The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises: The Hemingway Library Edition - Kindle edition ...

The Sun Also Rises is a novel written by American writer Ernest Hemingway. The novel takes the historical period from 1924 to 1925 and the famous city of Paris as the background revolves around a group of British and American young men and women who have suffered serious trauma in affection or love or left serious psychological or physiological dysfunction in the war and the unrestrained life and the emotional dispute between them. It reflects the painful and sad state of mind of this generation after the awakening of consciousness, but they feel no way out. The author thus became the voice of the “lost generation” and created a unique style of writing with this book. In this novel, Hemingway not only focuses on the “lost generation” in the loss and despair of the unrestrained but also describes a state of mind that seeks stimulation and solace from the intoxicating, impetuous and noisy way of life. At the same time, it quietly annotates the efforts made by these arrogant, negating, and cynical “wastelanders” to find a new way out in the difficult situation and reveals the spiritual essence of their pursuit of freedom, justice, individual liberation, and independence.

The novel condenses and gathers young Hemingway’s own thoughts, emotions, reason, pain, and his glimpse into the future, which is a deep extension of Hemingway’s own life experience and philosophical thinking. The young American Barnes suffered a spinal injury during World War I and became sexually incapacitated. After the war, when he was a journalist in Paris, he fell in love with Lady Ashley, an Englishman. His wife went after pleasure, and he drank to drown his sorrows. The two went to Spain with a group of male and female friends to attend a bullfighting festival for spiritual stimulation. She rejected the Jewish young Cohn’s pursuit but fell in love with Romero, a matador who was only nineteen years old. However, after a period of time together, because of the age gap between the two sides, and Mrs. Ashley did not have the heart to destroy the prospects of a pure youth, the relationship ended in the gloom. She eventually returns to Barnes, though both know they will never be truly united.

-Coreen C.

Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner

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Soldiers’ Pay is the first book written by William Faulkner in 1926. The story revolves around Margaret Powers, a widow whose husband died in World War I. She met Joe Gilligan, a discharged soldier who was on his way to home. Together, they decided to send Donald Mahon, an aviator who was released from a British hospital because he was not only going blind but was also going to die soon. Sympathetic about his experience, the two decided that they were going to send him home and spend his last time with his father.

Donald’s father is a pastor. Originally, Donald was actually engaged to Cecily Saunders, a voluptuous girl who can’t accept Donald’s injury and scars when he came back to her. She secretly has a lover named George Farr, who is crazy about her, but Cecily merely treats him like a toy. Not remembering anyone, Margaret and Joe were the only people who could take care of him besides Emmy, the housemaid whom Donald took her virginity.

Eventually, Cecily broke the engagement and eloped with George. Margaret, seeing that Cecily never loved Donald, decided to marry him herself. In the end, after he died, Joe told Margaret that he has loved her all the time. Before Margaret left, she asked him if he will go with her and he said no due to his religion. Changing his mind shortly after, Joe did not pursue Margaret but decided to stay in the pastor’s house while thinking about his future.

-Coreen C. 

Chamber Music by James Joyce

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Joyce started out as a poet. Chamber Music was his first work. Critics seem to have reached a final conclusion on it, such as the traditionality of the whole poem, traditional meter and rhyme, traditional image structure and so on. The musicality of the poetry is also widely talked about by critics. This was due to Joyce’s musical. According to the poet himself, every poem can be put to music. The style of the poem follows the romantic style of the 19th century, but it is not without sentimentality. There is also the integrity of the content, that is, the evolution of love and the journey of the soul, two threads that go hand in hand, complement each other, and constitute the emotional tone of the whole collection. And the poetry is stylistically very different from Joyce’s novels such as Ulysses. It is not unreasonable to point out that there is only one voice throughout the thirty-six poems.

For in the reader’s ears the hero is always pouring out his heart to his sweetheart, from infatuation, marriage proposals, happy conjunctions, to a change of heart, treachery, and, at last, solitary and drifting away. But we don’t hear the hero’s voice at the beginning, which would be too abrupt and leave the reader wondering if the hero is lyrically barking up the wrong tree. In other words, a stage should be set for the protagonist to perform first. Chamber Music is about the love story and mind journey of the hero, mainly told by his voice. In other words, the emotional experience between the male protagonist and the heroine is presented to the reader through the consciousness of the hero, that is, the dramatic expression of the emotional experience between them.

