Pam & Tommy.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to #fridayschoice. If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you’ll know that I started watching Pam & Tommy a few weeks ago on Disney plus.

I said on my Instagram stories that I had mixed feelings about the show. On the one hand, I think it is very good and I have enjoyed watching it. I feel that the actors, particularly Lily James, have done an incredible job of capturing their characters. I think that the hair and makeup team deserve a lot of recognition, because without them, the actors could not transform into their characters the way they have.

It’s explicit. That goes without saying. The first two episodes were particularly explicit, and I do think that the writers did this to have an element of shock factor, because after the first two episodes, I felt that the level of sexual content and explicit scenes became less frequent as the story became more about how the tape is spreading and the impact that this is having on Pam and Tommy, but more so Pam.

I really like that this series is focusing on how much this tape being leaked did hurt Pamela Anderson. Regardless of what people thought of them and their relationship and how they got married, they were a married couple who had their private property stolen from them. That tape being put out into the public sphere was a huge invasion of privacy and this series is highlighting how Pamela especially suffered because of this invasion of privacy.

It is a sad fact that women are always judged much more harshly than men in situations like this. It is Pamela who was made fun of on talk shows, it is Pamela who was slut shamed, it is Pamela who was doubly judged because she had posed for Playboy and worked on Baywatch and sadly, people struggled, and still do struggle to understand that there is a huge difference between work that you have consented to vs. private, intimate property that was never intended to be seen.

This is where my mixed feelings arise, because I do think that the show is highlighting very important issues around consent and privacy, however it is hard to separate the important themes from the fact that the real Pamela Anderson was not happy that a show was being made.

It’s a difficult situation, because it was one of the biggest Hollywood stories, what happened was not okay. I like that the show is highlighting how badly Pamela was treated by lawyers and talk show hosts, and I would hope that a new generation is learning about consent and privacy and seeing how doing something like this to someone is wrong and not in any way justified, but knowing that Pamela Anderson was not happy about it being made, and thinking about how hard it must be to see the show talked about so often must be very difficult.

It may seem contradictory to say that I have mixed feelings about the show because of the fact that it could be hard on the real life people whom it is about and then continue to talk about it, but the reason I have chosen to talk about it is because it is a difficult one, and good pieces often are difficult. There is a grey area with this show. I am going to watch the last episode and when I do, I’ll have a more solid opinion on whether or not I think it should have been made, but the show did highlight some very important themes about topics that are still considered somewhat taboo.

The show highlights consent, privacy, the invasion of one’s privacy, the hypocrisy of the media, the unfair treatment of women compared to men and it does so very well, so for that reason, because of the show’s handling of these very important themes, I decided that I would talk about it, despite having some mixed feelings about it.

This has been Friday’s Choice.

Kate xo.

Active Voice.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to #theorythursday. I feel recharged after my break and I am so excited to keep moving onwards and upwards. I hope you all have a great month.

Today I am talking about the active voice in a text so let’s dive right in.

What is an active voice? What does this mean?

I have spoken before about verbs, nouns, adjectives, and how in a sentence there is usually a subject. When a sentence is written in the active voice, this means that the subject of that sentence will be performing an action.

I will now create an example.

“The dog chased the ball.”

“The waiter brought the drinks.”

Why is this important?

When an author chooses to use the active voice, it is usually so that it is clear to the reader who is taking action in the piece. Using active voice when writing is also a helpful tool because sentences tend to become shorter which makes them easier to follow.

I personally think that using active voice can give a character more agency. For example, if I were to write something like this – “The girl ran from her assailant as fast as she could, determined to escape unharmed.” – In this very short sentence, I have given a female character a lot of agency, she is running from someone, she is determined to get away, this demonstrates that she is very brave and if I were a reader, reading something like this in a text, I would hope that she does in fact get away.

This has been Theory Thursday. If anyone ever has any questions, please do let me know.

Happy Friday Eve.

Kate xo.

Quoting Shakespeare.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. I hope you all have had a good week. 

Seeing as it is Valentine’s week, I have decided to close the week with a Shakespeare extract that I really do love. 

