Dorothea doesn’t care about your small talk: Middlemarch progress update and predictions

My progress on Middlemarch has been slow but enjoyable. I’m currently on Chapter 9 and finding George Eliot (née Mary Ann Evans) to be a hilarious writer. Turns out the Goodreads reviewer was right – it is B-A-N-A-N-A-S, and I’ve only just begun!

So far Middlemarch has a real The Awakening/Taming of the Shrew vibe to it. Granted, I haven’t read the latter, but I have seen it on stage and I’ve seen “10 Things I Hate About You,” which we can all agree is pretty much the same thing. Regarding The Awakening, though there hasn’t been any ring-throwing or adultery action yet, I can feel it all coming. It’s going to happen, just you wait.

HOLY CRAP. I just realized that the bathroom scene from 10 Things I Hate About You is from Middlemarch! You know the one I’m talking about. The one where Kate has her mom’s pearls and Bianca wants to wear them. Then Kate is all:

To which Bianca responds:

biancastratford.gif

Guys, Dorothea and Celia have the same exchange in Chapter 1 of Middlemarch. For real.

This just blew my mind. This whole time popular culture was gently nudging me towards Eliot, and I didn’t even realize it. I’ve been subliminally exposed to the classics, people! It’s a conspiracy, is what it is. This obsession I have with The List is simply the natural culmination of years of conditioning.

Maybe I should move on to a new thought now…

A brief overview of MM thus far: Dorothea has accepted the marriage proposal of Mr. Casaubon, much to the dismay of pretty much everyone. She doesn’t mind, though. Dorothea does not suffer fools; she has no time for morons and seeks only the company of those who can stimulate her intellectually. Which, apparently, is an exclusive group of people consisting only of herself and her fiancé. This makes for a narrative full of exceedingly enjoyable contempt.

This contempt is primarily directed from Dorothea towards pretty much everyone around her. Her general opinion of men seems to be that they are boring and unintelligent creatures, endlessly annoying her with trivial small talk. She spends a decent portion of the book so far waiting for James to kindly STFU (and hinting to it not-so-subtly).

Annoyed by stupidity. Bored by small talk. Unimpressed by social decorum regarding grooming and courtship. This girl is playing my jam!

Correction: playing what I wish was my jam. My actual jam is being polite, respectful, and passably assimilated to cultural norms.

Now for my favourite part of reading ridiculously massive classics: PREDICTION TIME!

Full disclosure: I *may* have come across some spoilers online. Predictions still count, though. Called it!

Okay, here we go.

Prediction #1: Celia and Sir James are going to get married. This is barely a prediction, though, it’s too obvious.

Prediction #2: Uncle Brooke dies. I’m guessing natural causes. There will be a long drawn-out illness in which either a) Celia cares for him out of fidelity, b) Dorothea cares for him out of Methodist piety, or c) a random caretaker takes care of him because Celia is too busy having babies and playing house, and Dorothea is too preoccupied with intellectual pursuits. He dies alone. Both his nieces are overcome with guilt and vow to spend more time together lest the same thing happen to them.

Prediction #3: one of the following will occur:

  • Dorothea gets bored of Casaubon and leaves him.
  • Casaubon wants Dorothea to bear children, she refuses, he has their marriage annulled.
  • Dorothea falls in love with the young, handsome carpenter hired to build her cottages, has an affair and leaves Casaubon for him.

Prediction #4: Casaubon is going to end up being awful and I’m not going to like him at all. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I don’t trust him…

Prediction #5: ring-throwing action.

Prediction #6: regardless of how Prediction #3 plays out, adultery is a near certainty as far as I’m concerned.

Place your bets in the comments below.

Until next time, Cat out!

credits:
Lin Manuel Miranda gif: http://38.media.tumblr.com/e9806cf4a8146a2cfbcacebb6eb6ba38/tumblr_nsq8qjj9mN1qgggqfo3_250.gif
10 Things I Hate About You – Kate image: https://67.media.tumblr.com/b4dce9b42e7df483771dc9846215bf5d/tumblr_mu780kxHj71rsyukao1_500.jpg
10 Thigns I Hate About You – Bianca gif: https://media.giphy.com/media/3rgXBz7QgBMAu90Xu0/giphy.gif
Big Bang meme: http://static.topnettools.com/10.jpg

Anna Karenina: HIMYM and Early Predictions

As soon as I saw the name Scherbatsky in Anna Karenina I thought to myself “Could it be?” which was almost instantly followed up by a quick Google search, which told me that yes, it could be and yes, it was so. Robin Scherbatsky was indeed named after Kitty Scherbatsky.

I wasn’t the first person to discover this, but it feels good to be right.

Robin-how-i-met-your-mother-31111428-1024-768

On another note, Anna has just pulled in to the train station in the book, and Vronsky is so instantly infatuated with her he has all but walked in to a wall.

Full disclosure: when the story took a dark turn and it was announced that someone had been run over by the train, I thought it was Levin FOR SURE. Having been so completely shattered by Kitty’s refusal, I thought he had thrown himself in front of the train. It wasn’t him, though. Apparently Tolstoy is not that dramatic.

To those of you who are paying attention and who have read the book before, this is a clear indication that I have not made a ton of progress in AK yet. Kindle says I’m 7% done.

I was sucked in to a black hole of YA Fiction for a little while there. After reading Black City and PheonixI read The Testing series (it was okay) and The Murder Complex (it was less okay). I almost started reading the sequel to the latter, The Death Code, and then half-way through the first page I thought to myself “Catherine, you are better than this.” I put it down and picked up AK again, and here we are.

PREDICTIONS:

Anna and Vronsky

Obviously Anna and Vronsky are going to fall in love and run away together, breaking poor Kitty’s little adolescent heart [serves her right!]. The part of me that enjoys seeing egotistical men taken down a peg or two hopes that Anna rejects him in some kind of cruel way. But this probably won’t happen.

This would leave the loose end of Anna’s husband and son…so let’s take a wild guess here and say that they go back for her son.

Oblonsky

Oblonsky and his wife divorce and he goes off with his mistress. They have to sell the house due to Oblonsky’s crippling debt.

Dolly and Levin

Dolly and Levin end up together, finding comfort in each other’s broken hearts. Dolly and the kids move out to the country with Levin, and having access to so much free labour, Levin becomes wildly productive and successful.

Kitty

And Kitty ends up alone. Or with Oblonsky’s friend with the weird nails. That’ll teach her for breaking a sweet man’s heart.

Now off to find out how far off base I am with these!