Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twistor the Parisch Boy’s Progressis Charles Dickens second novel and was published as a serial between 1837 and 1939.

Charles Dickens was born in Porthsmouth in Englan on Februar 1812. He is consider like the greates novelist of the Victorian Age. He lived in larg family. But they joinged the father in london, they lived on big poverty and Charles Dickens stopped his studies. When he was twelves, he was employed in sheeting factory. This nostalgia for happy and pure childhood, this obsession with hunger and poverty are themes and real feelings that are found in his work. In 1833 he made his debut as a writer in newspapers and tale magazines in the popular districts of London. It was in 1836 that his first book of tales « Les esquisses de Boz » (Boz being his pseudonym) appeared. From 1837 he began to reveal his talent with « The Adventures of Mr. Pickwick », his success was immediate. Between writing and great journeys, Charles Dickens is prolific and inspired. It was at this time that he married Catherine Hogarth.All of Charles Dickens’ novels will be published monthly or weekly. Overworked and very nervous, Charles Dickens does not merge and his health suffers. On June 9, 1865, he had a terrible and serious railway accident that physically diminished him. The same day, five years later, he died.

In the film Oliver was born and raised into a life of poverty in wokhouse around London. He is an orphan beacuse his mother died during his birth. Because he is poor he must live in a workhouse, it’s the new poor laws. It replace the old poor law that appear in the XVI century. This law was a poor relief to help paupers. this system changed with the new poor laws, pauppers were instead in workhouse. It was an institution where people did unpaid work and had food and accomodation in return. So Oliver Twist spends the first nine years of his life in a baby farm int the care of Mrs Mann. Around of Oliver’s nine birthday, Mr Bumble, the parish beable puts him to work in a workhouse. He lived there with very little food for six months. One day he asked more food with the famous request: « Please, sir, I want some more ». After many adventures, he finds him in London where he met Jack Pawkins, a joung pickpocket. This boys invites Oliver Twist in his band. Jack, Bill, Nancy and other stole in London streetfor Fagin. They took Oliver with them but one day the thieft turned badly and Oliver is arrest by the police. The man who was stole, he helped Oliver Twist to go out the police and they lived together. But Fagin found him and force him to stole the old man. After some times and adventures Fagin was arrested and Oliver found the old man.

In this example of social novel, Dickens satiries the hypocrisies, includng child labour, the recrutement of chidren as criminals and the presence of chidren in the street

Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain brought up the character of Tom Sawyer in 1876 (in England) in the adventures of Tom Sawyer. And later in other works. To create his character, he was inspired by his youth and the name of his friend: Tom Sawyer Spivey. Tom Sawyer is a character who has become a symbol of freedom in popular culture. 

Tom is an orphan boy with a changing age because in a chapter he loses a tooth but his love for Becky shows that he is in pre-adolescence. His friends are identified with the favorite adventure novels of the author’s youth. 

Tom Sawyer represents in the eyes of the public, a certain ideal of the American child by his qualities of spirit and intelligence. The novel has been adapted several times to cinema. It should be noted that Tom Sawyer Island is the name of an Island in the Disney Parks of California, Florida and Tokyo. 

          Tom Sawyer is a child living in a village in the southern United States: St. Petersburg (imaginary name). Orphaned, he lives with his aunt Polly, his half-brother Sid and his cousin Mary. His aunt has a good heart and remorse both to punish and not to punish his nonsense. Sid is a model boy who is always ready to denounce the incarcerations of Tom. Mary, probably a little older, is the only one who has any influence over Tom. He steals jams, skips school and escapes when he wants to punish him. He is fighting with a newcomer, too well dressed. Obliged on Saturday to baste the fence, he manages to convince his friends that it’s exciting and makes them do the work for him. 

       I think this book is very childish but we learn a few things about life that is to say that there is a moral in this story. It’s very interesting to read. I liked the character of Tom. Last his nonsense he is all innocent and adorable

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie

  For a few decades, the whole world has been the stage of brutal, outlandish and bizarre political ideologies, whose Orwellian emblems –Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Mao and many others- were so ruthless and maybe even bloodier than some Ancient World’s megalomaniac tyrants such as Caligula, this insane and self-absorbed Roman emperor.
But although mankind is supposed to improve and learn of its errors, some recent systems were so Orwellian that even Orwell would have had troubles envisioning them. One of them could be Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which unfold from 1966 to the dictator’s death, about 10 years later. Its purpose was to eradicate the educated upper class in the name of the communist ideology, which implies the equality of people on every level. It aimed at erasing the « Four Olds », so old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits, which means everything this era’s Chinese society was based on…The so-called « young intellectuals »- youths who attended secondary school- and bourgeois were deemed to be as many ennemies of the people. According to the government, they needed to be « re-educated‘, and to do so, were sent off to the underdevelopped peasants of the countryside, alleged more virtuous. Between 1968 and 1975, around 12 million youths were thus  »rusticated. »

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Dai Sijie, a Chinese filmmaker and writer, who is also the author of the novel I am going to tell you about, was one of these young men. He lived and worked in the Sichuan Province’s mountains between 1971 and 1974 and has then turned his experience into a poetic and touching story « Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress », published in France a few years ago, to huge acclaim. He shows that way China’s ambivalent attitude to both its past and present.

The novel’s narrator, Ma, is a serious, silent, and talented violonist and son of two hard-working doctors, whose crimes were to be « stinking scientific authorities. » His friend Luo, who shares his adventures on the countryside is his whole contrary; not only bold but without scruples in helping himself to what he wants. He is also the son of someone altogether more dangerous: Mao’s personal dentist, who couldn’t prevent himself from telling his relatives about his exalted patient.

 »Here was an eminent dentist stating publicly that the Great Helmsman of the Revolution had been fitted with new teeth, just like that. It was beyond belief, an unpardonable, insane crime, worse than revealing a secret of national security. »

Packed off to the damp, remote mountains that you can easily imagine if you have already seen stylized paintings of pre-Revolutionary chinese landscapes, our first nameless narrator and his friend Luo realize that their « re-education » is entrusted to a group of illiterate and former opium traffickers, whose wisdom is justified by being part of the respectable peasantry. Solicitous to get rid of anything « western » or « reactionary« , the head of the village, called Chief, goes through their belongings and finds a cookbook and a violin. The cookbook is quickly thrown in the fire after the reading of it spreads expressions of longing into villager’s faces. The violin was about to follow the same path, since Chief decreed that it was a toy. No, says Luo, it is for making music and Ma plays it very well. The first bars of one of Mozart’s sonatas sound like an odd birdsong in the mountains as the villagers are completely unaccustomed to classical western melodies and harmonies. They are eventually allowed to keep this strange instrument as they present this piece as « Mozart is thinking of Chairman Mao« . Later on, Chief will hear Swan Lake, but only agrees to like it once the young men insure him that it was « written for Lenin ». The gap is felt between the town and the mountain. The peasants have never seen an alarm clock for instance; they wake up everyday with the sunrise to go to bed at the sunset. This incredible invention leaves the chief flabbergasted, but he finds it very efficient to make the villagers and laborers work in time…until Luo and Ma change the hands so many times, they quickly lost all notion of time.

Indeed, books and ideas that don’t emanate from the ruling regime are forbidden in the village, as well as western music. Life in the village is hard: Luo and Ma are in charge of some arduous tasks, such as backbreaking work in a coal mine or carrying huge containers of human waste down to the fields, where it is then used to fertilize crops. Their daily life is quite dull, until they meet the bold, full of life, beautiful daughter of the local tailor, known as Little Seamstress, who brings a ray of sunshine in their existence. Although she is unschooled, both of the young men grow fondly attached to her, in different ways.

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One of the only true entertainment comes in the form of projection of politically correct North Korean and Albanian movies in another village nearby. Because of their intellectual backgrounds, they are sent by the head of the village to narrate them next to the whole village. The first time they go, they swap the initial plot for an engaging tale, even adding some home-made « snow » crafted from rice skin to enhance their effect. But they soon discover something even more important. One of their bespectacled fellow nicknamed « Four-Eyes« – glasses being of course, the most obvious sign of decadent intellectuals- the coward son of a well-known poet, hides a wooden suitcase full of western books in his hut. After stealing this collection, Luo and Ma begin a new kind of « re-education« ; they read books by Flaubert, Balzac, Kipling, Dostoievski or Gogol out loud for the Little Seamstress. In order not to be caught, the three companions hide their treasure in a far-away cave, where they read the works one at a time, teaching their avid pupil how to read.

