Could She Help Herself?
Posted by Cassia on February 15, 1998 at 16:20:59:
In response to Lucy can't think for herself , written by Kate on February 15, 1998 at 11:00:41
] I think a lot of this story is about the difficulties of a young woman who can't rely on her own taste and good sense, and feels she needs others to tell her what to think. In that way she is a little like Catherine in NA.
In a way, I think Lucy is worse off than Catherine who at least had some racy literature and her beloved gothics to help to form her character while Lucy upbringing being Victorian was most likely much more contrained. We can be sure that Lucy never ran wild the way Catherine did with her brothers.
As well as the scene in Santa Croce, where Lucy is helpless, without her Baedecker, to know what is beautiful, there is the scene in the following chapter, where she asks Mr Beebe whether Mr Emerson is nice or not nice - she can't work it out for herself.
Can the problem be that Lucy simply hasn't learned to trust hr emotional responses? That emotional responses were discouraged, think of the 'stirred up' remark when Lucy plays Beethoven.
She is dependent on others to tell her about what she has experienced and what it means - till the crucial experience in the Piazza, where something important happens, and she knows it has, and so does George - but he won't tell her what it is. She has to muddle (a word which appears quite often) through and try to work it out for herself.
This thought only presents with spoilers in my head.
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