Emma, Jane Austen

The novel that I want to speak about is entitled Emma. It was written by the famous English author Jane Austen. You may know her thanks to her work named Pride and Prejudice. This may be the most well-known book of this writer but I personally do prefer Emma. What is this book about? The story unfolds principally in the village of Highbury but other fictional places like Hartfield or Randalls are mentioned. Emma, the lead character, lives with her father in Hartfield which is in fact their domain (we can see that they are rich). During her childhood, her governess –and friend- Miss Taylor took care of her. Later, Emma arranges Miss Taylor’s wedding (with Mr Weston). Then she meets Harriet, a pretty seventeen years old woman who has humble origins. Emma decides to guide her and to help her to find a husband. But there are some unexpected consequences …

“I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like” This is what Jane Austen said about her character Emma. What is ironic about Emma is the fact that she doesn’t want to get married but she likes to meddle in relationships that are nothing to do with her. She is indiscreet, too much sure of herself, beautiful and rich. She doesn’t recognize when she was wrong and she takes the liberty of saying audacious comments for a woman at that time. She is also a faithful friend and an intelligent woman. I made this list of adjectives only to prove that Emma is a clever mix of faults and qualities. I appreciate this complexity.

Now I would like to talk about another character that I loved in this book: Mr Knightley. Who is he? Mr Knightley is a friend of Emma but also his brother-in-law. Indeed, Emma has a sister, Isabella, who married John Knightley, the little brother of Mr Knightley (George). The most important to retain about Mr Knightley is the fact that he is the only one who dares to contradict Emma. When she is wrong, he is the one who says “I disagree with you” and that’s why he is –for me- her most sincere friend.

Did you know this novel?  you have read another book of Jane Austen?

Pride and Prejudice

Today I will talk about Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen and published in 1813.I read this book one year ago and I liked it very much because of his romantic story but also because of his « writing style ».

The story tell us the sentimental life of 5 sisters and the main character is Elisabeth Bennet who falls in love of Mr Darcy (first she hates him), the friend of the man she must married. In fact, the mother of Elisabeth is determined to find an husband for each of her daughters to assure their future. Elisabeth notice all the ploys of her mother to reconcile her and her neighbour Mr Bingley with irony and even if she appreciates him she’s not in love.

Behind this romantic comedyJane Austen critisizes the rigidity of the English society of the XVIII-XIXth Century. Indeed at the time a woman must be married and she doesn’t chosen her husband. The main theme of this book is marriage and money but also sincerity and truth,

I like this book because it’s sensitive and writte with humor and characters are engaging and appealing. The decor plunges us in a beautiful world with beautiful garden and hill, a little cottage and a large castle… I remember I was very fascinated by this book and his story!

Romeo and Juliet

Hi everybody !

I’m going to speak about the great story of love : Romeo and Juliet ! This story was written by Shakespeare in 1595 or in 1596. It’s a romantic tragedy, a beautiful romantic tragedy.

Romeo and Juliet are the mighty lovers in this story, a lot of people knows this relationship. The mighty lovers are teenagers, their families hates theirselves and a feud breaks out. Shakespeare is also appears to be inspired by the Arthur Brook’s poem (3.000 lines narratives) called The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet written in 1562.

I like this story. This work is very interesting because we have a beautiful love story between hatred and pressures of family. Although murders and the tragic end it’s a great story full of love and honour.

If you have liked this article you can write a review ! 🙂

Another time ! ;D

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly one of the most famous works of English literature, written by playwright William Shakespeare in 16th century. Romeo and Juliet were already two characters that existed; they are appeared with Luigi da Porta, Masuccio of Novellino and Matteo Bandello. But it’s the play of Shakespeare that made Romeo and Juliet two famous characteres in all over the world. Romeo and Juliet appeared in 1597. It’s a romantic-tragedy, a drama in five acts.
The story takes places in Verona, it’s an old town in Italy. The story relates about two feuding families in Verona : Montague and Capulet. They were always in conflicts for the distant and forgotten reasons. Their conflicts In this famillies, they’re two young people : Romeo, a young man of 16 years old, he naive man, he is describ like night , solitary and cold. On the other side : Juliet, a young woman of 14 years old, she is too naive and pure woman, she is describ by Romeo like day, like a sun, bright and wonderful. The two characters fall in love and they brave their famillies and they loved until the death.
It’s a beautiful story of love and tragedy. They are naive, because they are young and they believe in  their love until the death and this love is so pure. But we feel all along the story, the presence of the death who turn around of the couple and we know the end from the beginning.
It’s a universal story about love, death and about human nature.