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The young Chinese Peasant has already became aware of the existence of an unknown world and is eager for discovering it all. As soon as they read the first book of the case, which is Balzac’s « Ursule Mirouët« , the effect is devastating, absolutely revolutionary for the three of them, since even in the hometown of the two young men, the only western books allowed are the complete works of the Albanian Communist leader, as Albania is « a great friend of China ». The subjects mentioned blow their minds away, as they slowly discover a sensual and romantic world, until then missing from their lives, as the Communist ideology studiously forgets them. Moreover, these are as many deep emotions justified and implified by Balzac and the other authors found in the suitcase. The narrator’s own favourite book is no other but Romain Rolland’s « Jean-Christophe », without which, he says: ‘‘I would never have understood the splendor of taking free and independent action as an individual. »

“It was a totally new experience for me. Before, I had no idea that you could take on the role of a completely different person, actually become that person––a rich lady, for example––and still be your own self.” -The little Seamstress

Luo becomes the Little Seamstress’s paramour, and although his attachement is for sure genuine, he can’t help but trying to « civilize » her and to do so, forces many things upon her. For instance, he wants her to use her arms as she swims, rather than dog-paddling like the other villagers do. He also would like her to speak and act more like a city girl, that she isn’t. However, we can easily wonder about who educates-or re-educates- who in this story… Luo, a quite arrogant character, talks about his « fellow Balzac« , with whom he feels equal and certainly superior to the uncivilized peasants, and even his Seamstress, as he seems to think that he is the only one who can provide something to her, and certainly not the contrary. But here comes the irony; it is not Luo and Ma who understand these stories the most, but the Little Seamstress who read into them the sense of what she was missing in such a petty and backward world, that she decides to leave behind. Dressed in her new western clothes, she runs away without listening to her friends, who later understand the frightening power of literature, and why it is feared by the government. Balzac’s words, that Luo calls a « wizard », transformed the little peasant and rose her consciousness as she left the Sichuan province for the city.

 »Had we ourselves, » the narrator asks,  »failed to grasp the essence of the novels we had read to her? »

Then comes an ellipsis and we are propelled 30 years later. Ma became a successful violonist living in Paris and Luo a father, husband and a professor in dentistry. Although their lives are happy enough, the western culture they embraced looks now common. They both decide to go back to this village they grew up in and it’s merely as if they travelled in time, to the Middle Ages. Nothing changed much, only the crystal-clear laughters of the Little Seamstress are gone with her and Chief’s face looks a lot more wrinkled. They learn that this place lost in the mountains is about to be wiped out by flooding, to build a new electrification dam. The valley will disappear into thin air, just like their memories of this time, that slowly flow by. Both men yearn to see this woman they both loved, but whom they repelled with their books and music. They look after her during a long amount of time, but no avail. Inspired by Balzac, she took control of her life and went exploring this brand new world and herself. But no one knows where she is.

As Luo and Ma are reminiscent of their youth together, their memories are shaped into an underwater vision of this village in 1971, which feels like a tale. The water closes in on them; however it is obvious that something meaningful remains.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson

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Have you ever heard of the film director Wes Anderson? Or have you ever watched one of these movies: The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, the Darjeeling Limited or the eponymous animated feature Fantastic Mr Fox based on Roald Dahl’s book… I am sure that if you did see one of them, you remember it for sure! He may have one of the most distinctive visual styles a popular American film director has ever had, which led to many parodies reproducing his unique work… For instance, he seems to be obsessed with symmetry and unique colours. The sceneries he imagines are always very colourful and look as if we just entered a magical fairy tale. Moreover, critics and writers, as well as Anderson himself often refer to his films as  « self-contained worlds« . The characters of his films always behave in a totally exentric way and have amusing but weird characteristics, as much physically as intellectually. But here is a warning: if at first sight, his movies just seem to be wacky comedies, they are actually more meaningful than that and marked by melancholic elements. His recurring themes are often grief, loss of innocence, parental abandonment, suicide, adultery, sibling rivalry…Don’t simply rely on the seemingly shallow lines, you should find the lines between the lines!

The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of his latest films and I really enjoyed watching it! It is the kind of movies you should watch when you are sad, sick or depressed: it will make you laugh a lot, cry of laughter and laugh some more…And then feel a bit melancholic?

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« The Beginning of the End of the End of the Beginning has begun... »

Wes Anderson creates a brand new world with a special atmosphere. The landcapes and aesthetic choices he makes are truly worth-watching! To sum it up, I could simply say that we follow the adventures of a legendary concierge, played by Ralph Fiennes, and known as Mr. Gustave H. He is in charde of a great hotel located in the city of Nebelsbad, in a fictional Central European state called Zubrowka, between the First and the Second World Wars. Known to court aging wealthy women who flock to the Grand Budapest Hotel, we get to know Mr. Gustave through the eyes of a trainee lobby boy, Zero Moustafa. Freshly arrived in the country after his hometown was invaded and his family executed, his most important mission is to give Mr. Gustave his precious fragrance, « L’air de Panache ».
Their life is quite comfortable until one of the concierge’s octogenarian guests, Mrs. (take a deep breath) Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis, also known as « Madame D » or even Madame C.V.D.u.T, is found murdered..

« -What if I fall? -Oh, my darling, what if you fly?. »

.Both of them will meet Agatha, a resourceful pastry chef, with whom Zero will fall in love.
2They will also try to keep a mysterious painting called  » Boy with Apple » that everyone has their eyes on, they will be lockep up in an Internment Camp, playing a game of hide and seek in a monastery, chased by a cold-blooded assassin with a sledge, be involved in a chaotic gunfight inside of the hotel…Through plenty of twists and turns, Zero will become Mr. Gustave’s more trusted friend.

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This action-packed movie is even harder to tell indeed because the film director chose a frame narrative. It usually means a story within a story. But you can’t just use this if you are Wes Anderson…This movie is more likely a story within a story within a story. It is divided in several parts, which are:

-Prologue
-Part 1: Mr.Gustave
-Part 2: Madame C.V.D.u.T
-Part 3: Check-point 19 Criminal Internment Camp
-Part 4: The Society of the Crossed Keys
-Part 5: The Second Copy of the Second Will
-Epilogue

This shooting script reminds us of a book, and it’s exactly what Wes Anderson wants us to think. He was inspired by the author Stefan Zweig’s work and this whole story is actually told by an older Zero Moustafa to a famous writer -played by Judd Law-. The former lobby boy is now the director of a shabby and empty version of the Grand Budapest Hotel, several decades after the end of the Second World War. He still visits his hotel now and then, to immerse himself fully in his memories. A deep scent of nostalgia emanate from the Prologue and we figure out, that if what we just saw felt like something magical but artificial, it now makes sense. The Grand Budapest Hotel seems to be an idealized, beautiful memory shared with the Young Writer, who will die. A Young Girl can be seen in front of his grave with a book of his. So, the story is a memory of Zero, whose audience is The Author as a young man. He then remembers it as an older man, whose audience is both us (as he talks directly to the camera) and the girl reading the book, and whose audience, finally, is no one else but us. It could be a beautiful metaphor of memories to cherish, as everything and everyone is going to die one day, but it also brings a bit of hope, as it can be remembered for a long time.

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Do you know any of Wes Anderson’s other movies? If so, what did you think about it? ?

1984

Hello guys!

Today, i’m going to talk about 1984 the most famous novel wich was written by the famous english novelist Georges Orwell and was published on 1949.

It was considered like a science fiction novel and it was a dystopia.

This novel is about a totalitarian regime while the war against Eurasia. We find the Big Brother in the story, it´s a very important chatacter because it keep order in the society, in face they are supervision camera…

Main chatacters are both in love in secret while this war, they are Julia and Winston.. They usually meet on a bedroom, until they were discover thanks to the Big Brother, so Winston is tortured..

Despite, in 1956 the novel is adapted to the cinema it´s an english film directed by Michael Anderson.

This novel shows us the reality with the violence and the cruetly of the totalitarian regime and the society under control..

See you!

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Hello !

Today I would like to speak about Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Aldous Huxley was an English writter. In his novels, Huxley criticizes use of social norms and ideals, he was also very interested by the scientific progress which for him can harm humanity. His works are often studied in philosophy in English and American university. Brave New World was published in 1932 and it is a futuristic novel

In this future society, all children are conceived in test tubes. They are genetically modified to belong to one of the five categoriesof the population. Of the most clever in the most stupid : Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta or Epsilon. This five categories are like the caste system. Huxley in his book descrieb also what would be perfect dictatorship: a dictatorship which would have the appearance of a democracy, a prison without walls (…)

I loved this book, while this book is written in 1932, it evokes very well our current society. The psychology of the characters dans of the society is well thought out and realized realistically. Brave New World is a disturbing and frightening book about society. After this reading, many questions appears. This book is still relevant like 1984 by George Orwell.

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”

 

Between shades of grey, Ruta Sepetys

Wait! I know what you must be thinking just by seeing the title of this article…But you are wrong! The book I would like to talk about doesn’t have anything to do with its almost namesake, sulphurous book… You know, the one that you must have heard about…Yes, that one!… Maybe did you even read a few pages secretly?

So, let’s forget everything about that other one.
•This story takes place in 1941. Lina is a young Lithuanian girl like many others. Obsessed about Edvard Munch‘s work,she draws, she paints, she lives a comfortable life with her loving family and has just been accepted into one of the most prestigious art schools in Europe. Until the 14th of June. Her whole life stops: the NKVD, also known as the frightening Soviet police Organization, invades her home.