This week’s #fridayschoice is a beautiful Shakespeare quote. 

The following quote is from Hamlet, Prince of Denmark which is a play that I really enjoy and a piece that I will discuss in much more detail at another time. 

The following quote is from Act II.

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.

An extract from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act II.

I’ve always loved this little snippet. I just think that it is a beautiful line. I love reading Shakespeare’s verses and every time I read his work I find something else that I want to share because I love it so much.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Kate xo.

Past, Present, and Future Tense.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to Theory Thursday. I took an unplanned break last week as it had been an extremely busy day and I will never publish anything on Katelovesliterature.com that I am not 100% happy with. 

There is a #theatretrip post coming up soon as last week I went to see the incredible Les Misérables in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. 

Today I am talking about the concept of tense in English literature so let’s dive in. 

What does the term “tense” mean? 

In English grammar, the term “tense” refers to time. Texts will operate in categories of time, the past, the present, and in the future so the novel will take place in the past-tense, the present-tense, or the future-tense. 

Past, present, and future are the three main tenses. There are different categories within each tense, however that is a more complex topic for another day. 

The past-tense is used to describe things that happened before the present. The present-tense is used to describe things that are happening in the current moment, and the future-tense is used when talking about things that will happen in the future. 

I am going to make up some examples below. 

Examples of past-tense:

“I walked to the shop yesterday.” 

“Three years ago, we moved house.” 

“I lost my purse last week.”

Examples of present-tense:

“I am reading a very good book.”

“It is raining very heavily so I can’t go outside at the moment.”

“I am doing my homework while my dinner is in the oven.”

Examples of future-tense:

“I am going to sing in the talent show next week.”

“Tomorrow I am going to the library to study.”

“I will buy a new jacket when I go shopping next week.”

Why is it important to understand the concept of tense? 

I think it is important to understand the concept of tense because tense tells readers when something happens in a narrative. The use of tense can connect the past to the present, or it can inform us about the future. Deciding which tense to write in is an important decision as it can impact how a story is told. Understanding tense means that you understand another literary technique and having a broad understanding of a wide range of techniques enhances our understanding and enjoyment of literature in general. 

This has been Theory Thursday. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a favourite tense? Do you prefer narratives that take place in the past vs.in the present for example? Let me know. 

Kate xo.

Emma (2020).

Hello everyone. Happy Monday. Happy Valentine’s Day. I know that some people don’t care about Valentine’s Day and that’s absolutely fine. I’m kind of indifferent about the day. I think it’s sweet if you choose to celebrate it with someone special or with friends, but I also don’t feel the need to go out of my way to mark the day, so to those of you who do love Valentine’s Day, I hope you have had a good one and that you enjoyed however you chose to celebrate. 

With all of that being said, let’s dive into this week’s #moviemonday discussion. 

Today I am talking about the 2020 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. The movie was released in February of 2020 and it was directed by Autumn de Wilde. 

Plot. 

The movie is based on Austen’s novel, which is a story about romantic misunderstandings all fuelled and orchestrated by the overconfident Emma. Emma is wealthy, beautiful, determined, headstrong, and overconfident in abilities of matchmaking. Throughout the novel, and the movie, Emma meddles in the lives of those around her, not realising the damage she is doing until it’s already done. 

The movie’s entire plot begins when Emma’s governess Miss Taylor gets married, leaving Emma to find a new companion. Emma finds a new companion in Harriet Smith, and when Emma can’t help herself from meddling in Harriet’s proposal, this is the beginning of a series of romantic misunderstandings between different couples, all because of Emma’s overconfident meddling. 

In the midst of all the confusion, Emma herself finds love. 

Characters. 

Emma Woodhouse is of course the movie’s main protagonist, although people may find her unlikable. Jane Austen famously said that when she was writing Emma, she was creating a heroine that may not be liked by anyone but herself. Emma’s likability is up to interpretation, and each viewer will respond to her differently. Emma frustrates me but I do not actively dislike her, and I appreciate the arc she has in the story. 

