zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
[personal profile] zeborah
In reverse order of chronology:

1) Discovering vanilla icecream in one's freezer one had forgotten about seems pleasant at first, and leads one to create a spider made from said icecream with ginger beer. Unfortunately it turns out the icecream had lain there so long that it is now chewy. This is dissatisfying!

2) I finally finished reading Middlemarch. I've started it several times, and adored it, but it's so dense I've kept getting distracted by other things and then having to start over. But having all this Christmas/New Year period on leave I've managed to finish it, yay! Unfortunately I found the ending dissatisfying!

Okay, I get that Dorothea and Will have got the hots for each other, and talking to him was a relief when she was feeling oppressed by life, the universe, and everything. But haven't we just spent a whole (bloody long) novel learning that such a slim acquaintance isn't the surest foundation for a life of matrimonial happiness?

I admit to a constitutional prejudice against the Dashing Young Men who catches the eye of the Sweet and Worthy Heroine so that she discovers too late the mistake of her marriage to the Upright but Cold-hearted Gentleman. Whenever I see this trio I always end up sympathising with the Upright but Cold-hearted Gentleman -- even in The Piano where he cuts off his wife's finger and really I should know better but still I prefer him to the guy who sexually harasses her in exchange for the piano keys. Okay, so maybe there's not much between those particular two.... But anyway my point is that in Middlemarch at least I didn't love Mr Casaubon too much: his faults and virtues were painted on the fond side of impartiality, so I could see the author wasn't trying to vilify him but that still the marriage was simply hopeless.

But that doesn't mean that marriage with Will Ladislaw is any better! He's as bad a fainéant as Fred Vincy began as, and unpleasantly sulky to boot. I don't suppose even a Mary Garth could have kicked his A into G, and of course Dorothea is far too self-denying to even conceive of the necessity of such a course of action, so he spends the entire novel in vacillation, irresolution, and half-measures. I wish he'd gone to the West Indies and stayed there, or drowned on the way; I'm sure Dorothea would have been far better off to carry on being a widow for a time.

The rest of the novel was just fine, though. I particularly liked the way, after I'd spent a long portion of it vehemently wishing for someone's death in order to relieve someone of torment, the death happened in such a way as to visit torment upon about pretty much everyone I cared about. That was wondrously achieved; I want to do something like that myself one day.

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