Passion and Purity: Edward Rochester

SEPT / OCT 2011: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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Literature is full of wonderful, selfless men… and then there is Edward Rochester, the dark anti-hero in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Ill-mannered, gruff, and deceitful, he embodies the definition of what women should not want in a man, yet we are drawn to him. Is he worthy of our pity and admiration or should we hold him in contempt for his intention to manipulate Jane? Continue reading Passion and Purity: Edward Rochester

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A Gentleman: The Long-Suffering Gilbert Blythe

SEPT / OCT 2011: BY SHANNON H.

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In literature, there are rogues such as Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, lovelorns like Romeo Montague from Romeo and Juliet, and lying Casanovas such as Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. While I find all of these men fascinating and sometimes despicable, one of my favorite men from literature who is truly fit to be called a gentleman is Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables book series. It takes a great deal of patience and nerve to pursue the woman of his dreams, the spirited Anne Shirley, after she struck him on the head with a slate, rebuffed him when he fished her out of a river, and rejected his marriage proposal. Gilbert is my ideal of a literary man; a gentleman, a sweetheart, and at times, a scholar. Continue reading A Gentleman: The Long-Suffering Gilbert Blythe

Artfully Plotted: Paintings and Drawings in Classic Literature

SEPT / OCT 2011: BY KATHARINE TAYLOR

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At a turning point in plot and character development in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet stares up in “earnest contemplation” at a portrait of Mr. Darcy hanging in his home. It’s a moment that represents true seeing—she has misjudged him and is beginning to realize her mistake fully. The painting is described in the novel as “a striking resemblance” of the handsome Mr. Darcy, notably wearing a smile on his face instead of the usual expression of disapproval that has characterized him throughout the book.

Pride and Prejudice is not the only classic novel to use art at key moments to illuminate the characters’ thoughts or to provide a visual symbol of conflict. Continue reading Artfully Plotted: Paintings and Drawings in Classic Literature

From the Editor: Oh, Those Glorious Men!

SEPT / OCT 2011: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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I remember my first literary crush well. He fit every ideal in my mind as to what a good man should be, and he had no time for girls, since he “respected their intellect too much to trust them.” Since I didn’t have a romantic bone in my body (reading The Scarlet Pimpernel I laughed so hard I cried and my best friend did not speak to me for weeks) this literary man was magnificent. I was officially in love! Continue reading From the Editor: Oh, Those Glorious Men!

The Glamorous 1930s

JULY / AUG 2011: BY ERICA ELISE

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Nothing, not even clothing, exists in a vacuum, since it both influences and is influenced by history. Yet the decade of the 1930’s is a lesson in contradiction. This era is one of the most glamorous in recent fashion history. How could such an elegant time exist when the country was reeling from economic collapse? Incredibly, not only did these beautiful styles exist but the Great Depression inspired them. Continue reading The Glamorous 1930s

Upstairs Downstairs

JULY / AUG 2011: BY HANNAH KINGSLEY

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Even during the greatest times of need and want, it is true that some pieces of the world can flourish, thriving in wealth and splendor. This was true of the fictional Eaton Place, nestled in London during the depression and the years that follow, as markers of the war that is to come begin to show in the streets. 165 Eaton Place has once seen grand parties and other social gatherings under its previous owners, but now stands empty and ready be renovated by Sir Hallam and Lady Agnes Holland. Continue reading Upstairs Downstairs

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: It’s a One Word Conversation

JULY / AUG 2011: BY L. MARGARET

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Now, I love my life. I am blessed to spend my days with wonderful people who graciously put up with me. I have nothing to complain about… except for a lack of excitement. I long for something to happen, a distant relative to die and leave me a fortune, a white knight to save me from a happy yet monotonous life. I know these longings are silly and I shouldn’t mess with too much of a good thing, but what if instead of being a nanny to a sweet two year old whose parents are best friends with mine, I was taking care of brats with a drunk for a mother? A drunk who fired me for trying my best to reform her horrible children? And what if I had no family or friends? What if I lived every day for twenty years wondering what would have happened if my love hadn’t died tragically? What if my only solace was an occasion film portraying the glamorous life of people in a different world than mine, a life I could never have? And to top it all off, I had to wear the world’s ugliest brown dress. Every. Single. Day. Continue reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: It’s a One Word Conversation

Mucking About With History

JULY / AUG 2011: BY SHANNON H.

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Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, takes the history of World War II and stands it on its head. In it, a group of Jewish-American soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine are “in the business of killing Nazis.” They scalp, beat, and kill any German soldiers with the misfortune of being captured by them (they also carve swastikas into their foreheads). Also, a Jewish woman and her lover plan to kill the Nazi high command in their movie theater while showing Nation’s Pride, a German propaganda film. Continue reading Mucking About With History

The Public’s Great Escape

JULY / AUG 2011: BY MEGHAN M. GORECKI

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Motion pictures have captivated the American public from the invention of the movie camera; was it the dashing hero or the pretty girl that attracted young and old alike to the movie theater? Dramatic stories often relatable to at least one person in the audience? The sugarcoated plots that played out in-between elaborate song and dance numbers? Motion pictures take the moviegoer out of a world filled with stress and strife to another place where a guy always gets a girl, troubles melt away, the villain is thwarted, and even bittersweet movies always end on a hopeful note. The directors, cinematographers, producers, composers, lyricists, scriptwriters, actors and actresses from the golden age of film truly had a gift for making great movies of all genres. Many films heralded as “classics” today were created during America’s golden age. The major studio moguls and behind-the-scenes employees fit many films to the troubles of the public, including the Great Depression and World War Two. Continue reading The Public’s Great Escape

The Origins of Superman

JULY / AUG 2011: BY LYDIA WATSON

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December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, a day that changed America, the day America entered the war it was trying so hard to stay out of… and a year that defined America’s biggest superheroes.

In 1932, two Jewish men living in Ohio created one of the most iconic figures of American comic books and pop culture, Superman, an invincible superhero from a distant planet who could leap tall buildings with a single bound and took his power from the red sun. When he was first introduced in the 1938 Action comic number one, it wasn’t long before America was swept with Superman fever. It was perfect timing; with the rise of Nazism, co-creator Jerry Siegel felt that the world needed a crusader, even if it was just a fictional one. And apparently so did the rest of America. Continue reading The Origins of Superman

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