Off the Unread-List: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

I am very glad that I finished reading The Professor last week. It is uneasy for me resuming reading the book after I abandoned it some weeks because, frankly speaking, I couldn’t bear of reading many sentences in the French language here and there.

To be exact, I find it very disturbing that I had to look at the Note section to find out what those words meant. So I skipped, I barely read the words. In consequence, I didn’t enjoy reading the book. Once the amount of French words began decreasing, I gained my enthusiasm reading the novel.

By still feeling inconvenient because of the French language, I managed to have digested the rest of the book. Compared to Jane Eyre, The Professor actually conveys much diverse topics. What I mostly love from the book is how Charlotte Bronte brings up education topic.

What looks like an accident for William Chrimsworth to be a professor turns out to be the major line that connects him with his future wife, Frances Henri. I find it very beautiful that their matrimony later brings them opening school, teaching pupils. William who is once underestimated by his own brother and Frances who gets her eyes tired of being a lace-mender, now become well-respected people thanks to their ideas of applying good education curriculum.

Charlotte Bronte’s way of bringing up stories about patience, endurance and faith, as I find in Jane Eyre, is seamlessly told here. I always admire Charlotte Bronte’s focus on the process of achieving dreams despite thorns that may sting the characters’ journeys.

Another thing that I like most of the story is the romance itself between William and Frances. Again, Charlotte Bronte emphasizes on simplicity, even in love, an emotion that for some people, may boost their feelings, put them in a rollercoaster-kind of mode.

Unattached by relatives (for William’s only friend is Hunsden while France’s only aunt passes away), the two souls eventually find company in each other’s arms, a home where which the sweetness of their love tale is materialized in actions, supports and motivations for attaining their dream; building a school.

Their romance is filled of by hardworking and persistence but there lies its kind of beauty in it.

The Professor offers me a unique view about friendship. Here, William’s fate is helped by some unlikely people in his life, in particular Hunsden, who dislikes his brother, Edward, yet sympathizes with William since his doomed days in Chrimsworth Hall.

Despite his satirical, witty traits that draw uneasiness upon Frances, Hunsden is always there for William. He offers helps, gives good advice which it’s true when he frequently asks for a ‘thank you’ in exchange for what he does, but I don’t think William pays him back in proper ways. So, probably, that is why Charlotte Bronte ends her story with Hunsden being in the last pages of the book featuring Victor, William’s son.

William doesn’t verbally thank his good buddy but the fact that they spend their old years living closely to one another is more than enough to emphasize how much Hunsden means to William’s life. Much like his deep love for Frances that isn’t translated into flowery words, so is his thankfulness for Hunsden. And I think that what makes The Professor a worthy of reading for gaining values on life, love and friendship the way they should be.

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The Power of Being Under Pressured Completing Reading Pile of Unread Books

Have you got dozens of books unread for months, or even years at the bookshelves in your room? Or, have you felt there seemed to be no time for reading books anymore because, frankly speaking, you are busy scrolling down your social media accounts?

If you have that questions in your mind and wish to get rid of them all or one of them, probably you can try my trick. The key is a little bit ridiculous; buying more titles!

So.. I haven’t finished reading Great Expectations, Homo Deus and The Professor for a few months. Those don’t include Sejarah Islam or The History of Islam, which, oh my God, hasn’t been touched for months, too.

When I bought The Professor, I didn’t need the urgency of finishing reading Great Expectations because honestly, the masterpiece of Charles Dickens is too sentimental to cope with. Later, The Professor didn’t satisfy me that much because too many, way too many statements in French language that I needed to look at the back of the book. I abandoned the title, as well.

Then, I made another mistake. A few weeks ago, I and my pals went to an internationally-scale book affair in Jakarta. To put it shortly, I purchased Homo Deus, a currently-popular book among readers globally. Plus, I am interested at reading books on internet and social media hence the book suits me best. And yes, indeed, until I discovered it too much already when I read the first pages of the book. I have left it untouched for weeks now.

