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.

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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 Bronte sisters and the dream elements in their masterpieces

the bronte sisters

The night before her wedding, Jane Eyre dreams something so horrific that leads her feeling frantic and unquiet throughout the remaining night. She sees a woman looking ghostly coming into the chamber she previously sleeps in. Jane never sees her before the night. She surveys the wedding dress, takes the wedding veil. No damage is done but she stares at Jane’s eyes that lefts the bride-to-be feeling frightened.

According to her future husband, Mr. Rochester, Jane is half awaken when that takes place. The woman that she sees is not a ghost or whatsoever but rather a human being. On the planned big day it turns out the dream is not just a dream.

The wedding is aborted. Mr. Rochester is still the husband of a woman namely Bertha Mason whom he has been married for 15 years. He argues that his still living wife is a maniac or a mad person whom he doesn’t know about when he marries her. He later blames her family for hiding the truth about his wife. To make it bitter for Jane to swallow, the woman has been staying in Thornfield Hall for a couple of months. I bet the woman Jane sees is the wife of Mr. Rochester!

When I come to this part not only I am a little bit shocked but also I am intrigued to question what makes Charlotte and her elder sister, Emily Bronte, inserting dreams into their novels. Before writing this post, I read several articles that inform me about the lives of the Brontes. Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell are fond of telling stories to each other. They are talented story creators since childhood.

I haven’t found any commentaries from literary experts about this topic but I think their fantasies become like a solid ground from which they base upon their dreams. As their skills mature, the fantasies turn into complicated forms, like the one I mention above. If you already read Wuthering Heights the kind of dreams emerge several times. And in the Emily’s novel, the dreams are much more terrifying.

The blend of fantasy, psychological issues and reality lead to best sort of dreams that make the Bronte sisters are the masters of it. As a result, I, as a reader, find it harder to differentiate whether the characters’ dreams are real, surreal or mere delusion. What is left as a reader is the sensation that sticks so long in my mind and again makes the sisters are exceptional writers.

I feel frightened and disturbed at the same time. Then I will question what the dreams mean to the rest of the story. What will come next. And you know what? Every time I find the scenes where the main characters dream, I feel a little bit afraid. I can still remember well when Heathcliff dreams of Cathy wearing white dress after she dies. Also the conclusion of Wuthering Heights mentions the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy!

This particular aspect of Charlotte and Emily makes me realizing they pose very advanced writing skills. Every detail are paid attention that slowly leads the stories snowballing into something greater without leaving readers, I included, feeling bored.

The source of the picture: https://voolas.com/facts-about-bronte-sisters/

Resuming reading ‘Jane Eyre’ after long holiday

During this year’s end of June and the start of July when the holy fasting Ramadan month and Eid al-Fitr long holiday were taking place, I didn’t read ‘Jane Eyre’. I did this on purpose as I hoped I would read more information about Islam, my religion. Not only was it part of the prayer but also because I thought taking a short break reading the novel would be a good idea.

After the hiatus, I continued reading the classic this morning. The thing is I want to restart this year with something simple, more focused and grounded. Personally, I feel refreshed and recharged not after new year’s celebration but after the fasting month. So in the past few years, I have had promised to myself to redevelop myself and love myself even more after fasting for the whole month, fighting against devilish desires.

This year I hope I can manage my time management for online activities then get back or precisely read more physical books. ‘Jane Eyre’ is the perfect start for this. So, this morning I spent the time on the public transportation reading the novel. What a joy to start the day!

At first, I was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy reading it given the long time I had taken the break. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. It didn’t take a lot of pages to have taken my reading mood back on the right track. I didn’t find it difficult to put myself on the shoes of Jane Eyre. The reading process ran on smoothly that I felt like I fall in love with it for the second time… although this time around, I don’t think I respect Jane as much as I do when Charlotte Bronte brings her up as a wild, super honest girl who instantly captures my heart as a reader.

I am at the 300 pages something of the book (in the version that I read of course). The part that I am in is when Jane is preparing her wedding with Mr. Rochester. I admire the character of Jane Eyre, don’t get me wrong. For me, as a governess or in general, someone who has lower social status to her lover cum her master, Jane is a very confident person. She is someone who knows herself very well that she sticks to what she believes and she holds true although her opinions are opposite the master or the people in the house she teaches.

