Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Cranford Part Two
It's time for part two of the Cranford read-a-hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey. I loved this book! I think this is a great book to start with if you're not sure if you like reading classics in general or the Victorians specifically. It really was easy to read and entertaining.
I found it interesting to blog about this in two posts. In doing so, I realized the first half of the book was mostly funny, with lots of events to make you like the characters and laugh out loud. The second half focused on Miss Matty losing most of her money from a bad investment in a bank that goes under. It focuses on how the people of Cranford band together to help Miss Matty, even though many of them don't have much either. It was very sweet and touching. I also thought the solutions to her money problems were interesting, since most Victorian books that handle that issue focus on the young woman, and how she must marry or become a governess. That's about it. I like how she becomes a little entrepreneur for a while, even though it's not very genteel.
Overall, I felt that Cranford was really about community. All of these different people come together. I wonder if Gaskell was worried about losing that feeling of community as people began flocking to cities during the Industrial Revolution. It also made me thankful for the community my Grandma has in her neighborhood, which I compared to Cranford in my first post. They all keep an eye on each other and help each other out, and I know if something happened to her they would take care of her until my family got there. It's interesting though that at the same time, I have zero desire to get to know my neighbors and if it wasn't for the expense and yard work, I'd prefer to live where I don't have neighbors too close. I still enjoy reading about tight-knit communities though, and I am grateful to live in a city where I know we band together when it counts, such as after the Murrah Building bombing and the May 3, 1999 tornado. Just as the women in Cranford are happy to live there, I'm happy to be an Okie!