Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The novel is narrated by a poor person who is living underground. The first part of his ramblings, musings, and insights about life are a monologue. The second half consists of embarrassing stories from when he was 24 (he is currently 40). He is a captivating character: a neurotic, ludicrous, contemplative, systematic, absurd, wrathful, introverted, extraordinary, obsessive, fragile, clever, base abiding, despicable, hesitant, insane, maverick of a man. He is also an informed and clever man.
“I love, I can only love the one I’ve left behind, stained with my blood when, ungrateful wretch that I am, I extinguished myself and shot myself through the heart. But never, never have I ceased to love that one, and even on the night I parted from him I loved him perhaps more poignantly than ever. We can truly love only with suffering and through suffering! We know not how to love otherwise. We know no other love. I want suffering in order to love. I want and thirst this very minute to kiss , with tears streaming down my cheeks, this one and only I have left behind. I don’t want and won’t accept any other.”
He is quite a paradoxical character. He is sincerely intense, at one point even delicate. He holds to amazingly good ethics. At one minute he has what is by all accounts extraordinary conviction and inward quality. And the next minute, faltering uncertainty and vulnerability. He is an individual, unaffected by individuals, living without anyone else’s input – he is also hypersensitive to what other people think, to the point of being neurotic. He lives in awesome destitution; he has hyper spurts, dreams, and vivid visions. You need to feel real sorry for him, since he’s desolate, and afflicted with torments. You need to detest him, since he is contemptuous and a weight on mankind. He is a paradox against everything, and even himself.
“I swear to you gentlemen, that to be overly conscious is a sickness, a real, thorough sickness.”
Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix
“Things are so bad, I feel like I’m going to explode if I don’t do something…”
Everybody needs to keep a diary in Mrs. Dunphrey’s English class; however she has guaranteed she won’t read any section stamped with “Don’t read this”. It’s the sort of task Tish Bonner, one of the young ladies with huge hair who sit in the back row, ordinarily wouldn’t consider important. Be that as it may, at the present time, Tish frantically needs somebody to talk to, even if it’s just a scratch pad that she doesn’t let anybody read.
“But it’d be nice to have someone who cared about me, someone I could talk to about anything, someone who’d tell me I was really special.”
Tish begins to write in the diary more frequently as her life at home gets increasingly un-nerving, not letting the teacher read almost every part of it.
This book will take you several days to read in light of the fact that it is short and you just won’t be able to stop. Tish may be at school and return home and out of the blue her mom will act in an unexpected way. There are many character inconsistencies in the book, from relatives of Tish, even to her companions. I truly like the way the writer utilizes her words to portray things in the book and cause things to sound genuine and startling. The book is recommended to any individual who has a need to read about somebody who needs to remain quiet about matters she/he cannot speak of.
“It’s like I’d been walking a tightrope with a big safety net underneath me, but I never really thought about the net until someone took it away. And then every single step scared me to death.”
Dracula by Bram Stoker
“Alone with the dead! I dare not go out, for I can hear the low howl of the wolf through the broken window.”
At the moment when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula to buy a London house, he makes stunning discoveries about his customer and his castle. Before long, various aggravating occurrences transpire in England: an unmanned ship is destroyed at Whitby; abnormal cuts show up on a young lady’s neck; and the detainee of an asylum raves about the up and coming entry of the ‘Master’. In the resulting clash of minds between the vile Count Dracula and the commoners, Bram Stoker creates a perfect work of art, making profound inquiries into the issues of human personality and sanity, and lighting up dim corners of Victorian sexuality and want.
“Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.”
The air of the novel is unmistakably gothic. It is difficult to discuss Dracula without specifying the Gothic; the two are one and the same. The rotting castle in which the book starts foreshadows the frightfulness that follows. The “lady in trouble” theme shows up regularly in Gothic writing, and nowhere to a greater extent than in Dracula. Mina and Lucy are the two inevitable young women, and Harker himself can be viewed as one toward the beginning, when he is protected by his better half, who has a “man’s mind.” It’s a significant subversion of the standard sexual orientation theme.
“I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.”