Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Villette" Read-A-Long: Chapters 26 - 30

Fifth post for this read-a-long, initiated by Unputdownables.

To see all the posts, click on "Villette read a long" in the right hand bar. 

NOTE: all posts include spoilers

The title of Chapter 26 is "A Burial".  I began reading wondering who had died.  Lo and behold, Lucy was talking about burying letters from Dr. John!   But not just her letters.....
"But I was not only going to hide a treasure - I meant also to bury a grief. That grief over which I had lately been weeping, as I wrapped it in its winding sheet, must be interred."
As one who has been truly grieving for the past two years over the death of my 17 year old son, this seems so trivial and trite.  Give me a break, Lucy!

It is interesting that in this same chapter, Lucy give us an idea of how others view her.  Since this is coming from her, rather than an omniscient narrator, how reliable is it?  What if I put to pen what others thought of me?
"Madame Beck esteemed me learned and blue; Miss Fanshawe, caustic, ironic and cynical; Mr Home, a model teacher, the essence of the sedate and discreet...while another person, Professor Paul Emanuel, to wit, never lost an opportunity of intimating his opinion that mine was rather a fiery and rash nature - adventurous, indocile, and audacious."
Regardless, it FINALLY has given me a glimpse of Lucy - like a mirror reflecting her character.  Nothing is surprising as she is all of these things.

Fast forward - it has been three months since Dr. John has spoken to her, "a lapse of which he was not even conscious."  So his letters and her grief are well buried.

The last three chapters focus on M. Paul and curious interactions between he and Lucy.  Reminiscent of 13 year old, immature adolescent kids - trying to figure out if they like each other.  Not sure if I like M. Paul - he seems so extreme in nature, but maybe is the the perfect fit for Lucy.  Or maybe she is the perfect fit for him.

The plot is picking up so am eager to see what will happen to these characters.


  1. I liked the idea of almost a formal burial in order to get rid of an unhealthy attachment.

    Don't psychiatrists nowadays recommend something similar? A symbolic act of some sort?

  2. I had forgotten about the burial of the letters until I saw you mention. I found that portion so disconcerting when I was reading because it seemed so stange and over the top. But I have to admit that I love those aspects of Lucy's character. The fact that she is this mass of contradictions who everyone seems to view differently (if they perceive her at all), makes her seem like a real person to me.