There is a large ensemble cast in this movie. We meet many characters. Harriet Smith, Emma’s new companion, the first of her meddling victims. We meet Mr. Knightly, I would argue he is the male protagonist. He is the one who gives Emma a reality check about her behaviour, and he eventually becomes her love interest. 

Jane Fairfax is the one character whom Emma is jealous of, although she really doesn’t have any reason to be jealous as she is better off in nearly every way. I love Jane’s character, especially in the novel. Jane was orphaned at a young age, and although she was cared for by caring family members, and although she is beautiful, elegant, and very well accomplished – a fact that bothers Emma, Jane is destined to become a governess which is an interesting station in life. I will touch on this more at another time, because the concept is also discussed in Jane Eyre. A governess was a strange sort of in-between station in life, as one was more educated than a regular servant, but they still were not equal with the pupils they were teaching. Emma is of higher social status than Jane. She has much more financial security, and more comfortable prospects. 

I think what makes Jane so interesting to me is that she is the complete opposite to Emma regarding how she behaves romantically. It is interesting that in the book she can come across a tad cold, or quiet at social events, but it is important to remember that we are seeing Jane through Emma’s eyes, and Emma is jealous of her. The fact that she is the only person Emma envies is very interesting to me, and unlike Emma, she keeps her love life, particularly her engagement to Frank Churchill, a secret.They had to keep their engagement a secret, because his wealthy aunt did not approve, but when she dies, they are free to share their love and marry at last. 

I’ve focused a lot on Jane here and that is because some have argued that she could be described as a secondary heroine and I would have to agree. 

Themes. 

There are various themes that are presented in Emma. Many of Austen’s novels discuss the idea of social class and class differences, and Emma is no different. The movie’s major theme is the idea of what marriage means for one’s social status as the plot centres on so many relationships. The story shines a light on how important marriage was for women in that time period as having a good match could make or break you. Miss Bates in my opinion, is the character who demonstrates just how important marriage was to one’s social status in that time period, because without a husband to care for her and her mother, they are facing poverty. 

I think that one could interpret Emma as a cautionary tale about arrogance. Emma is a headstrong character. Emma is extremely overconfident about her matchmaking abilities and she takes it upon herself to meddle in everyone else’s lives without thinking about anyone else’s feelings or the ramifications of her actions. Emma is wealthy and she is in a very privileged position in life, she has great prospects as it is very likely that she will marry well, even though despite her matchmaking interests, she does not really spend too much time thinking about her own love life. 

When Emma convinces Harriet to turn down a proposal, the action that kicks off the rest of the plot, Emma does not ever seem to realise that she has severely impacted Harriet’s life. Harriet is not of the same status, she does have the options that Emma does, and so Emma had no right to mess in her affairs. 

The idea of one’s imagination running wild is also a major theme of Emma. Emma gets ideas about the people in her life into her head and then she manipulates situations and people so that things play out the way she wants them too. She believes that Mr. Elton has feelings for Harriet for example and likewise, Emma does not speak highly of Jane because she is jealous of her, so all of these perceptions and misunderstandings largely stem from Emma’s ideas about these people in her head. She’s so wrapped up in her own thoughts about what would amuse her, she never stops to think about the practicalities. 

Seeing as it is Valentine’s Day, I suppose that one could interpret the piece as an example of true love conquering all, because despite all of these misunderstandings and despite all of Emma’s meddling, things tend to end up as they are supposed to, and everyone ends up belonging with the person that they have true feelings for. I think that one could suggest that this shows the impact of love. This piece explores the idea that your love for another person will always win in the end. This is an idea that I feel is very much of the romantic era of literature, as there is this idea presented that love offers clarity despite all odds. 

Structure. 

The 2020 adaptation of Emma is just over two hours long, and I think that this may feel a tad long, but then again, the idea of multiple misunderstandings in one plot is always going to feel somewhat tedious no matter how well the story is told as naturally all of the miscommunication gets frustrating. I think that you need this time frame though because there are so many characters and they all play an important role in the story, because in order for all the pieces to come together at the end, and for the clarity to form, first we must have the confusion that Emma causes in the most frustratingly charming way. The story is compelling and the cast did a brilliant job so I like the movie’s pacing and length even though it is a tad long. 