“He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.
We were about to become cigarettes. »

• It is the beginning of a terrifying journey as we follow Lina, her mother and her brother,  who are deported to different gulags and hostile places inhabited by hostile soldiers…
Loaded in cattle train car, they travel hundreds of miles throughout the huge territory of Russia. The conditions of their compelled travel are inhuman: a mother has to give birth to her baby on her own, on the overcrowded and dirty car, helped by some passengers. Obviously, the prisonners can’t go out as they are pleased and don’t have any other place to do their business than in the floor of the car itself…

journey map
They are crossing the Arctic Circle to arrive to work camp located in the coldest parts of Siberia, where they have to dig for beets, do different kinds of exhausting chores… In other words: they have to fight for their lives under the crulest, least humane conditions. Actually, some of the characters sometimes make shocking choices to gain a better life or enable their relatives not to have as many hardships as the others… Lina finds her solace in her ability to draw, meticulously. She identifies herself in the events that she draws to remember, although she takes great risks as she sends these messages to her father’s camp, hopefully.

« Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch. »

This is a story hard to read but also so hard to stop reading.
This is a story about an unbelievable strengh, about love and hope, about survival but it also shows how cruel and unsensitive humans can be.

In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded the three small Baltic countries, that are Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The Kremlin created a list of people considered as Antisovietic and condamned to be assassinated, imprisonned or deported to Siberia to be confined to the level of slaves. These people were doctors, lawyers, teachers, writers, musicians, artists, even librarians, soldiers, or businessmen: them and their families were part of an always longer list. The list of a mass extermination project’s victims. The first deportations happened on the 14th of June 1941.
•The writer, Ruta Septetys is the daughter of a lithuanian officer who managed to escape these camps but some of her relatives didn’t have this luck and died there. She wrote her first book about this subject because it is part of her family’s story, as well as because this aspect of the II World War is still unknown to this day. Surrounded by the Soviet Union and The Nazis’ Empire, the Baltic States were forgotten from the world and simply disapeared from the maps. She travelled to Lithuania several times to write this book and met families, inhabitants who survived, psychologists, historians…This story was based on true events. It is estimated that Josef Staline assassinated more than 20 billions of people during his Terror reign. In 1991, after 50 years of occupation, the Baltic countries found their independance back, as well as peace and dignity. They prefered hope to hatred and showed to the world that there is always light at the end of the darkest tunnel.

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Have you ever heard of this story before?

« In the midst of winter, i found there was, within me, an invincible summer. » -A.CAMUS

Brave New World

Hello everybody,

Today I am going to talk about a famous english dystopian si-fi novel, Brave new world wich was written by Aldous Huxley. It was published in 1932. The novel’s title results from a William’s Shakespeare but it’s also results from Candide wich was written by Voltaire in XVIII century.

This story is about society where mans are create in laboratory because the author make disappear the sexual reproduction and love in his society. In this novel we produce embryos adjusted by our caste. There are differents caste, in fact there are uppers caste wich are Alpha and Beta and there are lowers caste wich are Gamma and, Delta and Epsilon. All the story is about this.

It’s a very famous dystopian si-fi novel like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 wich was written by two differents authors. Brave new world has represented a pessimistic view of consumer society.

Personally, I like it so much even if I don’t like si-fi !

                                 Good reading to you guys !

George Orwell, 1984

 

Hi Everyone ! 🙂

Today I would speak about a book that I discovered for our « TPE » : 1984 by George Orwell. Orwell was an English author but he was born in India. 1984 is a dystopian science fiction novel, it was published on the 1949. For this novel Orwell was influenced by Aldous Huxley. Orwell describes a totalitarian area guarded by a Chief Big Brother.

In 1984 the world is divided into tree mains areas : Oceania, Eurasia and Estasia. These three areas are constantly at war. Oceania lives under a dictatorship :  » Big Brother is watching you « . Winston, the main character, thanks to his job, discovered some Truth, that he noted in a secret diary. So he is against the society and decided to rebel by integrating a group of rebels. But all that is not it a lie ?

I love this book because it shows us how the world can be cruel, I also loved the writing of George Orwell it’s very interesting ! But this book looks strangely like our society, we are being watched all of the time whithout even knowing it… Big Brother is watching you…

Oliver Twist

 

Today I will talk about Oliver Twist. This is the second novel by Charles Dickens after The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club and published in 1837. This book is based on an autobiographical story published a few years ago.

The story tale place in England in the nineteenth century. In this novel, it’s about Oliver Twist, a young orphan raised in a workhouse, where he and other orphans are treated very bad. One day, after being nominated by his comrades, Oliver request an additional portion of oatmeal, because they are very hungry. Following this act, Oliver is placed with an undertaker to work, as punishment. Oliver decides to escape from this place and bound for London. He meets Jack in a street, je is at the head of a gang of pickpockets. He takes her to his boss, Fagin …

I enjoyed this novel, in fact I think it deals with realistic and touching way the living conditions of poor people and especially orphans during the Victorian era.

Maus, Art Spiegelman

Today, I decided to present you a famous American graphic novel. It’s Maus, written and drawn by Art Spiegelman, published between 1970 and 1980. It was the first graphic novel to receive the Pullitzer Prize. Spiegelman deals with the palce of the Polish Jews during World War 2. Exactly, Spiegelman presents us his father’s story, as a Holocaust survivor. Spiegelman stages himself in the story, he is nicknamed Artie.

The particularity of the story is the representation of characters as animals. Nazist people are cats, Polish jews are mice (hence the title « maus » which means mice in German), and Polish non-jews are pigs. Spiegelman shows this story with embedded narrative : it’s Vladek who tells his story to Artie, now he’s in the USA. He is talking about his situation as a Jew, his passage in Auschwitz, face to Gestapo..

You should read this book, it’s awesome, and very interresting. The black and white drawings emphasizes the dark time that is the World War 2, with the genocide. Reality of this period is well-despicted.

 

Shirley- Charlotte Bronte

After studying Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte for my « TPE »(cross curricular project) which passionate me, I was interested in all the novels of Charlottes Bronte. I liked his novel called « Shirley ».
« Shirley » was published in 1849 and its popularity allowed to « Shirley » to become a woman’s name.
The story is set in Yorkshire during the last years of the Napoleonic Wars. Times are hard for the English, either for industrial or for the workers. In addition to the financial consequences of the war on trade, industry must deal with riots against their factories. Indeed, workers are worried about the arrival of new machinery. The main characters are Robert Moore, an industrialist and his brother Louis humble tutor. Caroline Helstone, pastor Helstone niece and cousin of Robert is in love with it. But Robert, with financial troubles and riots of the workers don’t want marriage. Fortunately for Carolina, comes to town the young heiress Keldar Shirley and his companion Mrs Prior.

http://hnstbkrvws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/shirley.jpg                   
Charlotte Bronte was more proud of that novel that of « Jane Eyre » and I understand why. It’s more dense, it deals with politics, women’s issues, social classes, barriers of marriage and religion in general.
In this novel, Charlotte Bronte leaves an interesting evocation of life in England of the early nineteenth, customs, fears,the worker’s world face the bosse’s world, poverty and charity.
The novelist tackles the description of an entire city and is very frank to criticize the industrial and commercial class.

If you like Charlotte Bronte, I highly recommend you to read this novel. I really liked.

« The Chimney Sweeper », William Blake

« The Chimney Sweeper » is the title of two poems by William Blake. « Songs of innocence » was published in 1789 and « Songs of Experience » in 1794.
Its theme is a period around the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century during which boys from 4 to 5 years old were sold to clean chimneys because of their small smize. These children were oppressed and had shortened existence but it used to be accepted troughout the society.
In his poems Blake denounces the horror of such working and living conditions which often lead to death.

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry  » ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! »
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved, so I said,
« Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head’s bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair. »

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy,
He’d have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

« Songs of innocence », 1789

In this first poem, especially in the three last stanzas the atmosphere is one surrounded by pleasant visions. (« green plain », « Shine in the Sun », « They rise upon clouds » … etc) despite the atual seriousness of the situation the kids found themselves into. Although it becomes understandable if you make the hypothesis that in this poem the narrator is a child whose naivety makes him believe there is hope. This guess seems even more obvious when you look carefully at the two first stanzas in which the way of expression is the one of a child.

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying « weep! ‘weep! » in notes of woe!
« Where are thy father and mother? say? »
« They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil’d among the winter’s snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery. »

« Songs of experience », 1794

However in this second poem, the tone is very different. Now the narrator is an adult who has understood the hopelessness of the situation and thinks about his parents and their attitude towards the situation. According to him, they think they didn’t hurt him because he seems to be alright but for him what they did lead him to certain death (« They clothes me in the clothes of death ») which might be the only path to escape. (« God and his priest and king, Who make up a heaven of our misery »).

Animal Farm – Animation !

Last year I’saw the movie entitled « Animal Farm », adaptation from the novel with the same name, by George Orwell. Here, I’m going to talk about the animation adapted from this novel.

