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On the other hand, Jane Eyre allows flaws in everyone, whether they are golden or dark, so that has a nice subtlety. At the same time that Jane and Rochester are the more clear antiheroes, St. John is so determined to crush feelings and be unhappy that he is not so much the golden hero as Dr.

In Villette there is a clear line between hero and antihero; in Jane Eyre the line is more blurred, though the physical descriptions signal a distinction. It might not be useful, though, to compare the two books because they are both wonderful, and I don't know that I prefer the clear distinction or the blurring. In some ways, I think this story is a Bronte Pride and Prejudice. All of the couples are parallels: view spoiler [Paulina and Dr. John are Jane and Bingley; Lucy and M. Both Charlotte and Emily Bronte, also, always seem more exotic than Austen because the aesthetics of their heroes are described so much more like an emo band.

While Austen captures that subtle loneliness of unreliable family, the Brontes go straight for explicit isolation in a cruel world. I doubt I could love either Austen or the Brontes so much without the other. And it was beautiful to read about the couples from Pride and Prejudice with the severity and stifled animal cry of Charlotte Bronte. This girl is going to tell you what she wants you to know and she is going to leave out whatever the fuck she wants. John was Graham Bretton hide spoiler ]. That little minx! As they say.

I was not in love with any of the heroes of this story, and I kind of liked that, too. It was more like a soul-mate friend, of whom I am completely in awe, telling me about the people she loved, and how she understood them and their faults, than a con game of trying to get me to fall in love myself. In this way, I felt that Lucy was completely her own person, and even though I identified with her in this sometimes-creepy way, she was not a stand-in for me in the love story.

I thought view spoiler [both Dr.

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John and M. Paul were kind of douchebags hide spoiler ] , but that was fine because Lucy was smart about all of them. Paul hide spoiler ] for a long time, and I am usually really good at picking up on romantic leads, so when I re-read I will have to pay better attention to what he does in the early part of the novel. I really loved this book.

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As I got to the end, I panicked a little because I remembered that I had always partly been reluctant to read it because I will use up the possibility for a new Bronte story soon, and what a sad, bleak time that will be. I still have a couple left, though, so I will hoard those for later.

I wish Bronte would email me new stories from her austere, Protestant heaven. View all 46 comments.

I can do no better to begin with than to quote George Eliot, who upon reading Villette called it "a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre ". Villette is darker and more realistic than Jane Eyre , and more autobiographical and perhaps thus even more powerful. Lucy is a complex character: repressed, yet deeply emotional, cold on the outside like her name , but fiery within. Her narration is reticent; unlike Jane Eyre, she holds back, never telling the reader everything, rarely allowing herself to show her feelings. A key passage occurs relatively early on the book, soon after Lucy has begun work at the school: "Oh, my childhood!

I had feelings: passive as I lived, little as I spoke, cold as I looked, when I thought of past days, I could feel. About the present, it was better to be stoical; about the future -- such a future as mine -- to be dead. And in catalepsy and a dead trance, I studiously held the quick of my nature. Lucy's reticence as a narrator forces the reader to reach out further to engage with her; yet her depth of feeling and her humor are engaging. I defy anyone all right, anyone who likes Victorian fiction to read fifty pages of Villette and be able to put it down; every time I read it, I feel as though I could pick it right back up after finishing, start it over, and be just as enthralled as though it had been years since I'd read it.

View all 13 comments. No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise.

I love when this paradoxical life brings me a book laced with "composite and contract No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. I love when this paradoxical life brings me a book laced with "composite and contracted" meaning, one of philosophical ponder and pathos; one wherein solitude grasps for Hope in order to avoid Despair and longing is elucidated and layered. Dreamlike and peculiar at times, a revelation of inner thought, the reflective narrative never ceases to make its reader consider life and its oddities, life and its happiness and pain.

