Villette

Kindle Edition  õ Villette PDF ´
    Kindle Edition õ Villette PDF ´ flees England and a tragic past to become an instructor in a French boarding school in the town of Villette There she unexpectedly confronts her feelings of love and longing as she witnesses the fitful romance between Dr John, a handsome young Englishman, and Ginerva Fanshawe, a beautiful coquette The first pain brings others, and with them comes the heartache Lucy has tried so long to escape Yet in spite of adversity and disappointment, Lucy Snowe survives to recount the unstinting vision of a turbulent life s journey a journey that is one of the most insightful fictional studies of a woman s consciousness in English literature."/>
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  • Villette
  • Charlotte Brontë
  • 22 August 2019
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About the Author: Charlotte Brontë

Kindle Edition õ Villette PDF ´ villette book, VilletteVillette PDF/EPUBCharlotte Bront was a British novelist, the eldest out of the three famous Bront sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature See also Emily Bront and Anne BrontCharlotte Bront was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, the third of six children, to Patrick Bront formerly Patrick Brunty , an Irish Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Maria Branwell In April the family moved a few miles to Haworth, a remote town on the Yorkshire moors, where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate This is where the Bront children would spend most of their lives Maria Branwell Bront died from what was thought to be cancer on September , leaving five daughters and a son to the care of her spinster sister Elizabeth Branwell, who moved to Yorkshire to help the familyIn August Charlotte, along with her sisters Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, was sent to the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire, a new school for the daughters of poor clergyman which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre The school was a horrific experience for the girls and conditions were appalling They were regularly deprived of food, beaten by teachers and humiliated for the slightest error The school was unheated and the pupils slept two to a bed for warmth Seven pupils died in a typhus epidemic that swept the school and all four of the Bront girls became very ill Maria and Elizabeth dying of tuberculosis in Her experiences at the school deeply affected Bront her health never recovered and she immortalised the cruel and brutal treatment in her novel, Jane Eyre Following the tragedy, their father withdrew his daughters from the schoolAt home in Haworth Parsonage, Charlotte and the other surviving children Branwell, Emily, and Anne continued their ad hoc education In her father returned home with a box of toy soldiers for Branwell They would prove the catalyst for the sisters extraordinary creative development as they immediately set to creating lives and characters for the soldiers, inventing a world for them which the siblings called Angria The siblings became addicted to writing, creating stories, poetry and plays Bront later said that the reason for this burst of creativity was that We were wholly dependent on ourselves and each other, on books and study, for the enjoyments and occupations of life The highest stimulus, as well as the liveliest pleasure we had known from childhood upwards, lay in attempts at literary composition After her father began to suffer from a lung disorder, Charlotte was again sent to school to complete her education at Roe Head school in Mirfield from to , where she met her lifelong friends and correspondents, Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor During this period , she wrote her novella The Green Dwarf under the name of Wellesley The school was extremely small with only ten pupils meaning the top floor was completely unused and believed to be supposedly haunted by the ghost of a young lady dressed in silk This story fascinated Bront and inspired the figure of Mrs Rochester in Jane EyreBront left the school after a few years, however she swiftly returned in to take up a position as a teacher, and used her wages to pay for Emily and Anne to be taught at the school Teaching did not appeal to Bront and in she left Roe Head to become a governess to the Sidgewick family partly from a sense of adventure and a desire to see the world, and partly from financial necessity Charlotte became pregnant soon after her wedding, but her health declined rapidly and, according to biographer Elizabeth Gaskell, she was attacked by sensations of perpetual nausea and ever recurring faintness She died, with her unborn child, on March .


VilletteKindle Edition õ Villette PDF ´ villette book, VilletteVillette PDF/EPUBWith her final novel, Villette, Charlotte Bront reached the height of her artistic power First published in , Villette is Bront s most accomplished and deeply felt work, eclipsing even Jane Eyre in critical acclaim Her narrator, the autobiographical Lucy Snowe, flees England and a tragic past to become an instructor in a French boarding school in the town of Villette There she unexpectedly confronts her feelings of love and longing as she witnesses the fitful romance between Dr John, a handsome young Englishman, and Ginerva Fanshawe, a beautiful coquette The first pain brings others, and with them comes the heartache Lucy has tried so long to escape Yet in spite of adversity and disappointment, Lucy Snowe survives to recount the unstinting vision of a turbulent life s journey a journey that is one of the most insightful fictional studies of a woman s consciousness in English literature.

