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Religion and Identity in Charlotte Brontë's Villette
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

This essay is about how religion is portrayed and attitudes towards religion in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Villette, focused mainly on the Anglicanism of the novel’s main character and narrator, Lucy Snowe, and the local form of Catholicism of the town of Villette, where most of the action takes place. Also included in the essay is the characters notion of foreignness and what it is to be English. Living in another country, the main characters identity as an Englishperson becomes altogether much clearer. This leads to several cultural clashes and a strengthening or weakening of identity. The goal is to see whether this novel can be considered anti-Catholic as well as how Englishness is viewed as an example of otherness. The study concludes that the novel has several elements of Anti-Catholicism. Some of the characters of the novel may be seen more as caricatures of Catholics. Otherness is also a central theme in the novel. The protagonist of the novel appears to be someone who always seems to be out of place and as noted by Gilbert and Gubar, she may feel out of place wherever she goes. Although her religious and national identity are under threat, Lucy keeps her religion, and even though she learns French, she keeps her English identity. In the end she gets a dual identity, both as a Labassecourian and as an Englishperson. Eventually Lucy finds her way in Villette and is happy, but it is not until she is on her own and has left the girl’s school that she finds true happiness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 17
Keywords [en]
Charlotte Brontë, Villette, Religion, Otherness, Identity
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157191OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157191DiVA, id: diva2:1216874
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Available from: 2018-09-18 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved

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