Lydia Bennet: A Caricature

When reading Jane Austen's  Pride and Prejudice  for the first time, young female readers are often drawn to the Bennet sisters, recognizing in them much of themselves. Jane's sweetness and shyness, Elizabeth's fierce and critical perspective on life, Mary's sober and rational demeanor, and Catherine's lightheartedness and easy laughter are all character traits that are easy to relate to. Such empathies can even extend to the other young women portrayed in the novel, such as Georgina's naivety and lack of judgment or Charlotte Lucas' sobriety and capacity for embracing and accepting her destiny as a woman in the 19th century. However, despite the fact that many of her feelings and actions are not alien to many girls of her age, most young women find it difficult to relate to Lydia Bennet. These first impressions tell us a great deal about how Austen constructed Lydia Bennet's personality. It is common knowledge that  Pride and Prejudice  is not about Lyd

On Reading

As I was reading George Orwell's essays, I was struck by the vast array of themes covered therein. These essays include almost-chronicles reflecting on the author's life events, discussions of the complex political climate of the 1930s and 1940s, and analyses of other writers' works, such as those of Dickens, Kipling, Yeats, and Tolstoy. Reading these essays prompted me not only to think critically about the works of these authors but also to contemplate the evolution of the act of reading itself. It struck me that I was reading an essay written 80 years ago about a man's perceptions of reading novels and poems that I myself have enjoyed. This caused me to reflect upon the stark differences between Orwell's reading experience on a morning in 1946 and the reading experience of today. Undoubtedly, contemporary readers face more distractions than their counterparts in Orwell's time. Incessant intrusions from our phones and other devices often disrupt the reading ex

Crime and Atonement — A brief analysis of transgression and punishment in Ian McEwan’s Atonement

  While perusing my old blog, I came across one of my very first book reviews, which happened to be about Atonement by Ian McEwan. I was fascinated by the immature and uncertain lines written by Past Ana. There is something wonderful about revisiting your younger self through the poor lines of a forgotten blog post, but I digress. To celebrate the young Ana, here is Present Ana’s take on the book, analyzed this time through the crimes of its characters. And once again, I wonder what Future Ana will think of Present Ana's literary crimes. Crime and Atonement — A brief analysis of transgression and punishment in Ian McEwan’s Atonement The initial transgression in Atonement, although not a crime of morality, can be deemed a "foolish" mistake, as it is described in the book. However, what renders this mistake a wrongly punished crime is that it serves as the root or justification for many of the subsequent crimes that occur throughout the novel. The moment when the mistake be

Jacob's Room: A Modernist Elegy

  The First World War (1914-1918) resulted in the loss of approximately twenty million lives and had a transformative impact on global society. The profound changes to the social fabric were reflected across the arts, manifesting in various forms and branches such as painting, music, dance, and literature. The Great War left deep scars on all levels of society, leaving the world shell-shocked. The sense of loss and death permeated a great deal of artistic production during the post-war period. This feeling is particularly evident in the visual arts, with works such as John Nash's Over the Top (1918), which depicts soldiers lying lifeless, never to return home. Their rooms were left empty, lifeless, and abandoned forever, symbolising the human toll of the war. Grief and loss are central to Virginia Woolf's novel, Jacob's Room . The present selection will explore the themes of grief and death in the work, as well as Woolf's modernist aesthetic of the elegy. According to