Final Thoughts. 

I enjoyed this adaptation. I enjoy Emma in its many forms. I would highly recommend watching this movie. It’s fun. It’s great if you enjoy period pieces. The costumes were stunning, and the story is compelling even though at times it is frustrating – but that is all part of Emma’s charm.

This has been Movie Monday. Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Kate xo.

February’s Book Of The Month.

Hello everyone. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. Apologies because I’ve been a bit missing in action lately here on Katelovesliterature.com. February has been an extremely busy month, but I am back now and there is so much to come.

It took me some time to decide which book I wanted to focus on this month and because I’ve had so much going on I hadn’t had the chance to properly sit down and read anything, but I have finally decided that this month I am going to discuss Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Feel free to read along with me.

Have you read Alice in Wonderland? Do you consider it a children’s classic? I consider it a classic in general, not just a children’s classic, but I will touch on this in my discussion at the end of the month.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone and I hope that you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day tomorrow if you choose to celebrate it.

Kate xo.

A snap of my beautiful edition of Alice in Wonderland. I just love how gorgeous this book looks on my shelf.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (1961).

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #moviemonday. Today I am discussing the movie adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring the lovely Audrey Hepburn. I have discussed Truman Capote’s famous novella and if you’re interested in checking that out then you will find it in my Book Of The Month category. 

I stated in my book discussion that the book and the movie are extremely different and seeing as we are approaching Valentine’s Day, I thought that this movie would be a good choice as it is quite charming and includes an iconic kissing in the rain scene, a trope that one naturally associates with romantic/romantic comedy movies. 

So let’s dive into Movie Monday. 

This movie was released in 1961 and it was directed by Blake Edwards. 

Plot. 

The plot is the same as it is in the book although there are sections that are glossed over and some of the jarringly offensive language was thankfully left out. Mistakes were still made, if you’re familiar with the movie then you’ll know exactly which casting choice I am referring to. It’s safe to say that the same thing would hopefully not happen if this movie was made in 2022, but in the 60s, standards were different and certain things that thankfully aren’t acceptable today were back then. 

The plot follows Paul, an aspiring writer who moves into a New York brownstone and meets the mysterious and charming Holly Golightly, who calls him “Fred”. Holly’s chaotic yet intriguing lifestyle inspires “Fred” and the more he gets to know her (or not know her), the more intrigued and charmed he becomes and overtime he falls for her although Holly is not really the romantic type. Just like in the book, she’s preoccupied with trying to get herself a millionaire while also paying visits to her “uncle Sally” in Sing Sing. 

The two lost people find a sense of belonging in one another, even though Holly never wants to belong to anyone. Just like in the novel, she’s restless, she’s afraid to commit, she builds walls around her heart so that she can’t get hurt, and she just wants to find that place that makes her feel like Tiffany’s because “nothing so very bad can happen at a place like Tiffany’s.”

I recommend reading the novella before watching the movie because even though the movie is not the exact same and even though it glosses over some of the grittier aspects of Capote’s piece, I believe that you need to read the book in order to understand the movie. It’s hard to explain the plot because there really isn’t one. The novella is about “Fred” telling us about his experiences with Holly. In the novella we don’t even learn his real name. Holly is at one point described as being like a scarf that floats in the wind and that is such an apt description of her character. She’s confusing, she’s at times infuriating, she’s impossible to figure out and yet she’s charming, she’s intriguing, she’s vulnerable, she’s layered. Holly Golightly is an iconic character for a reason and I think that Hepburn did a wonderful job playing her. 

Characters.

The movie’s main protagonists are Holly and “Fred”. As I’ve stated above, Holly is a complex character who has many layers. She’s impossible to define which is ideal because Holly did not ever want to be defined. She didn’t want to be caged or put in a box. Holly is a very vulnerable character who has had a tough past, but she has built a life for herself, she has built a mysterious image that keeps her safe. “She’s a phoney, but she’s a real phoney.” 

