A Woman's Education
Posted by Kay on February 15, 1998 at 21:24:39:
In response to Could She Help Herself?, written by Cassia on February 15, 1998 at 16:20:59
By 1908 people of Forster's generation were beginning to react against the way women were educated. Usually brothers received all the education and women were supposed to "make do" with what they can learn at home. This trip to Italy was supposed to be a major part of Lucy's education and what an unfortunate choice of a teacher she has in Miss Bartlett! She tries her best to stifle every impulse Lucy has and keep her in a narrowly defined Victorian box. Yet Lucy shows spunk and by the last chapter of Part 1 comes to distrust her cousin and begins to show some independence of spirit. In this way she did remind me of Catherine in NA.
I think Lucy is learning to see that there's more to life than what Charlotte Bartlett has to offer - waiting, holding back until it's too late. Her fears that any action is unladylike. And her basic distrust of men.
I can't think of any character in recent reading that I've liked less than Miss Bartlett. But I think that Lucy begins to sort out her feelings, beliefs and emotions because of her experiences in Italy.
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