It’s a full-lenght film directed by John Halas and Joy Batchelor, released in 1954. It’s a British animation known to be the first full-lenght film released. Even if it’s an adaptation, it’s not the children who are targeted, because of the serious and the ethical of the story. This one talks about the denounciation of the totalitarium regim, using animals, like in fables of Jean de La Fontaine.

Personally, I haven’t seen this adaptation, but I’ll try to watch it ! And you, have you seen it ?

http://www.orwelltoday.com/afdvd1.jpg => link to see a cover from the animation.

« How sleeps the beast », Don Tracy

Anyone who was in my class in 10th grade is probably going to be like « Again ? » but I have to admit we read pretty good books that year so after « The island of Dr. Moreau » here is an article on « How sleeps the beast » by Don Tracy which was released in 1938 ine the USA and 1951 in France.
I’m pretty sure this book could fit  the notion « The writer in his time ». It tells us the story of a young african-american whose name is Jim, one night drunk and lonely he gives into violence and end up murdering a white woman. A crime, yes but that’s not what the author denounces even though he never decreases the guilt and responsibilty of Jim in what happened. But for any crime in a democratic country a criminal has the right to have a trial before the sentence is pronounced.
Jim never got a trial. Why ? Because this period was filled with racism and people turned this event into a reason to let out their anger, to feed the beast and its thirst for blood. How ? By taking Jim out of prison and lead him to lynching.
You probably understood by now this book is nothing like a gentle novel, it’s tough, rough, brutal and it contains scenes of an incredible violence even if their sometimes unexplicit. But even considering this I loved this novel obviously not because of the story line which is quite disturbing but because of every societal problem the novel deals with. Racism, savagery with group violence, cowardice with our submission to the common behaviour to garantee our own safety. « The writer in his time » maybe but those problems have no time, and maybe if more people read novels such as this one they could understand that looking away is our biggest problem, because every time you do so you let it happen again.
On the whole, I fiercely recommand this book, because the beast is truly sleeping in each of us and it’s not alone our humanity is in there with it and maybe its time for it to come the surface and keep the beast in its cage before it’s too late.

Animal farm, by George Orwell

Last year, in English class, we saw a film named Animal Farm

This film (which is also a book) describe a farm in which animal don’t want be control by human anymore, so they decided to rebel by taking the power and to disappear human being. But later one pig is going to be a dictator, they will kill others animals which disobey. He obliges the animals of the farm to work hard by promising a better life.                                                                                                                                              This film can be compared as USSR regime, where animals stand up for their ideals.      He do a summary of the methods used by Stalin, because there are cult of personality and propaganda.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and his works The Hobbit and the Lord of The Rings.

To begin, I would like to speak about Tolkien. I know that we had a biography in class but I want to remind you the life of this man. He was born in South Africa in 1892 but he spent his childhood in England (where were his roots) after his father’s death. In 1904, he became orphan with her brother because of his mother’s death. So with this event they were under the responsability of a priest: Father Francis Morgan. Tolkien knew the out-break of the First World War and after to be graduated at Exeter College, he must have gone in France as a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. After his come back in England, he worked as a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. He was too a philologist who was and is always admired in all the world. In his life he wrote some novels and poems. He was too an essayist and died in 1973.

To continue, I would like to present you his first novel published in 1937: The Hobbit. I think that you know that this book is to introduce The Lord of The Rings. Moreover now with the new films which were realised recently by Pete Jackson, you might know the story of Bilbo… But if you are like me and have seen just an extract (which I found very long, a little bit borring) or may be nothing, I will sum up his adventures. Bilbo lived quietly when a man comed to take him as a thief. But what this passific creature must steal? A precious stone to give it to dwarves. However this stone is kept by a dragon… During his travel to go to the cave of the dragon in a mountain (in fact an old town of dwarves), he found a ring which have a beautiful power: it permits to disappear! And this object is very important in the Lord of the Rings.

If you are again like me and never seen the films, I will resume this second work. Frodon (a member of Bilbo’s family) must destroy the ring because Sauron needs it to can have the power on the world. Still to destroy it, Frodon must go on the country of his ennemy: in Mordor. Parallelly you follow during the story others characters and some wars.

I think that in fact Tolkien is a genius or may be a crazy man to create this universe. He created a new language for Elves, a new system of calendar,… At the end of his books you have family trees of the Sacquet, The Touques, the Brandebouc and the Master Samsagace. There is too the chronology of the old Earth and this is like our history class! Tolkien must have been in an other wolrd to create this fantasy world!

Many people say that it’s difficult to read him but I don’t think.Yes it can be a little be slow sometimes but it’s real pleasant to read this beautiful work! Nevertheless if you find it too long you can listen the CD of the songs which are wrote in Tolkien’s work and created by himself.  You have too a short story about a character that we met in this work: The adventures of Tom Bombadil (1967). And now with tolkienian you have too many many many by-products to can find the atmosphere of this fantasy world. But in fact if you want really this atmosphere, read the books!!!!

Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen

I had the opportunity  to read this book last year and I really liked it. This is a novel by the great English writer of the nineteenth century : Jane Austen. « Pride and prejudice » is a novel published in 1813.  It is a psychological novel and a romance novel. It is presented in three parts.

 Mr. and Mrs. Bennett had five daughters to be married. So, they hope that one of them will please Mr Bingley, their rich new neighbor. Unfortunately the haughty Mr Darcy, the friend of Bingley, influential friend of Bingley, he takes a very dim view of his friend fall in love with Jane Bennett.
Elizabeth Bennet is closely following the evolution of the feelings of his favorite sister. Then came the Wickham officer, a seductive military man who does not leave indifferent Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is then the heroine of this novel. Everything gonna turn around her. It is clear that there is in fact a hero who is the heroine : Elizabeth.  And that through her, in her and it all with her that the story happens.
Here’s the first sentence of the book Pride and Prejudice to make you want to read : « It is a truth universally acknowledged that a unmarried provided with a large fortune must want to get married, and so little that we know of his feelings in this regard when he comes to a new residence, the idea is so well fixed in the minds of his neighbors that they see on the field as the rightful property of one or other of their daughters.« 
Jane Austen behind the romantic adventures of the five Bennet girls so behind the romantic side of this novel, faithfully Jane Austen depicts the rigidities of English society at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Through the behavior and thoughts of Elizabeth Bennet, the main character, she raises the problems women at this time.   

Then, in 2013, Le Nouvel Observateur, in a special issue devoted to the literature of the nineteenth and twentieth century, quotes this novel  among the sixteen titles selected for the nineteenth centuryconsidering it as « possibly the first masterpiece of the feminine literature. « 

« Pride and Prejudice » is the source of the greatest number of adaptations. One that I liked is a film by Jeffrey Wright with  Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench. It’s a verry good adaptation. It is a dramatic comedy. I recommend it is a beautiful love story. And plans by Jeffrey Wright are beautiful (the landscape, the universe…) Keira Knightley plays very well. She is a great actress.

I advise you to watch the trailer then watch this film and especially I suggest you read the book  :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utopia – Thomas More

Utopia is a novel written by Thomas More, released in 1516. It tells us the story of Raphaël Hythlodée an explorer who discover the island of Utopia. He describes and explains us everything he see on this island. On this island everything is controled by mathematics the only way to ensure the equality.
When this novel was published it was for Thomas More a satire of his society. But with this novel Thomas More has create the notion of « utopia » wich didn’t exist before.

The Stalinism’s denonciation in « Animal Farm »

After seeing « 1984 » directed by Michael Radford in class and studying the George Orwell’s novel of same title thanks to several extract, I interested me to his precedent novel « Animal Farm ».
This is a fable published in 1945 that describes a farm where the animals revolt and take the power. Animals revolt against their masters in the hope to lead an independent life.
For them, « the man must disappear. »
But later, the pigs take control and use their superior inteligence to manipulate other animals.
A particular pig is defined as a dictator, he hunts his principal enemy, he establishes a cult of personality, he submittes the other pigs, and tires them by the hard work.
He promises to other animals a better life by fixing an impossible goal.
The history of the « Animal Farm » is clearly similar of the Russian revolution.
Orwell allows readers to understand the state of mind of dirgeants. We find in this novel some of the practices used in all dictatorships such as the cult of personality, the enemy presented as evil and is also find propaganda tools.
George Orwell offers a satire of the revolution in The Soviet Union and denounces Stalinism.

 » Animal Farm  » By G.Orwell

 » Animal Farm  » is a novel written by George Orwell published for the first time in England on 17 August 1945. The book is a cover of the events that took place in Russia and specially the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Thanks to this book, he denounce Joseph Stalin‘s regime. It is a political satire, it is echoed of the story of Nineteen eighty-four, another Orwell’s novel on the same subject.

