Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Allan Woodcourt

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So, I went ahead and finished up Bleak House. For my final blog post, I decided to create the wedding of Allan and Esther! I have been rooting for her since the beginning, perhaps because she is fragile and abandoned. I just always wanted something stable and secure fore her- And I never wanted it to be Mr. Jarndyce. Allan Woodcourt seems suitable to me. His career is promising and ensures Esther a stable life. I am a bit obsessive about weddings, probably because I am trying to plan my own right now. I felt like creating a wedding for Esther was the best way to bring all my ideas to fruition and test them out! So, what better way to end this book than with a big ole’ wedding in my blog! It’s going to be absolutely perfect!

The Invitations

The invitations will be very vintage and simble. Slightly burnt edges, accompanied by a little lace, and a touch of ribbon at the bottom will finish out the invitations.

Location

There is only one viable option for location….Bleak House! But, we are not going to have the wedding inside, rather outside.

I imagine the back/surrounding areas to be lush with trees and flowers. The wedding will take place in this kind of area.

 

Time

The wedding will take place in the afternoon around sunset. The sun will be setting during the wedding. As the sunlight disappears, the trees will be lit up with lanterns.

Attire

Esther will wear a very vintage, lace wedding gown. Her hair will be swooped back with curls.

   

Allan will wear a more casual tuxedo…since the wedding is going to be outside. He will accompany it with a vest and pocket square.

The Reception

The reception will be outside as well. Everything will be lit by the lights.

 

Winding Down…

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Are we seriously half way through the semester? It seems like it was just yesterday when we were all dazed and confused about the idea of a blog. Now, I’m adding pictures, creating links, blogging on my Ipad, and thinking about my next blog topic. Funny how things change with time.Tonight was so nice to catch up and be back in the class. I missed the class prior to spring break so, I felt like it had been ages! I can’t believe we are winding down to our last Dickens’ novels. Time sure does fly!

As far as reading goes, I am reaping what I sewed over spring break. I admit, I was lazy. I wanted a break. I got started on the hunger games and was immediately hooked. So, I replaced Dickens with a 5-minutes-of-fame adolescent novel. Obviously, I make good choices! 😉 Anyway, I am kind of ready for Our Mutual Friend again. Yes, read that again. I am ready to start reading OMF again this week. I never thought I would say it; much less publish it on the internet. AH! I am near finishing Bleak House and it is definitely not my favorite. But, it’s not my least favorite either. It’s just a lot to take in and the characters are not exactly the best. But, ALAS! I can see the end coming and it will be marvelous.

My first research page on Opium in complete. Go check it out! I am constantly going back and changing things. Every time I read it; I find something that I could make a little bit better. I would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and concerns on it! I am about half way complete on my second research page, but you can’t see it yet! I am weird about things being complete,  before others inspect it. However, I will reveal the my topic! (I know you are so relieved !) I am going to do Crime and Punishment in Victorian England. I started out researching crime and punishment regarding Opium; but it has spun out of control. So, expect all kinds of crimes, punishments, and now mugshots (Thanks Samantha!).

 

Dear Mr. Dickens and My Fellow Classmates

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Dearest Dickens,
As I ventured off for my spring break travels last week; I chose not to bring you along as my traveling companion. I know….I’m sorry. I abandoned all of your books that I have dedicated myself to in these past few months. Your work just doesn’t fit into my idea of a light reading. Sometimes, I feel as if I spend more time worrying about figuring out your mysteries, than I do enjoying your twist-turning plots. No fear though, I am now facing the consequences of forgoing all of your novels for a week. As I force myself to get back involved with Bleak House, I feel like I am trudging through an infested swamp. Why did you decide to create such a plethora of characters? Why must nothing be as it seems? The hours I spend reading the beginning of this book appear to be wasted. I JUST CAN’T REMEMBER! So, I need a refresher course. Can you appear in one of my dreams and deliver one? I would be very grateful.

Your loyal reader,
Hillary

My fellow classmates,
I was out the Wednesday before spring break and I feel like I have missed a whole month! I noticed that class has been reistated for this week, but did not see what we were supposed to do for our blog. I figured something to do with our reading on Bleak House, but I wanted to be positive before I started. Can one of my fellow Dicken servants tell me what’s going on? Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance!

Scrolling Back

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A while back I read ahead in Our Mutual Friend and wrote a blog about it. I spent some time talking about Betty Higden  (I had a fancy for her times ending up until death) Now, it is appropriate for you to read it, since it won’t spoil anything. Scroll back to “OMG! in OMF!”

