Characters

Character Personifications (100 points)

In the first week of class, we’ll each sign up to personify a character from Zola’s Germinal or Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. [Here is what you signed up for.] At least 4 times while we are discussing that work, you will post as that character. Share thoughts, photos, knowledge of the historical period, links, etc. Respond to other characters’ posts, in character. Demonstrate that you understand the character you’re playing and have tried to grasp his or her experience in the world, and share that familiarity with your classmates in order to help them grasp it all, too.

Grades will be based on the following factors: 4 posts (you can do more but aren’t required to); demonstration of familiarity with character; some demonstration of familiarity with character’s context (what happens to them in the novel, what their life might have been like at that time, in that historical context, etc.). Be as creative as you like, if you want to post drawings, clips of film, music, paintings found on the internet, photos from the period, links to contextual resources, etc.

154 thoughts on “Characters”

  1. La Maheude: Eh, upon second thought I suppose I take back what I said. Etienne can’t very well be blamed for this. It was bound to happen sooner or later, whether it was by the hands of him or some other traveling prophet. He wasn’t wrong. We are mistreated and exploited. We deserve better. I can’t even be mad about the deaths of my loved ones. Not at anyone specific at least. But I am still mad. There’s no doubt about that. But I will swallow my pride and go back to work — for now — to feed my children and that good for nothing old oaf. I will hold on to my anger quietly, until the time has come to give this whole revolution thing another try. And next time around, it will work. We will be more calculated and organized. We will do what we need to to emerge victorious. Because we have all felt the crushing pain that this cursed pit brings. We have all lost loved ones because of this pit. We have all starved due to the damned bourgeoisie that stuff their faces from all the profits our back-breaking labor brings in. We have all suffered. #yesallminers

    Like

  2. Madame Hennebeau : Thank heavens all these riots are over and done with. The miners have caused me so much pain and suffering by always purposely trying to ruin my plans. At least now they know their place and will be happy with all we provide them with. It can only get better from here.. Now to continue my ‘motherly’ duty and attempt to console Negrel. You will be missed, Cecile..

    Like

  3. Mr.Gregoire: My poor Cecile lay a slumber late into the morning. The obnoxious storm kept her angelic mind a twitter last night so she must sleep in. this proves beneficial for I get to enjoy a beautiful morning with my wife.

    Like

  4. Mr.Gregoire: I had a miner’s wife and two of her seven children visit my home today requesting charity. Which occasionally is essential to fulfill your godly duties of charity, but without fail she tried to swindle some charity in the form of a few sous pieces. This I surely cannot agree with, for surely her husband will seize it and go pour it down the drain at Rasseneur’s

    Like

  5. Mr.Gregoire: Unfortunately for my cousin Deneulin he seems to have over invested in his mine, leaving himself little liquidity and prone to unpredictable downturns in the market. Who knows maybe this will work out as a favorable business opportunity for me. Slow and steady always wins the race.

    Like

  6. Mr.Gregoire: Surely I have my cousin, Deneulin, pinned to the wall! He came to me requesting a loan to keep his mine operratinal. Unbeknownst to him I have my own plans regarding that fat cow of a mine. Surely he shall head my advice of selling to balance his debts, allowing me to purchase the mine at a marginal price! Slow and steady wins the race.

    Like

    1. Never in a millions years will I sell to Montsou! We will see who comes out on top when my investments finally pay off! Besides, I already told you my request for a loan was only a joke cousin.

      Like

  7. I just ate lunch at the Hennebeaus’ and we discussed the current strike amongst the miners. Monsieur Hennebeau seems to be convinced it won’t last more than a week and a half but I am not as sure. Unlike him I do not have a “mattress to fall back on” and I will surely go under if this strike reaches Vandame. If I didn’t know any better I would think Monsieur Hennebeau is attempting to use this strike in his favor in order to buy me out of Vandame! On another note, the apple charlotte with meringue dessert Madame Hennebeau served after lunch was delicious.

    Like

  8. While I was at the Hennebeaus’ for lunch we were interupted by the delegation. Monsieur Hennebeau left into the drawing-room to speak with them. When he returned he briefly explained to me what was discussed and I think he believes he has solved the problem. I, on the other hand, guarantee this is not the end of this rebellion.

    Like

  9. One of my deputies woke me to inform me of the rebellion. Unfortunately, as I was preparing to leave my daughters woke up and insisted I eat something before I go. I tried to remain calm so my girls would not be worried, and I was soon able to make my way to talk some sense into the workers. If this strike spreads to my pit I will be ruined.