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10 thoughts on “Villette

  1. Ginny says:

    Lucy Snowe hates you She s writing her story for you, you re experiencing the most intimate contact there can be between two people, and she hates you It makes for a hard read.Her older sister, Jane you remember her she loved you Most of you probably had to read her story in high school, whereas not one teacher in a thousand would touch Villette. Nor should they High schoolers have enough rejection to cope with Most of them were probably bored or annoyed with Jane, but you have to give Lucy Snowe hates you She s writing her story for you, you re experiencing the most intimate contact there can be between two people, and she hates you It makes for a hard read.Her older sister, Jane you remember her she loved you Most of you probably had to read her story in high school, whereas not one teacher in a thousand would touch Villette. Nor should they High schoolers have enough rejection to cope with Most of them were probably bored or annoyed with Jane, but you have to give the woman credit she did love you That one sentence Reader, I married him do you hear the love in that She is with you, she tells it calmly and sweetly, the thing which if you cared at all you ve been dying to hear And she trusts that you do care She doesn t even question it She brings you straight into the fold, giving peace to herself, to Mr Rochester, and to you in one quiet sentence.Not so Lucy Snowe She is sure that you don t care, sure that you want to read some other story, that you re not tough enough or insightful enough to handle hers So she hides from you, and sneers at you from behind her hands She clothes her reticence in language of modesty, of restraint, of sensitivity to your tender feelings, but it s very plain that the truth is much uglier she doesn t trust you and she doesn t think you re worthy.I m sure you can find reasons for her to be this way she had a difficult childhood she was repeatedly overlooked by people she adored not enough people have cared, so she just assumes nobody does The psychoanalysis is all very interesting and makes for some good class discussions, but it doesn t take away the bitter taste Lucy Snowe hates you, distrusts you, looks down on you And you, poor reader, separated by bars of space and time and reality, can t do a thing to show her she s wrong.It s a fucking brilliant book