Chocolat

Who don’t we  like  chocolate ? For chocolate addicts I recommend this book, Chocolat. It was published in 2000, written by Jeanne Harris, a british writer.

The story begin in 1959, with the arrival in french village of Viviane and her daughter. The village’s context is complicated, ti is traditional and religious. Viviane decided to restart the confectionery during The Carême (The Lent in English,  a religious celebration  where everyone should fast during 40 days). The village see her as a danger because her chocolate quickly begins to change the lives of people. The Town’s leaders even will accused her to be a witch. On this point it is possible that they were right ?

This book has an adaptation by Lasse Hallström,  a canadian director, in 2001. With famous actors like Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Alfred Molina. This movie received many awards for the Best ActressSoundtrack Composer of the Year and other.

I recommend this book and this film for the pleasure of senses. So enjoy your meal !

The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Recently, I have seen The Perks of being a Wallflower, directed by Stephen Chbosky. And, I was very surprised to discover a so pleasant film about the teen discontent. Charlie, the main character, comes to the High School. He’s alone, outcast. He’s rejected by others because he’s different. We discover throughout the story that his best friend’s dead, and that he hides a heavy secret about his aunt Isabelle. But Patrick and Sam (his first love), senior students, accept him in their friends group.Thanks to that, Charlie begins to make peace with his past, and to become more confident. Thus, he starts to be really happy.

What I loved in this movie is the optimistic vision of life, I mean, this film gives us the desire to live. Friendship makes us feel more alive despite the past we could know. Personnally, if you are sad, watch this flm, even if there is paradoxically a kind of melancholy, of nostalgia which creates the story.

The importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

    

      I would like to talk about a book I read during the holidays: The importance of Being Earnest. It’s a play written by Oscar Wilde. The first was performed in 1895. The plot is rather complicated. It’s the story of two young men: Jack, known in the city as Ernest Moncrieff, and Algy. Jack, normally lives in the country where he must take care of his ward Cecily but he has invented a sick brother whose name is Ernest to escape his social obligations and in order to go in the city as often as he wants. In the first act, he discovers that his friend, Algy has invented also an ill brother Bunbury in order to go to the country as often as he wants because contrary to Jack, he lives in the city. He also proposes to Algy’ cousin: Gwendolen Fairfax. However, her mother refuses this engagement. In the second act, Algy goes to the country, to Jack’s home in order to meet Cecily. He introduces himself as being the brother of Jack. He decides to propose to Cecily, when Jack arrives and discover his friend. This situation provokes a lot of misunderstandings. It is a sort of satire of the wedding. The title is built on a pun with the words Earnest and Ernest. Gwendolen refuses to get married with Jack if his name is not Ernest.

     I advice you to read this comedy. It’s really gripping because of the complicated plot and the misunderstandings. It’s also really funny. Moreover, I think that it’s rather easy to read it in English and I find it could be an illustration for the thematic: Meeting people, love and friendship.

 

      The play has a lot of film adaptation such as: the films of the same name as the play by Anthony Asquith in 1852 and that of Oliver Parker in 2002. I have never seen them. Well, I don’t know if they are good. And you have you already read or seen the play ? Did you enjoy it ?

Trailer of The importance of being Earnest by Oliver Parker, released in 2002 :

Emma- Jane Austen

Hi everybody! Hope that your holidays are fun!

I am going to talk about the novel « Emma ». When we talk about a novel of Jane Austen, it’s always about « Pride and Prejudice », which I don’t have read but seems to be sooooo boring…
So even if I am not a big fan of this kind of book, I am going to talk about « Emma »: It could be pleasant for some of you who find that Jane Austen is incredible!

So this novel was first published anonymously in 1815. The heart of the story is about Emma, who wants that single persons can find an idealistic love. In this book we also find the notion of mores, a little like in Madame Bovary in french

I found this novel rather « kitch », but I would like to have your opinions, interepretations etc…
And if you have also read some novels of Jane Austen which are less boring, write it down!

Annie Hall – Woody Allen

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e6/Anniehallposter.jpg

Annie Hall is the story of Alvy Singer, an American comedian, played by Woody Allen who looks back on his relationship with Annie Hall, as Diane Keaton. He got married with two women before meeting her. But she is different. He doesn’t understand why they are separated. Well, he describes his relationship with her. We can see their moments of happiness and crisis.

This comedy directed by Woody Allen was released in 1977. This film received the Oscar of the best director, the best movie, and the best actress for Diane Keaton.

I think that it’s one of the best film directed by Woody Allen if it is not the best. Woody Allen is my favourite film director. It’s a funny film and it’s really gripping. Woody Allen is really great as film director as actor.