    Like

  10. I attempted to talk some sense into a man named Chaval at the strike. He’s a vain man and I used that to my advantage. He promised me he would calm his comrades down and convince them to go back down and start up work again. After a little time Chaval succeeded and production commenced once again! I am confident that this is the end of my problems, and I was even invited to the Hennebeaus’ for dinner tonight!

    Like

  11. Cecile: Even the most delightful of days can quickly sour. I’m not sure that this strike is being taken seriously; I was strangled for goodness sake. This strike should end soon if there’s a God in heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lavaque: Met with Monsieur Hennebeau today to listen to our demands. Listen my ass! The dirty bastard blew us off like a fly on his bread. He doesn’t believe we have the will to strike. Says we will only be causing ourselves suffering. Well, we shall see who suffers most.

    Like

  13. Lavaque: Today a new man joined the crew. He is slow but will soon learn, though we all have little time to waste on teaching. The coal quota is getting harder and harder to complete especially when my son keeps wasting time on the timbering. I

    Like

  14. Lavaque: Maheu wants to have me marry of my daughter to his scamp of a child. He should know more than anyone I have just as many mouths to feed and money is only getting tighter.

    Like

  15. Lavaque: We gathered at the Jean-Bart Mine today. We had to do something. We had to! They think they can treat us like animals to haul coal until we drop dead in the ground. We destroyed the equipment and beat the filthy scabs that think they replaced us with. We tried to speak to the owners but they did not listen. We now must speak through action and fear, it is all they can hear now.

    Like

  16. Saw a god awful sight yesterday. As we marched on down to one of the mines, Demeulin was arguing with Etienne. Didn’t seem that he was listening to what the kid was pleadin’. Then the boys came out of the mine ’til suddenly, Catherine came out, clothes almost off, tired… The misses went to slap the girl….I couldn’t help but shake a lil’ on my own. Etienne stopped us and….sigh….anyways, we started raiding the town, destroying what we can. It all went by so fast…then, as I realized what was happening, I saw the ol’ family jewels of ol’ Maigrat….the fellow been dead by the women…do….do we deserve better, eh? Do we?

    Like

  17. Jeanlin: I am glad I killed that soldier. It felt so good to plunge my knife into his neck. I have been wanting to do this for three days and it feels good to finally do it. What I want to know is why is Etienne is so shocked. Are these soldiers not trying to stop Etienne’s strike. Why does Etienne not want to fight them?

    Like

  18. Charlotte Lucas: This whole business of getting to know someone before getting married is silly and unnecessary. I simply don’t see the point. It doesn’t make a difference how much you know someone before you marry them. They might as well get married on the spot, it will not make them more or less happy together in the long run. It’s all a matter of luck, really. Eliza may have a point in saying that I personally would not act this way, but it’s the principle of it, really.

    Like

  19. Aww! What a wonderful time in life for me! I am young, wealthy, and have my options presented to me of the most lovely, most handsome young women throughout the countryside! Mr. Bennet was the first of the father’s to request a visit from me, and dare I say, so grateful I am to him, for he has bred such an amazingly handsome daughter that is Jane. She has wooed me, mesmerized me with her beauty and sweetness. I do wish to be her Mr. Bingley indeed!

    Like

  20. The lovely Jane has developed quite a nasty illness after her arrival. I am deeply concerned for her well being… I do wish she recovers swiftly. Thankfully her sister Miss Bennet is staying and looking after her, tis a nice gesture and comfort for sweet Jane. I just hope she will not need to suffer too much longer. I hope to dance with sweet Jane at the next ball! Dancing and laughing along side her is sweet bliss!

    Like

  21. Mary Bennet; A man of large fortune by the name of Mr. Bingley recently moved here, and he has my mother all worked up trying to marry one of us daughters off. I am considered accomplished or well read. However, I am not the prettiest one. The prettiest daughter, by far, is Jane. At the ball Mr. Bingley danced with Jane twice, and could not keep his eyes off of her all night. Elizabeth thinks he really likes her, and I agree. His friend, Mr. Darcy, however, is quiet proud and everyone thinks off him as rude. I, however, believe pride to be as aspect of human behavior; it is a feeling that everyone experiences.

    Like

  22. Charlotte Lucas: Elizabeth doesn’t understand. I know she doesn’t exactly approve of my accepting Mr. Collins’ proposal, and I feel as though she pities me on some level. But she simply doesn’t understand that marriage is not always an exciting, romantic thing. I am getting too old to wait to marry for love. I don’t want to become a spinster. Mr. Collins is good enough, as far as I’m concerned.