  2. Jeffrey Keeten says:

    Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage, so peril, loneliness, an uncertain future, are not oppressive evils, so long as the frame is healthy and the faculties are employed so long, especially, as Liberty lends us her wings, and Hope guides us by her star When I was growing up in Kansas, my father farmed and worked long hours, and my mother worked the night shift at the hospital as a nurse s aide Since my mother slept during the day, I had to be very quiet I found that by be Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage, so peril, loneliness, an uncertain future, are not oppressive evils, so long as the frame is healthy and the faculties are employed so long, especially, as Liberty lends us her wings, and Hope guides us by her star When I was growing up in Kansas, my father farmed and worked long hours, and my mother worked the night shift at the hospital as a nurse s aide Since my mother slept during the day, I had to be very quiet I found that by being as silent as a church mouse I achieved about the most freedom a young lad could hope to obtain Books became my friends, and they were outwardly quiet companions, but inwardly sparked fires in my thought processes I suppose I was lonely,lonely when I tried to talk about books with the people I knew It was like the excitement of finding a gold mine books only to discover that people preferred silver television Lucy Snowe, the heroine of Villette, is lonely life whirls around her and occasionally spins her into a light that requires people to see her She is uncomfortable, knowing she will be found lacking the qualities people admire most She learns to live by observing others and most importantly to be quiet, to be the wallflower on the verge of participation, but never taking that tenuous step forward to join the fray Day dreams are delusions of the demon Day dreams were truly dangerous delusions for Lucy Snowe She could not afford dreams because she could not stand the disappointment in failure to achieve those dreams Life had to be real for Lucy The novel begins with Lucy in the care of the Bretton s, a distant relation She is 14, and something, never explained in the novel, has happened to her family leaving her alone in the world under the care and kindness of strangers The reality of her situation is that she has no dowry she is not deemed attractive, and she has few opportunities to improve her position As she comes of age she works as a helper to an elderly, rich woman who dies leaving her again without prospects She makes the momentous decision to move to Villette, a fictional French city, without a job or any inkling of what will become of her Through misadventure and a bit of luck she finds herself on the doorstep of Mme Beck s boarding school for young girls A position is found for her teaching English to young, aristocratic girls She is surrounded by rich people, and like a lot of wealthy people they don t understand poverty She is asked why she teachesRather for the roof of shelter I am thus enabled to keep over my head and for the comfort of mind it gives me to think that while I can work for myself, I am spared the pain of being a burden to anybody Lucy Snowe could have presented herself as feeble, in need of care, and her relation would have certainly come forward to help her, but she chose to make her own way, and even though she elicits pity from her young, rich students, she is determined to be independent I couldn t help but be impressed by her determination and pride in taking care of herself Life dealt her few cards, but what few cards she had was enough to keep her from the clutches of poverty Lucy Snowe falls in love with the dynamic Dr John Graham Bretton, but he is in love with one of her beautiful students Ginevra Fanshawe Lucy convinces him not only of the immaturity of his love, but the fallacies of Miss Fanshawe He turns his attentions for a time to Lucy and starts to send her letters Lucy knows this is too good to be trueReason still whispered me, laying on my shoulder a withered hand, and frostily touching my ear with the chill blue lips of eld Despite her best efforts Lucy can t help but hope for the fairy tale, and when Graham turns his attentions to another, she does feel the pain The five precious letters that Graham wrote to her she symbolically buries in the bole of a tree so that she put them away from her and also keep them from the prying eyes of Mme Beck who is constantly going through the possessions of the teachers Bronte LetterCharlotte Bronte became infatuated with a Belgian Professor and wrote him a series of love letters He became incensed with this unsolicited attention and tore them to pieces The professor s wife saved them from the trash and sewed them together for posterity Here is an article giving a fewdetails The wife, I can only assume, was a Bronte fan and may have been flattered that Charlotte found her husband attractive.I was rather shocked to find that Villette has not been hashed and rehashed by Hollywood With all the films based on Jane Austen s work and on the works of the other Bronte sisters why has Villette been ignored There was a five part mini series back in the 1970s starring Judy Parfitt as Lucy Snowe I couldn t find any usable stills from that series to include in my review Netflix does not have the series available I can only hope it has not been neglected and been allowed to disintegrate Judy ParfittThere was also a BBC radio production done in 1999 with Catherine McCormack supplying the voice of Lucy Snowe Catherine McCormack Villette was published in 1853 and was the last novel published during her lifetime Charlotte had finally married in 1854 and became pregnant almost immediately She suffered from incessant nausea and frequent fainting spells Charlotte died with her unborn child in 1855 just short of her 39th birthday Photo of Charlotte Bronte circa 1854Charlotte Bronte explores the psychological implications of being an outsider The anguish, the dashing of hope, the moments of despair, and yet the haunting specter of expectations keep Lucy attempting to achieve a life filled with love and happiness She does, as the novel concludes, get an opportunity to fulfill her dreams and gain not only independence but a chance at loveHis mind was indeed my library, and whenever it was opened to me, I entered blissI have read that other reviewers felt the novel ended abruptly, and I too wantedthan just the sliver of explanation that was given at the end of the novel, but I think that hasto do with the way we feel about Lucy Snowe than it does about disappointment in Charlotte Bronte s plotting Highly recommended If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  3. Tatiana says:

