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Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte - notes

She has him now: he is her lover; she is his darling: she will be far more his darling yet when they are married: the more Robert knows of Shirley, the more his soul will cleave to her. They will both be happy, and I do not grudge them their bliss; but I groan under my own misery: some of my suffering is very acute. Truly, I ought not to have been born: they should have smothered me at the first cry.'

At this passage this morning I laughed pretty helplessly. Caroline enters into this soliloquy after watching Robert, with whom she is secretly in love, walking in the moonlight with Shirley. Now admittedly walking in the moonlight is a little suspect, but smothered at the first cry?

I wasn't totally sure I should be laughing-but it reminded me so much of Anne of Green Gables and her passionate outbursts. Ah-it is so refreshing to be passionate. It's a very different thing-your needs radiating as an inner star, bursting out through a barrier of reluctance and discretion. It's a very different thing from constantly drawing attention to yourself.

Did you know that there was once a belief that a lady never draws attention to herself? When I once read it, I died of shock when I considered its juxtaposition to the common modern woman.

In addition Shirley reminds me of Anne Shirley-and I wonder if Montgomery ever read Bronte.

Shirley and Caroline are opposite in temperament but twin in intellect. They are very high beings, but Shirley is very high-spirited, and we do not know how observant-has she yet perceived her dear friend is in love with Robert?

Well, I read some notes already, so I don't necessarily have the answer to that question, but I know Shirley has feelings for someone else-and that Robert will be Caroline's.

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