Thursday, 10 October 2013

''Agnes Grey'' - Book Review

Author: Anne Brontë
Published: 1847

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5


The Bronte sisters are among my favorite authors. Emily Bronte's ''Wuthering Heights'' and Charlotte Bronte's ''Jane Eyre'' are two very special books for me. While ''Wuthering Heights'' is my favorite book of all time, ''Jane Eyre'' is one of the books that made me fall in love with books. These two books are so powerful, so intense, with so strong, powerful, memorable characters. Charlotte and Emily are thus two of my favorite authors. ''Agnes Grey'', however, is the first Anne Bronte novel that I've read.

Anne Bronte was the youngest of the Bronte sisters. She wrote only two novels: ''Agnes Grey'' and ''The Tenant of Wildfell Hall''. 

''Agnes Grey'' is based on Anne's own experiences while working as a governess. The titular character of this novel, Agnes Grey, being the youngest member of the family, grew up with a lot of love and affection from her parents and elder sister. Though her father has a modest income, he does his best to keep the family happy and comfortable, but, however, circumstances make them fall into poverty. 

Agnes decides to earn a living as a governess. She takes the job of a governess to the children of the Bloomfield family. The mischievous and disobedient children make life miserable for her, and she gets tired and devastated. However, after she loses her job because Mrs Bloomfield has complains about the children's learning, she is appointed as a governess to the children of the Murray family.

Miss Rosalie Murray and Miss Matilda Murray are older than Agnes's Bloomfield pupils, and in some ways, they are a little less mischievous. But though they are not very mischievous, they are immature, disobedient and spoiled, and Agnes's life in the Murrays' home also becomes difficult. But when will she find happiness and satisfaction...?

''Agnes Grey'' is mainly about the life and sufferings of the protagonist. In the Victorian era, governesses were poor, but educated young women, who used to teach the children of wealthy people. The governesses used to live in the house, and despite being well educated, they were often treated merely as upper servants. They were often victims of bad behavior. For example, in ''Agnes Grey'', we see Agnes not even being greeted by the acquaintances of the Murray girls. 

''Agnes Grey'' is about the life, feelings, sufferings of Agnes Grey. She finds love... she falls in love with Mr Weston. But will she find the happiness that she longs for?

The narration is impressive. The overall story, and the storytelling, is moving. It is Agnes's day-to-day story, Agnes's retelling of her life as a governess, her pains, her suffering. Her feelings towards Mr Weston was very touching, but even in case of love, there were so many obstacles and uncertainties in front of her.

''Agnes Grey'' was a pleasant and touching novel... But when I compare it to ''Wuthering Heights'' and ''Jane Eyre'',  Agnes Grey seems rather a little plain. Both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were so powerful and intense, with characters whom I'll never forget. ''Agnes Grey'', on the other hand, was touching, but not as much that it will remain very memorable... nor were the characters that well developed. BUT ''Agnes Grey'' was also worth a read, and I'm glad that I read it. 

3 out of 5

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