    Still 5 starsI loved this novel Obsessive reader as I am, I feel simply obligated to consume all kinds of reviews and discussions after finishing a book that left me in awe and baffled This time I even ventured into the territory of critical analyses and interpretations Many things came up during my quest to find out what people think of the heroine of Villette and the book as a whole that this is a novel about a woman who fights to attain her independence, that Lucy Snowe is a liar, tha Still 5 starsI loved this novel Obsessive reader as I am, I feel simply obligated to consume all kinds of reviews and discussions after finishing a book that left me in awe and baffled This time I even ventured into the territory of critical analyses and interpretations Many things came up during my quest to find out what people think of the heroine of Villette and the book as a whole that this is a novel about a woman who fights to attain her independence, that Lucy Snowe is a liar, that almost all characters in the book M Paul, Pauline, Ginevre, Dr John are representations of different sides of Lucy s possibly schizophrenic personality, that Villette is just adepressing rehash of Jane Eyre, some other stuff that I don t even have a mental capacity to fully understand and reproduce here But I am a simple person, for me Villette is a story of a woman who was severely traumatized by deaths of her family at a young age and who, being introverted by nature, under the pressure of her misfortunes closes herself to the outside world completely Lucy s whole life purpose is to guard herself from possible heartbreaks, to create a facade of serenity and unfeeling But the strength of her passionate nature, her vivid internal life are such that suppressing them is impossible The entire book is Lucy s never ending struggle to keep up her walls, not to let anyone in, not to feel, not to hope, not to love, not to get attached, not to reveal her true self in its clever, opinionated, passionate, desiring, jealous, petty glory Does the heroine attain her freedom in the end Does she escape a prison of her self imposed loneliness Yes, she does, but not for long The person who sees and loves Lucy the way she is, who helps her not only financially, but psychologically, is given and taken away And once again, Lucy is guarded and telling us her story, never allowing herself and us to see the true extent of her despair, unhappiness, and loneliness But even what is hinted at is heartbreaking.I loved this novel, loved it in spite of the numerous contrived coincidences, untranslated French dialog and sparse plot Villette is a study of a woman s complex inner world and as such it is remarkable However there is another sort of voyeuristic reason why the book affected me so much It is claimed to be heavily autobiographical and I find myself intrigued by Charlotte Bront I want to know this woman How much of the book was real Did the extent of Charlotte s loneliness and desire to be loved matched Lucy s Was M Heger, her real life professor, just like M Paul Did he awaken her soul, played with her and then discarded her when the affair interfered with his married life Was M Heger s wife as manipulative as Madame Beck Did Charlotte ever regret refusing several marriage proposals to instead pine over men utterly unattainable Did she blame herself for her inability to be happy Why didn t she allow Lucy her happy ending Did she think financial security was the maximum a woman like her could ever hope for and love was impossible I am off to try to find at least some answers to these questions

  4. Kelly says:

    This book is better than Jane Eyre, guys This is where Charlotte Bronte shows her real brilliance I hovered between giving this two stars and four for about half the book because I really wasn t sure what was going on beneath the surface But then I figured out that I was stupid and didn t see half of the things that Charlotte Bronte had done She s brilliant Her narrator is completely unreliable She s a tease She withholds She doesn t tell us the lines we wish most to hear She deals with This book is better than Jane Eyre, guys This is where Charlotte Bronte shows her real brilliance I hovered between giving this two stars and four for about half the book because I really wasn t sure what was going on beneath the surface But then I figured out that I was stupid and didn t see half of the things that Charlotte Bronte had done She s brilliant Her narrator is completely unreliable She s a tease She withholds She doesn t tell us the lines we wish most to hear She deals with feelings that should have fulsome paragaphs in oblique, obscuring half sentences Fulsome paragraphs are written on subjects that one would not think of as half so important to a ladies novel The nature of God, the debate between Protestantism and Catholicism, Truth and Lies, the worst faults of humankind These are all dealt with She s also able to switch focuses, from far away observation, as if she is telling a fairy tale, to a prose that is close and intimately involved Existentialist thoughts wind through here, religious rebellion against the existence of God, liberation of women. a lot of things that a woman in 1853 probably shouldn t have been writing about.Lucy Snowe, the main character and narrator, has her faults You will want to wring her neck Not only for what she teases us with, but what she says Her always forebearing attitude, her martyrdom The sense of how impressed with herself she is at times, all her protestations to the contrary Secretly holding herself rather above the company, to steal a line from another famous female But let s also remember that Jane Eyre isn t all that likeable for most of the book either Lucy is as difficult to like.The end is fascinating To give away just a little bit of the book, she does not get the ending that one expects from Romantic books The ending is a question mark The reader can make of it what they will She has no illusions, but we can have ours Her happiness is completely different solitary, alone, quiet it provides a fascinating read though a feminist lens I d say the end has a bit of a message like A Room of One s Own, but decades earlier, and with an appropriate veil Interesting to note, the same male enabler is necessary, but it meets with a different end here.Happiness is not what one thinks it is I really do have to warn that this novel is about repression and oppression and it reads like it too The breaks out of this endless cycle are few and far between It can be difficult to trudge through, as difficult as it is for Lucy to make it through I made it by figuring out how Charlotte Bronte was playing with the reader, though Pay attention to details She will mention them and perhaps explain them chapters later, but not connect them for us Victorian conventions are satirized gently and taken to task I believe Charlotte Bronte is somewhat taking herself to task for believing the ridiculous things that women were encouraged to indulge in and I ve just noticed that I wrote this review sounding rather like a silly victorian writer Oops

