Wilkie Collins’s Count Fosco Reminds Me So Much of Sengkuni

Sangkuni illustration. Picture source: abasrin.com

Wilkie Collins’s Count Fosco and Vyasa’s Sengkuni or Sangkuni have many hateful yet agile traits one can relate and learn. Written in centuries apart, “Mahābhārata” and “The Woman in White” captivate me with the inserting of Sengkuni and Count Fosco. I detest each of them but I can’t deny I learn so much from their cunning.

I haven’t read “Mahābhārata” honestly. I only watched the Indian epic masterpiece when was I a little kid. Regularly watching the show was more than sufficient to have put Sengkuni as an unforgettable antagonist in my whole life. I heard him as reference when my father and his brother were referring to national prominent politician from New Order (I didn’t mention his name here, by the way). After I watched the series, I couldn’t agree more.

Sengkuni was best remembered because of his sly tactics for making his 100 nephews known as Korawa defeating their five cousins called Pandawa. Sengkuni was manipulative, provocative person who ignited hatred in the hearts of the Korawa people, especially Duryodana. His resentment toward Pandawa stemmed from his objection when his father accepted a marriage proposal for his sister, Gandari, from Dretarastra, a blind, kind-hearted prince from Hastinapura kingdom. Sengkuni, who was actually a prince from Gandhara empire, wished his sister would have married with Dretarastra’s brother, Pandu. Pandu was the father of Pandawa whereas Dretarastra was the father of Korawa. Despite the two’s good relationship, their sons were fighting for possessing Kuru empire with Sengkuni as the mastermind. Their story is known as Mahabharata.

Count Fosco or Isidor Ottavio Baldassare Fosco was not a layman. Count (male)/ Countess (female) or Conte in Italian language refers to a title in European countries for a noble of varying status, but historically deemed to convey an approximate rank intermediate between the highest and lowest titles of nobility, according to Pine, L.G. Titles: How the King Became His Majesty. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1992. P. 73. OCLC 27827106.

Personally, Count Fosco is like some types of people that I know in my life. They have certain attitudes that make them looking like noble people on the surface. The way they talk, how they treat others are different from common people. They know how to keep their tongues in check even when they are in debts or other huge problems. I call them as those who are enslaved to creating good images.

Such is what I learn from Count Fosco. He was in dire need of money but he was not looking as desperate person. He maintained his good humor sense, greeted strangers, and treated people nicely. He didn’t let others know what trouble he was in because that would taint his noble status. This what made Marian Halcombe firstly liked him. After she knew him a little bit longer, she found out who this man truly was. Her realization that Count Fosco was reading her mind and studying her behavior frightened her. This what made the protagonist was very careful in dealing with him. Unlike Laura Fairlie who was frontally disliking him, Mariam was more patient because she knew she must be resourceful and intelligent to get over him.

In addition to his observing nature, Count Fosco was good-tempered person, especially for those who were against his wishes, such as Mariam Halcombe and Laura Fairlie. He knew how to differently handle the two given their traits. Count Fosco was also persistent when it came to reaching his goals. Here, he carefully executed his plans of taking over 21,000 pounds belonging to Laura Fairlie through very well-planned timeline. He knew very well that good strategy wasn’t enough. There required patience to let things rolling on as he planned them, the trait that wasn’t possessed by Sir Percival Glyde.

Count Fosco and Sengkuni were top “brain washers”. While Count Sengkuni consistently whispered devilish words to the Korawa people, Count Fosco did the same thing for his wife, Madame Fosco, who was actually Laura’s aunt. She was so obedient to her husband that she worshipped him like a god. Count Fosco “guided” Sir Percival Glyde, his close friend, in their goals of getting the money.

Walter Hartright could have toppled him with just one strong blow. And I wished he did that because I really, completely detested Count Fosco. Of course, Wilkie Collins didn’t opt for that. Further legal consequence might emerge for Walter Hartright. Marian Halcombe’s descriptions became Walter Hartright’s weapons when confronting him in his rented room before he went away to Paris.

