Top Ten Tuesday with Elena: Favorite Movie Adaptations of Classics

 

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is about classics and bloggers could spin the topic however they liked. I chose to talk about my Top Ten Movie Adaptations of Classic Novels. I personally love classics, and I think they’re really worth the read. They have so much to offer and there’s no more thought-provoking book than a classic… They have also inspired so many contemporary writers, and no matter which period we live in, classic novels are evergreen.

This is proved by the many movie adaptations of these books. Some of them are spectacular and stay true to the classic and its characters. Some others end up leaving out important themes and crucial scenes, sometimes because of the running time, sometimes because some directors favor sceneries and the visual impact instead of the actual story.

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Nostalgic Reads: Books That Stay With You

As I have probably mentioned before, I have always been an avid reader. My mom was a great influence in that way, though she generally ran the way of Harlequins, as most of the women in my extended family. I read every chapter book I could get my hands on, including classics like Charlotte’s Web, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, any Judy Blume…even Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. (No, I’m not THAT old. My grandmother kept the volumes my mom and aunts read when they were younger.) All of these books impacted me in one way or another…but it wasn’t until I was older and able to comprehend more of what I was reading did I start compiling books that would keep me coming back over and over throughout the years.

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Emma by Jane Austen. Classic Novel Recommendation.

Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegé Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.

 

Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. This time around I picked Emma by Jane Austen.  I confess this one isn’t among my absolute favorite Jane Austen’s novels, which feature Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility  at the very top, but it’s worth the read nonetheless.

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Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Classic Novel Recommendation.

“What have you been judging from?…Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?”

During an eventful season at Bath, young, naive Catherine Morland experiences fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who introduces Catherine to the joys of Gothic romances, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father’s house, Northanger Abbey. There, influenced by novels of horror and intrigue, Catherine comes to imagine terrible crimes committed by General Tilney, risking the loss of Henry’s affection, and has to learn the difference between fiction and reality, false friends and true. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, Northanger Abbey is the most youthful and optimistic of Jane Austen’s works.

 

Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. This time I chose “Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen. I like this book for several reasons and despite it not being “Pride and Prejudice” or “Persuasion” it has so many things to love and learn from.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Classic Novel Recommendation.

 A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. This updated edition features a new introduction discussing the novel’s political and magical dimensions. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

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Persuasion by Jane Austen. Classic Novel Recommendation.


Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The break up produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

 

Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. As the avid reader of Jane Austen’s novels that I am, this time I wanted to recommend “Persuasion”. I have to say that not only is this my favorite among Austen’s books, but it’s also one of my best-loved classics ever.

The whole premise behind the novel is the engagement between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, announced eight years before and broken off  by Anne after she yielded to  Lady Russell’s opinion about it being an imprudent and mismatched one. Wentworth is considered an unsuitable man for a woman who holds a position in society like that of Anne’s.  This event puts the story into gear and gives rise to a lot of questions about the power of persuasion and the sort of actions and feelings that are the direct results of it.

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Classic Novel Recommendation

         

     

“My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be…Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure…but as my own being.” Wuthering Heights is the only novel of Emily Bronte, who died a year after its publication, at the age of thirty. A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has  become a classic of English literature.

Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. My selection for you this time is “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë.

I’ve always been particularly fascinated by this book, by the impossible and visceral love story between Catherine and Heathcliff, the two characters whom the entire plot revolves around.

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Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

         

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behavior leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love- and its threatened loss, the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

Reviewed by Elena:

Starting with this post, I thought to recommend once a month  a classic novel that readers of the Bookish Temptations blog might enjoy. I’ve always loved classics and my bookshelf is full of them. This month I decided to pick up the great book that is “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen.

Well, Austen is a favourite writer of mine. I first read one of her books (Pride and Prejudice) when I was 14 and it was love at first sight, or rather, read.  I remember reading her books one after the other, and then starting them all over again…Yes, I’m weird like that.  Of course, the way I looked at her books when I was a teenager is different from how I learned to look at them afterwards, with all the themes on society, behavior, class, etc, but they always remain near and dear to me.

I must confess that among Austen’s books  “Sense and Sensibility” has always held a special place in my heart. The story focuses primarily on two sisters, Elinor and Marianne, as they learn how to love and find happiness in a society that overlooked passion to favor status and class.

What I most enjoyed about this book is the dichotomy Austen presents us between the two sisters. They both fall in love, they both go through disappointment and distress, but they face up to all that quite differently. Austen makes Elinor stand out as the character who embodies restraint, reason and responsibility, the “sense” of the novel’s title, whereas Marianne seems to be all emotion and  spontaneity,  pure “sensibility”. Elinor conceals her affection for the man she’s always loved,  Edward Ferrars, and when she learns about his engagement to Lucy Steel , she’s hurt but decides to hide her disappointment from her family. In contrast, Marianne openly declares her love for John Willoughby( yes, I know what you’re thinking. He’s quite a distasteful character) and when he leaves her all of a sudden, she’s overcome by grief and even falls ill due to her emotional breakdown.

Both Elinor and Marianne find their happily ever after at the end of the novel, learning from both their experiences, reaching a balance between reason and passion.

Austen’s writing style is easy to follow, despite the presence of some old-fashioned English (of course) and when I finished the book I asked myself which character I  felt more drawn to, Marianne or Elinor? And which one I’m more similar to?  Well, I invite you to read the book and see if some of the sisters’s features are part of yourselves as well.  The reader finds himself pondering which is better- sense, passion or balance? And which one would we lean toward?

And now, some of my favourite passages:

If I could learn but his heart, everything would become easy.”

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”

“It is not time or opportunity that it is to determine intimacy ; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”

“She tried to explain the real state of the case to her sister. “I do not attempt to deny”, said she,’ that I think very highly of him-that I greatly esteem, that I like him.’ Marianne here burst forth with indignation: “Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elino. Oh! Worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again, and I will leave the room this moment.” Elinor could not help laughing. “Excuse me,” said she, “and be assured that I meant no offence to you, by speaking, in so quiet a way, of my own feelings.”

” I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness…Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy.”

” Elinor could sit still no longer. She almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease.”

 

“Sense and Sensibility” is a book really worth checking out 🙂

A recommendation of another classic novel will be back next month.

Elena