Sunday, 24 February 2013

She Saw



She was too striking a girl not to have had suitors, in spite of the lack of a dowry of any kind. But always then had her first and innate curse come into operation; she saw through the too confident pretendants. She saw their meanness, their condescensions, their charities, their stupidities. Thus she appeared inescapably doomed to the one fate nature had so clearly spent many millions of years in evolving her to avoid: spinsterhood.


- John Fowles (French Lieutenant's Woman)





7 comments:

  1. I wonder what's your message in this blog post "She Saw?" Do you suggest that when we see the negative things of a person, we should ignore them, and instead focus on the good in the person??

    Sometimes people want to bother themselves too much about the negative characters of the person they're suppose to love, and fail to focus and hone the good characteristics..and sometimes when they decide not to have anything to do with the person anymore, after a time they regret separating because they realize they could have had a better relationship with the person if only they urged the good things in him...

    Have you ever experienced something like that?? I have! :( Some people stopped liking me anymore :( But when they see that i have done something that is admirable for them, they seem to want to be friends again, but it is too painful for me to go back with them after all that happened :(

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that about your friends, I guess we all go through it some time or other.
      I love this quote from Fowles because I see so much of myself through the character of Sarah Woodruff. She is not like the other women of her time.
      People judged her as a whore and an outsider, yet she could see straight through them. She could see through the men that were trying to 'get' her. She saw them for what they really were and as a result she was a spinster. The power in this quote comes from the woman. What is so wrong with being a spinster? The world has made it into a bad thing, a thing that no girl should end up as, yet bachelors are respected and esteemed for not marrying. This rather gets me angry.

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  2. What is wrong with being a spinster?? I cannot see anything wrong in it. The culture here in the Philippines has nothing against unmarried men and women... And even if the culture here happens to be something against being a spinster, I myself would never see anything wrong in it.

    Queen Elizabeth I herself didn't marry, and she is known as one of the strongest women in history. She could inspire a lot of people, especially when she made that speech during the struggle against the Armada..

    But I wonder why is it respectful for men there to stay as bachelors, while it is not ideal for a woman to be a spinster?? Could you give me a little glimpse on what people there feel for a bachelor and a spinster?

    If a woman decides not to marry, and no man could ever "get" her, I have a rather great respect for her because she may be wanting to assert her "freedom," the freedom from the dominance of men... I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth I didn't marry because she didn't want to feel "conquered" by any man. That for me is respectful.

    You wrote that you could see yourself through the character Sarah Woodruff. So does it mean that people also think that you're an outsider, and could you also see straight through men?

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    1. There shouldn't be anything wrong with being a spinster yet there is such a disrespect that people show. I guess it is still unconsciously in our culture to think of a woman as being a 'pawn' between father and husband on dowry and financial gain. In some cultures this is still very relevant. You hear people asking 'why isn't she married?' We expect every single person to have some sort of love affair. I guess as human beings we need love and want someone to love us, but for some it never comes in the shape of a husband or wife.
      So often the phrase 'off the shelf' is used when a woman finally gets a man. I have great respect for spinsters as well, they can devote themselves to their passions, gifts, family, God more freely and wholly.
      As for Sarah, I feel like I am a stranger upon this earth. I don't quite know where home is. Even with my family, I sometimes feel out of place. I suppose that means no one has the same mind as me, as we are all different and uniquely made. I would like to think I can see people, not perhaps through, but around them. I can glimpse at what they are like within, I can glimpse at their faces and guess, but I can't judge.

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    2. I wonder if you consider yourself as one of those who need love but not in the shape of a boyfriend or husband? Would you make your decision based on what the future may bring, or do you already have a certain determination to never get "off the shelf?"

      I also feel so out of place, not only within my family, not only within this culture, but also within this time. Some people say that I am "too traditional." :( I am also puzzled where home is.

      But dearest Joanna Grace, it may be that the "home" is not a question of "where?" The home that we, and people like us, are looking for may not be a place at all. So it may be a question of "what" this home is. Maybe this home is none other than the ideal world that we keep dreaming to be fulfilled in reality...

      It is quite obvious what makes you different from other people, but I wonder what in your opinion makes you different within your family? There are individuals who are different, some appreciates their being unique, but others think that their uniqueness is more like "strangeness" rather than something to be appreciated. ... I believe that everything in your uniqueness is something to be highly appreciated, and to some people, your uniqueness may even be something to envy for.

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    3. I leave it in the hands of God. I have my ideas and thoughts, but ultimately what will be will be.
      I'm sure you can never be 'too traditional' it's just that to those who tell you this, they can't understand, they are 'too modern', that's all.
      I know that my family are home. Wherever they are, I will be happy with them, even though there are so many plans and dreams in my heart, I will always come back to them and I can be freely who I am there, because they love me and accept me as I am.

      I know there are some who think me strange too :) It's only that they don't understand me. They are on a different planet to me, they live and breathe in another time and place. As long as you know who you are Ramon, you have nothing to fear. Never care what they think, you don't have to reason with them, you are strong enough to walk on by.

      How I am different? Perhaps in the way I think, or the experiences of life that I have had simply make me different. No one can live the same life as you and know exactly everything there is to know, only God. Keep hold of him, he's worth it all.

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  3. Thank you so much for your words... I always look up to your words, all that you write :) When you wrote "hands of God," I remembered the time when you told me that I don't need luck because I'm in God's favor :)
    From now on, I would no longer speak of "luck" or "fortune" , but I'd rather think only of God, and replace those words with His name :) What will be will be :)

    Oh thank you for those words!!! You are such a good companion, friend, dearest Joanna Grace! You are the first who told me those and the first to comfort me a lot! The idea of being "too traditional" was almost haunting me all my life. Now you've just told me about a truth, that I'm not too traditional, but it's just that people around are too modern!---thank you for those words!
    Indeed, the mere fact that a person exists in modern times makes him modern, despite whatever characteristics he may have.
    And indeed, when people live in modern times, it is not right to be too modern because then they are forgetting some important legacies of the past that are worth preserving. Thank you so much for your words, dear Kindred Spirit, you made my day! :)

    I think that those people who do not understand you do not have the power to dream. They could be the people who describe themselves as "stick to earth." Most of the people who "stick to earth" are the ones who think idealistic thoughts are mere fantasy. Since you are the epitome of idealistic ideas, they may find it hard to understand you. They do not dare to be different. They do not dare to go out of the limits of being ordinary. I perceive such people as a blank piece of paper, with nothing written or drawn in it whatsoever. .. But you are a soul who dares to be anything, anything but ordinary!

    God bless a flock of unique souls such as your family and you!

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