I love the language of Bronte. It does not have to be some far flung, convoluted story with flamboyant characters, a twisted desultory denouement with clashes of high and lows, twists and turns, and an unpredictable climax that includes a writing of the senses painful and exquisite. Just a simple little story using the "language of Bronte". An intense pleasure.
I failed to mention in my last post that I thought Mr. Pelet was a lecherous old man! He suggested that marrying any of the girls in his class would be a victory, both in love, class, and financial security. But he made the suggestion lewd and in this position that would be the last thing he would want the professor to be thinking. And then Mr. Pelet runs off with the not so intellectual but the shallow, manipulating Mde Reuter. Actually they do not run off so you gotta ask yourself, what are his (Mr. Pelet's) intentions.
The girls in the class have no integrity or respect. I believe this book was one of Charlotte's first novels but was first published after her death? Is that correct? At any rate, is she just practicing her craft of description and elocution when she delineates the characteristics of Aurelia, Adele, and Juana? The girls, to be sure, are just shallow brats. I have had some of them as students myself. Trust me when I tell you, they do not have to be teenagers to elicit such personality traits. In chapter 12, after his decorous remarks about the girls he allows himself to degrade their Catholicism. In fact, he hates Catholics. Actually, he is not found of Protestants either. Chapter IX uses both sides of a tapestry to describe females "...to the tutor, female youth, female charms are like tapestry hangings, of which the wrong side is continually turned towards him; and even when he sees the smooth, neat external surface he so well knows what knots,long stitches, and jagged ends are behind that he has scarce a temptation to admire too fondly the seemly forms and bright colours exposed to general view. But then he meets Mlle. Henri. End of Chapter 14 "I instantly inscribed 'Bon' at the bottom of the page, and returned it to her; she smiled, at first incredulously, then as if reassured, but did not lift her eyes; she could look at me, it seemed, when perplexed and bewildered, but not when gratified; I though that scarcely fair. (he's falling...)
Near the end of Chapter XV beginning with the paragraph "She still pursued me. 'You will observe, monsieur, and tell me what you think; I could so much better rely on your opinion that on my own; blah, blah, blah. On a note I wrote "Oh please, Mde. Reuter, you are so full of it".
And in the beginning of XVIII, somewhere in the middle of Paragraph 5, "I could hardly quit my station or relinquish my occupation; something retained me bending there, my head very near hers,and my hand near hers too; ..." I wrote 'poor sucker, he's head over heals in love with the girl'.
Gotta love it!
Chapter XIX First two paragraphs, what a treatise on life! Hope, love, life! Read it again. It is glorious! Next page when Mdme coily refuses to give Mlle Henri's address, William resigns. Good man (although professionally you never divulge the whereabouts of a former student). Her description of the graveyard is a grand touch, but meeting there by chance, after a month of intense search is a bit contrived. But what a dunce. He couldn't think of another way to leave her the money? (I'm not checking this for spelling or grammar) You must admit, this is a good read.