Thursday, March 3, 2011

Villette: Week Four

We are now at week four and I've just finished reading chapters 16-20.  Basically, Lucy has been enjoying the company of her godmother and Dr. John, whilst recuperating from her mental fainting spell.  She is staying at their place, as school is still not in session.  During this stay she has come to feel happy and comfortable being surrounded by these two familiar faces and allows herself to be taken to museums and about town.  She finds herself feeling free.  In fact, she is at the museum looking at a painting of Cleopatra when she runs into M. Paul,  who chastises her for being alone in a museum and for staring at that particular painting.  He sits her in a corner and tells her to stare at these other works which are much more suitable for her.  She finds the whole bit rather odd, but amusing.  Oh and then there is the dress - a pink dress.  Lucy's godmother gets it made for her since they will be attending a concert. And we all Lucy would rather look drab than fab, so there is a bit of reluctance on her part to wear it, but she easily caves and finds herself satisfied when Dr. John merely glances at her in it.  Of course, this stay does include talk about Ginerva - Dr. John's object of affection.  Lucy wishes John would look elsewhere for love, since she is privy to the fact that Ginerva is merely using John for the presents he gives her and has no real interest in settling down with him.  Luckily, Lucy gets her wish when at the concert - John notices Ginerva mocking his dear old mother and from that moment forth he tells Lucy that he could never be with someone who would belittle his beloved mother.  He finds himself disliking Ginverva more and more.  Lucy is glad that John is free of his lust for Ginerva, but does ensure him that her bad behavior is not filled with malice, but simple child's play - which he does not believe. 

And so you see, we are back with Lucy revealing memories to us that sort of include her, but are really about other people.  Where is she in all of this? Why doesn't she want us to know her? Yes, we do learn that she is insecure when she puts on that pink dress for the concert, but that is about it.  And yes, we know she hated being alone in the house and freaked out about it and went to church and then fainted - all of which displayed how shot her nerves were. Oh and of course she reveals to John that she recognized him some time ago, but didn't tell him so.  My point is that though Lucy does reveal bits of herself, she doesn't really reveal true self with us.   I want to get inside of her head, instead of being held back at such a distance.  Seriously, where is this book going?  Is Lucy even going to matter by the end or are we going to forget about her before the last page is turned?  I'm starting to wonder why I decided to give this book a read - its making me mental trying to feign interest in a character who has no character to speak of- all she has are observation skills and a penchant for blending into the scenery. UGH!

Alright, well I'm off to read something interesting and will be returning to Villette next week.  Happy Reading!


Karenlibrarian said...

This book is going downhill for me also -- and I've made the mistake of starting an audiobook of Jane Eyre in the car, and Villette really pales in comparison. I can't stop listening to JE though -- I hadn't read it in forever and I love it all over again. So good.

I have no idea what I'm going to write in my week 4 post because I haven't touched book in 2 weeks, I was way ahead, and I'm not at all excited about picking it up again. But I'm too stubborn to abandon it.

Tom C said...

I can't say I'm all that surprised that you're not enjoying it all that much. Some classics speak well into the current day while others seems to be past their best. I don't take part in these readalongs these days as I usually want to drop out

Nadia said...

Karen, I know what you mean! I have no idea what to write about this boring book, except for a slight summary and about the fact that I don't like the book. I've been reading other books to get away from Villette and then I try to force myself to read the chapters that are due for that week - feel as if I'm in school again. Like you, I'm stubborn and refuse to drop out of this readalong. I hope you find something to write and at least you can listen to JE in the car :)

Tom C, you are so right. Some books just seem to fit into place, regardless of the year, whilst others can't manage to stand the test of time. I'm thinking Villette is one of those books. Truthfully, part of me wants to stop reading it, but for some reason I just can't seem to quit. I've invested too much already and must finish this beast.

Wallace said...

Oh no... I had that feeling last week (boredom) but was liking it before and am liking it again. (And actually read ahead and got a little more into it). I kind of like the fact that we don't know everything about Lucy as it feels like something a little different from the norm. It reminds me of Object of Beauty in the way that we know something is going to happen, but are just not quite sure what it is. That makes me curious enough to keep reading. As does Bronte's writing... I like how she puts words together.

No shame in stopping if you must. I do it all the time with books that don't hold my attention. ;)

Melody said...

I'm dying to know more about Lucy too, although it hasn't reached an irritation point for me. I'm trying to get better about giving up on books that really aren't working for me, sometimes it really is the right thing to do!

Tahleen said...

I'm getting a bit bored with it as well, though I'm going to stick with it. I'm REALLY hoping some crazy crap goes down soon. But I totally agree with Karen, I think JE is way better. I've read that book 3 times and don't get tired of it. At this point I'm trying to entertain myself with my comments in my posts haha.

Here's my post: http://tahleenreads.blogspot.com/2011/03/villette-readalong-week-4.html

Lisa said...

Now, Lucy is really kind of a closed book, particularly since she is telling the story. She does seem much happier now that she seems in a place where she is an equal.