Sons and Lovers

D.H. Lawrence wasn't kidding around when he wrote this novel. Seriously intense yet completely beautiful in an understated way. The psychological aspects of this story are stunning, especially if you've ever been in a tumultuous relationship. I think anyone can relate to at least one of these characters, if not to multiple characters at different points in their ever-thickening plot lines.

Visual imagery in this novel is incredible, whether it's the way a landscape is described or the appearance of characters... Lawrence really knew what he was doing.

I especially love the way everyone's feelings are laid bare for the reader to analyze and try to understand. In the course of one sentence, you'll read about the character's passionate love and sheer hate for a single object. It's a novel of opposites; of deep, misplaced love; of mothers and sons; and of the loves and hates of men and women.

"Now, when all her woman's pity was roused to its full extent, when she would have slaved herself to nurse him and to save him, when she would have taken the pain herself, if she could, somewhere far inside her, she felt indifferent to him and to his suffering. It hurt her most of all, the failure to love him, even when he roused her strong emotions."

"The girl was a romantic in her soul. Everywhere was a Walter Scott heroine being loved by men with helmets or with plumes in their caps. She herself was something of a princess turned into a swine-girl in her own imagination. And she was afraid lest this boy, who, nevertheless, looked something like a Walter Scott hero... might consider her simply as the swine-girl, unable to perceive the princess beneath; so she held aloof."

"It's because - it's because there is scarcely any shadow in it; it's more shimmery, as if I'd painted the shimmering protoplasm in the leaves and everywhere, and not the stiffness of the shape. That seems dead to me. Only this shimmeriness is the real living thing. The shape is a dead crust. The shimmer is inside really."

"She saw him, slender and firm, as if the setting sun had given him to her. A deep pain took hold of her, and she knew she must love him. And she had discovered him, discovered in him a rare potentiality, discovered his loneliness."

"Recklessness is almost a man's revenge on his woman. He feels he is not valued, so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether."

"He hated her bitterly at that moment because he made her suffer. Love her! She knew he loved her. He really belonged to her. This about not loving her, physically, bodily, was a mere perversity on his part, because he knew she loved him. He was stupid like a child. He belonged to her. His soul wanted her."


Robinson Crusoe

Very rarely does one find a novel that perfectly mixes adventure and religion seamlessly, without making it seem too sappy or like the adventure was a weak attempt at making the story palatable to the average reader. As I've often said with other novels and poems, even if you're not interested in religion, Robinson Crusoe is wildly different than what you may be thinking. I'm intrigued at the idea of a 60 year old man penning such an incredible novel filled with wild animals, ship wrecks, inventions, hunting, gun fights, cannibalism and most of all a deeply rooted Christian center. The turning point of the story doesn't come until Robinson's transformation and his realization that he isn't alone in the world, that he's been under God's protection insomuch as he's escaped countless horrors. When you expect to find a depressing it's often filled with joy and triumph.

I am aware of the controversies surrounding Robinson Crusoe, but it's still a classic, and with good reason.

"Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable but there was something negative or something positive to be thankful for in it; and let this stand as a direction from the experience of the most miserable of all conditions to this world, that we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves from and to set in the description of good and evil on the credit side of the account."

"I had hitherto acted upon no religious foundation at all; indeed I had very few notions of religion in my head or had entertained any sense of anything that had befallen me otherwise than as a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God; without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things or His order in governing events in the world."

"In a word, as my life was a life of sorrow one way, so it was a life of mercy another; and I wanted nothing to make it a life of comfort but to be able to make my sense of God's goodness to me, and care over me in this condition, be my daily consolation; and after I did make a just improvement of these things, I went away and was no more sad."

"I learned here again to observe that it is very rare that the providence of God casts us into any condition of life so low, or any misery so great, but we may see something or other to be thankful for..."