I am actually giving this book 3.5/5 because it wasn't bad enough to earn a 3, nor was it good enough for me to give it a 4. There were entire stretches that I enjoyed, and I thought it would be a three star read, but, alas, they were not enough of the book to make it so. So much to think about.
This and her treatment of one of the characters spoiled what might have been an enjoyable read, once I got past the beginning of the book, which I really didn't like. The book is definitely a bit childish and melodramatic, but I think it shows nicely the way that feminism and female suffrage were viewed at the time of Federation, from the point of view of someone who lived through it.  The popularity of the novel in Australia and the perceived closeness of many of the characters to her own family and circumstances as small farmers in New South Wales near Goulburn caused Franklin a great deal of distress and led her to withdrawing the novel from publication until after her death. I read this for year 12 English, so my memories of it are both vague and tainted by the fact that I had to dissect the book. A young woman, Sybylla Melvyn, is stuck in a rural area but dreams of a career in the arts, ideally as a writer. Sybylla is both a wonderful and an awful character, she’s an overwrought, self obsessed teenager one minute and almost wise the next. A room and all the paper to write her books. Here being a poor agricultural worker was very hard work, people went hungary and people lost what little they had very easily.
I don’t remember reading this at school, if I did it didn’t leave an impression. It was hugely successful, but she eventually withdrew it from publication until after her death, because it upset her that so many people believed it to be autobiographical. She is the oldest child in a family who was once refined with a bit of money but is now poor and fighting utter destitution.
© 2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Be the first to ask a question about My Brilliant Career. Anyone, but might be particularly suitable for women (young and old). Sybylla is not comfortable being married to a wealthy man, because she wants to be financially independent. I was expecting a much more enjoyable read than this since I have mainly enjoyed the Australian novels I have read in the past. She is sent to live with her grandmoth. This is a classic and there is no doubt that this writer had talent and I can see why she later made a career out of writing, but this novel, which was written when she was 16 has a protagonist who was apparently ahead of her time (yes and no, since there were others of that time with the same commitment to not marry, and even before her time, although it was certainly rare), but overall I found her rather selfish and short sighted. End result though: I still love it. Sybylla is exasperating and entertaining, awful and wonderful all at the same time. Most of the elders are narrow-minded with calcified concepts of right and wrong and little conversation topics more interesting than the going price of butter. She dreams of writing a book and is sent by her parents to live with her Grandmother in lush country where she … It's given me a new appreciation for classics with good endings! I'm glad I gave it a go, as it is certainly not boring. She goes back to the place she once hated to help pay for her father’s debts. Next up: I'll finally watch the movie adaptation - more wrist slapping! Both are excellent. My first classic by this iconic Australian author and what a joy it was. The teenage Sybylla is flamboyant, disrespectful and given to frequent solipsism. Australia, 1890s. He’d... "My Brilliant Career" is the story of Sybylla, a headstrong young girl growing up in early 20th century Australia.
Like most first novels, My Brilliant Career draws heavily on its author’s experience, and its verisimilitude was such that contemporaries judged it as a factual rather than fictional autobiography—an impression that a sequel, My Career Goes Bung (1954), did not entirely dispel. Most of the book covers Sybylla's late teenage years during the late 1890s. I was expecting a much more enjoyable read than this since I have mainly enjoyed the Australian novels I have read in the past. About time this ‘Aussie girl’ read this book, written by a fellow ‘Aussie girl’. Deep love of country pervades the novel, but it runs alongside a social progressivist sentiment. , Shortly after the publication of My Brilliant Career, Franklin wrote a sequel, My Career Goes Bung, which would not be published until 1946.. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of My Brilliant Career Sibylla is a wild and clever 16 year old whose family has been struck by poverty in late 1800s rural Australia. This really was a fantastic book and I have already bought a copy of the sequal and am really looking forward to reading it. She moved to Sydney where she became involved in feminist and literary circles and then onto the USA in 1907. It probably was so, but like most new writers, she perhaps didn't think others would make the connections. "My Brilliant Career" is an early romantic novel by this popular Australian author.
Sybylla is headstrong, feisty, opinionated and independent. There were drunken fathers who ruined lives and kindly neighbours who helped. Sybylla is forced to work and support her family at Possum Gully and, therefore, is unable to pursue her passion for writing entirely. Among the summaries and analysis available for My Brilliant Career, there are 1 Full Study Guide, 1 Short Summary and 3 Book Reviews. I couldn't quite believe it was written by a 16 year old. Even more important, I suppose, is that I really liked it. Yet she gave up on these things to maintain her own independence. If the ending was any good, I could excuse the slower parts at the beginning, but the ending was terrible! I couldn't quite believe it was written by a 16 year old. By this time, her father's drinking has plunged the family into debt, and she is sent to work as governess/housekeeper for the family of an almost illiterate neighbour to whom her father owes money.
I liked it. Chapter Twelve was the low point for me. Just adding: Harold Beecham should be played by Hugh Jackman. I used the Librivox recording for this. So it came as a beautiful surprise to find it so young and fresh in its writing. I kept on meaning to but...you know, other things. Hmm, I've always said that Jane Eyre is without a doubt my #1 favorite book. The hard life of all those on the land whether they be wealthy or poor is shown so well. From the sexism, to the drinking to the droughts. Sybylla’s decision is driven by the fact that she hates being needy and loves to be in control. In refusing to give us a romantic heroine who plays by the rules of the genre, Miles Franklin has created a rare and fascinating character. An honest recollection of a young woman growing up in the Australian bush. Refresh and try again. She is driven almost mad by her lack of options as a poor and apparently ‘ugly’ ‘little bush girl’ and despite the obvious economic risks refuses to conform or even apologise for that lack of conformity where this would imply divergence with her own conscience. I'm quite certain I could never have been that committed to an ideal given similar lack of opportunities, but perhaps if I'd had to grow up in the stultifying world of colonial Australia things would be very different. Did I really start reading this on Australia Day? About a year ago I realised, with the exception of Nick Cave, I'd never actually read any books by Australian authors and that I should probably fix that.
“Our greatest heart-treasure is a knowledge that there is in creation an individual to whom our existence is necessary - some one who is part of our life as we are part of theirs, some one in whose life we feel assured our death would leave a gap for a day or two.”, “I am afflicted with the power of thought, which is a heavy curse. It is no wonder that Henry Lawson had taken to the novel as he had, and not just for the shout-out - his mother Louisa Lawson is one of Australia's important early feminists. Her life has its first great crisis when her father decides to quit raising cattle on his 200,000-acre station (farm) at Caddagat and become a stock agent (cattle dealer) and then a dairy farmer near Goulburn in pursuit of wealth and an easier life. In this particular I attempt an improvement on other autobiographies.” She then cautions, “neither is it a novel, but simply a yarn”—one about a life of “long toil-laden days with its agonising monotony, narrowness, and absolute uncongeniality.” Although she says that “there is no plot in this story, because there has been none in my life or in any other life which has come under my notice,” this is only true insofar as a planned series of interrelated actions and opposed forces leading to a climax is regarded as a plot.
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