Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 4/4)

Comments in Bahasa Indonesia at the last words.

Title : Holiday Romance [Part IV. – Romance from the Pen of Miss Nettie Ashford (Aged half- past six.)]
Author : Charles Dickens (1867)
Publisher : Project Gutenberg (ebook)
Edition : February, 1997 [Etext #809]

THERE is a country, which I will show you when I get into maps, where the children have everything their own way. It is a most delightful country to live in. The grown-up people are obliged to obey the children, and are never allowed to sit up to supper, except on their birthdays. The children order them to make jam and jelly and marmalade, and tarts and pies and puddings, and all manner of pastry. If they say they won’t, they are put in the corner till they do. They are sometimes allowed to have some; but when they have some, they generally have powders given them afterwards.

This is another favourite of mine, about how children see the grown-up people. As the first paragraph has mentioned, in that country, ‘children’ means adults. So the children played roles as adults, and when the ‘children’ troubled them, they would send their ‘children’ to school.

The school was something to give the ‘children’ lessons about their wasted and useless life, like these two people:

‘Come here, White,’ said Mrs. Lemon, ‘and tell this lady what you have been doing.’
‘Betting on horses,’ said White sulkily.
‘Are you sorry for it, you naughty child?’ said Mrs. Lemon.
‘No,’ said White. ‘Sorry to lose, but shouldn’t be sorry to win.’

‘Now, here is a child, Mrs. Orange, ma’am, who is always at play. She can’t be kept at home a single day together; always gadding about and spoiling her clothes. Play, play, play, play, from morning to night, and to morning again. How can she expect to improve?’
‘Don’t expect to improve,’ sulked Mrs. Black. ‘Don’t want to.’
‘There is a specimen of her temper, ma’am,’ said Mrs. Lemon. ‘To see her when she is tearing about, neglecting everything else, you would suppose her to be at least good-humoured. But bless you! ma’am, she is as pert and flouncing a minx as ever you met with in all your days!’

In this story, the children made a party, and the host made separate place for ‘children’. The writer showed us how ridiculous adults could be. The ceremonial manners, their habits, etc, seemed silly in the eyes of children. I was driven to agree with the children, because their reasons were made sense.

‘O, it’s very hard indeed to get these vexing children to be entertained!’ said Mrs. Alicumpaine to Mrs. Orange.

This story criticized our ways of life. How we always make our problems seem so big and important, while children are just disturbers of the ‘big things’ that happened. It showed us that for children, our problems also aren’t as big as theirs. Does that make us right and children wrong? No, just think, and tolerate. Let the children grow as they should, without worrying about adults’ problems.

About the whole four parts, I would say that I enjoyed three of them. It seems that they were indeed written by children. Although, the writings were so neat and very well-written. Some themes and settings didn’t work on me, but still could deliver the meaning and the purpose of this book. Actually, I don’t know the real purpose, but for me as adult, it gave me different perception of life and as a reminder about our feelings when I was a child. And for children, it should entertain well, because that world inside represented their dreams, their fantasies, their hopes, that they are seen and heard.

Part I
Part II
Part III


Holiday Romance adalah kumpulan cerita pendek yang ‘ditulis’ oleh empat orang anak. Dipenuhi dengan sindiran untuk orang dewasa, dan hal-hal yang seringkali kita temukan dalam imajinasi anak-anak. Dickens menuliskannya sedemikian rupa, sampai-sampai saya pun bisa percaya bahwa penulis buku ini adalah anak-anak–seandainya tidak diberi tahu sebelumnya.

Banyak sekali pesan moral yang bagus dan berbobot di sini, namun diberikan melalui tangan seorang anak. Di sini, Dickens menggambarkan kesalahan orang dewasa yang dikritisi oleh anak-anak. Justru berkebalikan dengan anggapan kebanyakan orang tua bahwa dirinya jauh lebih baik dan merupakan contoh terbaik untuk anak-anak. Di antara kebijaksanaan yang ditunjukkan dalam buku ini adalah kepahlawanan dan kesetiaan yang diceritakan di Part I, nilai sebuah kerja keras dan kemandirian di Part II, petualangan dan keberanian pada Part III, serta toleransi dan menghargai orang lain pada Part IV ini.

4/5 bintang untuk kisah lucu dan menawan.

Review #4 for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013

FYE buttonAgak sulit menentukan kelayakan baca untuk buku ini, karena buku ini selain menghibur untuk anak, juga dapat menjadi sindiran bagi orang dewasa. Beberapa kontennya mungkin dapat dimaknai secara salah, misalnya saat anak melawan orang tua. Jadi menurut saya, buku ini sebaiknya dibacakan untuk anak usia berapa pun, karena bahasa klasiknya juga relatif sulit dipahami. Kemungkinan untuk anak usia 10 tahun dapat membacanya sendiri.

3 responses to “Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 4/4)

  1. Pingback: Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 1/4) | Bacaan B.Zee

  2. Pingback: Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 3/4) | Bacaan B.Zee

  3. Pingback: Books in English 2013 Wrap Up | Bacaan B.Zee

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