Thursday, February 10, 2011

Villette Read-a-Long: Week One

I'm participating in the Villette Read-a-Long hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables.  We're reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte over the next 8 weeks.  Join us! (or don't ...whatever, I'm not your Mom...though would it kill you to clean up your room once in a while?)

Chapters: 1-5

Summary (via Wallace because I am lazy and today has been a crazy day and I just finished reading chapter five on the train this morning):

We meet Lucy Snowe as she is staying at her Mrs. Bretton, her godmother’s, house. While she is there, a child named Polly (short for Paulina) comes to stay after her mother dies. Polly is terribly homesick for her father and is only remedied from it by meeting Mrs. Bretton’s teenage son, John Graham Bretton (hereafter known as Graham). She becomes his pet, and, at six, she dotes on him and flourished under his big brotherly-like attentions completely. Once Polly’s father is settled with his relations outside of England he sends for his young daughter to join him. A few weeks later, Lucy travels back home, finds a place to live, and a job with a Miss Marchmont. After the death of her benevolent though sad mistress, Lucy must set out to look for a new place to live and another form of income. We leave Lucy, at the end of chatper 5,  alone and forlorn after she has just arrived in London after hearing of families who are looking for governesses.

My thoughts:
So from the other Villette posts I've read I've already deduced that I do not have the emotional maturity to take classics too seriously because my initial thoughts when Lucy's talking about Polly?  "Dude, does this kid have Benjamin Button disease?  'Cause she's like a thirty year old in a six year old's body." 

Seriously.  I know this is the 19th century and all, but, man, Polly is a weird kid.  Her devotion to her dad and then to Graham kind of freaked me out.  She was more like a wife to her father than a child, hanging all over him and gazing into his eyes and whatnot.  FREAKY.

I'm hoping she comes back into the story later because Lucy spends a lot of time delving into Polly's background and state of mind and her weird passive-aggressive relationship with Graham (Dear Polly, I know your six or whatever, but you really need to read He's Just Not That Into You before you hit puberty.  Just sayin').  I have a morbid curiosity to see what kind of nutjob she becomes as an adult.  The whole Marchmont thing was kind of surprising and quick.  It was literally, "hey, I have a job! my boss is dead..." 

Lucy's still kind of undefined in my mind other than being a lot like Jane Eyre in that horrible shit keeps happening to her and she just trucks along because, what are you going to do, you know?  She seems like a tough cookie though (man, I sound like my grandmother) with a good head on her shoulders, talking about "Common Sense" as if it were a dear friend taking care of her instead of an aspect of her personality.  Plus, she totally sees through Graham and tells Polly that boys kind of suck and you should get used to it now.  This girl totally needs a BFF stat.  She's all alone in the world and I just wanted to give her a big hug when she was trying to figure out what the heck she was going to do next after Marchmont kicked it.

Anyway, I'm a bit hyper today if that's not completely apparent, but if you're reading Villette, I'm interested to see what you guys think.  And if you want a much more mature look at the first five chapters, check out Unputdownables where others are posting their thoughts.

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