I thoroughly enjoyed reading Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey. It is an account of her life as a young governess in two different households. It is told in the first person and it very much reads like a diary or what we would call a journal today.
I could have written so many notes to put aside as keepsakes because her innermost thoughts and word choices held great meaning for me. Though the work was written 170 years ago (1847), the human experience has not changed.
Due to her proper English background, she had learned to hold her responses to others in check though her feelings ran quite deep. Today, many people would have spoken these feelings with little hesitation but she had learned to hold them in abeyance.
Here are several scenarios along with the surrounding circumstances taken from the text:
New Boss – “Her company was extremely irksome to me.” (Mrs. Bloomfield)
Job Duties – “The task of instruction was as arduous for the body as the mind.”
Job Stress – “They may crush but they shall not subdue me.”
Self-Talk – “’Be calm, be calm whatever happens,’ I said to myself.”
The Incorrigible Children – “And night and morning, I implored Divine Assistance to the end.”
Applying Parental Advice – “My mother had warned me before to mention them as little as possible to her, for people did not like to be told of their children’s faults and so I concluded I was to keep silence on them altogether.”
After traveling in the snow – “I sat down beside the small, smoldering fire and amused myself with a hearty fit of crying.”
Further prayers – “My prayers, my tears, my wishes, my fears and lamentations were witnessed by myself and heaven alone.”
I really cherished this book by the youngest Bronte sister, Anne. Haven’t we all had these feelings? Shouldn’t we pause before we actually voice our deepest sentiments so that we will not offend others?
Lynn M. August 26, 2017