This week, I visited, again, Kinokuniya bookstore, with my best friend, Wida. I didn’t intend to buy novels or books at that time but as we were looking at titles, somehow my mind struck at The Woman In White. I have been looking for the book for months. I almost took it home but Wida reminded me that Dian, our close friend, had bought it for me from Paris. Dian would bring the book next month when she comes back home.

I was trying so hard not to buy it by switching my mind on reading other detective or mystery tales. My head quickly turned to Edgar Allan Poe as his The Tell-Tale Heart became his only fiction that I read so far.

I circled the Mystery/Horror section for some moments, till, yes! Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection of short stories by Mr. Poe was put in one of the section’s bookshelf. How happy I was! I bought the book right away, ignoring the fact some titles were crying to be resumed.

After I went back home, I opened the first title of the collective story. The Gold Bug opened the book and I couldn’t stop reading it. I began remembering how genius Mr. Poe was, yet somehow, I looked at The Professor. My guilt started embracing me.

I stopped reading The Gold Bug, reopened the last page where I read The Professor then two days later (today), the novel was finished. I am so glad at the moment because I fulfill the promise that I made months ago. The personal triumph surprisingly comes from the guilt that I feel after buying another book.

 

Currently-Reading: “The Professor” by Charlotte Bronte

Picture is taken from za.pinterest.com

I have been 10 days reading ‘The Professor’ by Charlotte Bronte. The title wasn’t into my to-be-read list before I went to Kinokuniya bookstore in Central Jakarta after I covered an e-sport-related press conference last Thursday.

I was expecting I would buy ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins despite the relatively expensive price. But when I got there, the novel was gone. Someone probably had bought it. I couldn’t believe that I was so disappointed at that time that I was encircling the literature section of the bookstore to tame the sadness.

I finally bought ‘The Professor’ after I read its first page via Gutenberg online reading. At least the first page was impressive, so I thought at that time. Then I bought the novel without much excitement as when I purchase ‘North and South’. But at least (again) I will have some good readings to accompany me wherever I go. It’s Charlotte Bronte’s book, by the way, though it isn’t as popular as ‘Jane Eyre’ but it must show me her wonderful story telling.

And you know what? I was awed by the book because of the author’s very bold, brave stance. On the back of my mind, “Oh! This is indeed Charlotte Bronte!” The protagonist, William Crimsworth, is a very interesting character to study. He quickly gets my heart because of his courage wrapped in his silence when it comes to dealing with his own brother, Edward Crimsworth, who is more like his authoritative boss.

By the time William is eventually able to get rid of his brother although he is poor, I am so relieved. There is nothing more gladdening than reading your hero or heroine finally makes up his or her mind leaving people or situations that put them living like in a hell.

When I mention William is an intriguing figure to study, I tell you bluntly. Because actually, by the time I write this I seem don’t understand his real trait by the time he moves to Brussels to teach students there. Why so?

It’s too early to conclude that William changes because of the new environment he now lives in. All I feel throughout reading the new chapter of his life is that he is no longer that quiet. He in fact is a very careful person whom he deals with, for instance with Mlle Reuter, a headmistress of the school William teaches at. He also studies the characters of his young female students, physically and characteristically.

I can read his sarcasm, his way of protecting himself from, say, one of the female students who wish to get his attention in classroom. William attempts to be himself, guard his personality amid various types of traits, mostly are women, in his new surroundings. It’s surprising to get to know this mysterious hero written by Charlotte. I can’t now tell he is a simple man because he in fact reads people. I can’t also conclude he has no ambitions in his profession or romance as he simply flees to Brussels to earn a living. Teaching isn’t his chosen work as he works as a translator at his brother’s mill.

What rather distracts me reading the book is because many French conversations are in it. I am lazy to open the last few pages of the novel to find out what they mean. Other than that, I am interested to know what William life will end up. And I will discover that after I have to read ‘the map reading’ by William which is quite hard to grasp.

