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Haunted childhood in Charlotte Bronte's Villette

Armitt, L 2002, 'Haunted childhood in Charlotte Bronte's Villette' , The Yearbook of English Studies, 32 , pp. 217-28.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for English Literature and Language
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: The Yearbook of English Studies
Publisher: Modern Humanities Research Association
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 03062473
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2007 12:49
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 15:53
URI: http://usir.eprints.org/id/eprint/1299

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