Hello all - I return with... quotes from Villette!
I loved this book. More evidence to add to the pile of reasons why Charlotte is definitely my favourite Bronte. Jane Eyre, from my perspective, was undoubtedly better constructed (in terms of plot) and exposed in comparison to Wuthering Heights, but Villette is another story entirely. It is not always a 'happy' book - then again, neither is Wuthering Heights - and perhaps Lucy Snowe is not as strong of a feminist as Jane Eyre was - but Charlotte Bronte has turned Lucy Snowe's sorrows and jealousy into melancholic self-reflection, a search for independence, the truth about her own faith, and happiness. Instead of a rage of tantrums and vengeance (cough Wuthering Heights cough).
So, I've aimed to be more concise with the quote selection this time. Here they are -
This first one introduces what Lucy was already struggling - her fantasies and solid ground on reality. She was one to be always wearing a grey, plain dress - and one that would prefer and insist it so be so.
I seemed to hold two lives—the life of thought, and that of reality; and, provided the former was nourished with a sufficiency of the strange necromantic joys of fancy, the privileges of the latter might remainlimited to daily bread, hourly work, and a roof of shelter.And whenever she would enter the 'life of thought,' as shown in the quote below - her daydream -
In my reverie, methought I saw the continent of Europe, like a wide dream-land, far away. Sunshine lay on it, making the long coast one line of gold; tiniest tracery of clustered town and snow-gleaming tower, of woods deep massed, of heights serrated, of smooth pasturage and veiny stream, embossedthe metal-bright prospect. For background, spread a sky, solemn and dark blue, and grand with imperial promise, soft with tints of enchantment—strode from north to south a God-bent bow, an arch of hope.to the surprise of the reader, she would throw a knife in the middle of a growing, lovely passage and delete her musings -
Cancel the whole of that, if you please, reader—or rather let itstand, and draw thence a moral—an alliterative, text-hand copy—and instead revert back to reality and holding firm that -
Day-dreams are delusions of the demon.This quote below truly relates! An innocent, honest way of admitting that everyone has preferences, unfair they may be.
Our natures own predilections and antipathies alike strange. There are people from whom we secretly shrink, whom we would personally avoid, though reason confessesthat they are good people: there are others with faults of temper, etc., evident enough, beside whom we live content, as if the air about them did us good.More to add to the statement above is the quote below:
It is not every friend whose eye is a light in a sickroom, whose presence is there a solace.This is what I meant with her struggle with faith, yet perseverance -
I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.Bronte does this a lot - she personifies certain nouns, like Liberty, Hope, and Memory, and there are several (verbose) passages in which these personified nouns truly become human-like, evidence of her daydreaming, and are described in a spell-bounding fashion, but I'll leave that for you readers to discover on your own. Below, however, is a brief example.
Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars--a cage, so peril, loneliness, an uncertain future, are not oppressive evils, so long as the frame is healthy and the faculties are employed; so long, especially, as Liberty lends us her wings, and Hope guides us by her star.Short quote - considered excluding it - but it does say something on self pity, and recognition of remorse and sadness. And forcing herself to do so, in my opinion, is considered maybe even immature, or self pity to the extent where she wishes to wallow in it. Both quotes below relate to this behavior.
To livehere, in this close room, the watcher of suffering . . . I forced myself to realise evils, I think I was too prosaic to idealise, and consequently to exaggerate them.
There is a perverse mood of the mind which is rather soothed than irritated by misconstruction; and in quarters where we can never be rightly known, we take pleasure, I think, in being consummately ignored.Just a cool quote:
His veins were dark with a livid belladonna tincture, theessence of jealousy. I do not mean merely the tender jealousy of theheart, but that sterner, narrower sentiment whose seat is in the head.This is something I used to think about, and still agree with - false flowers are as bland as mannequins and the ones plucked were given only a moment to live, away from their home, and not by choice. It is sad.
I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowersto those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me.Love this -
Time, like distance, leds to certainscenes an influence so softening; and where all is stone around, blank wall and hot pavement, how precious seems one shrub, how lovely an enclosed and planted spot of ground!And my absolute favourite, so descriptive, memorable and fitting, here it is:
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.