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I’d Like To Speak With Eve Black

March 25, 2011

Huge plot development in Chapter 5 (“Turning A New Leaf”).  Huge!  You remember how earlier we were both wondering if the narrator was Villette and then I was all “We were wrong because the narrator’s name is Lucy Snowe.”

Well I may have spoken too soon.  In Chapter 5, Lucy shows us that she may well be BOTH Lucy and “Villette”.  Here’s her recollection of her arrival to London:

Into the hands of common-sense I confided the matter.   Common-sense, however, was as chilled and bewildered as all my other my other faculties, and it was only under the spur of an inexorable necessity that she spasmodically executed her trust.  Thus urged, she paid the porter: considering the crisis, I did not blame her too much that she was hugely cheated; she asked the waiter for a room; she timorously called for the chambermaid; what is more, she bore, without being wholly overcome, a highy supercilious style of demeanour from that young lady, when she appeared.

Um.  Weird.

I didn’t see this coming…is Bronte setting the groundwork for a soap-opera-ish Victorian (mis)representation of “split personality disorder”.  Will Villette prove to be just another aspect of our supposedly bland narrator Lucy Snowe?  If so Bronte gets much more creative about naming the other personalities (“Common-sense”?  Bor-ing!)

What is lying beneath that Snowe?

Other topics that have arisen in my reading…what’s the purpose of the character of Miss Marchmont?  And on a related note…why is Charlotte Bronte trying to ruin Christmas for me?  (In Bronte-land it’s not all candy canes and sugar plum fairies).

Your thoughts?

Jon

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