    Like

  23. Mrs. Gardiner: I do hope Lizzy remains cautious and level headed. Although I am fond of Mr. Wickham, I do not think that he is the right match for Lizzy due to his lack of money. Even though they are not in love, I think Lizzy should remain sensible and not fall for Mr. Wickham. I do love her and I hope she does not disappoint her father by becoming attached to Mr. Wickham.

    Like

  24. Mrs. Bennet: I’m overjoyed that this Mr. Bingley has moved into the neighborhood. I have been waiting for such an opportunity like this to come. I had almost given up hope trying to find a good husband for one of my girls. This Mr. Bingley has completely restored my faith in my endeavor to find the right man for my daughters. I hope we can meet with this man in the near future, a dinner perhaps. I hope my husband behaves himself in front of Mr. Bingley. His cleverness can come off as being rude sometimes. I hope he does not ruin this for me, I mean my girls.

    Like

  25. Elizabeth Bennett:
    It seems that much of my daily breath in striving for something beyond what others expect of me. I am lucky to have my quickness of mind, it seems to be what keeps me healthy. There is some part of me that wishes there was more I could have done to cure Jane’s sickness. Sometimes I wonder if she was more independent she would have restored to health more quickly. It seems the only thing I grow sick of is the long-winded inhales and sideways glances of my peers…

    Like

  26. Charlotte Lucas: I am not fond of Mr. Collins, but I don’t need to be. I am neither young nor pretty nor rich. I am a logical and pragmatic woman, and I understand that the world is not always fair or romantic. Lizzy’s ideals are not my own. I don’t want for much, like she does. I am simply happy to have comfort and home of my own. I am no longer afraid or worried about what the future holds. At my age, I needed to find someone to marry, and now that I have, I feel more secure.

    New Yorker article about Charlotte: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/on-charlotte-lucass-choice

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Louisa Hurst (Mrs. Hurst):
    I do not care for Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. My sister also agrees with me. Elizabeth Bennet has nothing to offer. No manners, taste, or beauty. I can’t believe she would walk miles to come and see her sister. Jane only had a cold and it should not be over exaggerated. She looked wild and her attire was awful. Elizabeth does not act like a true lady and ignores the town’s decorum. My sister and I could never be associated with her. I do not care much for Jane Bennet either. Sure Jane is good looking, but she has no connections. She knows no one and will not benefit my brother in any way. I hope my brother does not ask for her hand in marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Sir William:
    Even with my great title and position it seems that Mr. Darcy has failed to notice me his neighbor next to him. I conversed with him about his opinion on dancing and he seems to believe that even a savage could dance. I met this remark with no response but did after a while feel it appropriate to compliment the dancing of Mr. Darcy’s friend.

    Like

  29. Mrs. Gardiner: I am still cautious of Mr. Wickham. It seems suspicious that Mr. Wickham would take such an interest in Miss King now, seeing as she has just inherited a fortune from her grandfather’s passing. I find Mr. Wickham’s interest in Miss King impure, and I do not agree with Elizabeth defending him. Maybe she should accompany Mr. Gardiner and me on one of our tours over the summer to cheer her up and to get her mind off of this matter.

    Like

  30. Woe is me… I wish not to believe my dear friend Darcy of his conclusions of Jane’s intentions. Can it really be true that her feelings are not relative of my own? Darcy has commented many of time of his sincere gesture that Miss Bennet has not the intentions or admiration towards marriage. I do not wish this to be the case, however Darcy has not been wrong much before… If this were to be the truest of situations, I fear it will take much time to revive myself and affections for another. For there is no other creature in all of London that carries more beauty and sweetness as Jane. I only hope this vacation will spring to life other affections to ensure my departure from Jane as she is not inclined towards me. Perhaps there is hope that dear Darcy is mistaken…

    Like

  31. Louisa Hurst (Mrs. Hurst):
    Oh have you not heard the news? Mr. Collins asked for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage and she has refused! We all know that Mr. Collins stands to inherit the Bennet’s estate and she still will not change her mind. I’m very surprised and I know her mother will not take the news lightly. I can very well relate to Elizabeth, for I have married a man more of fashion than of fortune. Comparatively, my husband has less and I am not willing to consider his home as my home.

    Like

  32. William Collins: I simply do not understand this vicious rumor circulating that my marriage proposal being “The worst marriage proposal ever”. I issued forth all of the logical, rational reasons to be married. I am shocked and gravely insulted that Elizabeth turned down my proposal after all we danced not once, but twice at the ball! And I certainly don’t know how anyone could argue with the advice given by the right honorable, wise, intelligent, handsome, benevolent, gracious, delightful Lady Catherine de Bourgh!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Georgiana Darcy: Oh Elizabeth! How pleased I am to meet you! Please, tell me you have been practicing your piano, we must play after supper! I was very pleased to hear about your last performance. I must admit I am very curious to know more about the girl my brother has been talking about! I heard you do not draw? perhaps I could teach you! I just finished showing my last piece to Lady Catherine.

