Monday, March 16, 2015

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

I hesitate to express my feelings on this one. I found the read to be tedious and dull, and yet ... the story was rather beautiful. You really have to break this one down in order to fully absorb it and appreciate it to its full extent.

We are introduced to several characters. Mr. and Mrs. Peerybingle (otherwise known as John the carrier and Dot). John being of many years senior to his young wife Dot. They appear to be happy together, and the cricket chirps and sings on the hearth as the tea kettle hums. We are also introduced to Mr. Tackleton and his soon wife to be May. As with the former couple Mr. Tackleton is also much older then is his young fiance. Mr. Tackleton is a sour and heartless toy merchant with a crude disposition. His relationship with May appears to be loveless. Then we meet Caleb and his blind daughter Bertha. Caleb works as a assistant to Mr. Tackleton. On their meager pay they live poorly, but Caleb paints a better living situation for his poor blind daughter in his attempts to spare her. He describes their home, which is no more then a run down shack, as being cozy. He describes less then desirable people in a different light. In this Bertha lives in a fantasy world created by her father, and far away from reality. We realize that Bertha is in fact in love with her fathers false descriptions of Mr. Tackleton. John begins to suspect that Dot is unhappy being married to him. And the cricket is silent. In the midst of his despair and sorrow he folds in upon himself and nearly gives in to his dark thoughts, and then the cricket sings ...

My rating :  ***

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