Thursday, February 23, 2006

After delving a little further into the hypertext I found reading the text on a computer screen easier. Marking my place by right clicking and highlighting an area, allowed an easy return to where I left off.
Shelley has a habit of introducing a character and then not mentioning him or her until several chapters later. For example, she introduces Edmond son of Richard III in the first chapter and then he drops out of the story until four or five chapters later. Hernan de Faro appears in one chapter and goes unmentioned in another. Although with so many characters it would be hard to talk about them at the same time or involve them in the plot all at once. Sometimes her time line is a bit confusing as well. Years will pass and I don' t know they have until she mentions Richard is 18 and only a chapter before he was 14. Sometimes I'm confused by her style of describing action and get lost in her character descriptions. I do like her character descriptions. She does a good job of creating an imaginable, vivid portrait of her characters. However, she places her portraits in the middle of action. During an escape or a battle scene she stops the action to describe Richard's rosey cheek or a brave character's stature. Is this a characteristic of Gothic literature? She provides portraits of the same character repeatedly, especially Richard, Edmond, Monina, and Hernan de Faro.
At times she will mention a character's inability to speak English, yet following that announcement the same character converses with an English person. Richard eventually learns French but not until he has lived with Madeline for a while. I'm nit picking now.
I like her characters and I enjoy reading the battle scenes. However, her characters are too perfect in their chivalric representations. I'm not sure if that is on purpose or if I'm mistaken. They share many characteristics with chivalric characters; for example, they possess bravery, modesty, beauty, passion, intellect, piety, and many others. Futhermore, they exist in exagerated and idealized versions of what their counterparts might have been. In other words, her characters do not resemble reality. Her telling of history seems to be ensconced in a highly romantic, chivalric world.
I'm constantly surprised at how easily the characters fall for the plots of their enemies.
Just from making the responses to and initial research of questions and issues, my understanding of the text is better. I like responding to texts as I go anyways, but I like the prospect of conversing with the rest of the class.
Furthermore, I'm surprised at how short her chapters are and I think it would flow better if I didn't have to click back to the home page in order to start the next chapter.
All in all, I found the chapters I've read to be engaging, fun, humerous, sometimes confusing, and enjoyable. I like following the characters through the chapters, and her character portraits are entertaining and funny. Several times her characters will stop in the midst of escape and tell a story.
It would be interesting to read and compare the other Perkin Warbeck text that was published at the same time as Shelley's.

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