YES! I completely enjoy reading ‘Middlemarch’ after some failed trials

This is one of the pleasantest posts I have ever shared here. Last night, I was so happy because I retook Middlemarch that has been standing in the bookshelf for as many months I can barely remember. I couldn’t believe myself that I have been immersed in the classic since then. I am so fascinated and grateful for myself because, hell, I bought the book in 2008, been tempted to read it for like, two or three times, but none of which leading me exceeding page 25, LOL!

I have survived until page 30 so far. What makes me joyful is that I have been enjoying reading it until now. This is a miracle! The recipe is forcing myself reading the words although I don’t exactly what all words mean to me (please underrstand that English language is not my mother tongue, hehe).

While the key is also applicable when I read ‘Sense and Sensibility’, how does ‘Middlemarch’ gets more exciting the more I take in words?

In ‘Sense and Sensibility’, I find it a little hard to thoroughly enjoy all of its contents somewhere in the middle of it. The first pages are easy to be understood. As the story progresses, I can’t help feeling a little bit puzzled.

On the contrary, ‘Middlemarch’ is not easy to read from the very first pages although they describe the beauty of Dorothea and Celia and how both siblings differ from each other. But once I pass through them all, everything becomes delicate to taste, hehe.. Can’t hardly wait to read more of it very soon. The novel is more than 600 pages, probably as thick as ‘Wives and Daughters’ whose fonts are much bigger than ‘Middlemarch”’s. It’s going to be a huge work for me given the very thick volume but I am sure I am going to have a very fascinating adventure as long as I enjoy reading it. And so far, it has been hell of a good one.

Very much thanks I would like to say to Joshua Becker, the founder of becomingminimalist.com, who reviews an article by Emily Esfahani Smith about what makes one’s life actually happy and meaningful. Not only her story is  very interesting to read, Emily cites a very fine example to support her view from ‘Middlemarch’.

If I already know what ‘Middlemarch’ is all about then why the hell must I read it again? You may ask me that question.

It’s because I have been long curious what makes the book is very widely-accepted as one of the best novels ever written of all time. Plus, George Eliot writes it. I love her writing style and her ideas though not all of her works end in happy notes. I still remember the joy I have reading ‘The Mill on the Floss’. Although ‘Adam Bede’ a little bit confuses me, I am enchanted by its happy ending. All in all, Eliot’s works never fail satisfying my curiosity. That what makes me idolizing hers.

The picture is taken from this 

 

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After reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’. Revisions from previous post

I am so relieved that I complete reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ because  I am freed from reading such hard novel despite simple stories in it. I write about why the novel is a difficult reading material in previous post.

I don’t actually completely understand the whole plots because of the language but somehow I manage finish reading it. So I’m happy that I fulfill my own promise. Because of the writing technique which is much harder than in ‘Emma’, I don’t really enjoy reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’. But I do salute that the title emphasizes much on sisterhood rather than romance itself.

I, too, appreciate Jane Austen who brings up social and marital conditions at the time the book is created so that readers can clearly comprehend why money and wealth play very important roles in marriage. The case of Willoughby proves this fact.

Anyway.. I would like to correct what I post previously because I don’t yet finish reading the novel.

First of all, Elinor Dashwood is married to Edward Ferrras, which surprises me somehow. It turns out Lucy has an affair with Edward’s brother, Robert. Then, Marianne Dashwood becomes the wife of Colonel Brandon though their wedding doesn’t take immediately after Elinor and Edward’s.

It’s a tale eventually ends happily for all protagonists, and almost all figures in it. Another relief for me after going through such a complicated writing style. Thank you, Jane Austen!

‘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.

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.

‘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.