Villette Bronte Questions Volume 1

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Questions on Volume I, Villette, Charlotte Brontë 1. What do we learn about the narrator’s background and childhood in this chapter? Why do you think some information is intentionally omitted? The reader does not learn much about the narrator’s, Lucy Snowe, background and childhood, only that she visits her godmother twice a year in her “handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton”. A large part of the information concerning Lucy’s background and childhood is intentionally omitted, reflecting the detachment and alienation from herself that seems to characterise an unconventional aspect of her character. The narrator seems to be intentionally hiding a part of herself and her story, sharing only the “Lucy Snowe” that she wants the readers to see. Is Lucy Snowe a reliable narrator? This intentional omission reflects Lucy’s external coldness and also conveys the author’s wish to insist on the narrator’s psychology. Furthermore, this detachment possibly suggests an implicit commentary on the marginalized life of women in the Victorian era. 2. What does Lucy think of Polly and Graham? Is she fair? Lucy describes Graham in a very positive way: “a handsome, faithless-looking youth of sixteen” “his waved light auburn hair, his supple symmetry, his smile frequent.” However, the reader has the feeling that Lucy feels jealous of Polly: “I wished she would utter some hysterical cry, so that I might get relief and be at ease” and finds her ridiculous “when I say the child I use an inappropriate and undescriptive term – a term suggesting any picture rather that that of the demure little person in a mourning frock (...), that might have just have fitted a good-sized doll.” However, Lucy does not to take in account the fact that Polly is extremely young, that she has lost her mother and rarely sees her father. Furthermore, Lucy’s judgement is based on Polly’s

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