 

Mengenal “Living Books”, Cerita Rekaan yang Bukan Sembarang Fiksi

Terima kasih banyak buat sahabatku, Rizki Mahardiani, yang memberiku ide untuk menulis tentang ini

Masih terbayang secara ‘sadis’ pengadilan sosial untuk tuan Bulstrode saat novel Middlemarch menuju akhir setelah perjalanan membaca yang sangat panjang. Dalam forum tersebut, tuan Bulstrode diadili oleh tetangga dan kawan-kawannya usai mereka tahu Raffles, seorang dari masa lalu Bulstrode yang tahu benar cara licik bankir tersebut hingga bisa kaya raya seperti sekarang, meninggal dunia.

Singkat kata, publik menghakimi tuan Bulstrode lah yang membunuh Raffles agar ia tutup mulut padahal tidak sama sekali meski tuan Bulstrode sudah kadung jengkel diperas oleh Rafles jelang kematiannya. Tetap saja tuan Bulstrode tak bisa menghindar dari forum tersebut bahwa memang ia menempuh cara kelam agar bisa makmur. Publik pun menilai uang amalnya ke kaum papa hanyalah semacam “penebus dosa” atas perbuatan jahatnya selama ini. Yang paling menyebalkan tentu saja nasib Dr. Tertius Lydgate, dokter muda penuh bakat yang “kecipratan” reputasi buruk tuan Bulstrode. Publik ikut-ikutan menilai sang dokter mencicipi uang haram tuan Bulstrode hingga akhirnya memaksa Dr. Tertius benar-benar angkat kaki dari tempat itu.

Itu adalah sepenggal adegan dalam salah satu novel yang aku sayangi. Meski bukan buku paling aku favoritkan, Middlemarch merupakan novel kehidupan atau living book yang sangat aku rekomendasikan bagi siapa pun untuk dibaca. Bisa dibilang ini novel kehidupan yang paling kaya, komplet dan mewakilkan kondisi banyak orang di suatu tempat, tak terkecuali di Indonesia. Kesemuanya bisa tercermin secara gamblang berkat kemampuan menulis George Eliot yang sungguh bagus.

Middlemarch merupakan contoh novel kehidupan yang mengandung pesan penting nan berat tetapi membungkusnya dengan fiksi yang menarik. Imajinasi yang detil tentang orang, tempat hingga kejadian membuat pembaca awalnya abai dengan ide yang Eliot ingin sampaikan.

Setelah sanggup menawan hati pembaca dengan cerita yang menarik, barulah mereka akan mulai menggenggam apa maksud kisah ini. Bukan hanya itu, mereka akan akan mulai merefleksikan karakter yang ada di dalamnya dengan diri mereka sendiri atau orang di sekitar mereka, hingga situasi sosial saat ini.

Jika kau adalah putri baik hati, perempuan lembut tetapi kuat, karakter Dorothea Brooke bakal memukaumu. Jika kamu adalah tipikal orang yang sangat idealis, Dr. Tertius akan banyak mewakilkan pandangan hidupmu. Atau jika kamu cowok yang satir dan mempunyai jiwa seni tinggi meski hidupmu pas-pasan, tengoklah Will Ladislaw.

Novel kehidupan mempunyai tipikal fiksi yang dari permukaan dan pada awalnya terbaca ringan, menyenangkan tetapi lama kelamaan begitu pembaca mulai membenamkan hati pada cerita atau karakternya, mulailah novel jenis ini menunjukkan taringnya yang sesungguhnya: kedalaman isu yang ingin disampaikan oleh sang penulis.

Novel macam ini mengajak pembaca belajar, mulai dari berimajinasi, mencerna maksud  penulis lalu memikirkan nasib karakter hingga kemudian mengambil banyak pelajaran dari situ. Hal-hal berat ini bagaimana pun menjadi menarik untuk diselami sebab kita sudah kadung suka dengan cerita, tokoh atau gaya kepenulisannya.