In this book, Orwell shows originality basing all his hard story on talking animals. The scene take place in a manor, like a big farm. These are two pigs, very respect of other animals, that will start their own « revolution ». They dream of a world without humans to enjoy many benefits.Then the oldest pig will push all the animals to rebel against the farmer, Mr. Jones, the only source of all their problems. Therefore the revolution occurs. One night after, the lack of food causes anger of all animals. They attack Mr. James and hunt the farm. The farm is recalled « Animal Farm ». The new leaders are quickly identified: Napoleon pigs and snowball. Both will create a political system: Animalism. They write the seven principles of this system :

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal
At the beginning this new sytem contents all animals, everything works for the best. It there’s food for everyone, there is no slavery But gradually the system will drift. The pigs start walking on their hind legs, wearing the clothes of Jones and watching the works of other animals, a whip in his paw, like humans. They also make the farm to its original name of « Manor Farm ». One evening, they invite the farmers at the farm and they dealing with us. It remains just one principle in their regime :  » All animals are equal but some are more equal than others « .  At the end of the story, we can not even see the difference between humans and two pigs.
George Orwell‘s story is a clear comparaison with the Stalinist’s regime in Russia.

Thanks to the use of the aniamls he can easily denounced the Russian’s power safely.

For example, he associate the pig Napoleon to the dictator Stalin.



My Dog Stupid, by John Fante

My Dog Stupid is a novel written by John Fante in 1987. Fante relates the story of Henri Molise and his family. The story begins with Henri, the father who finds a dog in his garden. This dog, which is nicknamed Stupid because this is the case, decides to settle in the Molise’s home. Throughout the novel, we follow an american family, who are the perfect opposite of the typical american family’s idea, according to the american way of life, clearly, to the american dream. This story shows us a broken family. Fante caricatures the cliche of the ideal american way of life : no melting pot, no perfect families, no humanity.

Moreover, Fante, using the Henri Molise’s point of view, displays of a cynical humor. It’s funny, it’s risible, it’s serious in the same time. This character is cruel : with his wife, his children, and even with himself. The most ironical in this novel, is the fact that the Stupid Dog makes Henri clever about his life, and his society.

I loved this book. And you should read it! What’s more, for those who fear big books, My Dog Stupid is well. It’s short ( I read it in one round-trip in the train), and it’s percussive. It makes us see differently the USA, and in fact the reality.

How sleeps the beast by Don Tracy

Don Tracy was born Donald Fiske Tracy in 1905 and died in 1976. He is an american writter and a scriptwritter. He is really famous for his hardboileds. He has many pseudonym like Tom Tricker, Tracy Mason, Marion Small,… He did many very different jobs (bodyguard, journalist, estate agent, model in advertisings,…) and during the Second World War he belonged to a detachment of Military Police.

How sleeps the beast is one of first novel which deals with racism at the time of the author. It’s too about violence, alcoholism and the search of identity. For Don Tracy racism generates violence. This idear is really showed in this book with a lynching on a black man. Some times is very hard to read this novel because you really realize that our world can be just horrible with wild, brutal behavior. You can be digusted with sadism employed by people on a weakness person. You remark too a collective cowardice and you can’t think that it has already been but it’s true! In America lynchings were common from 1880 to 1950.

I can’t summarize the novel but I can say to you that even if it can be hard to read  because of horror, it is a very interesting novel and personally I can’t stop reading when I began it.

The Unknown Citizen

The Unknown Citizen is a satiric poem written by W. H. Auden in 1939, parodying the symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in dedication to the common memories of all soldiers killed in any war. Published the same year in The New Yorker, the poem is the epitaph of a man in a government controlled-state. The man is identified by this combination: JS/07 M 378.

In this poem, the citizen is considered like a saint, not because he searched for God but because he served the government perfectly. He did not get dismissed from his job. He was a member of the Union and paid all his dues to the union too. Here, W. H. Auden criticizes standardization and the modern state’s relationship’s with its citizens.

 

(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports of his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of the old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the war till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report of his union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day,
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows that he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High–Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A gramophone, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of the year;
When there was peace he was for peace; when there was war he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

 

1984, The Novel

Hi everybody!

We saw the movie « 1984 » in class, and even if this film is disruping, I found that there are some interesting notions: for example the denunciation of totalitarian societies. Personally I don’t saw the movie entirely, so I tried to found something for know the end, because I was curious, and I found the book of « 1984 ».

These novel is a dystopia, and it’s the most famous novel written by George Orwell (also with « Animal Farm », which I recommand too. We studied it in class last year), and it is very interesting to read it because we found all the notions that we are actually learning at class: the « novlangue » for example.

Even if you don’t have understand the movie, go read it!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I want to talk about Brave New World written in 1932 by Aldous Huxley. It’s a dystopia I

The scene takes place in London in 632 N.F. (imaginary time). It shows a society based on genetics. Individuals are conditioned and controlled even before birth. The society plans their life. She chose genes, the personality of each individual and creating babies in test tubes. People vanish with a drug that makes them happy illusion: the SOMA. These individuals are boxes in the class smarter or dumber : Alphas (the elite), the Betas (performers), the Gammas (employees), the Deltas where even the Epsilons (for heavy work). And there the Sauvages who live on reserves and concervent a way of « normal » life. We will follow the life of Bernard Marx is an alpha whose genetic program failed in part: it is not like the others and suffers from its difference.

I think that this novel is really interresting for the notion science or fiction and it’s a interresting dystopia, I recommed it!

 

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen eighty four is a film directed by Michael Radford and based on the novel by George Orwell. It is a science fiction movie. The story tells about the life of an employee called Winston. He lives in a world of war between three nations: Oceania, Eastasia and the Eurasia. This world is run by a man called Big Brother. Winston works for him. It is part of the proletariat, he lives in a very modest home. He is very intelligent and able to think by himself, but it’s totally forbidden. Population has confront a gigantic propaganda from Big Brother. His image is posted everywhere,  all man has in his home a kind of television screen who can hear or reprimand them if necessary. One day, Winston will commit a crime totally prohibited by the current regime. He will live a love story with a young woman. To punish him, the men of big Brother will use torture and barbaric methods. At the end, Winston suffered so much that it ends to be completely alienated by the dictates of Big Brother.
This film is quite disturbing for the audience, the story is purely invented, but we can easily make parallels with dicatures of history as fascism. With this film you can see to what extent man can go to protect his own interests. We also see that thought is the only thing that enables a man to survive, as long as there‘s hope there’s life. This film is a kind of warning, after seeing, we reflects on the human condition, on the fact that man can make the best like the worst.

The great Gatsby

The great Gatsby is an Australian American drama film directed by Baz Luhrmann in 2013. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire.The story is based on Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel.Nick Carraway is a young man aged thirteen who is Middle West. He leaves his region to work in New York in the field of finance. Then, he moves into a house next to Jay Gatsby. He is the main character. Nobody really knows him or his past.He often organises some parties at home. People like doing parties at Gatsby’s. They can listen to music (it’s the jazz period), drink (period of prohibition). It happens during the roaring twenties.

The Untouchables

We talked about the Prohibition in classroom through « The Great Gatsby » (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am going to talk about another movie about the Prohibition : The Untouchables.

The Untouchables is an American thriller, directed by Brian De Palma and released in 1987. At the beginning of the 1930s, it was the time of the Prohibition in Chicago. It was forbidden to make, drink or sell alcohol. Some people made and sold alcohol illegally : there were bootleggers. There was a kind of « gang war ». Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro, was very famous at that time. He controls the traffic and sale of alcohol. But a famous policeman, Eliott Ness (played by Kevin Costner), recruits three trustworthy men, untouchables, in order to clean Chicago of crimes. So Eliott Ness’ team was called the Untouchables. The Untouchables really existed as the characters of Al Capone and Frank Nitti. But several characters were invented (for example Jim Malone or Giuseppe Stone). Thanks to the Eliott Ness’ memories, the director was able to transcribe, in his script, Al Capone’s stalking, hunting. The famous Untouchables of Chicago were actually eleven and not four like in the movie. Al Capone’s trial was in 1931. He was sentenced to seventeen years in prison, including eleven years fixed.

 

 

 

 

1984

When we have seen 1984 in class, it was the first time I think, I watched such a film because of dystopia (I’ve seen Hunger Games but that’s all) and I found it surprising.
T thought that Orwell represented one of the real totalitarianism but it was a general denunciation indeed. It just made me think of how men could erase moral and physical independence and it was very terrifying!
In the other hand, we can fear the fact we could be cruel without any reason and the consequences for human… I knew all that things but I forget it because we live in a society where we are rather free (in comparison with the society of Winston). I remember now that the human could be mad like it was the case during all the wars and it has made more sensitive about there horrors.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I want to talk about Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury, a american, in 1953, because is a dystopia like 1984 or O Brave New World. the title of the book refer to the auto-inflammation of paper.

the story follow Guy Montag a firefighter, one day he meet a different young girl, she tells him who are observer. At home he finds his wife on your bed, unconscious. He continues to meet the young girl Clarisse.

during one mission on a house with lot of books. Montag steals a book and the owner refuse to quit her house and she burns with her books. At home he explains the situation and his wife doesn’t understand. The tomorrow he refuses to work and his captain come and explains the problem of the literature on the society and the books must be destroy…

in this book people have a cult of violence people are dehumanized.

The book was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novels and was adapted in 1966 by François Truffaut.

