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Posts Tagged ‘Tragedy’

Well, Well, Well is not how it always ends. Mr. Hardy’s novels are the proof of the pudding here.  Michael Henchard has done got himself kilt. But it wasn’t a homicidal urge that threatened, though he pulled that trick on Farfrae he really could only do the thing to himself. So we end up with a married Elizabeth Jane and Donald Farfrae which makes the world of Casterbridge float gently ’round. Far from the bleak tragedy I was expecting, the reader becomes an uninterested party in this novel. Henchard is so hell bent upon destroying himself that the reader falls out of the groove of Hardy’s syntax only to care less and less of what actually does happen to Mr. Henchard.

As these late summer days turn to early autumn and the leaves color the trees around one can only think of days gone past and of lives lived in vain. That is what one thinks of when I reads this Hardy novel…

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So DIckens has done it again, he killed a favored character. I’m surprised I didn’t throw the book into the river of Paul’s dreams. But I haven’t and I am sticking this Victorian novel out to the end.  The climax of development for Paul is reached on page 234. “But he retained all that was strange, and old, and thoughtful in his character: and under circumstances so favourable to the development of those tendencies, became even more strange, and old, and thoughtful, than before.”

Goodbye young Dombey it was a pleasure to know you, but as with everything life must go on. At the halfway point of the novel we find the cruelty of Mr. Dombey begin to be unbearable, for Dickens is pulling on the heartstrings of his poor readers and even I am susceptible to it.  Young Walter Gay has been sent overseas, mistakenly. His Uncle Sol has fled leaving only Florence, Rob the Grinder, and Captain Cuttle in the positive aspect of the picture. Carker, Dombey, and Ole’ Joey B. round out the negative. What can one make of this flawed reproduction of a sliver of Mid-Victorian life?  He’s killed the Son of the title and now we are left with the bitter irony that maybe young Florence could somehow succeed?

I am not buying this view. Something triumphant, or equally tragic need occur for there to be any worth to this novel. I shall report no more until I am finished reading it.

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