It’s also interesting because I think that this film could be a good illustration for the thematic: Meeting people, love and friendship because the 2 mains characters are going to love each other, separate each other and become friends. I really advice you to see it.

If you want, we can see the movie trailer : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBzHphcc2Jw

Rebecca, written by Daphné Du Maurier

Rebecca, is a novel written in 1938, by Daphné Du Maurier. This work is considered as a classic of the english literature.

It relates the story of the female narrator, whose we don’t know the name. This woman meets Maximilien De Winter, a upper cast man to her. Mr. De Winter is weird but lovely, he seems to have a painful past ( his wife, Rebecca, is dead ). So, she falls in love with him : it’s reciprocal. They get married. The young couple come in Maximilien’s manor, Manderley. Gradually, the young woman « is haunted by the Rebecca’s ghost », Mrs. Danvers, the governess, boosts this. In the wake of a bal, a storm brings out, from the sea,  a boat with Rebecca’s body. Therefore, a police investigation starts. We can notice the main character’s evolution, she becomes a strong woman while she was a « little and shy girl » at the beginning.

I won’t say the story’s wake, it’s up to you, to discover it! I decided to make an article on this novel because it’s, I think, my favorite. The atmosphere is almost indescribable, the ( psychological ) suspense is unsustainable. The novel is dominated by the mystery. There is a kind of darkness in the way the novel is written, in the opposite of the  main character’s innocence. What’s more, it’s a great idea from Du Maurier to not give a name of the female narrator.

Moreover, I want to deepen the subject. So, I’ll talk about the famous film adaptation : Rebecca, directed by Hitchcock. This film is created two years after the book’s release ( 1940 ). This film well retranscribethe general atmosphere of the book. The image alows to give more details showing the Rebecca’s domination, even after her death.

So, now, I let you read the novel or watch the film! Personally, I prefer the novel, because the suspense is more impressive, the darkness is more palpable, the Manderley’s vision is more idealistic.

The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County is a novel written by Robert James Waller and published in 1992. The novel is one of the best-selling books of the 20th century.

In 1965, Francesca Johnson is an Italian-American housewife who lives in Iowa. Her husband and her children leave their home for a week. A National Geographic photographer, Robert Kincaid, arrives to photograph the covered bridges in the area. He is lost and met Francesca in her house. Slowly, a love affair takes place between the two characters, a dangerous liaison.Passion’ is the key word of this story but this love affair seems to be impossible.

With an international success, an adaptation of this novel was directed by Clint Eastwood in 1995 where we find him and the marvellous Meryl Streep. This film is one of my great favourites for many reasons : the story is purely wonderful but very sad too. In my opinion, Meryl Streep is the best actress of the world because she’s so charming and captivating in this film, but in Out of Africa directed by Sydney Pollack in 1985 or in August: Osage County directed by John Wells in 2013 too (it’s just two examples because the list is very long!) . All the poetry of the film resides in the beautiful sets and in the wonderful photography. Both actors complement each other and they lead the audience from beginning to end. This is a very great film.

« All the world’s a stage »

« All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. »

 

This is the famous monologue spoken by Jacques in Act II Scene VII from As You Like It. By writting this monologue, William Shakespeare compare life to a stage and say that a man play different role in different acts in his life. These acts, or « ages » represent the stages of life, they are seven :

 

The first age is the infancy, when we are a little baby in our nurse’s arms.

In the second age we play the role of a little child, who don’t want to go to school.

The third age is the lover, the part of our life dedicated to the feeling of love.

The fourth age is called « the soldier », when we struggle for honour and reputation.

The fifth age is when we play the role of « Justice », we use knowledge and experience to advice people.

In the sixth age we become more weak and and fragile.

And the last age is compared to a second childhood, because we’re once again dependent to other. And we loose our teeth, our eyes and also our memories, to death.

Act 3, Scene 2 | As You Like It

 

We have seen in class 3 versions of As You Like It Act 3, Scene 2 | As You Like It by Shakespeare.
I don’t really liked the first version because was a little boring and there was nothing really special but I enjoyed the others! The second is my favourite because I like the playing of the actress, the facial expressions, gestures.. she really embodies the role of the character.

I loved also the third version, more modern. The playing of Pippa Nixon is exceptional because for me, she comes to us through a lot of emotions just by talking, she speaks carefully, as the emotions she wants to pass.

 

The two women embody both very well the role of Rosalind in their own way but the result is very good on both sides.