Much like Marian Halcombe, Walter Hartright was patient and clever. On top of that, his sincerity guided this man to smoothly deal with Count Fosco. Walter Hartright fully understood he had to be very well-spoken to confront a manipulative person like Count Fosco.

As Walter Hartright didn’t have legal supports for proving Count Fosco’s wrongdoings, Wilkie Collins remarkably ended the life of Count Fosco. He was killed by unknown people from his past, politically related, in a strange land (Paris) then surrounded by Parisians in a public place. Count Fosco’s life was eventually very much disgraced.

 

 

 

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Delving thick layer of secrets within “The Woman in White”

Wilkie Collins executes heap of secrets very well to deliver his messages on gender equality, marital issue and moral decay in “The Woman in White”. With the secrets, he successfully drove me to complete the 619 pages long within eight days despite fairly difficult language, political background in Italy and legal affairs at the Victorian Era in the 19th century.

Mind you, I didn’t Google what was happening in the Pizza Country back then. I also didn’t stop reading “The Woman in White” for further seeking information on inheritance division amongst heirs in elite class in the UK in the century. Doing so would probably cast me away from thoroughly enjoying the book. What a justification to say that I was too lazy for doing those things, LOL!

Anne Catherick alias the woman in white triggered the whole grand secret in the book which was Sir Percival Glyde as an illegal son of his parents, Sir Felix Glyde and Cecilia Jane Ester because the two had never been married. All the wealth that Sir Percival Glyde possessed was taken out from one of his distant relatives who never returned to the UK. He took over his relative’s resources by issuing his birth certificate (which was an easy task) and forging the marriage date of his parents. The second method required him to approach and shower Anne Catherick’s mother with gold and jewelries.

Sir Percival Glyde was secretly contacting Mrs. Catherick for his interest because her husband was a clergyman. Lured by the gifts, Mrs. Catherick took a key to a vestry where which her husband worked, at Old Welmingham. There, he did the crime then put Mrs. Catherick to blame by the locals because they believed she was unfaithful wife for having an affair with Sir Percival Glyde.

To this consequence, Sir Percival Glyde ordered Mrs. Catherick to keep the secret. In exchange, he was giving her money, putting her under observation so that she wouldn’t tell the secret. Old Welmingham was chosen to “imprison her” because as Walter Hartright later said, the district was showing what moral decay of human beings looked like. The residents didn’t care with what wrong deeds Mrs. Catherick did in the past as long as she donated her money. So, it wasn’t without any reasons that she was staying in the district because she believed her neighbors would only care on her money.

All through years, the secret was safe until Anne Catherick heard one of their conversations. Anne, who was born with mental illness, threatened that she would tell the truth. This later caused Sir Percival Glyde to have placed her in a private asylum.

One midnight, she managed to have escaped from the asylum then met with Walter Hartright on his way back to his rented room in London. Coincidentally, Walter Hartright would teach Marian Halcombe and Laura Fairlie the day after that hence the weird meeting was driving his curiosity by the time he encountered with Marian Halcombe.

His questions about this woman in white got bigger when Marian told him one of his mother’s letter mentioning Anne. The late Mrs. Fairlie said she was fond of Anne despite her mental illness. Then, she gave her white cloths that Anne was wearing throughout her life, gaining her as “the woman in white”. Reading Mrs. Fairlie’s statements that Anne was resembling Laura Fairlie got me suspicious on her true identity. Later, it was true that Anne was actually Laura Fairlie’s half-sister! She was the illegal daughter of Mr. Phillips Fairlie and Mrs. Catherick back then. Another issue on illegitimate children!

Walter Hartright and Marian Halcombe are two “scissors” to peel the layers out. While Marian Halcombe was sacrificing her life for Laure Fairlie, Walter Hartright was risking his life for truth. I am personally captivated by the two thanks to the author’s ideas of making them super brave, resourceful and patient.

