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A Brief Look At Psychology In Villette

Book cover

There is something to be supposed from Lucy’s psychology, and that is a comment on the subject in general, away from the character. It would appear that as a secondary subject, as a sort of subtext, Charlotte is using Lucy as a teaching – explaining how easy it can be to choose nothing, showing how chances can be missed. Because I cannot believe that Charlotte actually thought those things a good idea; or maybe she did, who knows.

Perhaps it is a plot device, because immediately after Lucy desists dancing Charlotte has her describing how fantastic one of the pupils is. All through the first third to two thirds of the novel, Lucy tells us of Ginevra Fanshawe, sometimes approving of her, other times not, and Ginevra is the perfect comparison, the complete opposite of Lucy. Neither one is faultless, but they each possess qualities that the other could do with owning. Ginevra is a little like a missed heroine, a truely interesting character that perhaps we might have preferred for her busy life.

So then is Charlotte’s book a study in missed chances? Certainly it seems that way for a long time, and then for the rest of the time she shows what happens when one takes advantage of their opportunities.

Lucy is a nice enough character, but I believe that it’s what she represents that’s most important. Lucy may be the fictitious parallel to Charlotte, and Villette may be in part autobiographical (maybe even a way of Charlotte letting her feelings out by killing the hero as her own love was destined not to be), but in my opinion it is just as much a look at the way we, as the inhabitants of earth, live, as it is about the struggles of a young woman in the Victorian times.

My review of the book can be found here.


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March 14, 2011, 12:36 pm

A Brief Look At Psychology In Villette…

[…]There is something to be suposed from Lucy's psychology, and that is a coment on the subject in general,[…]…


March 14, 2011, 9:16 pm

Clearly I need to read Villette. I love your last few sentences.

Charlie: I didn’t like the book as much as some, but the amount there is to talk about…

Thanks :)



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