The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a book that (unfortunately) still holds much significance despite being written 200 years ago. ThiThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a book that (unfortunately) still holds much significance despite being written 200 years ago. This is the story of a supposedly ‘ill’ woman who is kept to her room by her seemingly ‘caring’ husband. The particular yellow wallpaper in her room seems monstrous to her and starts to suffocate her. This is an immensely unsettling look into the mind of a woman, who, repressed and confined in her domestic prison, slowly starts to unravel....more
Why is it that the books that have the biggest impact on you are also the hardest to talk about?
I finished Commonwealth on the flight back home to visWhy is it that the books that have the biggest impact on you are also the hardest to talk about?
I finished Commonwealth on the flight back home to visit my family and friends. As the feeling of nostalgia threatened to overwhelm me, the book seemed like the perfect fit for the situation.
This book is about what home means. Beyond its tangible/physical meaning, what is home intangibly? It can be a person, a memory, a feeling, even the past, so much so that the present doesn't feel like home. It asks the question - where do you feel you belong? And when is the last time you felt with absolute certainty that you WERE home?
It's about families. Dysfunctional families to whom I am SLIGHTLY addicted to in literature. Families who are strongly bound and also families whose bonds are so superficial that they don't take anything to rupture. Also, families that last even after the rupture. It's the story of relationships - between parents, siblings, spouses. Irresponsible parents and their responsible children. Ultimately, love, hope and a shared past being the only things that can make a family last.
What else? It's about human beings. About bad decisions, weaknesses, selfishness, dreams lost and found, insecurities and inability to live up to others' aspirations.
There are no big issues that the book talks about. It's about one experiences everyday, what one sees everyday. Yet, somehow this book about 'everyday' has lingered in my mind ever since....more
Yet again, I am enraptured by Elena Ferrante's sentences, which are often uncomfortably close to home.
The third book in the Neapolitan series continueYet again, I am enraptured by Elena Ferrante's sentences, which are often uncomfortably close to home.
The third book in the Neapolitan series continues the journey of Lila and Elena, as they move into their late 20s and then their 30s. Elena's struggles to rise above and escape her roots continue, as Lila seems to have given up and accepted that there is no point to denying one's roots.
I was a little less invested in this part of the series than the last. Perhaps this was because I find myself more 'in love' with Lila than Elena. The last book, which was essentially more of Lila's journey, permeated the reader with the same passion, rage and a sense of rebellion that Lila herself possessed. This book is 'quieter' because this is essentially more of Elena's story as she enters marriage & motherhood - her timidity, insecurities, immaturity and her inferiority complex.
If in the last two books, the political and the social are always present yet subtle, here the political and the social climate are more obvious and define the characters' journeys.
The book discusses themes of marriage and the woman's place in it. Through Elena, we see the suffocation of traditional marriages and trying to balance one's ambitions with motherhood. The novel also discusses the woman's place in the larger society. We see two different ways of identity search through the very different choices that Elena and Lila make. Often these are choices that are disruptive, self-destructive, immature and selfish, but these are what make Elena and Lila as real as they are.
We see the hatred and abuse that was always ever present, yet relatively distant, in the two friends' childhood erupt to full fledged violence as we see the struggle between the fascists and the communists. Both Lila and Elena cannot seem to escape the consequences of this violence.
Yet underneath it all, the series still remains the story of an intense friendship - often destructive, steeped in jealousy and hatred along with intense love and dependency.
As I approach the final chapter in Elena and Lila's journey, I am almost afraid - as if I will be losing track of women who have been my companions....more