Charlotte Bronte (1816-1865)
The tale told in Villette is one of a young English girl that experiences untold hardships and makes her way to a little town in
Lucy Snowe is a very solitary character. She is very reclusive and spends a lot of time alone. At times I think she is very brave. She travels to a foreign land and tries to teach English at a French school. But other times I see her as very weak and unable to take care of herself. She is given the weak woman stereotype of the day. A couple of times she has a nervous breakdown and I just want to yell at her to get it together. I can relate to her a little bit in her reclusiveness. But I don’t understand how she can be so weak.
There are many interesting characters in this book. Most are mysterious in their ways. The most interesting character after Lucy Snowe is M. Paul Emmanuel. I never really understood this character throughout the whole book. At first he seems to be very harsh and unforgiving. But later he is described as loved by all the students and teachers alike. So I believe now that I have completed the story, that he was a very strict teacher, but he was a good teacher. And for that everyone loved him. Each of the characters are very different from one another yet they each carry a mysterious aire about them. Most of the characters are connected to one another in some way.
The story is told from the point of view of Lucy Snowe. It is written in first person and so we as the reader is limited to the knowledge that she has. In this story it worked well to keep things unknown until the main character knows them. It keeps some suspense to the story. Personally it is not my favorite style. I like to know what the characters don’t know. Being that the story was told in first person, it was told completely in chronological order. There is no skipping around.
The location is part of what makes the story. Lucy is from
I thought this story would be sadder than it was. There were moments of sadness, some of mystery, some of suspense, but it almost didn’t move very much for me. At one point while I was reading, I wondered where this story was going. There isn’t a real big climax to it. Its just the story of a girl trying to make her way.
I can’t say that there was one thing I liked about this book. It wasn’t horrible to read, it just didn’t go anywhere. One thing I didn’t like was all the French phrases throughout the whole book. I enjoy a book more when I can understand everything they say.
The ending of the book was a little disappointing. It was very vague in the description. I don’t want to give it away, but it did upset me that there was no explanation. I like happy endings were there are rainbows and ponies. This book doesn’t tell me what happens. It’s a little frustrating.
My lasting impression of this book is that its not my favorite. I’m glad I read it so now I can say I’ve read two Charlotte Bronte books. But I’m not going to strongly recommend it. I didn’t feel strong emotions when I read it. And I like to feel for my characters. I do think that a lot of women would like this book. There is a bit of romance, but its more subtle than most desire it to be. I think people could relate to at least one of the characters in this book. There is a wide variety and they are all unique. So I would give this a middle rating. Not my favorite, but I could see that some would love it.