I myself salute Marian’s love for Laura that although they were not connected by blood, Marian was doing her utmost to have saved Laura’s life from her wicked husband, Sir Percival Glyde. Some memorable scenes were when she banged the door of Mr. Frederick Fairlie’s room after she told him that Laura agreed to marry Sir Percival Glyde because she was afraid of tainting her family’s good image. Mr. Frederick Fairlie was Laura’s uncle who was insensitive, arrogant and annoying. He was underestimating women’ rights when he didn’t wish to deliberate Laura’s inheritance division with the family lawyer, Mr. Gilmore. This issue later created future problem between Laura or Lady Glyde with her husband. Of course, the most notable scene I would always remember was when heavy rainfall was pouring down her body as she was listening to all secrets between Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco. She was carefully placing herself in the spot where which she was able to find out what motivated them torturing her half-sister. As a result, she was sick so bad.

Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco was badly needing money, one of the reasons was because Sir Percival Glyde was in huge debt. He then required Lady Glyde’s signature to get access to 21,000 pounds she was possessing then divide it with his best friend. But Lady Glyde didn’t wish to do this unless her husband tells him the purpose of the request. This stirred his anger, opened his real motive of marrying her that was because of her wealth.

The two arranged strategies to obtain the money, which they did eventually. They lied to Anne Catherick, to Lady Glyde while Marian was in her sickness. Anne’s heart disease cost her death, which was falsified into Laura Fairlie’s given their physical resemblance. As Anne was buried, Laura was instead put in the asylum. When things looking bright, their unanticipated enemy returned from Honduras, Walter Hartright.

Walter Hartright was coming back to the UK braver than ever. It was his courage that brought him to have chased after the woman in white. It was also his bravery that led him to unravel cruelties did by Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco. I really admire Wilkie Collins’s showing readers, well me at least, how sincere motive and bravery can encourage us to do so many good deeds later on. Add to that is intelligence. Then our contribution can go wildly.

Walter Hartright utilized his sincerity, intelligence and politeness to meet, inquire and even ask for helps from people whom he only knew by hearsay. It wasn’t an easy thing to do when he needed to meet Mrs. Clements for knowing who was Mrs. Catherick. It was even more difficult when he must speak to Mrs. Catherick herself. With spies hired by Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco following him, Walter Hartright was a heroic character I will never forget.

I almost sunk into disappointment when Wilkie Collins opted to end the life of Sir Percival Glyde through fire. I wished Walter Hartright would kill him or drag him into a prison. I also expected the same thing for Count Fosco. But then I told to myself the expectations would create another problem. Walter Hartright might be put into a prison if he killed one of them or both of all. In addition, Walter Hartright didn’t have sufficient to bring him before a court. What he sufficiently had was evidence to clear up Laura’s reputation as a living human being.

It was later understandable that Wilkie Collins instead selected the two villains were dead because of their own deeds. A fire burned the vestry where which Sir Percival Glyde was trying to destroy the falsified marriage certificate and Count Fosco was killed by unknown party from his past. The ending reveals the same message: cruel people will get their deeds repaid in much more improper ways.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Woman in White”: How does it feel to have read 90 pages every day

I had intended to write my second part of “The Woman in White” reading process in this blog after I did the first one. But before I had typed this second part, I completed reading the novel two days ago. As many as 619 pages were done in seven days. I read about 90 pages per day. Call me a mad reader because I believed so. The book was driving me crazy.. in many good ways I had never thought it would be capable of.

I don’t want to boast on the number of the pages I read in this blog post. I strongly believe there are a lot of, a lot of bookworms out there who are crazier than I am when it comes to speed reading. I will only speed up when I have a good novel in my hands. When a book isn’t that challenging, I will drag myself to even finish it. So, needless to say here that “The Woman in White” is indeed good, very, super incredible one that you need to try reading it, especially if you love sensational stories or mysterious fictions.

