identity. No matter how St John frequently gives critics to her traits, Jane keeps to her words.

So many things I wish I can tell about the book but I know I can’t do all of that at the time being. I end up filling this post by saying thank you very much Charlotte Bronte for creating ‘Jane Eyre’ for this masterpiece makes me feeling so happy and enriched. Thank you once again.

The picture is taken from this.

 

The water in the palms of her hands

A white wooden-door of Elite Cafe was ajar with just five visitors were enjoying a Saturday night in it. A low temperature of three air conditioners in the cafe lost to the warmness of the surrounding even on the night when the clock was getting closer to midnight.

Two baristas were gazing at their brown middle size of the cups putting on a table. Each of them was beginning to decorate the top of the cappuccino with flowers images. Five customers were quite making them busy enough to kill the stillness of the night until they heard additional sound from the door.

A woman wearing read headscarf was making her way into it. A black slim laptop was on her left hand while a vintage red bag was hanging loosely upon her right shoulder. On her way to the empty chair situated in one of the café’s corners the guests’ eyes were following her movements for she became the sole female customer joining the night owls.

Chubby cheeks, a well-rounded face, curvy hips, short and fatty. She was placing the laptop on the table then immersing herself in thoughts and imaginations. Her current world was hypnotizing her that she didn’t take a damn look over the plenty of eyes looking at her side once in a while.

A cup of black coffee and three donuts were ready to quench her appetite desires in just few minutes. As such, she was becoming more and more absorbed in what she was doing. Her phone was waking her up from the job.

“Hi! What’s up?”

“So, you join me here? But don’t disturb me, okay?”, she said.

She was frowned her face, inhaling a deep breath then proceeded. Thirty minutes elapsed with no new visitors were welcomed. Just after she sighed, the door was opened again. A tall, dark-haired man with sunglasses on was walking toward the chair the woman was sitting. And the woman kept thinking and typing. She didn’t even look at the man sitting next to her.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming here? Why didn’t you call me in the last few days? What it took you so long to reply my messages?”

He was bombarding her with a lot of questions that were making the visitors looking at the woman’s table once again with more curiosity. But she didn’t even utter a word. Her mind was still on the screen she left it untouched for a while for sparing time to think.

“Why are so cold to me like this? Am I no one for you?”, he said.

“After all you did to me now you think of me as a stranger?”

She stopped looking at the screen. She put it down, sipped the remaining coffee in the cup then offering one donut to him.

“No, I am full already. Thank you,” he said.

After she was eating all the donuts she was putting the laptop inside of her bag. She finally broke the silence.

“I am overwhelmed by the love you give me. I am so scared of losing you. That’s why I distance myself from you. I want to try living without you.”

He was shaking his head while his eyes were still on those of hers. No words coming out from his mouth anymore as few minutes went by. She, meanwhile, was focusing many of the attention to the windows as rain was mildly pouring down the road.

“You should have considered how far the game of love would bring you. You’re not serious with me,” he said.

“I am not playing with your heart. I just don’t realize your huge love scares the hell out of me. I am afraid I cannot love as much as you do,” she said.

Another mute moment went on.

“Well then. Good bye!”

He got up, moved the chair away then took only few steps to have let the door were closed. Her eyes still unmoved from the point she had set at, a void. She took the bag, paid the bill then left it, too.

Days went by without him no longer texting her sweet good morning greetings. No more night closed with brief sleep messages or calls before she shut her eyes. That was when she realized another drop of water slipping by her fingers. She now understood she was guilty of setting up the flame in his heart.