(SPOILERS for these chapters)
Well, I wasn’t expecting that! The most surprising thing wasn’t that Dr. John was Graham, but that Lucy knew for several chapter and didn’t tell us, her dear trusting readers. It makes me smile over the several comments about her powers of observation (including mine), only to see her reveals herself as an unreliable narrator. I’ll need to pay more attention to what she says (and how she says it) it the future.
(Someone from the Brussels Bronte Group once told me that the Church which inspired the place where Lucy almost turned Catholic was the Notre Dame du Sablon (photo) – can anyone confirm?)
Looking back at her motives, I thinking I’d also not tell Dr. John who I was if he failed to recognize me. This is actually one of the only two moments in these chapters where I could understand Lucy, the other being her sarcastic ode to de Hamal (he he he!).
Ever since the chapter in London I’ve been moving further and further away from Lucy. I just don’t get her and it frustrates me a little, because many bloggers I follow loved the book exactly because they recognized themselves in Lucy. Oh well!
For instance, here’s something I couldn’t understand: during school months Lucy’s always craving for solitude and as soon as she has it, she’s more depressed than ever! She even goes mentally and physically ill (but not enough to fall into the hands of those cunning Catholics, hey?). And what sin did she confess that so much impressed her confessor?
Another: she’s a strong, resilient, self-reliable woman, so why did she let herself be locked in an attic full of rats to better memorize a play?
AND YET! And yet she can laugh!
How I laughed when I reached the schoolroom. I knew now she had certainly seen Dr. John in the garden.
But alas not for long… two sentence afterwards:
Yet as the laugh died, a kind of wrath smote me, and then bitterness followed: it was the rock struck, and Meriban’s waters gushing out.
The thing is, as I feel less empathic towards Lucy, I become more curious to see what the Bronte has in stall for her. I’m fascinated by Lucy’s depthness, repression and slightly psychotic mind, and I don’t mind at all that she also became an unreliable narrator – it add more layers to the story!