As their wedding day approaches, somehow I start getting fed up with the drama she could have actually avoided. Her stubbornness begins boiling my emotion up. She complains when she has to obey Mr. Rochester or buying new dress for the big day which is definitely different with the ones she always wear; simple and plain dresses.

Then when Mr. Rochester is insanely drawn to her, praising her through a romantic song, Jane seems disinterested. In short, she makes a fuss or a drama out of nothing. Pffh…

Thankfully, Charlotte accelerates the courting part then comes the one day before they take a vow as a husband and a wife. And I haven’t resumed reading it again, LOL.

‘Will O The Mill’, the wisest story I’ve ever read

will

Reading ‘Will O The Mill’ brings me a lot of pleasure, the kind of joy that quenches my yearning of beautiful language but at the same time makes me mellow for its tone gives me enough clue of what’s in the store.

After ‘The Merry Men’, reading this story is so delightful. The words are so moving, Robert proves his mastery of depicting things so clearly stated, able to spark my imaginations. Will itself is the kind of character that makes me want to meet him personally. The sort of a very nice guy whom I would love to have a chat with.

The story is a little bit tricky. The first pages Robert mentions how the young Will wishes to leave the mill and sets up for an adventure. Up to this part, I really think he will go to the city or elsewhere.

Much to my surprise, Will doesn’t leave. He even develops his business well, gets admiration from the neighbors then invites Marjory and his father to live there while their residence is under reconstruction.

Then I think Will will marry Marjory considering his crush to her from the very beginning of their encounter. I can clearly feel that from the sentences. Instead of tying a knot, Will and Marjory separate. Will says it’s better for them to remain as friends while marriage option remains possible should Marjory wishes them to unite.

If I were Marjory I’d slap Will’s face upon hearing this. I agree with her that Will’s confessions hurt her feelings. Even so, Robert tricks me again, this time around with Marjory’s testimonials which say she is happy that they don’t get marry. Will and Marjory become good friends for nearly three years. Despite Will’s affections to her, it’s crazy to think they can live their lives as good pals.

When Marjory becomes the wife of a man, it’s a pity that Will feels sad, too. I don’t know whether he’s sad because of ‘losing’ a very dear friend or because he’s sorrowful because now Marjory belongs to someone’s heart. At this point, I can’t help wondering why Will acts that way. It’s like if he loves her, shouldn’t he marry her or something? Is it because he is uncertain or foolish enough to act for his or her own happiness?

The rest of the story after her death is what this writing is very heartbreaking. Does Will decide to spend their rest of his life alone because his love is solely for Marjory? Or what? I know I have no rights to judge someone because of something but I really, deeply feel sorry that Will ends up living alone.

His good reputation earns so many respects from a lot of people, including passers-by or guests. They encourage Will to travel but the protagonist chooses not to go. And when death invites him to travel forever, Will is joyful as for him, he has no one left to be taken care of other than Marjory. So when death comes, he is happy that since he no longer has someone to talk to, he is now free to leave.

This piece of story really moves me. On one side, I am sympathized with Will, the kind of person who wholly loves someone, like Marjory. The fact that he takes care his residence, business mesmerizes me, too. He opts staying at home despite so many stories about going out. His loyalty awes me so much.

But one the other side, I wish Will would seek friends elsewhere, fall in love with a new women and raise a happy family. It’s all a matter of choice, anyway. And that what makes this story is so wise, ordinary. Robert presents readers with life choices, and we can learn a lot of things from Will’s life.

Well, I don’t think Will is unhappy anyway. The story challenges my life perspective. Will’s choice is definitely acceptable. If you completely in love with just one person and one life why would you bother leaving it? That’s why I feel this story is so humane. You can put your shoes in Will’s and this has got me thinking about my life at the moment.

I love the kind of story which is like this one. Leaving my heart so mixed with feelings. Prompting me to contemplate about my own life. Thinking hard on what has gone wrong with my life thus far. This is the most ordinary yet wisest story I have ever read so far. Well done, Robert. Thanks for writing this one!

