Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Challenge - Day 12: "Something You're Reading"

I don't know what it is with me and challenges lately, but in addition to this daily writing task, I issued another one to my old high school friend, Andy. You may remember I wrote recently about reconnecting with her. During our reminiscing about high school days we talked about our English teacher, Miss Jane Mitcham. Miss Mitcham was a legend in our school district. She had taught forever and had advanced to the position of English Curriculum Director for the entire district. (At the time we were seniors, I'm guessing she was in her early 60's.) Miss Mitcham loved the classics and had a reputation for being tough and serious about them. Andy and I were two of the few students who discovered that she also had a wicked, wry sense of humor, which made us really like her when most of our peers were very intimidated. We did well in her class

Miss Mitcham's favorite book was George Eliot's Middlemarch, so, of course, it was a mandatory read for our senior English class. I guess I got carried away thinking about the "good old days" and suggested to Andy that she and I should read and discuss Middlemarch again in honor of our old teacher. She accepted the challenge. 


I don't know what we thinking. We are both really choking on this task and find ourselves laughing and scrambling for Cliff Notes. I don't recognize anything in the story. I mean, nothing. I didn't expect to have detailed recall, but for nothing to be familiar? Makes me suspect that, way back when, I may have tap danced my way around this assignment, reading just enough passages and scanning Cliff Notes to get through the required essay and test. So now it is finally time to pay the piper.

Set in England of the late 1800's, it is the story of provincial life in the village of Middlemarch. The principal heroine is Dorthea Brooke, a serious, high-minded girl who has an idealistic and totally unrealistic idea of life and marriage. (Don't most young girls?) She is determined to marry the stuffy Rev. Casaubon, a man much older than her, and she eventually does. Cut to the arrival of a new man in town, Dr. Lydgate, whose ambitions start stirring things up. That's as far as we've gotten. You know that Dorothea is destined to have her illusions destroyed, but will it be Dr. Lydgate or someone else who plays a role? 

It has taken a while to get used to reading nineteenth century literature again, to adjust to its word usage and subtle humor, but I'm beginning to get back into the groove. I'm determined to finish it and will admit that the story is starting to pull me in. Miss Mitcham would be proud or at the very least, laughing in revenge.

Thanks for stopping by today; tomorrow's topic is "Happiness." See you then. 

1 comment:

  1. Hm. Based on what you've said about the book so far, I think I'll choose to remain unenlightened and say I'm content--if not proud--to have missed this one.