In 2012, in last spring, the film of Jane Eyre, Charlotte’s first novel, appeared (how many times has it remade?), I was really glad to see many kinds of Jane Eyre printed by many kinds of publishers, every time I went to the bookshop in the UK. The novel was published in 1847, recognised as a masterpiece of Victorian (1837-1901) literature. Charlotte lived longer than two sisters to leave five novels including unfinished one. The last novel as a complete one is Villette that I’m going to show here.
Villette is an exceptional novel compared to others, which means modern. Open ending of which we cannot see the conclusion of the story, the narrator which tells us a lie, the way of repetition — all of which has been increasingly used as a craft since modernism novelists, in addition, it is necessary to approach by means of psychoanalysis, in order to understand the natter of the rational self and morbid self, dialogues with reason personified. In short, it was definitely ground breaking.
In particular, as for ‘contingency’, Charlotte might be authoritative. Unexpected events, which can be seen in Jane Eyre, fill with Villette as well. In Jane Eyre, when wandering in the strange place, Jane finally finds a kindly warm family which is, in fact, found to be her relatives she’d never met before. Or it comes to be possible eventually for her to marry Rochester because of Bertha’s death. All kinds of “Providential intention” is worked for her fortune.
But on the other hand, in Villette, Lucy Snowe loses her foster parents in the shipwreck (her parents was already dead.). She finds a job of teaching in a small town Villette where she happens to meet again the Bretons whom she visited many times in her childhood (but she finally parts from them). Her fiancé Monsieur Paul is involved in the shipwreck as if it was a repetition of the beginning of the novel (his fate is never told). All kinds of providence impose on Lucy very much burden she cannot overcome.
Reading Villette, we remember Charlotte’s sadness that she had to endure the death of her brother Branwell, her sisters Emily and Ann, in order. After their death, what did she feel while writing the novel? The fact that she had been married for a year after completing the novel, is only our consolation.