Writing Techniques in Villette

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The main critical complaint that has been leveled against Vilette is an unusually heavy dependence on coincidence, which some scholars believe damages the integrity of the plot. It seems impossible to many readers that Lucy, when she arrives in France, should encounter John Bretton whom she had known as a child; that she should meet up again with Ginevra Fanshawe; that she should again run into Polly Home, now Paulina Mary de Bassompierre—thus, all the major characters whom Lucy knew when she was fourteen are reassembled in Villette. This device gives the plot a somewhat circular effect, but it strains credulity.

As in Jane Eyre (1847; see separate entry), with which Villette is often compared, the author employs the first-person narration of a young woman (at first a girl) whose activities and thoughts and emotions are detailed at great length by herself. Thus, Villette is a very subjective...

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This section contains 367 words
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Buy the Villette Study Guide
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