Villette Read Along Week 1

Posted March 3, 2015 by Stephanie in / 10 Comments

Welcome to my post for the Villette Read Along hosted by the wonderful Alice at The Reading Rambo. I am super excited to be a part of this read along, because I have read and enjoyed previous read along posts that Alice has hosted and I was always like “I need to join one.” So, this time, I did. And let me tell you, I’m enjoying the writing my discussion posts and finding fun gifs. 
But as for the book, my first impression is this:
Seriously, though, what is going on? I’m sure I have missed some important facts from this book. But I really cannot wrap my head around what is going on in these first 5 chapters. First off, what is Charlotte’s deal on dancing? I feel like I’m living in the town of Bomont from Footloose. (Note to self: watch Footloose some time soon). I mean for a character to die of overexertion at a ball? To me, that just seems ridiculous. 
But seriously, who doesn’t dance? (Besides Nick Miller, and even he dances in New Girl) I mean we all do it. Whether it’s a happy dance. Or you’re movin to the groove in the car. Or, anything really. We all dance behind closed doors. And to die from dancing is just absurd. That’s my own humble opinion. Thank you Charlotte Bronte for showing me my faults. 🙂
Only Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) <3
Secondly, what is going on with Polly? Okay, when she is introduced into the story, I thought a baby was coming to stay at the Bretton’s household. And in the scene she is being carried like a baby. Wrapped in a blanket like a baby (By the way did this actually happen? Or is my mind making things up, because this is totally how I pictured it as I was reading). And then out of nowhere she starts spitting these mature words out of her mouth. And then I was left questioning how old she really is. And it was until later that we find out that she’s 6! Seriously, 6! 
And then Polly and Graham (who is 16 by the way) have this weird fascination with each other. And I’m all okay with a 10 year age difference with couples but not when they are mere babies themselves. Enter the disgust. And Graham starts trying to win Polly’s affection and I swear at one point he talks about how he has a pony that she can ride. (Please tell me that he actually meant a pony and not some dirty euphemism for his man parts). And they have this weird banter and I’m sitting there not only wondering to myself what the f*ck is happening but also like:
All-in-all, my favorite part of this book is the fact that it’s part of this read along. Maybe I’ll understand more once I read everyone else’s posts. Or maybe you guys can shed some light on this for me. 
Let’s talk about it!
Have you read Villette? Were you as confused as I was at the beginning?

10 responses to “Villette Read Along Week 1

  1. Alley

    I am so glad I'm not the only one lost in these opening chapters. I was SO CONFUSED when Polly started talking cos I was like "Wait, weren't you a baby like 3 sentences ago? All swaddled up and had a crib ready?" I think CB has never actually seen a child.

  2. Jaie

    here "infant" does not mean "baby", it just means child 🙂 remember it is not modern English after all…

  3. Ahahaha, that is one of my favorite lines from all of New Girl, because I too am from that town in Footloose. Unless I am exceptionally drunk. I would not mind living in a world where dancing was a Terribly Risky activity that could lead to premature death, because then nobody would say "But Jennyyyyyyyy it'll be fuuuuunnnnnn" when I declined to dance.

  4. Alley

    I actually don't know that they referred to Polly as an infant in this case. They do talk about carrying a tiny bundle and that she was going to sleep in a crib, all of which suggests a much-smaller-than-a-6-year-old child.

  5. readingrambo

    Well and yeah, there was a crib. For a 6-year-old. So what the hell. NO ONE KNOWS HOW CHILDREN WORK and by no one I mean Charlotte Bronte.

  6. haha, I'm not saying that I'm good at dancing. But I definitely dance without even thinking about it. And my fiance is totally like Nick Miller when it comes to dancing. So, I hear ya. And if asked to dance, I usually say no because I look like a fool. But if I'm in the car or with my absolute dearest friends, I'll act a fool with them. lol.

  7. Yea, I don't remember if they used the word "infant" but she was DEFINITELY described as a small baby and she pops out as this bratty yet mature 6 year old. So, it was definitely confusing!

    And, Alley, I'm glad that I'm not the only one confused either. I'd hate to be alone on that one. 🙂

  8. Polly was totally being carried like a baby. It seemed like Bronte tried to make up for the fact that she behaved like an old lady by having her mispronounce her words occasionally. But the cognitive dissonance won out.

    She'll be 14 in the part where we left off in the book. So goodness knows how she'll talk NOW. Like the Dowager Countess, probably.

  9. Season C

    Hey,, I know you read this book and posted about it over 3 years ago, but I just finished reading it myself. Discussed it at book club this morning, but just can’t get enough! So, I found Alice’s readalong and also have been reading everyone else’s llinked posts. (obsessed? maybe a little) And yours is about the third that finds it hard to believe that a 6 year old could talk like Polly. So I finally have to comment!

    When my daughter was 4, she used words like “vibration” and “thoroughly”, and corrected people when they said “good” instead of “well”. IMO, especially since Polly was the only child, and doted on by her father, it makes perfect sense that he’d talk to her more as a little lady than a child. Also, not one of the other women at bc found it odd, and they all have kids.
    About Polly being wrapped and carried, it was autumn in England, and a rainy, windy night. She didn’t arrive right at the door of the house; the coach had to be met. Then they walked to the house from who knows how far away. Especially when you consider that her mother doesn’t sound like she had a strong constitution, it makes sense to me! I carried my kids (sometimes) when they were 6, and they were probably heavier than Polly.
    Okay, rant over. Thank you!

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