Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Villette. It’s been a few years since I’ve read this book, but I’m so excited to jump in again. I am somewhat Bronte obsessed and I read Jane Eyre at least once a year. I love the way Bronte expresses herself through her characters. I relate to her and so many times when I’m reading, she’ll say something that makes me smile to myself and circle yet another line.

Bronte was a PK like me and obsessed with writing. One of my favorite quotes of hers is, “I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.” 

Update

on 2010-09-07 15:34 by Kerrie

Ok, so admittedly I’m NOT reading Villette everyday, but I’m on page138 of 559 pages. So far I’m enjoying the Bronte-isms that I so very much love. She captures the psychology and expression of emotion in her protagonist in a way that I identify with and relish.

The main setting for the story is Villette, a fictional city in France. It takes place in a boarding school as does a lot of Bronte’s stories. She taught at a boarding school and stuck to what she knew. Our heroine, Lucy Snowe is a governess, alone in the world and often restless and unsatisfied with her current situation (can you relate?). The book was published in 1853 and definitely touches on the issue of the repression of women. Bronte was a feminist in her day. She often speaks about this “restlessness” that is caused by being chained by the limitations of her sex. Also, you could say that Lucy is a bit “over emotional.” Some critics claim that the way Lucy’s behavior is described is one of the first nervous breakdowns in literature to be rendered in realistic psychological detail.

Are you excited yet?!?

At the beginning of the story, Lucy is visiting at her godmother’s home and describes the feeling of peace that she has while staying there. “Time always flowed smoothly for me at my godmother’s side; not with tumultuous swiftness, but blandly, like the gliding of a full river through a plain. My visits to her resembled the sojourn of Christian and Hopeful beside a certain pleasant stream, with ‘green trees on each bank, and meadows beautified with lilies all the year round.’”

I just love the picture of time moving like water and flowing at the perfect pace. I’ve had rare moments where I’ve felt that way and that has always been when I’m at home, surrounded by the love of my family, in a place of safety and unconditional acceptance.

Normally, the “waters” are moving too slowly for me. If it isn’t rushing, then I feel like I must be falling behind. I must be late for something. I must have missed something somewhere. I need the water to move faster!!!!

I’m still learning to appreciate the pace of the waters as they come and love the moments when they are simply gliding. Unfortunately, I can’t control the speed. I can only try and be ready for what comes, when it comes. And no matter how fast the water is moving, it still slips through your fingers. You can't hold it for long in your hands.

Everyday I forget what I should remember the most. I take for granted the love and health of my family along with the fact that my basic needs are met. I tend to focus on what needs to be fixed instead of seeing what is already beautiful. And I need to remind myself…sometimes you have to allow yourself to be led by quiet waters for your soul to be restored.