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist is a novel by Charles Dickens  in 1837. It tells the story of an orphan, Oliver Twist, who was born in a workhouse. In the extract we studied he is sent in a branch-workouse under the supervision of Mrs Mann, and Mr Bumble, a beadle from the parish, visits the branch-workhouse. I found it interesting to work on it because we learned things about the poor’s life at this time, and because Oliver Twist is a story that everyone knows thanks to the book or different adaptations.

Differences between two dystopias : O brave new world and 1984

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/62/BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition.jpg

      I was really astonished by the end of the film version of 1984, written by Orwell which we saw in class. I found it really hopeless and really upsetting with the fact that people could do anything to survive in a totalitarian system, until denouncing person they love. It’s really dreadful that people could torture their fellow being until having a real power on them, changing their mind in order to make them thinking what they want them to think, doing what they want them to do.  And I think that the more dreadful thing it’s that this is not really a fiction because we saw these things in our history during the World War II. It makes me thinking. After seeing this end, we wonder if we were in his place what we would have done. This dystopia is really upsetting. Contrary to this, O brave new world, written by Huxley which is also a dystopia which aims at denouncing totalitarian system, has a end more hopeful. I don’t know if you read the book, but people who think by themselves and find the society unacceptable, by rebelling, have access to the happiness. Indeed, at the end, they meet the administrator, the chief of the totalitarian system who explain them how works their society, why they conditione people and they learn that it’s for their happiness. They are conditioned into not fearing death, being pleased in their classes and if they are upset, they can take drug and stop thinking. By rebelling, people are not punished but have access to a paradise island where they could meet other interesting people. Moreover, the three main character choose really where they want to go. This end appears more optimist than the end of 1984. Nevertheless, O brave new world denounces also the totalitarian systems, this conditioning in order to have a semblance of happiness, to have more money by conditioning people into buying useless things, things more expensive.

      A lot of people have opposed 1984 to O brave new world. 1984 shows the totalitarian systems and their inhumanity during the war whereas O brave new world denounces a totalitarian system whose some aspects could make us thinking of our condition like the consumer society.

     And you what do you think about these ends ? Do you prefer O brave new world or 1984 ?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c3/1984first.jpg

My favorite protest song !

Today i would like to talk about my favorite protest song who is : Power to the people, sing by John Lennon (1940-1980). This dynamic rock song (with fantastic saxo ans drum’s break!) is an anthem who ask the power to the people. In this song Lennon talk about revolution, this engagement against the Vietnam war un the seventies and hé begins to talk about feminism (her wife had particullary influence him on this subject). I love this song because it’s a protest song ans because John Lennon writte it and on this track i find that his voice is perfect he yells and i love it ! Hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

1984, the film by Michael Radford

In class, we saw a film which is called, 1984.

For me, the atmosphere of this film is very alarming and it can affects us psychologically.   It show us how the society was before, during the totalitarism.                                                                                                                                         There is no colour and no happy ending. There are scenes which particularly shocked me like the scene when Winston is tortured. This act of violence is capable of changing the way of thinking of a man because he has to think and do what the society wants and I find it really unjust.

George Orwell

George Orwell is an english writer (writing under the name of Eric Arthur Blair) and jouralist. Throught his works he shows his commitment against the british imperialism, for socialism and social justice and against Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism. Thanks to his name, the adjectiv « Orwellian » was created to qualify the totalitarian universe imagined by Orwell.

He wrote many books like Down and Out in London and Paris or Burmes day. He wrote about one book a year. But his main works stay Animal Farm  and 1984. 

In the last one he created the Big Brothers concept. Big Brother is the main figure of this story, and depicts the totalitarian police and the monitoring society. Indeed in the story in every room a human is there is a « telescreen » which broadcasts (without turn itself off) message of government, and thanks to them police know every words and movement of every man.

What is ironical is that Orwells country is the most supervised country : one camera for fifteen inhabitant.

Be careful, BIG BROTHER is watching you.

1984

 

We have watched in class 1984 which is a British film directed by Michael Radford and based on the novel by George Orwell and released in 1984. That’s a science fiction movie and I like this kind of film. Here is a short summary, manipulating and controlling every detail of the lives of his subjects, Big Brother is the spiritual leader of Oceania, one of three states whose capital is London. The bureaucrat Winston Smith works in one of the departments. But one day he falls in love with Julia, which is a crime. Both of them will try to escape, but in this nightmarish world divided into three, be all that revolts broke.

 In my opinion, during the film, it’s a little complicated to understand the story because I have the impression that the film is not sufficiently detailed to allow a good understanding. But at the end, we understand everything because there are more and more events. There are some terrifying scenes where we see the character being abused.

We should read the novel because it’s still a strange world and maybe much in the film than in the original work. But generally this is a film well done and for the characters, they played a nice role and as a result, they are excellent in this movie.

« The Crucible », Arthur Miller

The crucible is a play written in 1953 by Arthur Miller. This play would perfectly fit in the notion « The writer in his time » that we are studying in literature because it was written during Mc carthysm . McCarthysm is a periode in the USA in the 1950s, also known as the Red Scare (it should ring a bell people we talked about in class with « The Great Gatsby »), characterised by a great fear of communists. During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans, including Arthur Miller himself were accused of being communists and became the subject of aggressive investigation. Suspected people were blacklisted and often arrested. A lot them lost their jobs and actually pretty much everything as their family or friends wouldn’t talk to them scared of being accused to.
The Crucible’s story sets in the 17th century Salem in a period of which hunts. The play used the Salem witch trials as a metaphor for McCarthysm. To understand that a little summary is I think needed. A few girls led by a reverend niece (Abigail) have been dancing in the Forest but when the reverend catches them a rumour of witchcraft spreads. To protect herself Abigail accuses Tituba to be a witch. For her trial another reverend this time a specialist of occult phenomena is sent. Terrified by the idea of being hanged Tituba turns to the same solution Abigail used, she accuses other women.
Although she contrary to Abigail doesn’t really come to the idea on her own. That’s at least the conclusion you come to with a little analysis of her trial. Indeed two main parts can be reveled. The first one could be Tituba’s questionning when the 2 reverends urge her to tell them who came to her with the devil which is already a sneaky way to ask her about the truth. This manipulation led by the reverends bring confusion’s to Tituba’s confession and this finally brings a general hysteria among the girls and the reverends. Manipulation and paranoia were as I recall also seen during McCartysm.
If the story line isn’t clear or if you’re just interested by seeing a movie adaption of this play here is a trailer of one which came out in 1996. (Yes, I know most of us weren’t even born yet but isn’t that what makes it interesting ?).

Jack Clayton and Baz Luhrmann

In class we have studied « The great Gatsby » by F. Scott Fitzgerald and there are two films adaptations of this novel : In 1974 by Jack Clayton and in 2013 by Baz Luhrmann. The actors are different. In the film from Jack Clayton Gatsby’s actor is Robert Redford and Diasy’s actress is Mia Farrow. In the version of Baz Luhrmann it’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan.
I prefer the film dating back to 1974 because there are more details and the actors are better ! Even if in the second film special effects and outfits are beautifuls.

And what about you ?  What is your opinion ?

1984 (movie)

1984 is a novel written by George Orwell. In classroom, we saw the movie by Michael Radford.

The atmosphere is very cold, the rhythm is slow and the story very glaucous. Some of pupils didn’t like this movie but I really enjoyed it ! I love this kind of movies even if they are strange.

However, I found some pretty harsh scenes (like the scene of the torture).

I think George Orwell wrote a very good story, in fact, we can ask : Does Big Brother exist today ? I think yes, Orwell is a kind of anticipator !

What about you ? What do you think about 1984 ?

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

I want to talk about Hard Times written by Charles Dickens and published in 1854. Charles Dickens made ??a critique of excessive industrialization in England, where the living conditions of the workers are exploited. In fact, this novel denounced education practiced on young English and the exploitation of the poor by the ruling classes.

In the fictional town of Coketown (which is actually Manchester), we discover the life of a prominent family: the Gradgrind. The two children of the Gradgrind family are educated in the utilitarian doctrine. This doctrine ban leisure for children. Charles Dickens shows the evolution of these two children and their father’s ideas will not make them happy adults.

If you want to know about the time of the industrial revolution in England it is very interesting, I recommend it.

The writer in his century

 

 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Segregation_1938b.jpg

The writer was always inspired of the condition of his century. It’s visible for instance with the case of a lot of writers during the racial segregation in the United States. Thus we have a lot of different account of this period.

Chester Himes, an Afro- American writer denounces his condition in his works such as in If he hollers let him go or in the third generation. With a harsh language, he told the black’s condition. In the third generation he speaks about an Afro-American family and their attempt to assert themselves in the society where as they live in the South of America which is known to be really radical and really racist during this segregation. If he hollers let him go, it’s a story of a rebellious Afro-American who doesn’t accept his condition and the fact that the Whites believe that they are above the Blacks. During the story, his mentality evolve and he try to find the best mean to assert himself in the society by rebelling or by being obedient to the orders and opinions of Whites. However, this segregation doesn’t just inspire the Blacks but also the Whites.

