Monday, March 20, 2006

Catching Up

I had an all day class on Saturday and brought Middlemarch with me to read on the train ride there and back. I tuned my ipod to Beethoven, Schubert, and Mozart and escaped to England. I guess the book has captured me, because I'm already well into Book Three.

What impresses me about Eliot's writing here is that she seems to understand human nature so well. She makes you see through every character in this book. Almost every character in this book has flaws (except perhaps Kitty so far), and yet if we don't have affection for them, we are at the very least sympathetic. Dorothea reminds me of a very dear, idealistic friend of mine when she was younger, and also at times myself at her age. But there's a part of me that sympathizes and slightly identifies with Mr. Casaubon. stuck in his ridiculously broad and outdated research topic, with no hope of catching up with the latest scholarship on the question.

It's like Eliot has this way of piercing through people so we can see them from the inside and outside at the same time. In a similar way, she pierces through the layers of class and politics of Middlemarch. She also has an incredible sense of humor while addressing serious issues. Moreover, the personal and political are intertwined.

So, I'm looking forward to see where she leads us. And I'm going to catch up with all your posts so far tonight if I can, though my daughter threw up and I might be in for a long night.

Who do you identify with?

2 Comments:

Blogger Isabella said...

I don't identify with anyone! (And it really took me by surprise that I didn't like Dorothea when she was set up to be our heroine.) Or rather, I identify with bits and pieces of everyone.

You're right — they're all flawed, mixes of good and bad, which makes them very human. So far, I wouldn't call any one of them a caricature, or even a type — Eliot's very talented at creating very complicated real people.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Raehan said...

I think Dorothea will change and grow. You can see she is not quite at home in her own skin.

5:17 PM  

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