A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities – My weather-worn edition.

A Tale of Two Cities is a story of profound pathos and raw reality combined. Written by Charles Dickens in 1859, it relates to drastically changing events around social and economic landscape in Europe, France in particular, leading up to the pinnacle of French Revolution. The story starts early in 1775 when turbulent times were just brewing as described by his famous quote ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity….”There  was marked disconcert among people due to prevalent atrocities – subjugation by aristocracy including clergy, and the blatant lawlessness which hung as doom mainly over the lower echelons of society. It was in that period Dr. Alexandre Manette, a French Physician, became incarcerated, after a spate of ill fate experienced at the hands of an oligarch Marquis de st Evermonde. The misery endured over 18 years in captivation didn’t end at his salvage by his daughter Lucie Mannette, aided by another faithful companion Mr. Jarvis Lorry, but rather extended to a more rueful journey in the aftermath. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Cities”

Ramsays and the Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is chosen as the focal point around which feelings gush forth in all directions like the waves of the sea. Lashing prejudice, insecurity, uncertainty, anger and regret against the immovable rocks of the ground on which it stands impassively. As a beacon of steadiness, its ever watchful rays of light basks everyone and their chaotic inner selves with a sense of prevailing calm.

To the Lighthouse - PicMrs. Ramsay is of a simple constitution. She loves indulging in daily frivolities; ministering needs of her family of eight children, her husband and friends invited to their summer home on the Isle of Skye in Hebrides. Her household is a consecrated ground wherein she devotes herself to domesticity, managing everything – the meals are cooked and served properly, rooms are rid of shabbiness, garden is well-maintained, even husbanding financial resources. She is easily disquieted – chipping of a teapot to failing to engage her company can easily stir her composure. None the less, she is of an amiable personality, to which many people pay homage. Her beauty is charming to her admirers, to people who are endowed upon by her kindness, it is a balm. Continue reading “Ramsays and the Lighthouse”

Defining Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice - Silhouette

Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, had initially donned the title of First Impressions. Inspired by its mention in Fanny Burney’s novel Cecilia, Jane Austen, perhaps after deeper contemplation during the course of writing the novel, thought best to replace it by one subtler yet more relevant to the novel’s essence. Pride and prejudice: words which encase the phenomenon of social interlocution via appearances, either portrayed by ourselves or inferred from others, are scarcely asunder in meaning. Pride relates to slightly contrasting dispositions – either of self-dignity which rein in our weaknesses, as aptly described by George Eliot in Middlemarch: “Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts – not to hurt others.”, or which is abounded by self-vanity, as also mentioned by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice: “Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” Prejudice, similarly, is the formation of opinions usually based on unfounded means and which let us either blinded by vanity to be critical, or by awe to be servile. Continue reading “Defining Pride and Prejudice”