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”

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Quote: Les Misérables

The excessive weight of this man in human destiny disturbed the equilibrium. This individual alone counted for more than the whole of mankind. This plethora of all human vitality concentrated within a single head, the world rising  to the brain of one man, would be fatal to civilization if it endured. The moment had come for incorruptible supreme equity to look into it.Probably the principles and elements on which regular gravitation in the moral and the material orders depend had begun to mutter. Reeking blood, overcrowded cemeteries, weeping mothers – these are formidable plaintiffs. When the earth is suffering from a surcharge, there are mysterious moanings from the deep that the heavens hear.

Napoleon had been impeached before the infinite, and his fall was decreed.

He annoyed God.

Waterloo is not a battle; it is the changing face of the universe.

– Victor Hugo

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”

Jane Eyre: A Profile

Jane Eyre: orphaned at an early age, subjugated by her Aunt Reed to whose patronage she had been consigned after the death of her maternal uncle Mr. Reed, and then abandoned to Lowood School: a poorly run institution by a miserly stringent manager, had her childhood replete with mistreatment and oppression. However, these trials and tribulations couldn’t dampen her unfettered spirits, her resolve – instead roused in her passion to be her morale, truth her sword and decree of God her guide.

Jane Eyre: Papercut Art
Jane Eyre – Papercut Art

Continue reading “Jane Eyre: A Profile”

A quick review: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is an embodiment of relentless fortitude in times of distress, religious demeanour protecting her from the ills of a depraved society and of mental illumination which help observe the silent yet minutest life. Her plainness is trifled by her possession of a rare generosity in always providing from her little means to anyone she finds in need. Charlotte Bronte has made us see beyond the materialism of our world and how void is the life thriving off monetary accumulation without virtue of soul. Jane’s relationship with Mr. Rochester is indicative of how love could only survive, regardless of fortune or corporeal beauty, by the supply of constant flow of deep and plain affection from the heart.

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
A lovely tale of female heroism fighting singlehandedly for what it believes is right in the light of moral guidance. No wonder this tale after decades on, still hails as one of the best, for its endless dictation of morality and self-sacrifice which I feel is greatly needed in our society today as ever before.

A short review originally posted on Goodreads. Detailed review to be posted here soon. 

Reminiscing: A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities: 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….”

I remember when my mother bought me a copy of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, she said it to be an exquisite tale of true heroism and dark history. I was in grade 8 then ( if my memory serves me right) and reading classics seemed as bland as attending an interminable class of history. So, no thank you, it didn’t appeal to me at all, and that feeling was reinforced after skimming through the first few pages where the language struck me as enigmatic as some ancient Egyptian hieroglyph.Yet, thankfully over the years I’ve realized the importance of classical texts; their irreplaceable strength in shaping, even thousand years on, our society today.

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

A Tale of Two Cities: 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 “Reminiscing: A Tale of Two Cities”