Tag Archives: Novel

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. 🙂

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?

Sir Blakeney went undercover

Have you ever hidden how you felt from someone? Perhaps we all have at some time in our lives. And like Sir Percy Blakeney, we all had or have our reasons.

Those who were closest to him knew what he did, saving the necks of the French from the guillotine. His wife, Marguerite Blakeney, did not know until it was too late. And from her, he also hid the fact that he still loved her, even though she thought he did not. “Percy . . . Percy . . . her husband . . . the Scarlet Pimpernel . . . Oh! how could she have been so blind? She understood it now — all at once . . . that part he played — the mask he wore . . . in order to throw dust in everybody’s eyes.” from The Scarlet Pimpernel, chapter 19, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

He appeared to be silly when he was smart. He appeared to be the fun, brainless, happy-go-lucky type when he was shrewd. This book with its tale of keeping secrets and reason(s) for them, was a marvelous read. One man hurt by the woman he loved, still loved her. What to do with love that is not completely lost?

Leslie Howard acting was like a smirk, not smile. It was tolerable.

“We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.”  Paul Laurence Dunbar

The “I’s” of Dorian Gray

Are you afraid of growing old? Are you someone that thinks only about yourself; whatever you want, you must have no matter the cost?

He was narcissistic, valuing the outside more than what was on the inside. He was willing to please his desires. He held not dearly to friendships. He appeared fake. Dorian Gray was all that and then some, but yet I found him not only lost but in urgent need of finding out what real love was. What was the true meaning of friendship, and yes, that the capital I’s in his life needed to be toned down.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde with his subtleties and great quotes, not only depicted a young man in need of guidance, but a young man getting the wrong guidance from a source that almost was vain as himself. Which leads me to this question, “Who are you being influence by?”

“I wish I could be love,” cried Dorian Gray, with a deep note of pathos in his voice. “But I seem to have lost the passion, and forgotten the desire. I am too much concentrated on myself. My own personality has become a burden to me.”chapter 18 from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Okay, the acting in this version was atrocious, but I sat through it. It seem to be the closest to the book.

“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure; and, behold, this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 2 vs 1 Interesting book.

So I’m back early. 🙂

The motive of Alec D’Urberville

Do all our actions come with motives?

“Thus the thing began. Had she perceived this meeting’s import she might have asked why she was doomed to be seen and coveted that day by the wrong man, and not by some other man, the right and desired one in all respects–as nearby as humanity can supply the right and desired; yet to him who amongst her acquaintance might have approximated to this kind, she was but a transient impression, half forgotten.” chapter 5 from The Maiden, Tess of D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.

When I was first introduced to the character in the above mentioned book, with his “coz”, I knew that he was bad news. Alec D’Urbreville, was a man with so much ulterior motives that he reminded me of politicians.

This novel, with its tragic lead figure, showed how one parent’s path to obtain money can lead to tragedy.  It showed how one man took advantage of a situation. The caused for Tess’ downfall was killed by  her. How should one react, what should he/she do, when the person who has caused so much pain, stands before him/her, laughing.

Jason Flemyng, played the cad magnificently.

How much “pushing” should parents do?

Unpopular Atticus

Would you hold on to something that you believed in even if it was not popular to do so? Would you do the right thing even if others around you threatened you?

“I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system – that is no ideal to me, it is a living.” That was Atticus Finch, in chapter 20, from the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

He was a man of convictions and the ability to act on them as a lawyer as he attempted to save a falsely accused man’s life. Amongst the sadness in the book was inspiration. Amongst the injustice and lies, a man trying to bring about honesty.

The movie starring Gregory Peck was excellent. Depicting not only his character with the position he held, but as a father and person of a community, of a society.  It was well done. 🙂

“Conformity becomes enforced not by the secret police at the door, but by the fear of majority opinion.” Anon

 

 

 

Mr. Rochester Take Two

“And what sir,” I asked, while he paused, “did you do when you had settled her here? Where did you go?”

“What did I do Jane? I transferred myself into a will-o-the-wisp. Where did I go? I pursued wanderings as wild as those of the March-spirit. I sought the continent, and went devious through all its lands. My fixed desire was to seek and find a good and intelligent woman whom I could love” from chapter 27 of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

How important are second chances, and if they come, should we grab a hold of them? Or should it depend? Tricked into a bad marriage and wanting out, helped to form Mr. Rochester’s character. Careless and reckless, but not to a point of detriment. For him, making up for the years of being connected to a wife that was insane was all he wanted. But how does and should a person make up for regret(s)?

Miss Bronte’s novel, which is my favorite, depicted a man feeling trapped, but then finding a lovely escape in the form of a governess, Jane Eyre, lost it but in the end got it back with no strings attached. He found real love.

Confession. I have never seen any adaptation to this book. I have tried watching a few, but either the actors were underacting, overacting or were just poorly acting. With that said, I liked this clip.

What do you need to be deliver from?