  5. WILLIAM2 says:

    With this, I think, fourth reading, the book reconstitutes itself utterly fresh yet familiar I still find it surprising in ways I could not have appreciated earlier, as if another layer of the narrative complexity were revealing itself It seems logical to reread books an author has put through multiple drafts If reading is a parallel act of creation, rereading is to contrast multiple impressions over time Villette is my favorite Victorian novel The story has a long fuse, but that s typical With this, I think, fourth reading, the book reconstitutes itself utterly fresh yet familiar I still find it surprising in ways I could not have appreciated earlier, as if another layer of the narrative complexity were revealing itself It seems logical to reread books an author has put through multiple drafts If reading is a parallel act of creation, rereading is to contrast multiple impressions over time Villette is my favorite Victorian novel The story has a long fuse, but that s typical of its vintage What is atypical and thrilling is the manner in which the author ceaselessly unravels the skein of character, never exhausting it Just dazzling Here s the romantic crux of the novel Lucy Snowe is smart but not very attractive and she s mad about her godmother s son, Dr John, who is enormously kind but really can t give her a second thought as a love interest At the same time, as a friend of the family, Lucy s there to watch Dr John pining after one woman, who s quickly shown to be a vicious flirt, and then another,worthy of his attentions Amid all this Lucy Snowe insists on remaining nice By that I mean she is fair minded to Dr John s love interests, for she interacts with them in the everyday world, and despite her maddening solitude, will never turn bitter or vindictive In fact, she s friends with them This makes for dramatic tension that is through the roof Neither will she natter at Dr John and plague him with her emotions she values him too much as a friend and intellectual equal In the end it is this stability of character, despite her overwhelming and at times soul crushing loneliness, that is Lucy s triumph Though she will never see herself this way, the reader, whom she often exhorts by name, surely does Then you have Lucy s encounters with the not to be endured M Paul, a fellow teacher in the girls school, who seems to want to be the sole representative of all intellectual misogyny of his era c 1830 He is snide, sneering, bitter, and jealous, with an overbearing opinion about everything, especially a woman s place in the world He and Lucy are at a kind of constant verbal fisticuffs We come to see him as the sad little punctilious man he is, as does the redoubtable Lucy, who is not snide or sneering or bitter, but who demands respect Some of their exchanges become hilariously funny Then we get M Paul s horrendous backstory death of fianc , stern Roman Catholic, etc and we see why he is what he is Though not a priest, M Paul has taken a vow of celibacy No wonder he s so miserable The way this tempestuous relationship contorts and resolves is a literary wonder What a piece of shrewd insight is the indefatigable M Paul As a smart and resourceful woman Lucy Snowe is arguably without parallel in Victorian literature.If life be a war, it seemed my destiny to conduct it single handed p 391

  6. Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    891 Villette, Charlotte Bront Villette is an 1853 novel written by English author Charlotte Bront After an unspecified family disaster, the protagonist Lucy Snowe travels from her native England to the fictional French speaking city of Villette to teach at a girls school, where she is drawn into adventure and romance Villette was Charlotte Bront s fourth novel, it was preceded by The Professor her posthumously published first novel, of which Villette is a reworking , Jane Eyre, and Shirle 891 Villette, Charlotte Bront Villette is an 1853 novel written by English author Charlotte Bront After an unspecified family disaster, the protagonist Lucy Snowe travels from her native England to the fictional French speaking city of Villette to teach at a girls school, where she is drawn into adventure and romance Villette was Charlotte Bront s fourth novel, it was preceded by The Professor her posthumously published first novel, of which Villette is a reworking , Jane Eyre, and Shirley 1988 1365 1369 1372

