Tuesday, August 01, 2006

JOURNAL: August 1, 2006

Yesterday I read several chapters in Dickens’ Dombey and Son, and was shocked by the fierce and unrelieved evil described in the book. Paul Dombey has to be one of the cruelest characters I’ve ever encountered in a novel – his cruelty made even more shocking by the absolute coldness of it. He seems to feel nothing at all, as though he’s a stone or a block of ice. On second thought, he does feel, but only the emotions related to pride and hatred. Even Edith Dombey, his wife, who appeared to have the ability to cherish other people, has now grown as icy as her husband, and has apparently run off with the frosty and hateful Mr. Carker. For many chapters I have held out hope that Edith would eventually bring some sunshine to the unremitting darkness of this story, but in the last chapter yesterday, she seemed to close the doors of her feelings forever. All that is left of sunshine now is young 17-year-old Florence, who continues to be a model of goodness in a world gone loony with evil. I feel so bad for this girl. She is good and deserves to be treated with goodness. My only hope, now, is that Captain Cuttle, old Sol Gills, and young Walter will come back to the story to save her.

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