“The Woman in White” isn’t an easy book. I thought it would be around the riddle of who the woman in white was. In this regard, I had thought the key of the story would be who was Anne Catherick by the end of the very lengthy book. I was deceived. The name and the background of the woman was revealed much earlier that I had expected. Her appearance stimulated overall secret within the lives of the major characters in the book. Like a snowball, the first riddle led to grander mysteries than I could have never imagined.

With the whereabouts of the woman in white became the entry matter that triggered my curiosity, I read the book page per page. I was enjoying the superb writing talent of Wilkie Collins, the author of the novel. As a Victorian writer, he didn’t forget to describe people, scene, scenery, movement of time and character in beautiful, wonderful language that captivated me as a hard fan of imaginative stories.

I made use of my available time to have resumed reading the book. As the mystery had strongly stirred my curiosity with the amazing writing style, I didn’t want to miss a day not reading the book. I kept working as usual. Thankfully, I finished a book writing project on-time. In between the writing job, I spent reading the book. I still managed to have gone to bed before 12 a.m and woke up feeling fresh and healthy to yes, reading the novel again.

The key of completing the book so quickly while deeply connected with every single sensation of the story is that I was attempting to have put my mind at its best concentration even after I closed the book for that day. In some nights before I went to sleep, I talked to myself on possible ending of the story and the answer for the puzzles. As crazy as that sounds, the method assisted me to have engaged with the plot and made me so excited for the next day’s reading. To this, I owe so much to Mr. Collins. Enjoying this brain exercise brought me a qualified pleasure. Given my ability to have controlled the fondness of the book, I was enjoying it proportionately despite the fact of the 90 pages per day.

In addition to have been curious on the first mystery, my brain worked at the hardest to have guessed what this and that clue scattered in the whole story. Later on, the guidance led to something bigger, terrible that made up the big themes here. For instance, the anonymous letter by Anne to Laura Fairlie that warned the latter on her future husband Sir Percival Glyde at the start of the book.

What makes this exercise even more complicated is that I needed to have guessed what were laying beneath the expressions of some characters. Mr. Collins gave hidden clues through facial and verbal expressions that if we didn’t pay attention enough, we wouldn’t catch sensational, thrilling tones of the book let alone understood what did they contribute to the whole ideas.

I would like to take Count Fosco as best example for this regard. I remember very much when Marian Halcombe said in her diary how she liked him the very first time she met before she loathed him very much later on. Marian said that Count Fosco was very clever in amusing strangers, talkative and very friendly. This is later proven by Walter Hartright as the story draws to a close. Walter said the Count greeted store keepers in his route to an opera for buying a ticket. The Count was humming to himself, knowing to entertain himself thus he looked like a 40-year old man instead of his actual 60 years old. I would later discuss on the Count in another blog post.

Facial expressions were playing big roles in the book because this aspect, as a matter of fact, had been deceitful. This time around, I take Sir Percival Glyde as an example. Marian Halcombe thought she had best reasons to let Walter ended his teaching term earlier as he was known to have loved Laura while she was engaged to Sir Percival Glyde. For Marian, Laura’s fiancee was a respected, honorable man. And I felt that too when reading his response and his behavior, particularly when Laura told him he didn’t want to marry him. Sir Percival Glyde didn’t get angry, curse or whatsoever. He took the ill news wisely. Here, as a reader, I thought Laura would learn to love him because I thought Sir Percival Glyde was a good person who was worthy of loving back. But I was deceived as his true attitude was revealed during the six-month honeymoon in Italy.

I would like to write more but I am afraid the post would be very long to read. I end it here and I hope you still want to read other posts about the book.

“The Woman in White” Is Such A Page-Turner That I Can Read 50 Pages Per Day!

It is so well-deserved wait for “The Woman in White”. I had been longing reading the book after I completed reading “The Moonstone”, my first attempt reading books by Wilkie Collins which turned out to be unforgettable experience for me. As a longtime fan of romantic, feminism, realistic, social stories by Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Bronte sisters and lately Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins is such a refreshment. “The Moonstone” has opened my eyes on enduring charm of detective, mysterious story can offer.