  7. Henry Avila says:

    Lucy Snowe a plain looking quiet 23 year old intelligent woman in need of money and help, stating it mildly she has no family left in England in an era before Victoria came to the throne, her godmother Mrs Bretton who lived in a small town ironically named Bretton, has moved to colossal London with her handsome son John Graham, no way to find the widow there Still Lucy is not without skill, she is a capable resourceful nevertheless almost destitute lady gathering all her few pitiful coins Lucy Snowe a plain looking quiet 23 year old intelligent woman in need of money and help, stating it mildly she has no family left in England in an era before Victoria came to the throne, her godmother Mrs Bretton who lived in a small town ironically named Bretton, has moved to colossal London with her handsome son John Graham, no way to find the widow there Still Lucy is not without skill, she is a capable resourceful nevertheless almost destitute lady gathering all her few pitiful coins and decides boldly to cross the English Channel to seek fortune there, in a foreign land mad or brilliant idea the future will tell Arriving in the exciting, prosperous, glamorous capital city of Villette , Brussels, Belgium searching for lodging in a recommended inn, she stumbles among the thick dark the black gloom the unlighted ominous roads and shadows agitated, lostsome unknown men followingcoming to a rather peculiar houseknocking the door finally opens This is Madame Beck s school for girls, and the owner very shrewd an attractive widow in her late 30 s wants an Englishwoman to take care of her three little precious daughters, luckily Lucy gets the job, but first the unpleasant dismissal of the current holder of the position an alcoholic lady, who drank one too many bottles In a short time another great unexpected opportunity unfolds, the English teacher doesn t show up for work Madame Beck is not happy, this has occurred too often the owner of the prestigious establishment is strict, unforgiving and the lazy teacher will be the same soon unhappy dragging the petrified Lucy into the classroom full of young, intimidating girls and says teachsink or swimshe floats The new teacher slowly begins to feel comfortable, a natural instructor has ability, the students no longer are frightening She begins to notice a professor M.Paul Emanuel, Madame Beck s extremely knowledgeable cousin, a ferocious man all around him they are scared of make that terrified little in stature, but big in power Lucy becomes quite sick the school s regular doctor is away, a young English physician treats her at his home and seems familiar, so does the furnitureyes it s John Graham Bretton and his mother her godmother, the lonely woman has friends now More acquaintances from her youth found in Villette, little, sweet, Polly Home the six year old who lived in Mrs.Bretton s house a short time and her rich father also, is now 17 a countess with new names, de Bassompierre inherited from aristocratic relatives on the continentLove will complicate life as it will do forever, these people fall an arise seek new partners, the eternal bumpy journey in search of the unreachable happiness, contentment is it an illusion..Yet the trek will go on and on Charlotte Bronte s second best book, some heretics say her masterpiece but they are in the minority

  8. Elyse Walters says:

    Having read Jane Eyre recently for the first time, it was suggested I read Villette.A fantastic Kindle Freebie I thought this story was terrific equally as good as Jane Eyre Lucy Snowe.lonely, introverted,..and somewhat emotionally unavailable.it s easy to feel empathy towards her harder to understand what she is thinking yetshe was easy to relate to I could understand her struggles of bumping up against isolation and doubting who she was Bronte touches on th Having read Jane Eyre recently for the first time, it was suggested I read Villette.A fantastic Kindle Freebie I thought this story was terrific equally as good as Jane Eyre Lucy Snowe.lonely, introverted,..and somewhat emotionally unavailable.it s easy to feel empathy towards her harder to understand what she is thinking yetshe was easy to relate to I could understand her struggles of bumping up against isolation and doubting who she was Bronte touches on that insecure spot inside us which we all feel at times through Lucy Dramatic storytelling lovely prose and filled with thought and emotions There were a couple of scenes where I was laughing out loud at the same time there was sadness knowing that Lucy suffered Her heart and spirit were good big yet without having a vivacious personality, or being an electric extroverted charmer.her gifts, intelligence, we re not easily visible As the readerwe are privileged to look deeper into her soul We see an endearing woman a woman with moral integrity, inner strength.but sad Beautiful and heartbreaking

