Category Archives: Classic Men

Invisible’s Expectations

If you had the power to not be seen, what would you do? Would you rob? Scare people? Dictate to them? Physically harm and threaten others? Be rude, arrogant and self-centered? I chose those things because that was what exactly what Griffin, the Invisible Man from H.G. Wells novel did.

He got what he wanted but came to the realization that it was not what he had expected. His gain became his loss after he found out at what great price he paid for it.

“Before I made this mad experiment I had dreamt of a thousand advantages. That afternoon it seemed all disappointment. I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.” from chapter 23, In Drury Lane, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

He was an angry person when he could have been seen and grew even angrier when he could not, because of the betrayal and the “nosiness” of others. He wanted his visibility back; the thing he thought was not much. He got it, and that too was not how he had expected.

Know and enjoy what you have because when it is gone, it might just be too late to get it back. Or, to get it back might cost you dearly in the end.

Have a moon morning and a starry night. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a lovely, sunflower day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okonkwo said no

How do you deal with change? What are your emotions and reactions when it happens? For Okonkwo, it was something that he did not want. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, depicts that central character from an African tribe revolting against the change that was brought upon his people.

He believed in his traditions. He believed that things should have remained the same. He was strong, stubborn, bad-tempered, a wife-beater, a man amongst man, fierce and yes, fearful. Would you not be if some people from the outside came to you and said, “This is the way that it’s gonna be now.”

“Okonkwo remembered that tragic year with a old shiver throughout the rest of his life. It always surprised him when he thought of it later that he did not sink under the load of despair. He knew he was a fierce fighter, but that year had been enough to break the heart of a lion.” [That year was a bad farming time.]

“Since I survived that year,” he always said, “I shall survive anything.” He put it down to his inflexible will.

But he did not survive anything; he could not survive change. He killed himself. Change, is it good or bad or, does it depend onย  . . .

Presently reading The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Have a moon morning and a starry night. ๐Ÿ˜†

Have a lovely, sunflower day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Unmasking Mr. Gatsby

Mr. Gatsby’s void was tragic. For years I told myself that I was not going to read this book again, but it struck me a few weeks ago that that was foolish. The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, depicts a man, Jay Gatsby, with a lonely void; and to fill it, he amassed lies, illicit wealth and an undying desire to be loved again by a woman, now married.

He was a criminal, but even he was lonely and needed love. He was a liar and lived out a false persona, but even he was lonely and needed love. And what did he get in the end? Death, loneliness and no love, at least not from the one person he desired it from.

And that was the reason why I had not read the book in years; too painful. But I knew that his end would have not turned out good. Yes, it was his choices that finally did him in, but it was also the choices of others that helped.

“I found myself on Gatsby’s side, and alone. From the moment I telephoned news of the catastrophe to West Egg village, every surmise about him, and every practical question, was referred to me. At first I was surprised, and confused; then, as he lay in his house and didn’t move or breathe or speak, hour upon hour, it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no one else was interested – interested, I mean, with that intense personal interest to which everyone has some vague right at the end.”

“I went back to the drawing-room and thought for an instant that they were chance visitors, all these official people who suddenly filled it. But, though they drew back the sheet and looked at Gatsby with shocked eyes, his protest continued in my brain. ‘Look here, old sport, you’ve got to get somebody for me. You’ve got to try hard. I can’t go through this alone.'” from chapter 9, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Loneliness, wanting to be loved, wanting to fit in can lead to dire consequences. We make choices everyday, how do we know, how can we tell if they are the right ones? Is it a right that others should care about us?

Have a lovely, sunflower day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Peter Walsh’s Love & Septimus Warren Smith’s War

Love is war some might say. Here were two men, not knowing each other as they appeared in Virginia Woolf’s novel, Mrs. Dalloway. One was damaged by his unrequited love for a woman and, the other by war.

Peter was empty and the things he used to fill it did not satisfy him. He loved Clarissa, i.e., Mrs Dalloway, but she did not share his feelings. He married, divorced and was in the process of marrying again. He thought that he was over her, but sometimes the mind plays tricks on the heart. But he lived.

“I will come,” said Peter, but he sat on for a moment. What is this terror? what is this ecstasy? he thought to himself. What is it that fills me with extraordinary excitement?// It is Clarissa, he said.// For there she was. From page 194

Septimus too was empty and full with the wrong things. He served his country. He saw death, and what did he get from it? What did he become? Damaged.

“. . . when Evans was killed, just before the Armistice, in Italy, Septimus, far from showing any emotion or recognising that here was the end of a friendship, congratulated himself upon feeling very little and very reasonably. The War had taught him. It was sublime. He had gone through the whole show, friendship, European War, death, had won promotion, was still under thirty and was bound to survive.” From page 86

He became crazy, and in the end, killed himself.

There are a lot of people out there that need to be emptied; emptiness like Jesus’ tomb, a person releasing his/her pain, a room where one can sit and think, is not bad.

Although I did not fancy the book, it did have some great points.

Have a lovely, sunflower day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gilbert Markham’s Second Impression

Have you ever made up your mind about someone just by the first meeting, but then changed how you felt about that person after getting to know him/her?

“I would rather admire you from this distance, fair lady, than be the partner of your home.”ย  from chapter 1, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

I do not believe in first impressions; they can be misleading, as in the case with Gilbert Markham. It was he that wrote that line above after seeing for the first time and then describing Helen Huntingdon. He would later fall in love with her.

