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Villette-ing, Week 1

Just like Charlotte Bronte would've wanted

This is our first week of Villette! We've met some people. The ones who'll probably continue to be important are:

Lucy Snowe. Kinda boring for now, but MUCH LIKE ESTHER SUMMERSON, she probably has depths and stuff. I like how practical she is.

John Graham Bretton. You know he's coming back. But I'm honestly flummoxed as to whether he'll end up with Lucy or Pauline. Probably Pauline, because he feels very much like Laurie from Little Women, and Pauline is rather like Amy. So. That's my entire theory there.

Pauline Home. She's fine. She's gonna pop up and be super-pretty and John's gonna be all like "whaaat you were six last time and now look at you!" It should probably be noted that IF this happens, it's ok, because those weren't necessarily clichés at the time (the time being 1853).

The book started and I thought it was extreeeeemely dumb, but then it picked up when all the characters started interacting and then Lucy was on her own and it was very "Lower class girl having to fend for herself," which feels...singular in 1850s female-written literature? Although I profess to almost total ignorance on that subject, so maybe it was done a lot, only usually done badly in some terrible, melodramatic way.

CB has a terrible habit leftover from her first novel, The Professor, of occasional horrific sentence structure. This shows up on the first page with

I was staying in Bretton; my godmother having come in person to claim me of the kinsfolk with whom was at that time fixed my permanent residence.

To claim me of the kinfolk with whom was at that time fixed my permanent residence. CHARLOTTE. No. But this has only happened a few times so far, so I hold out hope that most of the book will be smooth sailing in that regard.

Pauline, The Semi-Abandoned Girl, is presented as an infant but then turns out to be six-years-old? So that was weird. Six-year-olds slept in cribs? And were carried in shawled bundles? K. I guess. But the extra-great thing about her introduction is that CB carries on her strange hatred of dancing by making Pauline's mother die after having "over-exerted herself at a ball." Really, CB? 

After Adèle Varens mother died from being a French dancer, it was like, ok fine. We get it. She was French. But now Pauline's mother? Who was coincidentally ALSO "giddy and careless"? Yeah, I don't think so. We're gonna sit you down, we're all gonna watch Footloose, and then we're gonna have a talk about David dancing before the Lord and how if Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody is wrong, we don't wanna be right.

Oh man. Now I just want to see Victorians dancing to Footloose. 

But anyway! I'm excited! Let's see where this is going! Who will tame John Graham's auburn locks? Did Louisa May Alcott rip off this book for Little Women? Will Lucy Snowe ever know happiness, and also, why was her advice to the six-year-old ("Don't fret, and don't expect too much of him, or else he will feel you to be troublesome, and then it is all over") the exact same as the dating advice my friends give me? SO MANY QUESTIONS ALREADY.

3/10 - Chapters 6-15. 



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