“Fred” is much more of the classic romantic lead that one would expect to see in a 1960s movie. He’s handsome, he’s charismatic, he’s kind and understanding, but he’s not perfect, he’s got his own struggles. He’s an ambitious writer, struggling to gain his own independence. He’s trying to get published and make a career out of his dream, all while falling for this girl who he can’t quite figure out. 

There isn’t really an antagonist in this movie. There’s lots of different characters. We meet “Fred’s” decorator, a wealthy woman whom he sees for money, we meet Doc, Holly’s estranged husband whom she married when she was very young. We meet José, a Brazilian politician whom Holly plans to marry at one point, we meet Holly’s rather obnoxious friend Mag Wildwood, and then there’s Joe Bell, he runs the local bar. 

All of the other characters exist in the realm of Holly. “Fred” meets these people because of his friendship with Holly, it’s unlikely that he would have met any of these people by himself, aside from Joe Bell that is. 

Themes. 

I spoke about the themes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in my book discussion and although the movie is different, and arguably more romantic, I feel the core themes are the same. This is a movie about belonging. The major theme of this movie is this idea of finding somewhere that makes you feel like you’re at ease. A place that makes you feel safe and content. Holly is restlessly trying to find that place and “Fred” believes they could be happy together if Holly would stop running from him and from the idea of commitment. Holly does not want to be caged, but “Fred” doesn’t want to cage her, he simply loves her. Holly comes to see that she loves him too, and just because she wants to settle with him, it doesn’t mean she is trapped. If anything, I think that Holly and “Fred” complement each other. She inspires him to write and he’s charmed by her hard to figure out and follow personality. The pair even spend a whole day doing things that they’ve never done before together and it’s one of the most charming scenes in this movie. 

Style. 

I want to take a moment to appreciate the movie’s opening scene because I think it is a beautiful and cleverly shot opening scene. The movie opens on a scene of a beautifully empty fifth avenue in the early morning. A woman in a black dress, Holly, only we don’t know that yet, is looking into the window at Tiffany’s. She’s eating a pastry and drinking a coffee. She’s all alone. She’s got dark sunglasses on. We only see her through the reflection of the store window and I just think this is a brilliant opening scene. We are filled with questions. Who is this woman? Where was she? Why is she at Tiffany’s? All of these questions are fantastic because Holly is a character who evokes nothing but questions. She’s a riddle, right from the opening credits. 

Later, when Holly tells “Fred” about how much she loves Tiffany’s and how she goes there whenever she needs to feel better, this opening scene can be viewed differently. It’s open to interpretation, but I think one could say that Holly was at Tiffany’s early in the morning after a bad date with a client, hence the black dress, and she wanted to chase away the “mean reds”, so she went to Tiffany’s and longingly stared into the window while she ate her breakfast. 

I also think that the emptiness of fifth avenue could be open to interpretation too. Was the street really empty or did it just appear empty because Holly was lost in her own world? 

Was the empty street a metaphor for the emptiness in Holly’s life? I like to think about this sometimes. Some may say that is a stretch but that is the beauty of personal interpretation. 

Structure. 

There is something about the way this movie flows, it is almost like a free verse poem, perhaps because Holly is such a free person. The scenes seem to melt together in a dreamy sort of way. It is a visually beautiful movie. I’ve said before that it looks like a painting. There is something incredibly charming about it and I always enjoy it whenever I watch it. 

Final Thoughts. 

If you’re an Audrey Hepburn fan, watch this movie. If you have never seen this movie, watch it. While it is very different from the novella, I think that it is still a very enjoyable movie to watch. There is something very peaceful about this movie, there is a certain charm to this movie, it is visually stunning, the story is compelling and I think that it is just a lovely romantic movie that hits the heartstrings because the idea of wanting to find somewhere where we belong is very universal. I think that Holly is an iconic character because even though she can be a complex riddle, I think in many ways, her fears, her vulnerabilities, her anxieties etc., are very relatable which makes the movie much more enjoyable. I think at some point we all just want to feel like we belong, which is why we hope that Holly finally finds that place she’s searching for, because we all hope we will find that place too. 

