Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lucy, I wonder if anybody will ever comprehend you altogether

Here we are, the second to last week with Villette. Thank you, Alice, for hosting this readalong shindig! Now, let's see where our optimistic, ray-of-sunshine Lucy Snowe has found herself.

It Mme Beck is now conspiring to get M. Paul and Lucy together even though ugh, I'm sorry. I am not on the bandwagon though Megs did make a pretty good case for him and Lucy last week.

Mme Beck sends Lucy off on a series of errands, the last one leads her to a house where she has to give a basket of fruit to an angry old lady who wants Mme Beck to know she can buy her own damn fruit. This would have been the end were it not for a fortuitous thunderstorm that kept Lucy in the house, where she met up with that Catholic priest she had confession with earlier in the book, who told her a story about a wonderful, virtuous man who was in love with this woman (Justine Marie) who died after the woman's family forbid her to marry the guy cos he was poor, so she went to a convent and I guess things didn't work out for her.

But then, cruel irony, her family lost all their money and the man had been SO IN LOVE with Justine Marie that he took care of them. He also agreed to never marry again. And that man is...M. Paul!!
I mean, you can kind of guess that early on because it seems like the type of revelation that would happen. And Lucy doesn't seem nearly as shocked as I feel like she should be with this revelation, but that's likely because she spent a lot of time talking about how weird Romanists are, so it's possible she missed chunks of the priest's story.

Remember how both Lucy and M. Paul saw the ghost nun that one night, so we can be pretty sure that Lucy isn't just crazy? Well, M. Paul thinks it's the ghost of Justine Marie come to haunt Lucy cos now he's in love with Lucy and she's jealous. This...CB, we should really have spent more time here cos THIS is a crazy story.

Anyway, Lucy tells M. Paul that she knows the story (though M. Paul seems more concerned that the story has been titled "The Priest's Pupil" which he thinks is a dumb name) and then says that he will never marry but they could be friends. Like really close friends. Like really close, intimate friends.
After this suggestion, the two of them quit talking to each other for days. Apparently this "friends...you know, friends..." arrangement made things super awkward for everyone. Also the priest got involved and he is NOT down with this. Or her. Cos heathen.

The priest starts leaving Lucy religious tracts. Lucy isn't going to convert anytime soon, but she at least seems amused with them. In her own way:
I remember one capital inducement to apostacy was held out in the fact that the Catholic who had lost dear friends by death could enjoy the unspeakable solace of praying them out of purgatory. The writer did not touch on the firmer peace of those whose belief dispenses with purgatory altogether.
Point well-made, Lucy.

There is a fair amount about the church and religion and all in this section that I don't understand nearly well enough to speak to, so I will let someone smarter tackle that. Instead, we'll jump over to Polly and Graham who have been doing their scandalous letter-writing.

Lucy is over Graham but still doesn't want to hear Polly gushing about him, and shuts that right up in sort of a mean way, but since that's her style everyone seems used to it.

Mr. Home corners Lucy to ask what he should do about this relationship that is very obvious to everyone, despite how secret Polly and Graham think they're being. Mr. Home doesn't want Polly to marry anyone. Ever. Which is both a bit creepy and also sweet. Lucy tries to tell him that at SOME point someone is going to want to marry her, look at the way all those people were drooling over her at the party, and it may as well be someone Mr. Home knows and respects instead of someone else. I mean, she could end up with someone French. Could you even imagine? But after a lot of arguing, Mr. Home says he's cool with the match and the two of them get married and have a bunch of kids and overall live happily ever after.
I'm disappointed Polly didn't end up being a more interesting character. Or at least do something more interesting. I suppose there's still time. The book isn't over yet. Though now it seems the only plot lines left to tie up are those of Lucy and M. Paul.

Let's see how this all ends.