Ulysses by James Joyce

Ulysses - Alma Books

Ulysses has three parts and 18 chapters. The novel chronicles the experiences of three ordinary Dubliners in Dublin on a single day, June 16, 1904, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The story begins with three protagonists living in an ancient tower on the outskirts of Dublin. One is Stephen DeDalus, a young history teacher and poet who has just graduated from a college in Paris. Stephen’s mother asked him on her deathbed to kneel and pray, but he did not listen out for religious revulsion. After his mother’s death, Stephen was consumed with regret for the matter. Later, due to the decline of his family, Stephen almost disowned his father, who led his sisters to a difficult living. He left home and made a living by teaching. The second was Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman, a Hungarian Jew. Bloom used to run through the streets, busying himself all day, but always working for nothing. The death of Bloom’s youngest son left him irreparably traumatized. And Bloom was shamed by his wife’s infidelity. The third is Bloom’s wife Molly, who is a typical representative of carnalism. Her reluctance to be alone, due to the decline of Bloom’s sexual function made him suffer unspeakable humiliation and mental torture.

Early in the morning of June 16, 1904, having finished a history lesson, and receiving from the headmaster the payment of three pounds and two shillings, Stephen went for a stroll by the sea. In the face of the rolling waves, his thoughts are full of twists and turns, the vicissitudes of life, the mystery of nature, the eternity of time and space, and the charm of art begin to surge in his consciousness. He felt sorry for his father for having had a passionate love for his mother. He yearned, with a feeling of guilt, for the spiritual return of a father. At a house at eight o ‘clock the same morning, Bloom, an advertising salesman, was preparing breakfast for himself and his wife, Molly. At that moment the messenger brought Molly a letter which said something about a young man named Boylan who had promised to come and see her at four o ‘clock in the afternoon. In a dejected mood, Bloom made an excuse and left the house.

Bloom went to the post office to pick up a love letter addressed to him and read it in a quiet place. Later, Bloom went to attend his friend’s funeral. On Bloom’s way to the cemetery, he sees his wife’s lover, Boylan, walking in the direction of his home. Then a series of thoughts flashed through his mind: death, burial, graveyard rats fed on corpses, and a series of absurd visions flowed deep in his soul. Bloom then went to the Freeman, a newspaper publication company, to deliver a graphic design for an advertisement, and made another visit to the hospital to see a lady who was in hospital for a difficult birth. It was here that Bloom met Stephen, and the two hit it off. Stephen offered to treat him with his new salary, and they went to a brothel. There Stephen was very drunk, and Bloom took good care of him. They finally found what was most important to them spiritually in each other. Bloom finds his lost son; Stephen finds his spiritual father. Bloom went home and told his wife that Stephen would join them in the future. The dissolute woman who cheated on her husband had just said goodbye to a lover. She was vaguely gratified by the arrival of Stephen, mixed with a passion for a young man. She recalled, almost at the moment of falling asleep, the days when she and Bloom had been passionately in love.Their lives seem to be turning for the better.

-Coreen C.

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Film Review: A Room with a View

In the England of Victorian times, the upper class teenager Lucy and her cousin Charlotte go to Italian Florence to go vacationing together, encounter English youth George and his father living together in a hotel. Lucy was so upset that she couldn’t see the view from her room that George’s father gave up his room to Lucy. Lucy and George are falling in love. But George, who came from a laboring family, was a straightforward man, and his manners did not fit in with the high-class bureaucracy to which Lucy was accustomed. Inhibited Charlotte was also very uncomfortable with George. On one occasion, George could not help kissing Lucy, which was considered deviant behavior in Britain in the last century. Lucy thinks George’s behavior is not proper and returns to England without him.