At a time in my life when I'm at a crossroads with two interesting professional decisions that were forced upon me by this life , I am humbled that Villette occupied my still moments. This is the story of what happens when a woman finds herself in the midst of a strange community, with aloof, pretentious, and judgmental people; when she must ground herself in an academic environment that overflows with pretenses and mockery.

This novel's trajectory is what happens when love is unrequited, for it demands social status from the one it inhabits. These three meandering volumes make lucid the loneliness that blooms within, one that stems from loss of family and identity. I consider that she is both morbid and weak at times; her character sets up no pretensions to unmixed strength, and anybody living her life would necessarily become morbid. Graham, however, seems like a stud - caring, kind, generous, intelligent - and it is easy to see how Lucy would have fallen in love with him.

However, to say much about plot would 'spoil' the story and mislead the reader, for this narrative is an extension of memory, a sequence of consciousness that occurs through contemplation and reflection, which makes the plot both surprising and revealing. View all 23 comments. We denizens of 'The Book of Disquiet' salute you.

We of the small loves and small livings, the tiny joys and tiny dreams, bid you welcome. Our home is well-adjusted and self-assured, for if we profess ourselves any sort of connoisseur, it lies within those realms.

Villette (novel) - Wikipedia

Our work keeps us fed, clothed, ticking along at a methodical pace that matches the step of our action. Our doings are wrested from the very root of us, and we cannot remember a time when our will was a creature without chain or muzzle. W We denizens of 'The Book of Disquiet' salute you.

We of the thoughtful posing and quiet undertaking, the nondescript manner and stoic expression, pass you by. Our persona is mature and respectable, for if we claim ourselves any manner of actor, in those appearances we reign supreme. Our countenance keeps us from harm, trouble, the majority of unwelcome intrusions and unexpected disturbances. Our face once feared the cruel judgment of every eye, and we will never know how much we have lost in maintaining its proud coldness.

We of the reticent life and withdrawn days, the slow solitude and meandering existence, pray you keep at a distance. Our existence is of much self and little other, for if we must cluster our many sensibilities under a single roof, we will choose a room of our own. Our self-appraisals keep us safe, secure, a well measured freedom in the functions of a perfectly plotted daily life.

Our souls cry, and cry, and cry, for we have not yet found the permanent satisfaction that such an existence promises. We of the careful cravings and hesitant urges, the hard won realizations and fierce practices, present to you on rare occasions. Our passions are few and foremost, for if we believe ourselves the bearer of any kind of talent, we cling to it as a ballast of temporal assurance.

Our works keep us a measure of the past, future, a present that without such doings would slip into the void of useless persistence. Our praxis heeds neither standard nor accreditation, and thus we are admired, and thus we are condemned. We of the observant eye and sardonic grin, the quickening wit and sober analysis, say to you, beware! Our modus operandi is an invisible seething, for if we name our most finely tuned instinct, it is the instantaneous measure of irony of any and all. Our entertainment keeps us amused in parts, and fully familiarized with the discordant pomposity of reality in others.

Ignorance is bliss, a garden from which we were banished long ago, forevermore to discontentedly mock and claw ourselves bloody on our own eternal hypocrisies. We of the accumulated being and carved out philosophy, the chaotic incorporations and weathered discombobulations, forbid you the ease of category. Our mind is our own and ours alone, for if we hold ourselves to any creed, we demand it change with our every breath and drop of blood.

Our sustenance keep us alive, and woe to any who choose only between spitting us out and swallowing us whole. It is lonely, here, but nowhere else will let us be. We of the experienced heart and cautious brain, the creeping desire and subtle attractions, set you at a distance. Our love knows itself very well, for if there is one thing it characterizes itself by, it is the painfully slow and all encompassing spread of loyalty incarnate.

Our self very rarely finds another it can devote itself to, and knows itself too tightly reined to come to any foolish end. We bury our seeds too deeply, and their strangling growths are doomed to die without a trace of reciprocating sun. And so, we denizens of 'Villette' bid you adieu. We are a small, strange, and sad sort, and our weirdly warped self-censures are likely to accrue as life goes on.

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