As you like it

William Shakespeare was born on April 1564 in Stratford -upon- Avon and died on 23 April 1616 in the same town. He is considered one of the greatest poets , playwrights and writers of English culture and wrote many tragedies like « Hamlet », « Romeo & Juliette », « Othello » … but also a lot of comedy like « As you like it ».

 » As you like it  » is a comedy written around 1599, just before Hamlet ( 1600-1601 ) .

We have seen in class three extracts of this comedy, our  teacher showed us the three extracts with specific way: the oldest to the most modern.

I prefer the third extract because it’s more modern ( the actress smokes on stage ), she is very expressive ( she cries , she laughs … ) , else, I enjoyed the crazy character.

In the first two extracts , It’s the makeup that turns girls into boys while in this extract, the girl naturally looks like a boy.

It’s for the choice of the actress that I preferred the third extract.

W.H Auden, nice words..

« Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good. »

I absolutely love poems, and all of kind of texts.. Philosophy, Essay etcetera. So, when Ms.Charlette gave us the poem of W.H.Auden , i was happy. I find this poem really affecting and touching. In fact, When you read this text, you understand that you can be important for some people. But, you’re just a grain of sand, on a beach. You’re really little. Reading this text; made me understand that I’m not nothing, but someone. We are all important, even if we are very little.Tell me if you like it or not.

« Pride And Prejudice » by Jane Austen

I would talk about this book because I watched the 2005 film adaptation by Joe Wright , with Keira Knightley and it gave me desire to read this book.

Pride and Prejudice is a love story written by Jane Austen between 1796 and 1797 but the book was edited in 1813. The Main Character is Elisabeth Bennet , the second daughter of an familly of five girls. Their Mother wants to marry them. And one day , to a bal Jane the eldest daughter encount Mr.Bingley a charming young man. He has an great friend Mr.Darcy , very rich but not very talkative and proud. At first impression , Elisabeth and Mr.Darcy haven’t appreciated each other.

But with time and knowledge of each other they fell in love. But still the problem of social gap separated them. Mr.Darcy’s aunt Lady Catherine is clearly opposed to this union because he has to marry with her daughter. But Darcy has overcome people’s opinions and has to married with Elisabeth because he loved her. The same day that Jane and Mr.Bingley.

It was a short summary . But clearly I think it is an very good book what wrote Jane Austen.

 

 

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

In class, we studied an extract from the book, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

I read this book in french personally and I enjoyed it. At the beginning it’s difficult to understand who are the character and their feelings but step by step I better knew the characters and their own personalities.

It’s a really good story who illustrate the condition and the differents behaviors of the characters.

Funeral Blues, by Wystan Hugh Auden

In class, we study a poem, Funeral Blues,written by Wystan Hugh Auden who is an Anglo-American poet, born in York on 21 February 1907 and died in Austria on 29 September 1973.

In my opinion, I love the poem because he used simple word to express what he feels and we understand quickly what he talks about.

There is an expression of grief because he used the past to express his feelings and everythings stops around him, he feels nothing more.                                                            We have the impression that he lost everything.

I like the way he express his feelings despite of there are sad.

As You Like It by William Shakespeare

We have watched three videos at school about the act 3, scene 2 from As You Like It, adaptations of the pastoral comedy written by Shakespeare, the famous english poet, playwright and actor.

I’ve selected two videos and I want to compare them.

In my opinion, this play is my favourite because the play of the actors is good.

The second play is good too but it’s more in a modern life – for example, she smokes.

Even if the costume – we clearly see that it is artificial (the mustache for example) in the first play while the woman who is disguised hasn’t a costume : it is natural in the second play – and the landscape is better in the second play – there are many colors and it’s realistic, I prefer the first one for its adaptation.

And you, what play do you prefer?

As you like it, Shakespeare

In class, we read an extract of Shakespeare’s play As you like it. It’s a comedy written around 1598-1600, during the last years of Elizabeth’s reign. In our extract, there are two characters : Rosalind and Orlando. Rosalind is the daughter of Duke Senior, she disguises herself as a young man named Ganimede. As to Orlando, he is a younger brother of Oliver and we know that he falls in love with Rosalind. Into the passage, they are alone together in the forest.
Last Monday, we saw three video clips of this play. These three clips were totally different. The first extract was the oldest, the setting was very simple as the character’s costume. Moreover, the actors were away from each other during all the extract. Personally, I found that this adaptation theatrical was nothing special! Concerning to the second extract, the staging was better as the setting, the actors played well and their costume were really not bad! And to finish, the third extract was the most modern, the characters smock on stage and their costume are both well, the setting is more realistic. Among these three different representations, I preferred the second.