After returning home, Lucy is engaged to Vyse, a musician. Vyse is empty on the inside and obsessed with external etiquette. Lucy, however, felt in him the hypocrisy of the pomp and ceremony which might have been just what Lucy’s family wanted, and began to miss George’s little brash, unceremonious, but youthful passion. When George returns to England, the two meet again. But Lucy is still stuck in a hypocritical and a primly way of telling whether she accepts George’s love or not. George had no choice but to go away sadly. After several twists and turns, Lucy’s cousin Charlotte saw that George was a little bold, but he really loved Lucy, so she secretly arranged George’s father to inspire Lucy, so that Lucy finally abandoned the shackles of etiquette, to find her beloved man.

In the movie A Room with A View, the control and oppression of men and the impulse to pursue happiness and love make Lucy finally begins to awaken her self-consciousness. As a woman living in a traditional male-dominated society in Britain, it is impossible to say that her ideas have not been affected by the real society at all. Fierce arguments inevitably followed her life. But, remarkably, Lucy was not assimilated into the way that her mother and Miss Bartley had been. As described later in the film, when she played the piano, she entered the real world. In that world, she was her own master, she was responsible for her actions, she didn’t have to depend on men to live, and she did the unusual things she wanted to do. A Room with A View belongs to the so-called literary heritage genre, which refers to the period blockbusters that were popular in Europe and the United States in the 1980s and 1990s.

These films are usually adapted from famous literary works, and tend to be classical in aesthetics. They are usually performed by numerous international movie stars, and have high artistic value. At the same time, this kind of films prefers the long town head and depth of field shots, the film is often interspersed with beautiful symphony and elegant natural and cultural scenery. The film gives priority to with downy tonal, dim yellow, sky blue, pure white, light gray foil give a warm, detailed atmosphere, providing a kind of proper ground color for rendering a wonderful cherishing story. The audience unconsciously relaxes and revels in the delicate and elegant rococo environment. At the same time, the soft and fresh colors echo the theme of love in the film.

Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

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This is a relatively long novel written by the all-known American author Theodore Dreiser. It talks about Jennie Gerhardt, a poor but strikingly pretty girl who fell in love twice with two men and their story from thereon. At first, because Jennie and her mother were working at a luxurious hotel, she was working there as a laundry washer and there met the brilliant Senator Brander who fell in love with her gradually over a short period of time. Despite the huge age gap between the two of them, they got along fine and it was Senator Brander who assisted this starving family living in Ohio after witnessing the condition of their life and home. Although Jennie’s father, Mr. Gerhardt strongly expostulated against this man who is old enough to be his own brother, his daughter did not listen and thus she was pregnant when Senator Brander died after promising to marry her.

Thus Jennie met another man named Lester Kane who came from a very rich family of carriage business based in Cincinnati. Due to her pulchritude and intelligence, Lester Kane quickly fell in love with Jennie. They lived together for a short period of time before Kane knew Jennie’s daughter, Vesta’s existence. He really wanted to give up Jennie at this point but found her too attractive to do so. Moreover, their relationship at first was gossiped by the neighbors who discovered that they weren’t married after all. What’s worse, when Lester’s sister Louise found out about all of these, she spilled this all to Lester Kane’s father, Archibald, who forced Lester to leave Jennie, but to no avail and thus passed away with a small will left to Lester for his punishment.

Overall, I think this book stuns me as the social gap between the rich and poor widens in America over the years and still remains unchanged. It’s so miserable how the children cannot choose their own course of marriage and HAVE to marry into their own level. So slowly, the conception of social status is imbued in their minds and they themselves can’t even seem to persuade themselves that this person is whom they really love but that they don’t have enough money, therefore, should be relinquished as a potential spouse.

-Coreen C.

At Fault by Kate Chopin

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This is definitely a novel which I couldn’t stop reading from the moment I picked it up. Its intriguing characters and twisting plot but eventually a happy ending reserves this art piece for one of the top-rated ones.

I personally really liked Gregor, who is Therese, the owner of the farm’s nephew. Although he was often controlled by rash actions and speaks savagely to black servants, still he was a man of authenticity. Despite the fact that he killed Jocint, who set the mill on fire. But when Melicint, his lover accused him of this murder and left him one can tell how faithful and loyal his can be to his true love.