Can I dare say that he was moody? Yes he was. Was he jealous? Yes he was, so jealous that he struck another man who he believed was his rival in love. Did he lost his belief in her as he started to believe the rumors and gossip? Yes he did. Did he eventually “come to his senses” after maturing in his thinking and in his love? He sure did.

Miss Bronte’s book, which I enjoyed, captured a few things. Secrecy that led to rumors and the attempted sullying of a woman driven to hide who she was because of a bad, distasteful marriage; people had strong opinions but it did not mean that you had to be influenced by them;ย  and everything was not as it seemed were just a few of those things.

I guess a dose of discernment, knowledge, common sense and whatever else sure does help when getting to know someone.

Hope everyone had a lovely, sunflower weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Presently reading The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

 

Othello’s Mistrust

Do you trust the person you love?

“The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest that but seem to be so, And will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are.” Iago, Act I Scene III, Othello by William Shakespeare

Jealousy and anger led to hatred; hatred to unjust acts; unjust acts led to tragedy and suffering. And who got caught in all that were innocent people. Othello, a man brave in battle and flawed in being manipulated. Yes competent but lacking the discerning power to see through the lies of a man that was now pulling the strings; a man that led to him not trusting his wife, and in the end, killing her.

Shakespeare’s novelย  depicted a hero becoming a puppet all because of someone who was green-eyed. A sad tale of planting seeds of doubt and mistrust that turned a man’s love into hate, ruining him in the process.

That word trust, how powerful it is. We require it from others and expect it not to be tarnish. But how can you tell if someone can be trusted?

Mr. B’s change of heart

Would you ever marry someone who did something or some terrible things to you in the past?

Mr. B, from the novel Pamela, by Samuel Richardson, was rich, conniving, rude and basically wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. Tsk, tsk, tsk. And one of those wants was a certain young woman. He tried a lot of things to entice her into moments of passion, even attempted rape. He was in lust, not in love. Not then anyway. Not until he had a change of heart and saw her in a different light; more than another human to please the flesh.

Mr. Richardson’s novel with its depiction of upper and lower classes in society, innocence verses evil, poverty against richness, relationships and keeping one’s innocence and not selling out for whatever reason(s), was a great read.

“Those commands of superiors which are contrary to our first duties are not to be obeyed.” Pamela, from the novel Pamela, by Samuel Richardson, Vol 1. Letter 15

Will you be able to stand up and not compromise what you believe in when a life of ease is place before your life of pain?

The Lateness of Lawrence Selden

How do you know when it is time to tell someone how you really feel about them? What is the reason for not saying something important?

He lived in a society where he was not quite on the outside of those with money, power and prestige, but he was also not on the inside either. Lawrence Selden, from the House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, wasย  a man who knew how to move within that type of society that he found himself in; one which he did not like but still wanted to be a part of.

Not perfect, opinionated and “judgmental”, he had common sense; he knew what he wanted. In one case, the major one of them all, he took too long to decide, and in the end, lost the woman he loved to death.

“Nine o’clock was an early hour for a visit, but Selden had passed beyond all such conventional observances. He only knew that he must see Lily Bart at once–he had found the word he meant to say to her, and it could not wait another moment to be said. It was strange that it had not come to his lips sooner–that he had let her pass from him the evening before without being able to speak it. But what did that matter, now that a new day had come? It was not a word for twilight, but for the morning.” from Book 2, chapter 14of The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Reading this book should open the eyes of those who believe that being rich mean having an easy life. That having money solve all problems, including the ones that they wish to deny. And if you love someone, and you know that they love you in return, let them know and be there for him/her when he/she needs you the most.

Eric Stolz was indeed Mr. Selden.

Aragorn went from A to Z

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.” from Book 1, Strider, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

In order to obtain something, we must work hard and have perseverance. We must also believe in ourselves, although at times we might not. Aragorn wanted to obtain something; he had to work hard, have perseverance and believe in himself and the outcome of the situations around him. Sometimes he did not.

But he had to travel from point A to Z in order to be king, in order to marry the woman he loved, Arwen, and to be the protector along with others in the process of getting rid of a ring so powerful. He also had to do battle with people set out to do evil. Pressure, he felt it. Loyalty, he got it. Anger, he knew. In the end, the one indeed that was crownless became king.

Mr. Tolkien’s novel is filled with wonders and fascination. It is so interesting and marvelous that one man’s imagination brought about a book that was wonderful to read. I saw the movies first but did not like them. I read the book, re-watched the movies and I loved them. Viggo Mortensen played Aragorn well.

Do you have what it takes to accomplish what you want?

“The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out practically all references to anything like ‘religion’ to ‘cults or practices’, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.” J. R. R. Tolkien in Letter No. 142

The Resurrection of Sydney Carton

What does life mean to you? In life a functioning drunkard that had a spot in his heart for a woman who did not return his love. For Sydney Carton, life was just there, that is until he found a purpose; he found what it meant to be just alive.

I remember as a kid watching A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and at the end of it, I cried. Last year I read the book, but at the end I did not cry. I watched it again; a different version with Chris Sarandon and still did not cry. Why? I guess the meaning of who and what he was was put into perspective for me. He got what he wanted, did he not? A chance to do something of substance. He gave up his life for another man. You know, just like Jesus gave up his life for us.

This novel with its sadness, anger, pain, greed, revenge, murder, death and hurt was written beautifully with its inclusions of joy, hope, love and new beginnings. It is a book that is emotionally draining.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.” from Book 3,ย  chapter 15, The Footsteps Die Out Forever, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . .”

Is there more bad than good in the world or, is the good being overshadowed by the bad?