  9. Jan-Maat says:

    I finished Jane Eyre and I knew what I was going to write, I finish Villette and I am quite unclear.My initial expectation was that it would repeat the earlier story woman, abused childhood, education, passionate love, obstacle, punishments and rewards Perhaps in large it does The madwoman in the attic motif is repeated, this something that lodged in Bronte s imagination.Again the pathological sense of difference between the British and the French,specifically between the Protestant and I finished Jane Eyre and I knew what I was going to write, I finish Villette and I am quite unclear.My initial expectation was that it would repeat the earlier story woman, abused childhood, education, passionate love, obstacle, punishments and rewards Perhaps in large it does The madwoman in the attic motif is repeated, this something that lodged in Bronte s imagination.Again the pathological sense of difference between the British and the French,specifically between the Protestant and the Catholic It is hard for me to know if this simply reflected the dominant social attitudes of British shortly after Catholic emancipation or the particular world of Haworth Parsonage, in particular the Irish background of father Bronte An interesting result of this is that Bronte, oraccuracy her narrator, Lucy Snowe, comes across as a kind of Dostoevsky a person who going abroad was energised by their immense dislike of foreigners Escape aboard does not represent freedom, new perspectives, a new mode of living Instead for much of the novel it is a kind of exile I read in the introduction how the Brontes already as children had a passionate identification with the Duke of Wellington and liked to indulge themselves in violent fantasies involving the British army and horrible foreigners I found it easy to go on to imagine Charlotte Bronte dressed as Britannia, but wielding a cat o nine tails in place of the traditional trident, whipping her way through Belgium With that firmly in mind the eventual relationship between Snowe and Monsieur Paul seems incredible, until I recall that Dostoevsky claimed that the two point on a circle, furtherest apart are almost the closest together, the intensity of her anti foreigner feeling super charging her feelings for Monsieur Paul.This for me is the major difficultly in reading Villette The narrative voice is extremely powerful, but does that mean that it is wise to take it as representing the authorial point of view, and if not quite, then where do we draw the line between Lucy Snowe and Charlotte Bronte Despite her, in many ways quite narrow background and Tory attitudes Bronte did have a passionate relationship with a Catholic foreigner, and a married one at that, plainly something of that relationship is reworked in her presentation of attraction in both Jane Eyre and Villette the male interest is not handsome in either case but he has a presence Reading now the book says both something about the nature of relationships between men and women and between women and society which is perhaps the same thing but writ large as perceived by the woman from the Yorkshire parsonage.The first point is grooming, or slightlynicely put seduction We see in the opening chapters the young John seduce the even younger Paulina, and then put her aside once ainteresting option comes along in the shape of his school chums, and I imagine judging from those first conversations between Paulina and Lucy that something similar happened between Lucy and John too This seduction method of relieving boredom is not unique to the men, Ginevra acts similarly towards the men that she is interested in The key point for me is that the emotional investment is uneven, the pursuer is calculating, the pursued whole heartedly engaged This all seems masochistic to me, we have characters caught up in relationships from which they can only receive pain Since they don t escape them we can only assume that they gain something meaningful from them This is one of the difficulties for me reading the book Lucy s sense of having any right to pleasure or satisfaction is so repressed that the reading experience became oppressive Naturally in the context of the book this seems like a reasonable analysis, then again she is the narrator The stories we tell about ourselves are traps as much as explanations or attempts at Enlightenment, the stories told by a first person narrator need to be felt through with a deeply critical eye.Despite this this gloom, Snowe is less oppressed by social status, she is relatively egalitarian in her outlook a link between her and Monsieur Paul Despite the police regime of the school, it is the internal oppression that is effective, not apparently the structure of society That comes across as being something like a climbing frame, albeit one too crowded to have much opportunity to move I might take the view that the internal oppression is so severe that the plan to open her own school is hidden from herself until late in the book, if less charitable, that Bronte hit on it as a solution late on in the writing process Either way this is a book with sudden movements after periods of oppressive continuity, like ice that suddenly cracks.Snowe in that sense doesn t look like an accidental choice of name If it suggests purity, it can also imply fragility, delicacy and cold Despite which she endures unsnowlike through changes of the season down to the resigned, less than happy,than unhappy ending, that Bronte manages to give her An ending, on reflection, that offersthan Bronte s own.In any case, I sense a reread, and that a different review will emerge after that

