Monday, November 15, 2010

Emma Is An Absolute Hoot!

Even though Emma wasn't meant to be a totally likeable character, I'm finding her hilarious.  She is such a meddler, and so firm in her convictions - but when found to be wrong she has perfect reasons for why she was misled. I’m quite impressed with Austen’s simple style, as most books written around this era (Emma was published in 1815) are quite convoluted and at times hard to read.  Austen’s style is no nonsense and very enjoyable, no wonder she is so popular – six of her novels are on the 1001 list.

I find it amazing that this was written nearly two hundred years ago.  But it also shows that we haven’t really changed that much during this time – we just know more.  I try to imagine Jane Austen sitting at a table or desk, candle fickering, scribbling away with a quill.  She is giving us a lovely insight into the views of people back then - the need to marry well, the class divide and the general discussions of the day.  As you can see, I am enjoying it immensely.

Nurse Ratched is another wonderful literary creation.  A devil in disguise – from the point of view of the mental patients anyway (I've yet to make up my mind!).  McMurphy has almost caused the staid nurse to totally loose it over his insistence that he be allowed to watch the world series in the afternoons when the TV is usually switched off. The other patients join in  his protest, even Chief Bromden – which is a another slip up on the chief’s part as he is supposed to be a deaf mute and shouldn’t really know what is going on.  He can’t help but do what McMurphy wants, but another part of him wishes that he would go away so that his ordered world would return to ‘normal’.  The doctors all think that McMurphy should be moved to ‘Disturbed’ but Nurse Ratched is biding her time and wants him to remain on her ward. 

I’m close to reaching my yearly target from the 1001 list and have just two more to read to the end of December.  I’m still thinking but these will probably be The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.  As for my other reads, I've downloaded so many to my kindle I don't know what to do first!  Though one thing of concern is that I am focusing on one list and I might be missing some really good reads from more recent lists so I might have to dip into these on and off.  I don't think I'll be missing too much as I am really enjoying the old classics, but you never know........

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