This has been Movie Monday. 

Kate xo.

Sunday’s Choice: Twin Peaks.

Hello everyone. I’m calling today’s post Sunday’s Choice because Friday was unbelievably busy and sadly I didn’t get a chance to make sure I was happy with this discussion before publishing it, but I will never publish a discussion on Katelovesliterature.com unless I am 100% happy with it. 

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. It is a rainy Sunday here in Dublin so I’m enjoying some coffee while I clean my room and my desk with some lovely jazz in the background. Later I’m going to sit down and continue enjoying my day off with a show so keep an eye on my Instagram stories as I may share some #watchtvwithme snaps. 

As we approach Valentine’s Day, you can expect some romantic comedy themed Movie Monday’s coming up but lately I’ve been watching a variety of different things, one of those things is Twin Peaks which is what I am going to be talking about today. 

The original Twin Peaks aired in 1990 and the show has gained a cult following and an iconic status as the show is referenced so much in many different forms of media. It is one of those shows that I’ve always known of, a lecturer of mine really enjoyed the show and he would mention it often in his lectures, and it’s a show that I’d always sort of known had this reputation for being really good but a little weird etc., but even though it’s always been in the background, I’d never actually watched it – until last week. 

Last week I watched Twin Peaks for the very first time. I watched the pilot and I watched the first episode so I can’t say too much at the moment about the plot or it’s themes other than I’m intrigued and very excited to see what happens next. 

I’ve spoken about this before, but I really love the concept of a stranger entering a small town where everyone knows everyone and said stranger has to adapt to their new environment whilst also trying to win over the people in said small town. Twin Peaks has this exact dynamic as Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in the fictional town of Twin Peaks to help the local sheriff investigate the murder of highschool student Laura Palmer. 

So far I really like the show. I’ve said before that crime dramas are probably my favourite genre of television shows so I knew going into the show that I would like the premise as I always tend to enjoy plots that focus on an investigation, especially when they’re done well and so far, I really like the setup of this storyline. I like the small town atmosphere, everyone knows everyone, and more importantly, everyone knew Laura so the devastation her death brought to the town felt particularly poignant. 

I think my favourite scene so far had to be the scene where the highschool principal has to announce the news of Laura’s death over the intercom to her teachers and classmates. It’s a devastating scene. The teachers are devastated, her classmates are horrified, her best friend is breaking down in sobs and the principal himself is struggling to remain composed while talking to the students. When the intercom clicks off, he too breaks down crying, and there is an incredibly eerie shot of the terrible news ringing out in an empty school hallway. It is in that moment that you can feel the impact this news has brought. This town, those teachers, and especially Laura’s family and friends will never be the same again. This nightmare isn’t going to end, it’s only going to continue as Dale has to investigate. The reality sets in that this is real, this happened, Laura is gone, and as the investigation digs into everyone’s secrets, it becomes clear that there’s more to everyone than Dale realised. 

Despite the plot being serious and some of the scenes being extremely emotional and sad, another one I have to mention is when the sheriff tells Laura’s father about her death. Her father is on the phone to her mother when the sheriff arrives and we can hear her sobbing through the phone as she hears the news, but despite the sad and serious themes, there are some very funny moments in the show because there is an undercurrent of humour throughout. Lucy and her ramblings are very funny, Dale is always speaking into his recorder telling someone called Dianne all about his thoughts, discoveries, and observations, some of which are highly comical, so I like that the tone of the show is a little off kilter. It isn’t a comedy, but it isn’t all doom and gloom, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as I know there are some soap opera and horror tropes to come. 

At the moment I am rewatching the 2014 BBC adaptation of The Three Musketeers, which is entitled The Musketeers. I have spoken about it briefly before as I mentioned it was a great action series however I think after this rewatch I will discuss it in more detail because I think some of the character arcs are really impressive. I’m also watching The Simpsons for the first time because that was another show that I didn’t properly watch when I was younger. I went to see the movie in the cinema and I saw an episode here and there, but it’s been highly recommended to me so I am watching it all from the start and I will probably talk about it at some stage as I’m really enjoying it so far. As always I’m watching The Golden Girls because it is my comfort show that just never gets old, and I’m also making my way through a list of movies so there is lots to come here on Katelovesliterature.com. Speaking of there being lots to come, my February #bookofthemonth pick will be revealed during the week. Stay tuned. 

