My first impressions of this book are that its a little bit like hot chocolate or mulled wine on a cold winters day. Bittersweet and yet somewhat comfMy first impressions of this book are that its a little bit like hot chocolate or mulled wine on a cold winters day. Bittersweet and yet somewhat comforting, heart warming and something that you want to snuggle down with and enjoy.
I have always found Dickens a struggle to read. He is very descriptive in his writing and often jumps between different characters stories as he does in this book which can make it difficult to follow what is going on. I have read this book over the course of three weeks, amongst long days at work and studying for my course. I don't think this is the way to do this book. Although it is not an overly lengthy book, coming in at around 600 pages, it is a complex tale that is weaved and picking it up and only being able to digest a couple of chapters of an evening means that it is difficult to remember what is going on.
I still believe my initial comments on the book to be true. Whilst it is hard work to read, it is something that you want to snuggle down and enjoy. Once you get into the book you want to know the characters and you want them to come out of the story fighting. I did not expect the book to end in the way that it did but it was very realistic....more
Having seen the west end production of this three years ago and enjoyed that, I thought it would be worthwhile to read the play to see what the storylHaving seen the west end production of this three years ago and enjoyed that, I thought it would be worthwhile to read the play to see what the storyline really was and how this was adapted to the stage. I have to say that the west end production was a fairly accurate reproduction of the story here with some further additions of their own for originality one can presume.
Whilst I did not find this story as shocking as perhaps it would have been when it was first published, I can certainly understand why it would have been shocking. This is, ultimately, a tragic tale of parental pressure and protection that leads children to grow up in ignorance causing their own downfall. Particularly sad is the story of Wendla whose mother had tried to protect her from the facts of life and what ultimately can cause the conception of a child. From her mothers way of avoiding the conversation based on her own upbringing and this being what her mother told her, Wendla's ignorance leads her down a slippery slope in which the ultimate price is her life. Most telling in the relationship of Wendla and her mother is the revelation of the child and the claim that I have not done what you said would cause this. The youthful innocence in this moment is both beautiful and tragic.
Melchior on the other hand faces a different kind of tragedy. Accused of providing the material responsible for his friends death, his mother is manipulated by his father into sending him to a correction unit even though she may not want to. Moritz finds himself in a pressurised environment where parental expectations are too much and this leads to a tragedy of his own.
This play is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for the parents, who I'm sure where thinking that what they told their children, and how they treated them, was the best way to bring them up, using their own childhood experiences and having turned out alright from them. It is a tragedy for the children, whose lack of understanding, lack of experience, and faith in their parents, leads to their individual downfalls which in some cases appear to be their parents treating them poorly so they do not lose face in their community.
This play is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, whilst times have changed and these things may not be so controversial today as they were then, Wedekind pulls you into the story and todays values seem less important than the situation these characters are facing. You feel like you are there, with all your experience of today, wanting to tell the characters not to listen, not to do it that way, not to be so naive, and its heartbreaking as you follow the characters journeys. A must read for anyone who enjoys plays, controversy, and appreciates how different things are today to how they were....more