Evaluation Paper

In: English and Literature

Submitted By zeealmas
Words 1453
Pages 6
Evaluation Paper #1
February 4, 2011
Ambiguous Presence Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Villette, examines Lucy Snowe’s journey towards maturity and fulfillment through the streets of Britain. The novel portrays Lucy as a complicated character who searches for independence in exchange for social acceptance. Lucy’s search for identity that is independent of society is very difficult to establish and express due to its existence in the sphere of ‘expected female social conduct.’ In the novel one of the characters, Ginevra, curiously inquires “Who are you, Miss Snowe”...”Who am I indeed? Perhaps a personage in disguise.” Since most women during that era were conditioned at an early age about social standing and gender roles, Ginevra has a very difficult time labeling Lucy as a traditional female. Bronte craftily created Lucy as this untraditional female protagonist in order to challenge Victorian ethics through her silence over her narrative. Throughout the novel, Lucy reveals her dissatisfaction with the Victorian values, however at the same time she represses information and keeps her identity concealed. This personality trait gives her great power over the reader, who longs to get more information about this mysterious character. The novel begins with Lucy saying, “When I was a girl I went to Bretton about twice a year, and well I liked the visit.” This line from the first chapter is clearly vague and does not give any incite to why Lucy Snowe is staying at Bretton. Instead, she then jumps right into introducing her God-mother to the readers. “I was staying at Bretton; my godmother having come in person to claim me of the kinsfolk with whom was at that time fixed my permanent residence. I believe she then plainly saw events coming, whose very shadow I scarce guessed; yet of which the faint suspicion sufficed to impart unsettled sadness, and made…...

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