The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett is a masterpiece weaved as a realistic fiction novel. The simple yet powerful irony sucked out of the lives of Baines sisters, portrays their parallel concept on one side and contrasts on the other side. This package of classic portrays the life of Baines sisters; Constance and Sophia from their teen years to the end of their lives. Characterized by contrast character; Constance and Sophia, Bennett cleverly in Book IV contrasts what has remained stable in these sisters with the variable time and environment have produced in their personalities.
The story begins in familiarizing Constance and Sophia who are the daughters of a draper in Bursley. Constance is very stable and obeys her mother and serves well to her invalid father. She does not feel bothered to fit in the atmosphere of the shop while Sophia is not into it. She rather desired to be a teacher that her parents resist. Sophia pursue romantic character which we can perceive from her action of eloping with a traveling salesman; Gerald Scales. All of these parts are covered in the Book I of Bennett’s novel.
In Book II, the life of Constance has been focused. We can find she gets married to Samuel and gives birth to a baby boy. She takes the lead in managing the shop after the death of her parents. The part totally is based on how Constance makes her marriage and business successful despites of her limitations. Bennett successfully makes Constance count as a fascinating character taking own life to the next level. While this part intermittently mentions Sophia making readers wonder where and what she is doing with her life. In Book III, Bennett shifts the attention of readers towards Sophia, who now has dumped her. Sophia’s marriage with Gerald was a failure as he never meant to marry her. All he wanted was to play nookie with her. Ultimately in Bennett’s Book IV, both the sisters come together in their old age.
Just as elderly Sophia pours her experience, “My life has been so queer- and yet every part of it separately seemed ordinary enough”, we can perceive that The Old Wives’ Tale is about the ordinary people caught up in the complexities of life and contradictions of the past that they cannot have control over. The tale is about the rising of modernity and renewing endlessly as in to overtake each past generation in the course. I would not recommend this book to those who are seeking for funny reads. The prose is absolutely mesmerizing, the characters depict a strong impact and the core matter is unflinching. If you are interested to read the book then click on the link below and enjoy The Old Wives’ Tale ebook for free.