So far this summer, I’ve read Middlemarch, which I last read nine years ago. I found it enriching to experience this story again, which one of my friends has called “the ultimate story about being an adult.” Here’s a wonderful line from Dorothea Brooke:

“I believe that people are almost always better than their neighbours think they are” (698).



Mrs. Dalloway

I loved reading Mrs. Dalloway with my English novel class this week.

Mrs Dalloway

“[A]nd no one in the whole world would know how she had loved it all; how every instant…” (122)

“[H]ad he plunged holding his treasure?” (184)

The Scarlet Letter’s Ending

Recently, I have been thinking about the following passage near the end of The Scarlet Letter:

But there was a more real life for Hester Prynne, here, in New England […] Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,–of her own free will, for not the sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,–resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale. (165)

Reading Jane Austen

I finished Sense and Sensibility in my History of the Novel in English course this week. We admired the following sentence and the description that follows, expressing change in one of the characters:

Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. (352)

Preparing for spring

I’ve been reading Robinson Crusoe, in preparation to teach it soon, and I like the following expression about the narrator’s experience:

Thus we never see the true state of our condition, till it is illustrated to us by its contraries; nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.