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Villette continues: "Good-night, Dr. John; you are good, you are beautiful; but you are not mine" and other words a 16-year-old can relate to a bonnet-grec. If you search "smoking cap" you will find a vast assortment of vaguely similar and horrifying hats. This is what M. Paul wears basically all the time.

And how about that M. Paul. How about that guy. Huh. He's got some pretty major red flags where, if Lucy were my friend, I'd be going "helllllllllllllll no," but Lucy HAS no friends.

You know what? Wait. That is bullshit. Lucy totally has friends. Lucy just doesn't like anyone. Except for Pauline, which she acknowledged was an abnormality. People try to be Lucy's friend and Lucy basically tells them to fuck off, which, to be honest, I kind of enjoy. Especially her amazing series of exchanges with Ginevra. She's constantly either sarcastic or flat-out mean to her, and Ginevra's just like "haha whatever bestiiiiiies."

I feel like their relationship is one step from this song conversation

But seriously, I know we always out someone in these Victorian readalongs, but Lucy seems straight as an arrow and our ONLY candidate seems to be Ginevra. Meaning it's a little forced, but she also is shoving herself against Lucy, "keeping herself warm," which sounds like repressed gay girl denial, man.

"I'm not gay, I just like standing really close to girls
and make out with them sometimes."

But let's go back to Lucy and M. Paul, as this entire section was pretty much focused on them and their weirdo relationship. That Lucy LOVES. Who's the ONLY person who finds her fascinating?(aside from Ginevra, who's convinced she's secretly a duchess or something) That'd be M. Paul, who thinks she's secretly this super-erudite woman who's about to come out with the ultimate translation of Homer. Why does everyone think she's secretly something else! Except for Dr John, who's like "You're exactly this one thing" and she's like "NO I AM NOT THANK YOU."

Lucy's personality shines when she's with Ginevra and M. Paul. I want them all to live together in the most dysfunctional ménage à trois on record. But look at this:

even after M. Paul had reached the door, he turned back just to explain, "that he would not be understood to speak in entire condemnation of the scarlet dress" ("Pink! pink!" I threw in)

And "Ginevra, I wish you were at Jericho." And this is adorable:

"For me?"
"Yes, for you."
"This is the thing you were working at last night?"
"The same."
"You finished it this morning?"
"I did."
"You commenced it with the intention that it should be mine?"
"And offered on my fête-day?"


As for whether there were any question that M. Paul is Charlotte Bronte's M. Heger (who, I don't doubt after this book, in some way encouraged her total giant crush on him), let's look at his description followed by a picture:

one really did not care to observe that his nose, though far from small, was of no particular shape, his cheek thin, his brow marked and square, his mouth no rose-bud: one accepted him as he was, and felt his presence the reverse of damping or insignificant.

Right then.

Lucy is making some bad decisions regarding the people she likes, OR IS SHE. She doesn't have an amazing selection of gentlemen friends, and despite M. Paul's constant derision of women, he keeps teaching her and pushing her. He says women should be docile, but he enjoys fighting with her. Graham really does think women should be docile, so he's doing just fine with Paulina. M. Paul is someone to whom Lucy can unload her Jane Eyre-like statements about equality and mankind, etc.

What do you think about their dynamic vs. Jane/Mr Rochester? There're similarities, right? I feel like CB had some very definite ideas about what she wanted in a partner, and they mostly involved trashing the other person in some combative but secretly loving way. WHAT WAS YOUR HOME LIFE LIKE, CHARLOTTE.

Next week, Chapters 34-37 and THEN ONE MORE WEEK AND WE ARE DONE.


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