RTW: The Story of an Hour

From YA Highway:
Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic. 
This Week's Topic:
A long-awaited kiss, a surprise ending, a character's sudden decision…  these are the moments that make us smile, gasp, and LOVE a book for the rest of our lives.

What is your favorite literary moment?
There are too many to count.  

The Harry Potter books.  I don't even know where to begin.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- so many moments.  This was the first book I read that when I reached the last sentence I turned immediately back to the first page.  

Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, in particular the final story, "The Lives of the Dead."  The moment of seeing the young girl in the casket:  "I turned and glanced behind me, where my father stood, thinking that maybe it was a joke -- hoping it was a joke -- almost believing that Linda would jump out from behind one of the curtains and laugh and yell out my name.  But she didn't.  The room was silent.  When I looked back at the casket, I felt dizzy again.  In my heart, I'm sure, I knew it was Linda, but even so I couldn't find much to recognize.  I tried to pretend she was taking a nap, her hands folded at her stomach, just sleeping away the afternoon.  Except she didn't look asleep.  She looked dead.  She looked heavy and totally dead."

Heartbreaking.

There is the moment in Pride and Prejudice, in Chapter 11, when Mr. Darcy expresses his love to Elizabeth:  "'In vain I have struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.'"

Inwardly cheering.  He admires her!  He loves her!  And then -- she rejects him, with wit and feeling and this:  "'The feelings which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgement of your regard can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation.'"

The whole chapter, the dialogue, everything, is brilliant and so agonizing!  And of course you will recall how much I love that scene from the 2005 film version

In Kathryn Worth's They Loved to Laugh:  The moment when Martitia is trapped in the icehouse and believes she is about to die.  I ache for Martitia, imploring the now-dead Clarkson to stay with her, to hold her hand until she can no longer think.  I ache for Clarkson, who died loving her.  And most of all, I ache for Clarkson's brother Jonathan, who, as he rescues Martitia, the girl that he loves (and who loves him), hears her say in her weakened state: "'You did come to find me, Clarkson!'"

But the first piecthat came to mind was a short story by Kate Chopin.  I studied Chopin as a sophomore in college and something profound happened when I read "The Story of an Hour."  I read it over and over, amazed at what the writer had accomplished in so few paragraphs.  If you have not read it, find it here.  It won't take long. 

On a lighter note -- I'm not always so serious about literature.  Some of my favorite moments are the "first kiss -- finally!"  Anna and the French Kiss, anyone?  Stay tuned for more on that.

What are some of your favorite literary moments?







Comments

  1. I love ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (and LOLA too, of course). Such great books! I only wish I could write like that :)

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  2. Yes, Harry Potter is the source of many great moments. Harry's first kiss (the one with Cho) is classic... though I wondered if Harry would really be that clueless. Maybe. :)

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    Replies
    1. Probably. Who isn't clueless at that age? :)

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  3. Good, good books. I think The Things They Carried will stay with me forever. And One Hundred Years of Solitude is amazing. There's so much magic in Marquez.

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    1. I know what you mean about The Things They Carried. It's such a powerful book. I go back to it again and again.

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  4. Definitely ANNA! That was one of the bestest kisses evah!

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  5. Yep, Pride and Prejudice gets me every time!

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  6. Replies
    1. Yes - love the books you can read over and over and still find something new and magical there.

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