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Discussion on Villette

This is to me not like Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is dramatic and melancholy, a true period romance, while Villette contains too many little heartbreaks and no large ones that would constitute a romance.

Lucy's wild delirium of loneliness is the most emotional interval I have read in the story. In this she reveals fully the passions that lie beneath her cool exterior. Soon after we learn that she has closed even the reader off in some information, such a private person she is, and she has returned to her cool reserve.

She describes in painful yet analytical detail what it is like to make a living as a woman, and even more interestingly, in a woman-dominated work. As a reader I identify, I recognize, I rage. As a working woman I feel I am looking into a mirror, examining a world nearly two centuries ago full of the same kinds of people in this one.

Two older matriarchs dominate Lucy's life, and are remarkably similar to each other. One is genteel, the other dishonest and underhanded, but both dote on the same spoiled young man, the son of Lucy's godmother, the one, and the doctor of her employer, Madame Beck. There is nothing really wrong with John Graham, but I find myself disliking him, as I dislike nearly all of the other characters. There is no warmth in them, and I'm sure that's very deliberate on Bronte's part to set a stage, and yet it's remarkably similar to real life.

There is one character who has warmth, another teacher, M. Paul, who has brought color and excitement into Lucy's life by putting her in hot water numerous times. He is the only character who can bring her flashing temper to the surface.

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