So when I found out that “The Woman in White” is better than “The Moonstone”, I, of course, put it on top of my would-be read list. After some moments, I discovered the book at my favorite bookstore in Jakarta but I didn’t buy it because it was pricey. I left the store, thought about the book then felt disappointed that the book was gone into someone else’s hands.

Last month, I was joyful that the store restocked the title in different version. I almost bought it before my friend, Wida, reminded me that our good pal, Dian, promised to bring the book when she arrived in Jakarta some weeks after our errand at the store. Again, I had to wait for the novel.

Three days ago, Dian fulfilled her vow. I was so happy that I eventually got the novel I had been looking forward for months. Call me too much, my friends, but when it comes to fictions, I can be that, yeah, you know, that much.

“The Woman in White” is surprisingly very thick. I thought it would be like 300 pages, like “The Moonstone”. Yet, it doubles that number. I was a little bit shocked to have found the number but after I looked at the book’s font, I wholly believed that I would finish the book, sooner or later.

I never thought I read the novel way quicker that I had planned. As I’m writing this post, I am at 174 out of 627 pages. It has been a crazy process. I didn’t intend this all, blame the book, LOL!

I would like to thank Mr. Collins, first of all, for pulling me out from another comfortable reading zone. While “The Moonstone” successfully wows me on detective stories, “The Woman in White” challenges me as a self-denounced coward. Really, I am afraid of watching or reading horror books. As my reading progress of the novel sees, I try hard not to visualize the woman in white alias Anne Catherick. She’s not a ghost, by the way, but she suffers from mental illness since very early age. She is put into a private asylum but later on, she is able to escape. The novel turns out as non-ghostly kind of story but Mr. Collins creates scary atmosphere here and there. I have to prepare myself when Anne comes up in the novel because she is strange, hysterical when she hears something related to the asylum or Sir Percival Glyde.

Thankfully, Mr. Collins doesn’t mention her all the time. And this what makes the novel very engrossing for me. I know why “The Woman in White” is in better quality than “The Moonstone”. On the surface, Mr. Collins exquisitely describe people in the book, landscape, settings and many more. To sum it up in this point, the novel is so Victorian in a way that it is beautifully crafted.

The plot moves so, so smooth. I don’t see, at least for the time being, that there lies a gap between one scene to the other. All lead up to some grand themes which surprises me because I thought the one and only primary subject of the book would be the woman in white.

In fact, I found serious and diverse themes wrapped in this very packed book (though for 174 pages so far). I got views on cultural issues between UK natives and Italians, as seen in Mr. Pesca, good friend of Mr. Walter Hartright and Mr. Phillip Fairlie’s hatred to  Count Fosco.

Romance between Mr. Walter Hartright to Miss Laura Fairlie isn’t something new as the former is a layman while the latter inherits huge amount of money and property. Mr. Collins’s rigid explanations on the forbidden love story is what makes the novel somehow remains essential and captivating to look forward.

That is what I have got so far from the pages I finished reading. It’s thrilling, saddening, emotional. There will be many to be written I think in the next posts. For now, I will go to sleep, hehee..

 

“Great Expectations” Review: How Pip’s Life Speaks A Lot About Mine, and May Be Yours

Pip’s poverty doesn’t necessarily cause him leaving his life and Joe. His wish of becoming a gentleman gets into his mind after Estella, the only woman whom he loves, mocks him. Pip wants to prove Estella that he is worthy of her love. So off he goes to London under mysterious inheritance from someone he doesn’t know about.

Thankfully, I am not as poor as Pip. My intention of leaving for Jakarta is on the back of my mind since I am at university level. I have no ideas what Jakarta looks like but like millions Indonesian living in villages, the capital is the city of promise, much like London is for Pip. I leave for Jakarta with huge dream and army of academic credential but few experiences.