Novel semacam ini banyak ditulis oleh abad ke-17,18 dan 19. Salah satu contoh novel kehidupan lainnya yang saya sukai adalah cerita-ceritanya Thomas Hardy. Sebenarnya mayoritas bukunya muram dan sedih hanya saja saya suka membacanya sebab karakter dia begitu humanis selain banyak mengangkat jati diri perempuan pada masanya. Katakanlah, Micheal Henchard dalam The Mayor of Casterbridge, yang hingga kini masih menjadi tokoh fiksi favorit saya sebab kompleksitas hidupnya sebagai anak manusia, dari orang yang nggak benar hingga menjadi walikota. Tokoh yang semrawut tetapi pelan sanggup menarik simpati saya sebagai manusia pada umumnya yang tak pernah bisa luput dari yang namanya dosa dan kesalahan.

Ada banyak pelajaran yang bisa dipetik dari seorang keras kepala tetapi sangat sabar seperti Jane Eyre. Bagi banyak orang mungkin dia perempuan yang sok kuat tetapi buat saya sendiri karakter dia yang sungguh idealis membuat saya kagum. Saya masih ingat adegan dimana dia harus memakan bubur sisa orang untuk bertahan hidup setelah dia gagal menjual sapu tangannya agar bisa makan. Buat saya novel Jane Eyre memberikan pelajaran sabar yang teramat sangat manis dan indah pada akhirnya, yang sekali lagi, disajikan dalam fiksi luar biasa buatan Charlotte Bronte.

Buku kehidupan memang pada dasarnya hanya berupa cerita rekayasa, nama dan tempat banyak yang tidak ada. Tetapi sukar untuk tidak mengakui membaca buku berkelas seperti ini tidak memberikan kesan selain ceritanya yang bagus atau tokohnya yang menarik. Buku semacam ini selalu bisa meninggalkan bekas berharga bagi saya sebagai manusia zaman modern. Meski beberapa nilainya terdengar klise, seperti belajar sabar, setia, percaya pada orang lain, novel kehidupan seperti yang saya sebut di atas somehow membuat saya untuk mengunjungi nilai-nilai penting dalam hidup tersebut. Baru saya sadar dari novel semacam ini saya sebenarnya banyak belajar tentang nilai penting dalam hidup dengan cara yang sangat menyenangkan.

 

Fly me to the UK for a literary adventure I’ve always dreamt of

Quoting famous speech from Martin Luther King Jr, ‘I Have a Dream’, well, I have a dream, too, which is to launch what I call as a literary adventure to say hello, take inspiration for writing then say thank you for these literary genius whose works not only entertain my soul but their imaginations and voices have helped me finding my own place in this hectic cum wonderful modern life.
Thomas Hardy
I have been longing for paying a visit to the places that play significant roles in the works of Thomas Hardy, one of my most-beloved authors. If you have bumped to this messy blog then you realize how much I admire his works as his name becomes the most-tagged word in this place, hehe..
If you ask me why do I love Hardy so much, one of my answers is because he knows how to appreciate nature then put them into beautiful words. Reading his novels soothe my heart because his words are indeed pieces of arts, beautifully-crafted.
I would really love to go to the house he was born in a house in Stinsford, a village and civil parish in southwest Dorset, one mile east of Dorchester. Stinsford is the original ‘Mellstock’ in his ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ and ‘Jude the Obscure’. I haven’t read ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ but I have enjoyed ‘Jude’.
The first site I wish I can visit is Hardy’s cottage as you can see from the below picture. This is where the poet was born in 1840 then writing ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ in 1872 and ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ in 1874. I can fancy how peaceful it was when he was working by looking at the cottage and its surroundings. No wonder he was able to produce very fascinating words as its neighborhood was providing him a lot of inspirations to write. Hardy was staying in the cottage until he was 34 years old.