My other favorite character is David Hosmer. Only because Therese told him that to remarry his impudent wife Fanny would be an excellent choice and one that would conform with her moral principles, his didn’t even hesitate to do that. This shows how much he cares about her opinions, even if it meant to torture himself. Moreover, when the cabin that Fanny was staying in was washed away by the rain, he didn’t falter a bit but to risk his life saving a person who never cares genuinely about him. It was that she died at last from the flood, or else Fanny could have been possibly a hindrance to the splice of David Hosmer and Therese Lafirme.

-Coreen C. 

Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren

Yet again another perfect book by the duo Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). I will admit that when I first started this series I was sad. I was worried that this would not be like the series before it. But that is not the case in the slightest.

This book follows Harlow and Finn. Harlow is one of Mia’s friends that we meet in the first book in this series (Sweet Filthy Boy). Harlow and Finn ended up getting married just like Mia and Ansel, except they annulled it the next day.

Harlow connects with Finn again, this time in her home town. They both are going through a difficult time, and they use each other as a distraction. After each encounter they have with each other, they tell themselves that it means nothing to them and that they are just friends. But as time goes on, they both realize that it means more to both of them than just a distraction.

As always with Christina Lauren’s books, we get such a nice sweet ending! Do not skip this one!

-Skylar N.

One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

Wow, what a great book! It was so good in fact, that I finished it in a day.
“I need your help”

The book starts with our leading man, Drew asking Fable (our leading lady) to work for him. She automatically thinks he want’s her for something else, so she says no, until he says that he only wants her to be his “temporary girlfriend”. How much is he going to pay? Glad you asked, he’s paying her $3,000. She’s struggling, as she has to care for her younger brother as her mother is useless, so she says yes.

“Do you like it?”
“Get it,” he says without hesitation. “You look…”
“Okay? Really? It’s kind of short.”
“That dress is it.” His gaze drops to my legs, lingering appreciatively. “And it’s definitely not too short.”

As you can probably assume by now, they are going to fall for each other. But how couldn’t they? They are both hiding secrets and they both realize that the other is hiding secrets.

“You have the most beautiful body I’ve ever seen.”

I won’t spoil any of their secrets, but let’s say Drew’s are not predictable at all. The author makes you really care for the characters and I can’t wait to read the next one!

But he is so very sweet:
“I woke up not fifteen minutes ago and the second I saw your message, I hopped in my truck and sped over here.” I spread my arms wide. “Look at me. I ran into the rain across my apartment parking lot and yours to get to you.”

-Skylar N.

Wait For Me by Caroline Leech

This book is set during World War II in Scotland. I thought it was a great book, especially considering it is YA Historical Fiction, which is rare. Lorna lives on a farm with her father. A group of German prisoners of war come to the farm to work. As hard as Lorna tries to hate the laboring POWs, specifically a man named Paul, but it doesn’t seem to work.

“Yes, he was quite nice really. For a German.”

As Paul works on the farm longer, Lorna see’s him as he really is: just a person. She starts to bond with him, and as you can probably assume, they start to fall for each other. But it is not predictable and it is not sudden. There is some prejudice from the townspeople involving their relationship, considering that Paul technically IS from the Nazi side.

“I am German, yes, but I am not a Nazi. There is a difference, and one day I hope you understand that.”

As they start to get closer, people see Lorna as a “bad” person as well. But she does try to keep the relationship a bit hidden. Paul has issues of his own as well. He is young, and he has his mother and his sister back home that he desperately wants to see again. But as he is a prisoner of war, he must stay in Scotland

“I am not proud that my country killed many of your people, though please remember, your country has killed many Germans too. But that is war is about. We do not like it, but we must all live with it until it is ended.”

The cool thing about this book is the fact that is was never predictable, especially the ending, which I could have never seen coming. This book was very sweet. And to me the ending was perfect! This novel is more so of the two caught in the war then the war itself, there is not much gore (at least involving the war). It is a vert clean novel so the younger YA audience will most likely enjoy this.

-Skyler N.

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.