This has been Sunday’s Choice. Are you a fan of Twin Peaks? Let me know!

Kate xo.

Back to Basics: Adjectives.

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #theorythursday. Last week I talked about the concept of suspending one’s disbelief because I was so inspired by seeing The Lion King in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Check that out if you haven’t already. 

Today I am continuing on with my #backtobasics series. I’ve already talked about verbs and nouns, so be sure to read those discussions too if grammar is something that you want to brush up on. 

Today I am going to be talking about adjectives. So let’s dive in. 

What is an adjective? 

An adjective is a word that is used when an author wants to describe a noun. When I was talking about verbs, I said that the easiest way to explain what a verb is would be to say that a verb is a doing word. I would say that the easiest way to explain what an adjective is would be to say that an adjective is a describing word so in a sentence, the adjective would come before the noun. 

I’m going to make up an example. 

“The beautiful necklace sparkled in the case.” 

In this sentence, the necklace is the noun, because a noun is a person, place or a thing. A necklace is a thing, so the adjective in this sentence is the word “beautiful”, because this word is describing the necklace. 

Other examples of adjectives can be found in sentences such as: 

“The red door opened with a loud creak.” 

In this sentence, the word “red” is the adjective because this tells us that the door, the noun, is red. 

An adjective can also be used when an author is describing how many there are of something. 

An example of this can be found in a sentence such as “It looked like there were a thousand stars in the sky.”

In this sentence, the word “thousand” is the adjective because it is telling us how many stars there are, and stars are things, so the word “stars” is the noun. 

Why is it important to know what an adjective is? 

I say the same thing every time when I am talking about basic aspects of grammar such as nouns, verbs, and now adjectives too. It is important to understand these basics because they can be found so often in writing. When you are a student, it is important to know what these terms mean so that you can recognise nouns, verbs, and adjectives in passages of writing. I also think that refreshing one’s memory on certain terms can be really helpful in general, because when we learn the basics in school, it can often be assumed later that we remember everything perfectly, but sometimes that isn’t the case, which is why I’ve decided to break things down in a back to basics approach. 

This has been Theory Thursday. Happy Friday Eve.

Kate xo.

The Oscar Wilde Collection: A Selection Of His Greatest Works.

Hello everyone. Happy February. If you’ve been following all of my updates here on Katelovesliterature.com, then you’ll already know that I decided to read The Oscar Wilde Collection: A Selection Of His Greatest Works and discuss this collection as January’s Book Of The Month. 

I chose to read a selection of short stories because I wanted to explore more of Oscar Wilde’s work, but I also felt that a collection of short stories would be a good choice to read through in January as it can be a long, busy month after Christmas. 

Firstly, I will say that I really enjoyed reading the collection and if you are a fan of Oscar Wilde then I think a collection like this is a really lovely collector’s item. I’m very glad that I bought it as it is a welcome addition to my classics collection. 

As this is a collection of stories rather than just one text, I’ve decided that I’m going to take a moment to talk about Oscar Wilde’s writing style in general, before I move on to focus on one story from the collection that stood out as I was reading. 

Wilde is often described as a very memorable person, someone who was expressive and very witty and I think that his wit and clever use of word play can be easily pointed out in The Importance of Being Earnest, which is my favourite Wilde play. Wilde is a very imaginative writer, he describes things very vividly and very beautifully, I think that his language is often poetic at times. Wilde also uses paradox very often, and I think that some of his writing can be read through an almost sarcastic lens as he was very often making comments about the society that he lived in, this social commentary can be found again if one looks to The Importance of Being Earnest. I plan to discuss this play in more detail at a later date. 