Indeed, don’t kill a mocking bird, written by Harper Lee, a white American woman is a good example. It’s the story of a little girl who tells his childhood. His father was a lawyer and he accepted to defend a black who was accused of having raping wrongfully a woman. This book is really amazing because the author even if she was white defends more the Blacks than the Whites.

Well, we can see with these examples that racial segregation inspires different people in order to write books.

However, American people were not the only writer to be inspired by this plague. Romain Gary, a French writer who was Consul general of Los Angeles, saw the evolution of racial segregation. In white dog, the author shows an overview of this period. He denounces the society and racism.  His point of view is really interesting because he doesn’t really take part, he emphasizes the fact that everybody need having a scapegoat. I really advice you to read it. I really liked this book. Romain Gary is one of my favourite authors.

Well, to conclude, we can see that a lot of writers were inspired of his century. Nevertheless, the case of the racial segregation still inspire different writer such as Kathryn Stockett who wrote The Help in 2009.

I would like to give Mathilde and Juan a wink for the time we have passed to realise our « TPE » (Cross-curricular subject), last year. By writing this article, I think about you and about all the time we have worked to make our presentation.

The Great Gatsby by Jack Clayton in 1974

After having study in class an excerpt from « The Great Gatsby » by F.Scott Fitzgerald, I wan’t to talk about the wonderful adaptation of Jack Clayton in 1974.
Thus  F Scott Fitzgerald’s  novel  therefore also this film adaptation tells the story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby who stages  the scene of Long Island  with his parties and enigmatic persona. The novel present also emblematic of the Jazz Age of the 1920s; a portrait of decadent fun and impossible dreams. Indeed, the film realised by  Jay Clayton shows this atmosphere very well.
 The cast of this adaptation is so very well done. The Great Gatsby role is played by Robert Redford which is wonderful .Robert Redford plays really well. He is at the height of the character of Gatsby we imagine in the book with a lot of charisma.
And in the role of Daisy Buchanan (the eternal love of Gatsby) is Mia Farrow which she is verry beautiful. She pierces the screen.  In the role of the neighbor, Nick Carraway is Sam Waterson.

 I advise you to see this adaptation (I find the film of Jay Clayton is  better than the one that was made in 2013, it is more authentic, and it  transcribed the atmosphere of the Jazz Age of the 1920s. And I think the actors are wonderful.)
I leave you to get an idea a trailer that I found :


The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann, behind the scenes.

I find this video very interesting because the director of this movie, Baz Luhrmann, tells us many things about the creation of The Great Gatsby. From the idea of adapting the F. Scott Fitzgerlad novel to the shooting and the points of view of Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire, the two main actors in this movie.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Daniel Keyes (1927-2014) is an american writer. He was a researcher in psychology and too an essayist.

Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction novel published in 1966. The story is about a young man, Charlie Gordon, who is a mentally retarded. He wants to be more intelligent and follow Miss Kinina lesson (who stay with him and help him during all the book). Dr. Strauss and Pr. Nemur are scientific who did an experience on a mouse called Algernon and the operation is a success: the mouse become very intelligent. So scientifics offer to Charlie the same operation. Then we follow his evolution trough his diary.

I will not tell you all the story but I can tell to you that it’s a very goog novel. The system of diary is very good. You can have fun (for exemple with error spilling at the beginning) but this novel can be very hard when charlie discover really his situation. We are helpless like him when he see Algernon become mad and die and so anderstand that it’s his destiny,.. In this book friendship are very important: Charlie discovers that he needs the same things (like love or attention) intelligent  or not; and the fact that he had more friends when he was « stupid ». And so and so….

If you want to know more, read it! really! I can say to you that you will not be disappointed!

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

Herbert Geoges Wells ist a british writer who was born in 1866 and died in 1946. He is famous for his science-fiction novels but he wrote too popularized books about history and biology. He had also a politic and social reflexion.

The Island of Dr. Moreau is published in 1896 and is one of his science fiction novel. The story is about a man, Edward Prendick, who after lived a shipwreck, is saved by Montgomery a man who work on an Island with Dr. Moreau. Dr. Moreau is scientific who is absessed by vivisection and make experiencies on animals with the goal that they look like human  (for exemple they can speak). However animals kill Dr. Moreau then Montgomery. So Edward Prendick must survive alone in this wild island with dangerous mutated animals.

This book give a reflexion about the relationship between human and animals, and the question of identity. I liked very much to read this book. And you?

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

First the author:

Aldous Leonard Huxley is a british writter who was born in 1894 in United Kingdom and died  in 1963 in the United State. He is too a philosopher and an essayist. He worked on spiritual questions, tried many drugs for experience and studies. He has a critical point of view on ordinary uses, the social norms and on ideals of his time. To denouce the problems of the society, he uses in his work science-fiction and anticipation genre. He was a member of the Bloomsbury Group which rather british artists and intellectuals (like Duncan Grant or John Maynard Keynes) from the beginning of the XX century to the beginning of the second world war.

For the little story, He losthis mother when he was very youg and he had to cover his needs by himself very young too. He lost early too his brother and his sister. After a disease he became nearly blind. He had two wife (the second after the death of the first) and one child. He died after an injection of LSD gived by his wife but wanted by him because he was very ill and he was suffering. We can think that this fact is odd because one of his character in Island (1962) die like that.

then the novel:

Brave New World is one of the most famous novel by Aldous Huxley, published in 1932.  In this story, the world is divided in different castes with a hierarchy. The reprodiction is just artificial so the sexualities are just recreational activities with the goal to not have loving passion (which are sources of tension like jealousy). All the population are conditioned for his hobbies, his favorite activities, his job,… When you are sad, you have a drug called soma, gived by the government. It’s a « perfect world », all citizens are happy. But you have a « wild world » where you have people who give really birth to child, who can be ill, who can read many books and writte; in fact who can think by themself and who are not standardized. The novel is about the confrontation of this two world when a man of the « wild world » discover the « perfect world ».

I love this novel because it is very interesting. It’s an anticipation book and I find that the society discribe by Huxley very began to look like our society. For exemple he imagined that we can do child without parents: in his time it’s not exist at all but now we can do that. And now if you are « sad », doctors give you some medicament and it looks like soma…

I really advice all of you to read this book!

James Blunt – No Bravery : a protest song

The year of the « Brevet » -our GCSE  (at school, when I was fourteen), we had to choose a protest song to present for the History of Art. I have choosen a protest song by James Blunt (a pop rock and brisith singer) untitled No Bravery. In his song, he talks about the Kosovo war where he was a soldier. The song received a positive reception from music critics.

I really love this song, and now I often listen it.

And you ? What do you think about this song ? And about James Blunt ?

Oliver Twist: the movie.

Hi everybody! I would like to know if some of you saw the movie « Oliver Twist »?

The film is directed by Roman Polanwski, and of course it’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel. It dates from 2005 and was shoot in Prague!

Personally I never read the book, so I don’t know if the adaptation is faithful or not. But the movie is rather interesting, and seems respect the main story line…
I recommand you to watch it, and to tell me here your feelings!

And of course, watch it in english haha

The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann

The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann in 2013 is one of my favourite movie. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher.

It's the story of a rich man living on West Egg during the Roaring Twenties. The movie is punctuated of excessive parties, secrets about the past and a love relation between Gatsby and Daisy. All the movie is told by Nick Carraway, Gatsby's  neightbour and friend.

I'm crazy about this movie because it shows a different way of life than ours, like the Speakeasies, the Flappers, Prohibition, Golden Age of Jazz etc... The setting and the costume design are amazing, actors' playing are wonderful and my fascination about the Roaring Twenties increased after I watched this movie ( in fact I think I watched five times... ) Moreover the aestheticism and the film technics are great and numerous.

I advise you to watch it !!!

An example of committed song

ZOMBIE – CRANBERRIES

The Cranberries are an Irish rock band with the vocalist Dolores O'Riordan, the guitarist Noel Hogan, the bassist Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawle who is the drummer. This group was formed in 1990.

When the goup hears of the two children's death - Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry - during a bomb attack committed by the IRA on March the 20th, 1993, in Warrington. Dolores O'Riordan decided to write and sing Zombie because she is totally touched and angry about this because of this event. They protest against the men's madness. This song is related the conflict between England and Ireland. It shows the horror of war and explains that memories of events are implanted in their head. They denounced the violence and the fact that the murder doesn't know what he does.

After the IRA's ceasefire, in 1994, Zombie is joined on the album called No Need To Arque which has a success.

The Great Gatsby

In popular culture, several elements are mentioned or are inspired of the Great Gatsby.

Haruki Murakami, the official translator of F. Scott Fitzgerald, write books in which sometimes he evokes the novel.

In South Park, The Great Gatsby is read by a doctor.

In the series Greek, there is a party like Gatsby’s party.

In the series Vampire Diaries, this is one of favorites books of Stefan.

In the series Gossip Girl, this is a source of inspiration of Dan Humphrey’s book.

In the series Californication, one of the characters is inspired of Gatsby.