Thank you for this picture.

Stepping Out From Reading Comfort Zone

Over the past few months, I have unconsciously stepped out from my reading comfort zone.  I just realize about this today. Books by John Steinbeck and Thomas Hardy are my comfort zones. I love almost everything they write. Especially for Hardy. His writing style matches my fondness. Hardy’s books steal my heart away only by reading their few pages.

It has all started with Anne Bronte and now Charles Dickens. I disliked first-person narrative yet I love Anne Bronte’s ‘Agnes Grey’ and ‘Tenant of the Wildfell Hall’ despite they are written in first-person method. They impress me in different ways. They touch my heart deeper than I expect. They move my emotion.

I used to avoid reading any Dickens’ novels because I know his writing style doesn’t suit my preference. I have to seek Dickens’ titles that I believe will meet my liking and after some attempts I find ‘Our Mutual Friend’ then ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. Although Dicken’s decision not to further discuss emotional problems regarding Nell Trent’s grandfather stealing behaviors disappoint me, I am profoundly disturbed by the poor girl’s sufferings.

I can’t deny that Dickens is a very great, wonderful storyteller. I am completely amazed by the way he crafts so many characters along with their problems that speak much on what happen at the time. All those fictitious characters, various plots into one just book. Dickens is very brilliant.

After that, I force myself to read ‘Bleak House’. A little bit of force, I mean. I know the novel won’t entertain me as much as I want but I strongly believe it will present me with memorable trip once I finish reading it. I look forward to see what kind of impression that I will obtain after completing reading the book. I gradually learn to cope with things that I dislike because I know I mustn’t get stuck with Steinbeck and Hardy if I want to get more knowledge.

I have to start setting more adventures with authors or writing styles whose books I previously decline to read. The foremost reason is simple; I have to learn about myself on how further I can make peace with things I dislike and that includes books.

This is how ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ strikes me

‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ is a blunt, strong, emotional novel. It’s unlike those written by other writers in the Victorian era who shower readers with so many beautiful phrases, quotable words. Instead, Anne Bronte, the author of the book, strikes me with the fast-moving plot, very powerful dialogues, vivid moral lessons that I can learn throughout the story. This surprisingly makes me feel so shallow, inexperienced reader because I once say only books with third-person narrative that are great. One-person narrative is less appealing.

‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ proves me wrong, so so wrong. Despite a slowing reading pace at the beginning at the book, I am completely absorbed when I come to the parts when Helen Graham and Arthur Huntingdon get married then everything starts becoming very sour and bitter for her.

I am very shocked. The characterizations of Helen, Arthur and Annabella Wilmot (later is named as Lady Lowborough) are superb that they feel so real to me. I can’t stop reading the book after I come to the points when Helen eventually finds out the affairs of Arthur and Annabella.

And when Arthur and Annabella don’t even want to confess their affairs at first let alone ask for apologies from Helen and Lord Lowborough, I get so furious. I am so willing to punch the faces of Arthur and Annabella, haha! That how the book influences me, and that is how Anne Bronte is a very brilliant writer at this thing.

Using the first-person narrative is fruitful to have made the characters sound very close to me. I can totally feel Helen’s emotions when she has to face all of the her problems. I can feel her anger, frustration. And definitely, her dismay on the future of Arthur junior completely makes sense.

One more message that fascinates me is on how Arthur redeems all his sins.

The return of Helen to the Grassdale when Arthur gets sick is such a brave, supreme decision. This conveys a very important message, satisfying step. That refers to Helen’s winning attitude, not only for the sake of obeying orders as a wife in the Bible but also for closing doors, solving the troubles that previously emerge. She remains committed at taking care her sick spouse despite his ill-treatments and curses.

For me, that is the sweetest revenge ever! Nothing can make an unfaithful husband or wife feeling so sorry for him or herself than clinging to the helps of those they have betrayed when he or she is dying.

Such a very pleasant, astonishing reading trip with ‘Tenant of the Wildfell Hall’. Thank you Anne Bronte!