Pip expects the money he inherits will make him a gentleman who deserves a place in elite class in London. And I live in Jakarta to earn good amount of money and establish my career as a reputable, if possible, an international caliber journalist. We both have dreams. We both expect something and someone.

It’s our expectations that drag us along the days, the weeks and eventually the years. Years pass us by and all that we face are conflicts, problems that get us to think: “Are we wrongly expect on that something or someone?” Or “Are we wrong to expect at the beginning?”

Reading Great Expectations then again lead me to come to a question that I and my close friends sometimes discuss about: “Can we expect our life be this and that? Or “Should we live the life like a flowing river?”

Great Expectations touches the basic question that I believe cross our mind one moment or the other time. As you live your life, do you live it with self-determination to chase after something or someone, or do you take and do whatever life has in store for you?

Interestingly, in Pip’s story, Charles Dickens turns the thing around about failed expectations to self-improvement that gets more attention as I read it until the last page. Personally, I think Pip’s expectations crumble down. He doesn’t only get Estella’s love but is also in huge debt. For worse (or better), the actual benefactor is beyond his expectation. I, too, has to resign sooner than expected because of conflicts in previous office. And now I have to set up a freelancing career on my own.

What is remarkably about Pip’s turning point in life is that he seems no longer putting as much weight on his number 1 expectation as before. His life as a Londoner meets him with various characters, some are good, some are bad. He learns that those with nice clothes and first-class reputation don’t automatically tell they are good people.

And as with Estella, Pip bitterly learns his pure love for her is taken for granted. As much as he believes Estella actually likes him in return, Pip realizes not everyone can be honest with his or her feeling. Not every one wishes to take a risk of fighting for what she or he loves. Much is in the case of Estella who gets married with someone whom she doesn’t love because she gets used to playing with boys’ hearts (as taught by Miss Havisham). It isn’t that surprising at the end of the novel, it is Estella’s husband that plays her heart and makes her a victim of his physical abuse.

As his expectations start fading away, Pip’s focus shifts to something more urgent which regards to the life of the benefactor. Here, Dickens implicitly says sometimes you need to be thankful for abundant problems in your life because they get you moving on with your life.

Fortunately (or not fortunately), Pip puts more and more energy to save the life of the benefactor who loves him so much that he is willing to give all his money for Pip despite the fact they meet for like, twice or three times, when Pip is still a small, sentimental boy.

The love from the benefactor then teaches Pip on unexpected thing that he gets so misunderstood for the whole time as he believes it is Miss Havisham who inherits the money. From this, Pip is awakened from his poor treatment to Joe who dearly loves him but gets Pip’s underestimation in return because Joe is poor and illiterate.

Pip’s expectations go from great to small yet meaningful one when all he cares is paying off what he can to the benefactor. At first, he wishes to get rid to him but as he shows his tenderness, Pip’s love grows bigger. He really treats him like his father and nurture him until the day he passes away.

And after that, Pip’s life gets straightened when he works so hard to pay all of his debt to Joe. Pip loses his initial great expectations but he isn’t that broken.

Struggling to Understand the Complexity of “Great Expectations”

I just opened my Instagram account to find out when I bought “Great Expectations” since I unusually didn’t put any dates and my own signature in the book. I was ashamedly surprised that I did make a post in the account when I was only few days reading the fiction. The date of the post was back in March and I finished reading the book just today. Yep, about eight months!

It isn’t actually the whole eight months of reading the fiction daily or weekly. The truth is I abandoned the novel for months, I barely touched it. I blamed the sentimental atmosphere of the book, especially concerning Pip, the book’s protagonist, as the main reason causing me away from the fiction but the actual cause is that I was lazy, I let my mind got distracted by social media and other books.

In fact, I purchased some titles after I abandoned the novel. “North and South” for instance is a quick-reading. I even finished “The Professor” sooner than the Charles Dickens’ masterpiece.

