Monday, February 7, 2011
Here's my first post for the Villette readalong, hosted by Unputdownables.
After reading the first five chapters, I can tell I will like this book. Though it's not Jane Eyre (one of my favorite books ever), it has a similar tone. I know the story is going to be different and that's fine with me; I'm interested to see what Bronte does with it, and where she will take our heroine, Lucy Snowe.
To me, the beginning is really just setting up Lucy's character in comparison to those around her who have incredibly strong feelings of love and sorrow. We see little Paulina, a girl who has incredible sensibility (I use that term in the 19th-century meaning, or great emotion). She is passionate about nearly everything, and takes everything seriously, especially for such a young girl. Next to her Lucy is practically an automaton; we see nothing of her character here, only her great calm.
Then she is put up against Miss Marchmont, an elderly woman for whom she works for a short while. Miss Marchmont has known great love, and has lost it; thus she has suffered every day since. Lucy hasn't known that sort of love yet, not even love for her family. The family she mentions she seems only fond of.
Finally in the fifth chapter we see some of who Lucy is as a character. She decides to embark upon a new adventure: to London! Without any sort of income and just 15 pounds in her pocket, she goes on a journey to find a means to provide for herself. She shows remarkable courage and strength, especially for the time; not many women traveled alone, and if they did they had a destination and object in mind. I look forward to seeing how she changes, and how she reacts when she falls in love (which we know she will).