Haunted childhood in Charlotte Bronte's Villette

Armitt, Lucie (2002) Haunted childhood in Charlotte Bronte's Villette. The Yearbook of English Studies, 32 . pp. 217-28. ISSN 0306-2473

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Abstract

In Villette, the obvious fakeness of the phantom robs it of uncanny status, reducing it to a form of narrative decoy which deflects attention away from what are consistently described as unheimlich in the novel: children and childhood. Though Lucy Snowe's own childhood past is shrouded in mist, an Object Relations reading reveals the souvenir value she attributes, instead, to domestic furniture and fittings, themselves operating as phantoms giving shape to an otherwise formless sense of loss. Ultimately, as the novel's ending shows, this superficially consolatory mechanism simply ensnares the adult Lucy in an ongoing false self-image: the abandoned child.

Keywords:English literature
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:13541
Deposited On:13 Mar 2014 11:07

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