Review: Caleb Williams by William Godwin

Caleb Williams William Godwin

 
This review will look at the entirety of the books contents because it is a classical piece. I don’t, however, what to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t read the book so if you wish to continue it is at your own risk with the knowledge that spoilers will occur.
Caleb Williams follows the protagonist through his discovery of a big secret his master, Falkland, has kept from the world. It also looks at how this affects Caleb’s life after this discovery and also focuses on the power of the mind, especially when he is imprisoned. Caleb is framed by Falkland because of his discovery (which I will avoid mentioning if at all possible so there is still an air of mystery to the novel) and taken to jail, where his character grows and learns how his curiosity lead him to this point.
One of the big parts of the book is that the main characters in the novel all have a different hubris. For Caleb it is his curiosity; for Falkland, his pride; and for Tyrrel, it is his anger. These dominant characteristics are what leads to the downfall of each character and they are all very human, very ‘sinful’ flaws. But the difference lies in Caleb’s self-reflection during his time in prison, where he maintains his homosocial affection for Falkland despite their disagreement.
One part of Caleb’s personality that I find oddly admirable is his loyalty towards Falkland. It isn’t until the very end of the book where he reveals the secret, which inevitably leads to Falkland’s death. He keeps this despite all of the torment he is being put through and this is something that I find both very stupid but very loyal.
The book is sectioned into three parts and the first details many circumstances that led up to the happening of the secret and in this time, I grew to favour the character of Emily. She is Tyrrel’s ward and her personality is very kind and likeable but also very passionate. She defies Tyrrel when he wants to marry her off, to the extent where she runs away. However, this ordeal leads her to fall ill and unable to recover. I sympathise with Emily because she stands up for her beliefs in a true feminist fashion but she is persecuted by Tyrrel for doing so. This could also be where my dislike of Tyrrel comes from.
Overall, this book illustrated to me the power of wealth and the mind but also that pride can be a melancholy attribute.
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Books to Big Screen: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

So I’ve seen both the 3D HFR (High Frame Rate) and 2D version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I’m currently re-reading the book by J.R.R Tolkein, so I thought I would share my thoughts on both the film and the first third of the book corresponding to it.

So firstly, let’s discuss the book.

The film corresponds to the first six chapters of the book. My thoughts on the book are that the length of the content was just right. My favourite parts of the book was the part with Gollum. I love that scene in the film as well. The Hobbit has a much lighter feel that The Lord of the Rings and as a result is open to more humour and I found it more fun to read, where as LOTR was more intense and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. With The Hobbit, I felt like I was going along for the adventure.

Overall, I feel that the plot moves at a nice pace and no corner relating to the integral plot is lacking. I love the songs that are interpreted into the book and my hope is that the films with continue to do so. The characters where all likable and I felt that the dwarves interacted well with each other. No one was really left without any development which isn’t as present in the first film.

Now moving on to the film.

Firstly, I want to talk about the acting and the actors who played various roles. I want to congratulate Martin Freeman on a brilliant depiction of Bilbo Baggins. I was worried that because another actor had already played the role they may bring different feels of who the character is, but hats off to Freeman who really capture the feel of the character and also was able to convince me that he and the previous actor were the same character.

Of the dwarves my favourite were Balin, Bofur and Thorin. James Nesbit as Bofur plays a very light hearted and witty character. His accent also stands out from the rest of the dwarves so his character is particularly memorable. Thorin, played by Richard Armitage, was more stern in the film than the book I felt, though this may change in the two yet to come. Balin was exactly as I imagined he would be and this is one of the reasons I loved his character so much. He was cheerful and wise and looked like he would be the kind of dwarf who would look after you in any situation.

Moving on from the acting and to the changes from the book. There are a couple of key differences to the plot that don’t take away too much from the overall quest, but I feel give the film a bit less of a constant motion. The scene in Rivendell, where we see cameos from Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Christopher Lee as Saruman was a particularly unexpected scene but I felt changed the pace of the film and prevented most of the clips to be of Thorin and Company running through the East Road and the Misty Mountains.

I had two favourite scenes throughout and they are the scenes with Gollum and Radagast. Simply because I love both of these characters. I think Andy Serkis does a brilliant job as Gollum, yet again, and this scene was just as tense and amusing as I anticipated. I really felt that Serkis and Freeman worked well together in creating this intense atmosphere.

Lastly, I wanted to comment about the 3D HFR vs 2D. Personally, I loved both versions. Normally, I hate going to see a film in 3D because the glasses are a pain (because they don’t fit very well over the ones I wear on a day to day basis) and most of the time the 3D isn’t necessary. However, the glasses in my cinema had changed so I didn’t have to sit pushing them back onto my nose the whole film and could enjoy the detail the went into the movements. The HFR was definitely noticable and made the picture gained an enhanced clarity and was visibly smoother. Not only that but the 3D wasn’t just bits of the film flying towards you, I could see actual depth to the scene and this really impressed me. Definitely my best experience with 3D so far.

Also seen on Brit Writers Blog

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