Quotes #1

“… now I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.”

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

 

“I went to my window, opened it, and looked out. There were the two wings of the building; there was the garden; there were the skirts of Lowood; there was the hilly horizon. My eye passed all other objects to rest on those most remote, the blue peaks; it was those I longed to surmount; all within their boundary of rock and heath seemed prison-ground, exile limits.”

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

 

“I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing. I abandoned it and framed a humbler supplication; for change, stimulus: that petition, too, seemed swept off into vague space: “Then,” I cried, half desperate, “grant me at least a new servitude!””

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

 

“The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain”

Lord Byron

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AN#8: Glossary

There are some colloquialisms here that need to be explained:

A papaya is a paw-paw.

“Kiasu” is slang for competitive. It’s often used in a derogatory sense, for parents and students who work very hard hoping to outdo everyone else. It could also mean students who refuse to share information with their peers because they don’t want them to be better than them.

Yeah, the last post was a satire on competitive Asian parents.

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AN#7: Lucy’s political background

Charlotte Bronte was a high Tory, and yet not an unsympathetic one. I believe I mentioned I did not make Lucy the Malaysian equivalent of Toryism, because that would mean supporting racism and elitism.

Lucy’s views on racial equality may seem too liberal for Charlotte Bronte, and yet I think not. In the Life of Charlotte Bronte, it is mentioned that Charlotte berated a bunch of curates for condemning Dissenters too severely and wanting to deprive them of their rights. Charlotte felt sorry for the Dissenters, and so I think to be faithful to her sympathetic nature Lucy would have some liberal views. It was Belgium that undid Charlotte’s goodwill – after that, she hated Catholics, because she was unhappy in a Catholic country, and encountered some harsh Catholics, and disagreed with their dogma.

Instead of hating Catholicism, a modern equivalent would possibly be political correctness gone mad, or Stephanie Meyer’s sect (you know what it is), because Catholicism nowadays does not inspire the same fear it once did.

I realise there’ far more politics here than in the original Villette, but to adapt it to a modern audience I felt this was necessary. Besides, I had intended to write a political novel (a la George Eliot) until I got sidetracked by Villette, and decided to combine both elements, as Villette was the superior work.

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