  10. Meredith Holley says:

    It is not possible for me to talk about this book without somehow spoiling it I ll hide the main spoilers, but there are some pretty awesome twists and turns in this book, so I recommend reading it with eyes that are innocent of review spoilers.I have had this weird experience lately where books or movies or TV I watch are almost always either uncannily similar to my life like, exact words I ve said recently or experiences I ve had or totally offensive and appalling to me I think it is doi It is not possible for me to talk about this book without somehow spoiling it I ll hide the main spoilers, but there are some pretty awesome twists and turns in this book, so I recommend reading it with eyes that are innocent of review spoilers.I have had this weird experience lately where books or movies or TV I watch are almost always either uncannily similar to my life like, exact words I ve said recently or experiences I ve had or totally offensive and appalling to me I think it is doing damage to my nervous system I have a weak and brooding constitution, anyway, so recovery calls for those new episodes of Arrested Development to come out ASAP No, jk, I don t have a weak and brooding constitution, but seriously, I may take to swooning and weeping soon enough if this crazy pendulum doesn t stop swinging so wildly Villette was the uncannily similar variety of story It is so eerie to read books from almost two hundred years ago and see my own thoughts and experiences It is both comforting and totally exhausting comforting because we have always been like this exhausting because, well, we have always been like this Bronte s description of Lucy waiting by the phone for a dude to call, or, in her case, by the door for a letter to arrive, is chilling Lucy s conversation with Dr John, when she points out the hypocrisy of his ability to see shallowness in men but not women, is absolutely hilarious Lucy s delicacy about describing her own loneliness is beautiful Charlotte Bronte writes a really killer antiheroine, and it is always easier to identify with an antiheroine than a heroine, I think, because it is easy to see our own flaws While this book easily stands alone as a lovely study on humanity, it also evoked comparisons to Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice for me It was the last book Bronte published before she died As is so common, Villette, the later book, is a less tight story than Jane Eyre it wasmeandering, and where Bronte wants to dwell, she will dwell In some ways, though, I think Villette issuccessful than Jane Eyre in distinguishing antihero from hero because Bronte is kinder to the heroes in Villette and lets me feel a little bitter at them without really despising them here Dr John, in contrast to St John, does not creep me out Paulina is a traditionally heroic heroine This works in Villette because it provides aclear contrast between the traditional hero s story and Lucy s antiheroine story On the other hand, Jane Eyre allows flaws in everyone, whether they are golden or dark, so that has a nice subtlety At the same time that Jane and Rochester are theclear antiheroes, St John is so determined to crush feelings and be unhappy that he is not so much the golden hero as Dr John In Villette there is a clear line between hero and antihero in Jane Eyre the line isblurred, though the physical descriptions signal a distinction It might not be useful, though, to compare the two books because they are both wonderful, and I don t know that I prefer the clear distinction or the blurring.In some ways, I think this story is a Bronte Pride and Prejudice All of the couples are parallels view spoiler Paulina and Dr John are Jane and Bingley Lucy and M Paul are Lizzy and Darcy and, of course, Ginevra and de Hamal are Lydia and Wickham hide spoiler In many ways that comparison fails because the interaction of the characters in PP forms a cohesive plot, and Villette is not really about any particular plot, I think, but it was interesting to see similar couples described throughbrutal eyes Both Charlotte and Emily Bronte, also, always seemexotic than Austen because the aesthetics of their heroes are described so muchlike an emo band While Austen captures that subtle loneliness of unreliable family, the Brontes go straight for explicit isolation in a cruel world I doubt I could love either Austen or the Brontes so much without the other And it was beautiful to read about the couples from Pride and Prejudice with the severity and stifled animal cry of Charlotte Bronte I see Virginia Woolf s point that sometimes Bronte s failures as an editor interfere with the story in a way that you don t see in Austen, but it is still beautiful.Probably my favorite thing about this book is Lucy s shiftiness as a narrator This girl is going to tell you what she wants you to know and she is going to leave out whatever the fuck she wants It was totally hilarious that she view spoiler didn t even tell me that she knew the whole time that Dr John was Graham Bretton hide spoiler That little minx As they say And then the way she ends the story is just view spoiler heartbreaking you can t even handle the cruelty of her life, so she won t force you to listen to it hide spoiler I was not in love with any of the heroes of this story, and I kind of liked that, too It waslike a soul mate friend, of whom I am completely in awe, telling me about the people she loved, and how she understood them and their faults, than a con game of trying to get me to fall in love myself It is interesting because usually we are meant to fall in love with the romantic lead and I mma be honest, I totally swoon for Rochester , but I do not almost ever swoon for my irl friends love stories In this way, I felt that Lucy was completely her own person, and even though I identified with her in this sometimes creepy way, she was not a stand in for me in the love story I thought view spoiler both Dr John and M Paul were kind of douchebags hide spoiler , but that was fine because Lucy was smart about all of them Honestly, I didn t notice view spoiler M Paul hide spoiler for a long time, and I am usually really good at picking up on romantic leads, so when I re read I will have to pay better attention to what he does in the early part of the novel.I really loved this book As I got to the end, I panicked a little because I remembered that I had always partly been reluctant to read it because I will use up the possibility for a new Bronte story soon, and what a sad, bleak time that will be I still have a couple left, though, so I will hoard those for later I wish Bronte would email me new stories from her austere, Protestant heaven