“Great Expectations” is my third attempt reading his books. I have a good experience enjoying “The Old Curiosity Shop” but I stop reading “Bleak House” for how many months I don’t even remember. I am almost at the brink of swearing to myself that should I don’t have willingness to finish reading “Great Expectations”, I will never, ever again read books by Dickens! Two titles are way too much to make myself drowned in guilty.

Thanks to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story collection that I bought almost two weeks ago, I was forced to fulfill the promise that I made on my own, as simple as finished reading books that I had bought. There was like a lightning striking my face that invited harder than I had never thought as within two weeks, I completed reading not only “Great Expectations” but also “The Professor”. I was shocked by this fact a few minutes ago while writing this. Doing this is such a personal record for me because not only this is the first time I seize my reading power back but also because the two titles are very hard to grasp, especially “Great Expectations”.

To my own surprise, I completed reading “Great Expectations” in less than a week for around 200 pages! Oh yes, I was insane, in good way! Though I was reading the book in fast speed, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t enjoying reading the fiction. The truth is I was so captivated with the mysteries, puzzles, shocks wrapped in the book that I found it hard to put it down. My eyes even got sore last night as my reading approaching the last 20, 10 pages of the fiction.

Man, the book is superb that I can’t actually sure where to begin reviewing it. It’s one of the most difficult novels that I have to dealt with so far. In the beginning, I couldn’t stand of the emotions felt by major characters of the book, particularly Pip. As I said earlier, he is so sentimental and sensitive that I was partly honest when I wrote in the beginning of the post that his sentimentality was one of the things that I couldn’t take it anymore.

I left the book unread for some months when I was reaching the 2/3 part of it. In addition of the Pip’s sentimentality, another factor that drove me away from it was the coming of minor characters when Pip was in London while living as a gentleman. He soon had new friends, acquaintances, new faces that emerged along the way. Here, Dickens actually shows the actual picture of what it means to live a luxurious life. His detailing over people, lifestyle in the big city, culture and manner surrounding the people at the place is vivid. But my mind couldn’t remember all of those things, especially too many names.

So, those are the things that complicated my reading process. Yet, when I forced myself resuming the reading process, Dickens’ way of engaging me in mysteries concerning Pip’s secret wealth made me defeating the two factors. There were small scenes here and there, names I didn’t remember them all but my mind had been entirely following what went next and next.

The more the book was nearing its conclusion, the more I got so excited on what was going to happen to Pip. I gasped, took deep breaths, and even cursed when I was coming to the answers of the big questions along the reading process. I had never been this curious finding out what would be the end of the protagonist’s life given so many puzzles inviting me to ponder.

Reading “Great Expectations” is difficult, I must say. My mind and my heart worked at their hardest processing the story. The book is much tougher than “The Old Curiosity Shop” for many aspects.

Dickens is genius displaying emotional turmoil and pains that had been suffered by the characters in the book. Those then led them behaving, saying the way they were in it. Their traumas were so deep buried that I was in the first place wondering “are those people exist in real lives, like miss Havisham?”

As successful as Dickens made them making peace with themselves at the end of the book, I still had to experience my own kind of emotional drama as I was trying to imagine scenes concerning Pip and Joe and Provis. I was almost crying fancying they were in front of me at that time.

Dickens was playing so well at making me guessing, waiting what next to be unfolded. His secrets were spilled seamlessly one by one. I couldn’t imagine how he created the fiction because beneath all of the mysteries, there were lying serious and diverse issues concerning psychology, social class, poverty and self-acceptance.

I was very happy completing the book after so many months. For reading it made me feel satisfied despite the ending that wasn’t that happy for Pip. Well, forget about how the fiction sentenced joyful sentence for Pip for the process of self-growing throughout the book is much more important for him. And such is for myself that complete reading the fiction, digesting all of its rich contents is the thing that actually makes fictions, books very worthy of devoting my time.

So, thank you very much for Charles Dickens for this masterpiece that brings profound lessons in my heart I will carry them as immeasurable treasures.

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.