Classic English Language literature to read for Book Day 2020
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - JANE AUSTEN
Story Summary: The Bennet family has 5 daughters and find it difficult to marry them off to secure their future. Since the family assets cannot be returned to the women, the only way for them to have a comfortable life is to marry a wealthy man.
Mr Bingley arrives with his friend Mr Darcy, both of whom are very wealthy, which is a good sign for the Bennet girls. Between a cheerful and sympathetic character like Mr. Bingley and a cold and haughty Mr. Darcy there's no difference of opinion.
Elizabeth Bennet was disturbed by Mr. Darcy's mysterious charm, though very unpleasant to her, and he will eventually appreciate his qualities and charm, which will enable him to overcome the prejudice he had for his family, and to declare his love for her. However the girl rejects his marriage proposal but many events cause new encounters between the two of them and give Mr. Darcy a chance to improve his image.
JANE EYRE - CHARLOTTE BRONTË
Story Summary: Jane Eyre is an orphan raised by Mrs. Reed, a rich and cruel aunt. Bessie the maid is softer with Jane, telling her stories and singing songs to her. After being punished for fighting with her cousin, Jane finds herself locked in the red room where her uncle died. She thinks she sees her ghost screaming and passes out, when she wakes up everyone agrees that she must go to school. It is then at Lowood School that Jane finds herself, with a cruel and selfish headmaster who deprives the students of comfort to give to her family. Jane met Helen Burns who died of typhus, which also led to the headmaster's departure as it gave a glimpse of the deplorable conditions in which the students lived. Improvement then occurred dramatically for Jane's 8 years of schooling and she became a teacher here as well.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS - EMILY BRONTË
Summary of the story: two Lockwood narrators renting Thrush Manor and Mrs Dean, the maid in 1801 but the story is set back 40 years. Wuthering Heights is hilltop land swept by north winds, where the Earnshaw family lives. Mr. Earnshaw adopts a 6 year old gypsy child named Heathcliff who will bring misfortune to the family. The Earnshaw son views him badly and will share his resentment when Mr. Earnshaw dies. Humiliated, Heathcliff vows revenge, which is not helped when Catherine, the Earnshaw daughter he is in love with, decides to marry the rich Edgar Linton. Catherine dies giving birth to her daughter, Heathcliff marries Edgar's sister Isabelle to get his hands on the family fortune.
He will take revenge on the Linton family and the Earnshaw family, leaving Catherine and Hareton the surviving heirs to love each other.
ROMEO AND JULIETTE - WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
A play taking place in Verona, the Montaigu and Capulet families are in constant opposition. Romeo first falls in love with Rosaline, a Capulet, but then meets Juliet and it is love at first sight for both of them. They marry in the hope of reconciling their two families but a battle between Mercutio and Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, breaks out. Romeo tries to intervene and causes the death of Mercutio and kills Tybalt to avenge his friend. Condemned to exile, he spends the night with Juliette, in the morning she learns that her father is marrying her to Count Paris, Brother Laurent elaborates a plan to help the lovers. He decides to make Juliette look dead by warning Romeo so that he can come and kidnap her. However, the wedding is advanced and Juliette has to pretend to be dead sooner than expected. Romeo's servant is unaware of Brother Laurent's plan and assures him that she is dead, wanting to end it all he too finds poison and returns to Verona, Brother Laurent understands only too late that his message has not had time to reach Romeo. Juliette wakes up and discovers Romeo's body, she stabs herself and it is in a common mourning that the two families are reconciled.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY - OSCAR WILDE
Fantasy novel and moral narrative. The young Dorian Gray will face his moral conscience through his portrait which carries in its place the traces of his perversity and the decadence that time inflicts on the purest spirits. Everything starts from a portrait of Dorian Gray painted by Basil Hallward, magnificent it subjugates those who look at it.
Basil being in love with Dorian he painted it to perfection, Dorian wants the painting to undergo the outrages of time. The links between the characters are particular, Lord Henry has a cynical vision of society and of women in particular, narcissistic and full of himself, stopping at nothing to ensure his social success. The portrait is here a real character who comes to oppose the real Dorian as if to oppose good and evil.
The idea of making Dorian grow old but also of making the cruelty on his face appear with each "bad action" allows us to see how far he is able to go so that no one sees the picture change.
THE BASKERVILLE DOG - ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
Story Summary: Dr. Mortimer visits Holmes to ask for his help on a case. A curse concerning the Baskerville family, Hugo Baskerville is said to have promised his soul to the devil to find a girl, he is found dead being skinned by a huge dog. Charles Baskerville had just died and he seemed to believe this legend and his body was found surrounded by the paw prints of a huge dog. Henry Baskerville, the sole heir, wants to take possession of the manor, so Mortimer asks Holmes for his help. Holmes will investigate the case.
THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL - WILLIAM BLAKE
Poetry in which the poet denounces the tyrannical reason of the philosophers, he is inflamed for the revolution he also proclaims human unity, attacks prudence and calculation in the name of the blossoming of the being reconciling desire, wisdom and reason.
Since both love and hatred are necessary for life, it is the clash of opposites that causes the creative force to arise and the progress of the individual being.
If you love to read and would like to share your lists of books to read on this international book day, you can discuss them with people from all over the world on our Studenz website in the language exchange section.
Written by: Lisa Lambert, Staff Writer
- 4 Mar, 2020
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