Hardy's_cottage,_Higher_Bockhampton_-_geograph.org.uk_-_480484

He once moved to London but never felt at home in the big city. As such, he built a house namely Max Gate, which is just a few miles from the cottage where he was living before. He and his first and second wife inhabited the house, which I think is quite large and exquisite, from 1885 until his death in 1928. This is the house where he was creating his best fictions; ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, ‘Jude the Obscure’ and ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ as well as most of his poems. While general fans mostly applaud ‘Tess’, ‘Far’ or ‘Jude’, my most favorite fiction is yes, ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’. I really really admire the book. Anyway, this is Max Gate.

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George Eliot
Mary Anne Evans or mostly popular as George Eliot (12 November 1819 to 22 December 1880) is my second most-adored Victorian novelist. Until now, I don’t know how Eliot produces such an extensive, rich in terms of issues, imaginations and characterizations as in Middlemarch. By the way, my personal favorite is ‘The Mill on the Floss’ as it becomes my first ‘real’ experience reading her works. I read ‘Silas Marner’ back when I was a university student but I don’t consider it as a ‘concrete’ experience because the book that I was savoring was its simplified version. I don’t want to read the unabridged version of ‘Silas Marner’ though because the story is really sad.
So this is Arbury Hall estate. In its South Farm, the very smart baby girl namely Mary Anne Evans was born in 12 November 1819. The estate was belonging to the Newdigate family where which her father was working as a land manager there.

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In early 1820, the author family moved to Griff House where Mary Anne was living for 20 years. After that, she was travelling and moving to some places. Here is the Griff House:

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Elizabeth Gaskell
For any Victorian enthusiasts, you should try Gaskell’s books, which move very soft and smooth. ‘Mary Barton’ is my favorite book from her. No wonder she is able to produce elegantly-made words. Gaskell is described as a lady-like person, tidy, well-mannered one. Oh, I can totally associate with her writings, in terms of word choice and placement, characters (esp in ‘Wives and Daughters’) and issue selections. If I have a chance, it will be delightful to stop by in this house, where the author and her family were living for some years. Let me put the address here: 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester. Oh I love the building. What a lovely sight!images (3).jpeg

The Bronte sisters
Of course, the Bronte Parsonage Museum must be in the list! This is the house where the Bronte family was staying which is in Haworth, West Yorkshire. Looking at the building, I think the family is quite wealthy. My favorite Bronte is Anne because her traits much like mine, hehe. Who is your beloved Bronte, my friend?

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Charles Dickens
So far, I have read ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. I honestly say I’m not really into his works which is a matter of writing style reason. But if I were in UK, this Charles Dickens museum as you can see below is a temptation I can’t resist, hehe.. The address is on 48 Doughty street, Holborn, London. It became the home for the author from 25 March 1837 until December 1839. Though it was relatively short, the house saw him producing best fictions, ‘The Pickwick Paper’ in 1836, ‘Oliver Twist’ in 1838, ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ between 1838 and 1839 and Barnaby Rudge in 1840 and 1841. How prolific Dickens was!

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Jane Austen
And here is the queen of all romantic women out there, I included, is the one and only Jane Austen. The picture shows Jane Austen house museum in the village of Chawton, near Alton in Hampshire. She and her family were occupying the house for the last eight years of her life. It is assumed she was revising the drafts of ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’ here. Austen also wrote ‘Mansfield Park’, ‘Emma’ (I love Emma!) and ‘Persuasion’ here.
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Wilkie Collins
And the last author who recently spurs my adrenaline is Wilkie Collins. He is chubby anyway by looking at his picture. Collins and his wife, Caroline Graves, were occupying Harley Street 12, Marylebone, in the central of London, from 1860 to 1864. I’m not really sure whether he owned the entire building or just rented some rooms of it. Collins is said to have written most parts of one of his best mysterious novels, ‘The Woman in White’, here. I currently look for reading the title after I am so immersed with ‘The Moonstone’. images (5)
So, those are a number of sites that completely attract my desires to go there. I think my bucket-list is already full even before I have enough money to make it, hehe.. Well, never mind. Hopefully the bucket will be filled. Till then, let’s dream again!
Thank you very much for Wikipedia, Wikimedia and Wilkie-Collins.info for providing all the lovely shots.

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!

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.