In the series Pretty Little Liars, Aria Montgomery, one of the main characters, is disguised as Daisy.

In the series Smash, Julia Houston writes a play inspired of the book.

Moreover, there are quotations in the novel of Salinger which is entitled The Catcher in the Rye, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower which is a Stephen Chbosky’s book, and in The Fault in your Stars written by John Green.

Furthermore, in the song of Alphaville which is The Girlz, it makes reference to the last lines of the novel.

 

To conclude, this book crosses the time and the generations by being evoked in books, movies or songs. That proves that The Great Gatsby is always a success.

2 + 2 = 5

1984 is a political novel written by G. Orwell.

It is about the totalitarian government. In fact, the author portrays the totalitarian society with an absolute power. He writes his novel before to warn readers of the dangers of this society and the consequences : Government controls the human life by checking their thought to not rebel against the law. Winston Smith, the main character, was going to challenge the limits of the Party's power.

So, there is a psychological manipulation with the telescreen and Big Brother who "watched" them. Citizens can't have sexual desires, the Party controls their thoughts, their feelings.

Moreover, there is a physical control : they watched for any sign of disloyalty, any nervous system. Citizens practice exercises.

Furthermore, the Party controls information and history. Indeed, the past and memories are manipulated. They are unreliable.

Finally, the language is checked by them which means that mind is controled too. The language is very important to human thought.

Everyone who defy the Party is punished with a brutal torture. Moral conviction, emotional loyalty and thought are less powerful than the physical pain.So, the government can control them and the reality. They are able to convincing them that 2 + 2 = 5 : they control all human mind.

Oliver Twist or The Parish Boy’s Progress

Oliver Twist waswritten by Charles Dickens and was published in 1838.

It is about an orphan who is in a workhouse. He meets Artful Dodger, a leador of a pickpockets, in London when he escaped of the workhouse and he meets also Fagin, the trainer.

Robert Blincoe’s autobiography inspired Charles Dickens because he is an orphan who is educated in a workhouse when he has suffered and he was going through hardships.

Dickens denounces the cruelty which the orphans are submitted at the Victorian area : he uses sarcasm and irony.

There are various adaptation of Oliver Twist which show us that it is a good success!

About 1984: Muse

Hello!

When we read the George Orwell’s extract our teacher said we can add a document about 1984; the Muse’s song, Resistance. As I love this group I think it’s a good idea to say some elements which can remind 1984 🙂

I found an article which explain their choice to sing this song:

 

“When I read it this time I was much more taken with the love story. I read it once in school about 15 years ago it was all about the politics. But when I read it this time I was much more taken with the love story in the book between Juliette and Winston.”

“In the early years I was confused about what my emotions were trying to express. As I said, being in England or seeing what’s going on in England has defined it as being a lot more direct and a lot more down to earth. I think the first song [Uprising] sums up how a lot of people feel and it’s that we need to change.”

So it sounds as though The Resistance is a mixture of being a rallying cry for us all to resist governmental control with elements of love mixed in. Which is a heady but quite brilliant blend, which is exactly how 1984 can be described.

It seems a tall order to take inspiration from and do justice to one of the most famous, important, and inspirational novels of the 20th Century, but if any band can manage it, it’s Muse »

(Read more: http://www.everyjoe.com/2009/08/05/entertainment/new-muse-album-the-resistance-inspired-by-1984/#ixzz3J46dM3WQ)

 

an other article says « The song ‘Resistance’ is basically a retelling of the relationship between Winston and Julia, in reference to the two main characters of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The eerie keyboard layers in the verse of the track also include an Ondes Martenot, an early synthesizer championed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, as shown in ‘The Making Of The Resistance.’

Matt said, « This song started off as an extension of ‘Map of the Problematique’ with a bit of influence from early ‘The Police’. It is very much based on the book ‘1984’ by George Orwell particularly the romance between Winston and Julia and the description of the act of sex and love as something political, the only place offering freedom from Big Brother. The song is also about any love which crosses boundaries such as religion or strong political beliefs and the subsequent recognition of the unimportance and divisiveness of such beliefs. »  ( http://www.musewiki.org/Resistance_(song))

If you want to read the lyrics, it’s here -> http://www.musewiki.org/Resistance_(song)

 

And you, do you like this song?

Oliver Twist adaptations

Hello !

Do you know these differents adaptations about Dickens’ novel?

In 1922, a Frank Lloyd ‘s movie comes to the cinema, with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan . It’s a silent film, it was very faithful to the novel and realistic.

in 1948, an other film appears , directed by David Lean. It was a success but  Alec Guinness make up was considered as anti-semite so in the USA the film was allowed in 1951!

in 1968 an other film is inspired by a comedy; Oliver! Jack Wild is Artful Dodger and Fagin is Ron Moody, whose role is reversed, he saves young boys in London.

There was also a cartoon untitled The adventures of oliver twist in 1987 .

I found a film dating back 1982; I advise you to watch this video because it’s easy to understand !

And if you prefer old films, you can watch this version dating back 1933

 

The great Gatsby

Last year, we saw a great movie, for my part, it was The great Gatsby, with the famous actor: Leonardi Di Caprio.

I really enjoyed this film because there is an attractive love story between the main character, Daisy and Gatsby, where we can think that it’s an impossible love because Daisy is married as another man while Gatsby always love her.                             Throughout this film, Gatsby tries to lure back his beloved.

The end of the movie is very compelling, we don’t expect it necessarily.

But all the same, it’s a beautiful film

Stevenson’travels

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850. He was a scottisch poetist, essayist and novelist. After his birth in a wealthy family in Edinburgh, he chose to become a writer during his youth. But his father was against this choice because he wanted that his son become an ingeneer to follow him. So at 17 years old, Stevenson undertook ingeneer study but he left his University. Then he studied law and obtained a diploma.

He travelled in 1876 across France and Belgium, and met Fanny Osbourn. They fall in love but she was married and had two children. Moreover she lived in America and came back to this country to divorce. However Stevenson’s father said that if Stevenson go to join her, he cut his victuales. So in the goal to forget this impossible love, Stevenson went travelling in the Cévennes.

Finally, Stevenson and Fanny ex-Osbourn get married in 1880. After the Stevenson’s father death in 1887, Stevenson travelled to find a right climate for his health problems and died in 1874 in Vailama (Samoa).

 

I read travels with a donkey in the Cévennes and The amateur emigrant. This two books tell Stevenson’s travels in 1879 and 1879. The first travel is to froget and accept his love with Fanny Osbourn. At the end, he takes a decision: desobeys to his father in order to join Fanny Osbourn in America. This decision his take because during his travel, Stevenson meets many people, and walks. This facts  permit to him to change his opinion.The second novel: The amateur emigrant is Stevenson’s travel to America and the beginning in this new country. It permits to Stevenson to prepare him to his commitment with Fanny Osbourn.

You can remark that Stevenson is often considered like an author of fantastic and adventure novel for teenager with particulary his book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or Treasure Island.  But we can notices with all this works that he exploited all the aspects of narration and practiced a real work on his writing.

The Brontë Sisters.

I would like talking about Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë. These women are great novelists of the 19th above all Emily and Charlotte. I’ll focus, in particular, on Emily and Charlotte whose I read the most of works.

So, they grew up in an isolated place, in the West Riding of the Yorkshire. In spite of this « imprisonment », all of the Brontë family display a huge creativity with a lot of imagination. This place where they live, is a wild place, so we can guess why it’s often the same atmosphere which reigns in their differents books.

So, I read Jane Eyre and, one of my favorite books, Wuthering Heights. This last deals with a « strange » love story, accompagnied by wild characters and unheathly atmosphere. I’d rather avoid to give too details! As of Jane Eyre, the story distinguish herself by the feminism in advance for this time. Now, I would like reading one of the book of Anne Brontë.

Unfortunetly, the destiny of the Brontë family is tragic. The most of died of tuberculosis, often young.

So, you should read the Brontë’s books, and watch the film adaptions which accompany the novels like the version of Jane Eyre directed by Zefirelli, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, or even, Jane Eyre according to Fukunaga which is more recent. 

The Hours (2001)

I would like talk about a film I watched recently : The Hours, directed by Steven Daldry, with famous actresses such as Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.

The film stages the crucial day of three women in parallel. The first tells about Virginia Woolf (played by Nicole Kidman) during she wrote Mrs Dalloway in the 20’s, the second about Laura Brown (Julianne Moore), an housewife of the 50’s who read this novel which will change her life. And finally, the third story shows Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep), an modern and real incarnation of the character of Mrs Dalloway.

What I like in this film is the question of the life and the happiness, and of the vain being. Also, I like the splice of the beginning and the end of the film which stages the suicide of Virginia Woolf (which respects the real suicide of this writer). This film makes me interrested by Virginia Woolf and I think I’ll be interrested also by her works!

To finish, I want to say that The Hours, the title of the film, is in fact the initial title Virginia Woolf wanted to give to Mrs Dalloway.

Now, I let you disover the intrigues of the film, and the links the director makes between the three stories! It’s very touching and breathtaking!