Posted by: beansai | June 15, 2008

Journal Entry #2: North and South

    I was pleasantly surprised while reading this novel, how smoothly it read. It didn’t seem to have any of the tongue-tying intricacies of language that often accompanies classical literature. I also thought Gaskell did an awesome job of creating Margaret’s character. By turns I was annoyed and taken in by her. Just like her character is in the book, as a reader I got to see both sides of her personality. There were moments when I questioned how the other characters could possibly find her stuck-up and then I would get the same vibe of her character at a moment when I least expected it. So it was nice to be convinced of the character’s foibles even though they weren’t necessarily who she was entirely. Does that make any sense? I guess what I am trying to say is that, despite having the novel primarily from Margaret’s perspective (which often lends the reader an inside view to that character’s feelings and motives, often dispelling the strength of a negative impression the character makes on other characters), I was still able, not only to understand the other characters’ impressions of Margaret, but experience their feelings toward her as well.

    I found the end disappointing though. After nearly everyone dear to Margaret dying in an extremely short period of time, that moment of happiness was extremely short-lived. I finally got to smile and even laugh at the humor displayed in the last lines and then when I realized that there wasn’t anymore to read, my jaw dropped. Since I read this book in a pdf file, I was terrified that maybe somehow I lost some of it. But everything that I found seemed to confirm that was all there was. Well, call me a sap, but I do like the happy endings. I suppose it is better that they are short and sweet as opposed to long, drawn out, and disgustingly sentimental. I walk a fine line, I know.

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