Posts Tagged ‘Lucy Snowe’

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General Villette Style Creepiness

April 29, 2011

Last time I posted I was discussing the hiring practices of Lucy Snowe’s new boss, Madame Beck.  I posited that aforementioned practices were somewhat “relaxed”.  Well it seems that this lackadaisical attitude permeates all aspects of her life.  Here’s a description of the woman that Lucy will replace:

Beside a table, on which flared the remnant of a candle guttering to waste in the socket, a coarse woman, heterogeneously clad in a broad striped showy silk dress and a stiff apron, sat in a chair fast asleep.  To complete the picture, and leave no doubt as to the state of matters, a bottle and an empty glass stood at the sleeping beauty’s elbow.

Psst.  Madame Beck…I think maybe you should start checking references.  When you hire any wayfarer and wanderer that shows up to your door you end up hiring help that passes out in a drunken stupor when they are caring for your children.  AND she fell asleep with a candle burning–fire hazard!

And recall this previous conversation regarding Lucy’s predecessor went like this…

He gazed steadily.  “Do you need her services?”

“I could do with them.  You know I am disgusted with Madame Svini.”

Not, note, “Yes I could use a replacement for Madame Svini because she is a fall asleep tippler who doesn’t extinguish her candles and any minute she may endanger my children with her negligence and/or set my curtains on fire with her refusal to follow basic fire safety precautions.”

This beginning of Lucy’s new job did remind me of the first episode of Newsradio where Dave Foley’s Dave Nelson has to fire his predecessor on his first day at the studio.  I wonder how many subtle Villette references there were in that show?

But I’m not done discussing the oddity of Madame Beck.  Here’s the first night of Lucy’s stay in the maison de Beck

I was a light sleeper; in the dead of night I suddenly awoke.  All was hushed, but a white figure stood in the room — Madame in her night-dress.

Scary….or sexy?

Moving without perceptible sound, she visited the three children in the three beds;

Awww.  Sweet.

she approached me: I feigned sleep, and she studied me long.  A small pantomime ensued, curious enough.  I dare say she sat a quarter of an hour on the edge of the bed, gazing at my face.

AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!   AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! (Least fun pantomime ever)

She then drew nearer, bent closer over me; slightly raised my cap, and turned back the border so as to expose my hair; she looked at my hand lying on the bedclothes.

Get. Out. NOW!!!

Creepy right?  And just when you think it can’t get creepier Madame Beck discovers the locks of Miss Marchmont’s hair that Lucy carries around with her.

Ew.

What’s Bronte going to throw at us next?  Madame Beck forcing Lucy to polish her many jars of urine?  Lucy’s construction of fingernail effigies of the entire Beck family?

I’ll keep you posted,

Jon

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Answers Aplenty

March 18, 2011

I’m back twin brother after a brief hiatus…and with me I bring a pocketful of answers to questions you may not even have known that you had.  That’s right I’m the homeless and sagacious Bette Davis with a heart of gold of this blog.

Oh wait she had a Pocketful of Miracles!

Pocketful of Miracles Poster

She Had Miracles Not Answers--oops!

“Belove it”–ha ha.  Ok, I’ve got my obligatory Apple Annie joke out of the way…now on to the answers!

Answer Number 1:  San Francisco!

You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been lately…well that question is easy enough to answer–on vacation in San Francisco. (see above)

Golden Gate Bridge

Proof that I wasn't just blowing off the blog to watch Better Off Ted

But now I’m back!  And I took Villette with me on the trip so I discovered some key plot points that will help clear up the confusion we’ve been experiencing.

Answer 2: She’s Not Villette.

We were wrong…the narrator is not, in fact, the titular Villette.  She’s Lucy Snowe.  So unless there’s a mid-novel name change in the works we both mis-identified the narrator.  Although, for the record, I was correct in my original reading that she is painfully dull.

Answer 3: She is 6.  And painfully precocious.

Our friend of many names, Missy aka Paulina aka Polly aka Little Mousie aka Miss Home, is only six years old.  But she has the world weariness and vocabulary of spinster eight times her age.  This brings up another topic for discussion–is Polly an accurate representation of children of the era or is this clumsy writing or is our Little Mousie an anomalous verbal savant?

Second topic…why does one so young necessitate so many noms de guerre?

Answer 4: Phil and Lem.

They’re my favorite characters on Better Off Ted.  Okay I have been blowing the blog off a little to watch reruns of BOT…why didn’t I watch this show when it was actually on?!

And…spoiler alert!…all this information ceases to be useful right around Chapter 4 because everyone scatters away from the Bretton house.  So more mysteries to solve!

I did kind of feel like someone should have sat Charlotte Bronte down and said…Look, Char, there’s in media res and then there’s in media res…throw your reader a freakin’ bone.

I’m hoping for smoother sailing now that I have some grounding in this story…but if the confusion persists this may well be the first blog book that I quit midway through.

I’m already reading more in order to have more to post in the (very) near future!  No more lollygagging on this side of the conversation.

Reading as I type,

Jon