    Like

  34. Louisa Hurst (Mrs. Hurst):
    I am so relieved and happy Mr. Darcy talked to my brother and saved him from a failing marriage. My sister and I knew all along that Jane was not right for him and my brother has finally realized it. I thank Mr. Darcy for being a great friend. Jane was pretty and nice but I would never be apart of her family nor ever consider them my family if my brother did marry her. The Bennet family are embarrassing and I do not want to associate myself with them. I know my sister will agree with me.

    Like

  35. Mrs. Gardiner: Based on what I have seen, I find Mr. Darcy to be very different from how Elizabeth originally described him to me. I find him to be very well-mannered and he seems to be of good virtue. His good virtue is only reinforced by the kind words that were spoken of him by Mrs. Reynolds.

    Like

  36. Mrs. Gardiner: Elizabeth should know that it was Mr. Darcy that found Lydia and Wickham. It was also Mr. Darcy who paid Mr. Wickham the money for the marriage, and I suspect that he did so because of the love that he has for Elizabeth.

    Like

  37. Colonel Fitzwilliam, the son of an earl and not a a very attractive young men as described in the novel. What Colonel Fitzwilliam lacks in attractiveness, he makes up for with his charm. Colonel Fitzwilliam is very well mannered and also pleasent to bea around with.

    Like

  38. Colonel Fitzwilliam: He is interested in Elizabeth, but explains that there can not be anything else more than a friendship between them because he needs to marry someone with money in order to support himself. On the link provided is a picture of Colonel Fitzwilliam to the left and Mr. Darcey to the right.

    http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/janeausten/images/c/c8/Tumblr_l7cpv5iatH1qchde8o1_500.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20111116025643

    Like

  39. Kitty Bennet can be described as to be one of the fourth Bennet sister. She is just like Lydia and also she is girlishly enthralled with the soldiers. She is 17 years old by the way she is two years older than Lydia also she is considered to be pretty because Mary is the only plain sister the we known. Likewise she is shorten than her sister Lydia. During the novel, Kitty is described as “weak spirited”, irritable, and even though she is two years older than Lydia, completely under her younger sister guidelines. But also she is described as ignorant, idle, and vain but in the other hand she enjoys dancing and flirting. In the novel we see the she is always with her sister Lydia, they are very close. At the beginning we see the she is coughing very often which hesitates her parents, but at the other hand this is used as humor in the novel. Another main point that we could see about this character is the she exhibits little of personality of her own. For instance, she imitates Lydia in almost everything; she also does everything the Lydia tells her today. Therefore, Kitty Bennet can be described as a character the loves to enjoy life but also she and Lydia resembles qualities that her mother had when she was young.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. William Collins:
    http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/parish.html
    As you can see from this ‘link’ I am only steps steps away from the monarch himself! And given that as a member of the clergy of the Church of England I could be considered a conduit to God himself! As such I may introduce myself to most any gentry as I hold an equal place in status. And given that I am the rector of the most Honorable, wonderful, magnificent, glorious, humble, generous, reserved, pious, honest, forthright, noble, delicate, sturdy, innovative Lady Catherine de Bourgh I am practically next in line to become the next archbishop!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Mr. Gardiner: They took their way towards the house on the opposite side of the river, in the nearest direction’ but their progress was slow, for Mr. Gardiner, though seldom able to indulge the taste, was very fond of fishing and was so much engaged in watching the occasional appearance of some trout in the water and talking to the man about them, that he advanced but little.

    Like

  42. Charlotte Lucas: As this story comes to close, it strikes me as how unfair my fate is compared to the rest of the characters. Am I not as kind, sensible, and deserving as the other girls? Am I only here as a cautionary tale as to what happens to girls who do not marry for love, but rather for comfort? No, in reality, my fate is the most realistic in this book for my time. All this romance, love, excitement, that sort of thing was not common. Women at this time in England were not, for the most part, conveniently falling in love with handsome, wealthy men who happened to fancy them back. The world was not quite that kind to women. We had to marry out of necessity, because otherwise, we would have nowhere to go. The truth is, for every one story like Lizzie’s, there are a thousand like mine.

    Liked by 1 person

Post a Response

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Associate Professor of Literature :: Yale-NUS College

%d bloggers like this: