Monday, July 29, 2013

Catching up!

I am spending my day catching up!

The X-Shire question

Okay, I did some googling in response to the questions about why she didn't use actual names of places. I also find that annoying, but I've seen it in lots of books by lots of different authors and it was normal to do that at the time in England. I found a website quoting someone named John Barth - I didn't verify this or anything, but it sounded good, so here you go:

"Initials, blanks, or both were often substituted for proper names in nineteenth century fiction to enhance the illusion of reality. It is as if the author felt it necessary to delete the names for reasons of tact or legal liability. Interestingly, as with other aspects of realism, it is an illusion that is being enhanced, by purely artificial means."

I do remember that when novels first started, authors went to a lot of trouble to make it seem like they were telling a true story. If you were telling a true story, you wouldn't use real names, and so hence the X-Shire.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Some items I noticed:
a nice style to employ a letter at the very beginning of the book to reveal the character and history of one of the main characters
I don't understand the   "X shire or X___.  Is that a common tool used by Bronte?

Crimsworth -even though it is a name, the contrast of the meaning of the two syllables makes my head swim.  I have often thought when reading the text that my head  is swimming.  A couple of examples:
  Mr. Pelet's mother at the beginning of Chapter 8 ...... but an incessant and most indiscreet talker (I know some people like that.  None of us of course
  Charles (or is it Edward's) dislike for the way Mr. Pelet treated some people, beginning of Chap 8 ...where intellectual inferiority is marked in lines none can mistake; still they were men, and, in the main, honest men; and I could not see why their being aboriginals of the flat, dull soil should serve as a pretext for treating them with perpetual severity and contempt.  This idea of injustice somewhat poisoned the pleasure I might otherwise have derived from Pelet's soft affable manner to myself.
   I am still baffled by the harsh manner in which the brothers, although connected only be a mother, treated each other. 
   Another head swimmer, end of Chapter X referring to Zoraide Reuter "I found afterwards that blunt susceptibilities are very consistent with strong propensities."
   The contrast between the description of the site of  the counting house to the landscape of Brussels.  Was it physical reality or a change of heart? I have had many thoughts when reading but I didn't take good notes.  In fact, I made very few notes.  I am glad to be reading a new(to me) book by Charlotte Bronte.  Although I am enjoying the book it is work!

William--is that his name?

So, I have read the first four chapters and I was re-reading them, thinking I was ahead of the game.  Then I talked to Mom and she informed me that we were supposed to read thru chapter 11.  Oops, my bad.  I must be a little rusty on my Roman Numerals!  I told myself I wasn't going to read the other posts because they would be spoilers.  But, I read Tecia's and Shyla's post anyway and they have somewhat changed my ideas.  I am going to forge on, however, and try not to look like an idiot.

So far, I like the main character a lot.  (believe it or not, his name is not mentioned in the first four chapters.  I know, I've read them twice).  These are some of my favorite quotes and thoughts of his.

1.  Chapter II
  "A sentiment of keen pleasure accompanied this first effort to earn my own living..."

I appreciate anyone who is willing to work.  I think it says a lot about a person.  A person who is willing to work can do anything they want to do.  Even become a professor, which is what I assume, (and now know from previous posts), what William really wants to do.

2.  Chapter II
  "I said to myself, I will place my cup under this continual dropping; it shall stand there still and steady; when full, it will run over of itself-meantime patience."

He is referring to Edward's treatment of him.  I don't like Edward.  I look forward to the time when William's cup runneth over.

3.  Chapter II
  "As to the fact of my brother assuming towards me the bearing of a proud, harsh master, the fault is his, not mine..."

William seems to understand that he cannot change or control another person, he can only change and control himself.  It does seem that he doesn't have much love for his brother, and his brother definitely doesnt have love for him.  But at least William is showing more signs of maturity.  Previous posts have indicated that some uncles had treated William harshly.  But they don't mention Edward.  So it will be interesting to see if anything comes to light about their relationship.

I don't quite know what to think of Mr. Hunsden.  What is his problem?

I look forward to the next 18 chapters!

Mixed Feelings about William

I have mixed feelings about William. A lot of the time while I'm reading I think he needs to get over himself. He thinks of himself as sort of humble, but he really isn't, he seems pretty full of himself. For instance, he always thinks he has the upper hand in conversations and observing people, and that he's controlling the conversation and/or observing and understanding people better than they are him, or at least that he's controlling their perceptions of him. I know just how he feels because I think that all the time, and believe me it's an ego thing. Also, I'm getting a little tired of him calling people ugly, dumb, immoral, and so on.  Sheesh. A little judgmental aren't we?

On the other hand, I like his independent spirit. It would be scary to shake off his uncles like he did, and it takes real drive to do what he did. Besides, he could have written a handbook on career advice that would have tips for teaching as well as any office job and even lawyering. First, how people perceive you is critical - assume a certain personality and act a certain way because that's your job. Second, when your boss asks you to do something - like start teaching immediately - you don't hesitate and you just pretend you're up to the job (in the process of pretending you're up to the job, you usually become capable of doing the job). And so on. He has a very good approach to his career, and I like that about him.

By Tecia

I've enjoyed the book so far. It's not a page turner keep me up till 3am or anything. But I really like her development of the characters. It has come on gradually to me and I feel like they are realistic and I can totally picture them. 

There are some sentences that have gotten a little wordy but I downloaded the dictionary on my kindle app and so now I just have to click on the word to understand it's full meaning. The parts in French totally bug me. But I like his classroom management. How ideal! Putting kids in their place but still earning their respect. 

I also don't understand the place of "X--" where his brother lived. Why do they call it that and not the name?

I have enjoyed his journey in life so far. I admire the choices he's made. Leaving a family that had wealth but didn't treat him kindly or respect him, then to try and make it with his tyrant of a brother. He worked hard, managed his money well and now is in France where he took a huge chance, but seems to be enjoying being a professor. 

I wonder what the rest of the book will hold?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"On the Death of Anne Bronte" by Charlotte Bronte

There's little joy in life for me,
And little terror in the grave;
I've lived the parting hour to see
Of one I would have died to save.

Calmly to watch the failing breath,
Wishing each sigh might be the last;
Longing to see the shade of death
O'er those beloved features cast.

The cloud, the stillness that must part
The darling of my life from me;
And then to thank God from my heart,
To thank Him well and fervently;

Although I knew that we had lost
The hope and glory of our life;
And now, benighted, tempest-tossed
Must bear alone the weary strife.