Standing Out in Bleak House

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I will have to be honest, not much is jumping out to me in Bleak House. Even though we are reading in chunks, things are starting to all jumble together in my mind. SO much happened in the first 16 chapters and as I delved into our reading I couldn’t remember half of it. I’m into the reading while I reading it, but afterwards I can’t even remember who’s who. I am going to have to make some sort of flow chart to keep everyone straight. Anyone else facing that problems? Despite my struggles, I do have some themes that really stuck out to me.

The Weather

There is something spooky about the way Dickens describes the wind and weather elements. I haven’t quite figured out the pattern yet, but all this weather gives me a supernatural vibe. The wind and weather is mentioned quite often. I feel like it is a sort of haunting blowing through, especially with all of the talk about cemetaries and dead people.

Esther’s Family Affairs

Esther’s family is one huge web that is probably still being weaved. Mr. Jarndyce reveals more truth to Esther about her past. Mr. Jarndyce says when Esther’s aunt wrote to him about the “orphan”, he decided to take Esther in. Yet, when Esther responds basically calling him a father figure… he is less than pleased. Why? Also, Mr. Guppy’s creepy self if all too questionative to Jo about the woman the paid him. Obviously Esther’s aunt is quite the topic of conversation. Does she have anymore skeletons in her closet? OBVIOUSLY YES! After Guppy’s attempts to find a way to get Esther to marry him, a lot is revealed. Lady Dedlock is Esther’s mother? WHAT?!?!? I think Dickens was doing a little foreshadowing at the beginning of the novel. Esther is always getting weird feelings around Lady Dedlock. And what about Esther’s aunt? She had to have a purpose for lying to her sister, but what is it? Also, if Esther gets added as a party in the Jarndyce and Jardyce case, how will this effect everything?

The Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce Case

So, the details of this case are not discussed that often. However it seems to be intertwined with so many characters. Mr. Jarndyce knows the troubles this case can bring and want’s no one to depend on it.

Pairing Up in OMF

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From the beginning, I think we have all spotted the good guys and the bad guys. It is quite obvious that in all stories the good guys will meet up with the good guys and the bad guys will meet up with the bad guys. They will all band together and have a duel. (Or something like that). Well the good and bad guys have finally paired up in OMF.

Bella and Lizzie

I would not say these two are best friends forever, but I knew they would cross paths and confide in each other. They are they two girls fighting for a future, whether it be a rich or educated future. I like these two together…I’m rooting for both of them.

Headstone and Riderhood

The two creepiest characters is this book would have meet up at some point. I feel like something deplorable is going to come out of their partnership. Maybe even murder?

The Boffins and Money

Money is the root of all evil in the book. At first, I liked the Boffins.Now….not so much! Money has finally consumed Mr. Boffin to the point where he may lose his family and eventually everything.

Sidenote: Hooray for John and Bella professing ther love to one another! Not that this was a surprise or anything. However, I am interested to see where the Boffin’s fortune goes from here.

A Bleak House is…well..bleak.

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So, since we are reading a big chunk of a Bleak House, I decided to do my bullet points as I read. I’ll add the bullets after I read a couple of chapters. Hopefully, this will make it easier for me to recall things that I wanted to put in my blog – instead of reading it all and scrambling for my points.

Chapters 1-4

  • Obviously, Dickens is pressing reform by starting out the novel in the courtroom.
  • Children – again.
  • Fashion is.. evil?
  • Prolonged court case. I feel like this will be a substantial theme in the novel.
  • New narrarator
  • Abandoned, disgraced, emotionally abused girl and apparently friendless (besides the doll).
  • Family secrets
  • Mr. Jarndyce and the movement of the Esther, Ada, & Richard to his home.
  • More abused, digraced, unwanted children living in a wretched situation.
  • Welcome to the “Bleak House”

Chapters 5-10

  • Crazy, bird lady.
  • Updated info on the Jarndyce case.
  • A plethora of new characters
  • Richard and Ada’s family connection to Jarndyce.
  • Obsession with the wind?
  • Trust for Esther
  • Sympathy of financial situations , then scolding for it.
  • Ghosts
  • Traitors
  • Recalled to life by haunting?
  • Suicide…then lawsuit
  • One busy housekeeper…Esther
  • Charity
  • Sailor ambitions
  • A bunch of letters scrambled together creating insane names for characters

Chapters 11-16

  • Dead body
  • Opium AGAIN!
  • Possible murder/Suspicious death
  • Secrets
  • Guppy “stalking” Esther
  • Demanded payments
  • Kindness to children

*Can anyone read over the name “Jelby” and not say jelly belly?