This tiny book is one of the famous children's classics. It was very enjoyable and clever read!
I've read many reviews and noticed that some people weren't happy that the book is so naturalistic, like for example when Mr. Fox eats chicken. This is actually what I really like about the story. I think children are often underestimated when it comes to comprehending some books and things in them. Of course I don't support violence, but a fox eating a chicken is just natural.
Another thing I really appreciate about this book is how well it portrays people and our gluttony. The three mean farmers represent the worst of our kind. They are arrogant, cruel, and incredibly greedy. Just to get Mr. Fox they destroy a big part of wild nature and while doing so they terrorize their own people. It made me feel sad, because this shows the human nature so very well. And on the other hand, there is Mr. Fox and his other animal friends who take and eat only as much food as they really need. This is something children should learn early in their lives and something we adults should remind ourselves of often.
The last thing that made this story enjoyable was the British sense of humour. I can't ever get enough of it! :)
This was the second book by Roald Dahl I've read and I'm definitely reading more. Based on his writing, he was a great, witty, and clever man....more
I wasn't very patient with the characters from The Three Sisters. They were weeping all the time, dreaming about better life, and in the end they did nothing at all, only let others to take control over their lives. They failed living their lives and their dreams. That drove me crazy. But in the case of Uncle Vanya it was different. The theme of a wasted life is still there, but in other forms. First, there is Helena who decided to spend her life with the professor. She is obviously unhappy, but still she stubbornly insists on "living" her life with him, no matter how tyrannical the man is. Also, she manages to be the reason of everyone's trouble and sadness. Because Astrov, the doctor, falls for Helena and so he pays no attention to Sonya at all. Sonya who is in love with Astrov. And Uncle Vanya is in love with Helena. So everyone has feelings for someone, but sadly it's always an unrequited love. Interesting is that the only person who actually mentions "a wasted life" in the play is Uncle Vanya. He worked whole his life hard on the estate to earn enough money for the professor. When he realized how rotten the professor is and how meaningless everything the professor did during his "career" is, it's understandable that he feels like his life was wasted. But still, there was a purpose in his life, he worked, he was taking care of the estate. There's some work left behind. For me the really wasted life is the one Helena lives, and she doesn't even try. She's beautiful, but her personality is rather plain. The most interesting characters for me are surely Uncle Vanya and Sonya. They are both very fragile, yet still strong and beautiful. Both of them worked hard and their dreams were simple, they dreamed about love. And this love was denied. Still they managed to stand up for themselves and then go on with their lives. I always thought all the Chekhov's characters were unable to protect themselves and let others control them. These two are an exception. And however sad their fate is, morally and humanly they are higher than anyone else. Vladimir Nabokov said: ‘‘What mattered was that this typical Chekhovian hero was the unfortunate bearer of a vague but beautiful human truth, a burden which he could neither get rid of nor carry.’’ I believe this captures Uncle Vanya perfectly.
I enjoyed The Three Sisters, but Uncle Vanya is so much better. Or better put, it is more intense, especially when it comes to pain. The pain is so strong it's almost touchable.
"What can we do? We must live our lives. [A pause] Yes, we shall live, Uncle Vanya. We shall live through the long procession of days before us, and through the long evenings; we shall patiently bear the trials that fate imposes on us; we shall work for others without rest, both now and when we are old; and when our last hour comes we shall meet it humbly, and there, beyond the grave, we shall say that we have suffered and wept, that our life was bitter, and God will have pity on us. Ah, then dear, dear Uncle, we shall see that bright and beautiful life; we shall rejoice and look back upon our sorrow here; a tender smile—and—we shall rest."