After Fitzgerald was first introduced to me in my freshman English class, I was captivated by his intricate plots and in-depth depiction of the characters’ emotions and thoughts. I then decided to go on a Fitzgerald binge, and the intrigue of Tender Is the Night proved my choice to be a good one.
At the start of the story, the protagonist Dick is presented as a mysterious, almost omnipotent man. In the eyes of young Rosemary, Dick is an attractive medical man with good manners, and she falls in love with him at first sight. However, as the story progresses, Dick became weaker and weaker in my eyes as his insecurities and impotencies are exposed. As a romantic scholar who is living a luxurious life that is forced upon him and therefore repulsive to him, he deteriorates throughout the course of the book to his eventual demise. Dick is depicted as an accomplished man with ambitions and numerous opportunities at the start of the book, yet, in the end, his loved ones all left him and he ends up living in oblivion. The inner thoughts of Dick and his interactions with both Rosemary and his wife, Nicole, were fascinating to read about. More than just a beautiful, tragic, love story, Tender Is the Night unveiled to me the conflicts and beauties of human relationships and society.
A very interesting book that I read over winter break was Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. I found that the book was very suspenseful and entertaining. I enjoyed reading the novel from the perspective of Margaret Tudor, a Tudor Princess whom I have learned about in AP European History this year. I loved reading the book, which was Historical Fiction, and reading about events that occurred in history from an influential character’s perspective. It was interesting to see how the author made these three key women in history both best friends and queens, but also rivals. I also thought it was very cool to see how the book tied in with my English class, as we just finished reading Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Coincidentally, King James, I of England was Margaret Tudor’s great grandson and was the King of England during Shakespeare’s time. If you want a suspenseful and historically accurate novel, I highly recommend this book to other readers over spring break!
Of course, one might argue that George Eliot has his own experience incorporated in the novel Silas Marner. This statement is both correct and flawed. Yes, George Eliot did put personal experiences and circumstances in life to enrich the story. Yet George Eliot is the pen name of a female author, so do not make the novice mistake of addressing the author as he! Silas Marner is one of the true classic Victorian novels written by Eliot. The book revolves around the three traditional factors of Victorian novels, which are coincidence, suspense, and irony. Throughout the book, such themes are prevalent to determine such a community-minded story. The coincidence of Dunstan Cass stopping by the cottage of Silas Marner when Marner goes out for a walk, the suspense of Godfrey Cass waiting to confess his sins, and the irony of Marner’s loss of gold giving him more valuable personal growth are some examples. If you want to figure out this Victorian novel, and its twists and turns that ooze philosophical lessons on human life, make sure you read it or take AP LIT with Mr. Scanlon!