I really enjoyed reading through this collection because some of the descriptions he has written are extremely beautiful, even if they are morbid. I think that I actually enjoyed the saddest paragraphs the most because I was so moved by his words. I think that Wilde was a real master of the English language, he was able to use words in such a precise way that they really paint a very vivid picture in one’s mind. 

The story that stood out to me when I was reading this collection is entitled The Nightingale and The Rose

This story stood out to me because in my opinion, I think that this story highlights the clash between English Literature and more so-called “serious” subjects. When I was in secondary school, there was this idea that English class was “only English”. I think it is a subject that people don’t take seriously unless they enjoy it. I think that this can happen quite a lot where people who do not study or do not enjoy the arts have this idea that it’s “only” music, and I can only speak from my own experience but I always felt that maths, science, and business were given more respect than English, music, and art. I think there’s still an idea that exists where if you like the arts, you can often be told to choose a more serious or more realistic topic. I would like to clarify that I respect all subjects and all professions. I think it is amazing that we have so many options about what to study. If someone loves working with numbers and chooses to pursue maths or science then I say good for them, but I think that you will hear someone say “it’s only English” more often than you would hear someone say “it’s only science” or “it’s only business”. 

The Nightingale and The Rose is about a student who wishes to woo his love interest with a red rose. Only a red rose will do. A little nightingale loves the student, she loves his wish for love, she wishes to help him woo his love so she gives her life so that he may have the reddest rose of all, because the rose was formed from her music and stained with her heart. The nightingale gave herself in song, she created something utterly beautiful, she gave her all, but the student didn’t appreciate it. The student dismissed her singing because singing “does no practical good”. 

The rose is formed and the student is overjoyed as he will finally win over his love, but the girl does not care for the rose, another boy has given her jewels so the beauty of the rose no longer impresses her. The student is hurt by her ungratefulness and he throws the rose to the ground, and then he returns to his books. He returns to studying mathematics and philosophy, newly determined in his belief that love is a silly thing for there is no logic in it, and logic rules all. 

The student knows nothing of the nightingale’s sacrifice. He does not know that she gave her life for him, he still believes her to be a selfish creature that only cares about her song. The nightingale’s sacrifice was for nothing because the student, nor his love, appreciated it. 

I found this story to be extremely poignant. Art is such an important medium of self expression, as is poetry, as is music, and when one is an artistic person, so much of oneself goes into our art. It is our passion, it is so important, and when we sing or paint or write, we give something of ourselves. So when one dismisses the arts, they are also dismissing the artist because it can be a deeply personal thing. 

I interpreted this to be a story about how much artists give to creativity and how disappointing it is when someone does not see the value in one’s work. I was so frustrated by the student. I wish he knew that the nightingale had given her all for him so he could at least appreciate her, but I know the point is that he didn’t. 

Obviously there are many ways that one could interpret this story. One could think about the dangers of giving up one’s entire being for love, and this is a valid point. This short story serves as a reminder that while it is okay to love someone and be in love, you should never give up your own self worth or individuality for that person. You can be in love while retaining your own sense of self and individuality. 

I think that this story can prompt thoughts about love and how we show love. This student was determined to win over his love by presenting her with the most beautiful red rose. He thought if he could give her this rose then she would dance with him at the ball and all would be well, but she didn’t appreciate his gift. She wanted more, she was far more impressed by jewels, and perhaps it is a message about how one shouldn’t be so obsessed with physical things. Love should be about kindness and respect and the connection one has with another person, not about trinkets but I think Wilde could have been making an observation about society. To this day, many people are preoccupied with physical things and wealth rather than genuine connections. 

Overall, I think this is a really poignant short story that can be discussed from many different angles and it can be interpreted in many different ways. It is beautifully written by Wilde as it is so descriptive and imaginative that even the saddest of moments are still beautiful to read. It felt almost lyrical and I really enjoyed it. 

If you have not read much of Oscar Wilde’s work then I would highly recommend starting with The Nightingale and The Rose. 

This has been January’s Book Of The Month. I hope you enjoyed this discussion. 

Have you read much of Oscar Wilde’s work? Let me know. 

Kate xo.