Change of opinion
Posted by Kay on February 24, 1998 at 10:13:53:
As I said before, as I read Part 1, I was totally out of sympathy with Charlotte Bartlett. This kind of nagged at me because even if a character is supposed to represent what is "wrong" with society, the good author will still find a way to make the character sympathetic. When she came back into the picture in Part 2, I bristled. But by the end of the book, I warmed to her.
In Chapter XVI, "Lying to George," Lucy puts on her best Miss Bartlett imitation of indignation over George's second kiss. When Lucy confronts George, I expected Miss Bartlett to be right there, backing up Lucy. But she stands back. "Is it because she's not the chaperone?" I thought first. "Or is she embarrassed about telling the secret to Miss Lavish?" A third thought crossed my mind, "Perhaps she sees Lucy becoming just like herself and is aghast."
Deep down in her subconscious Miss Bartlett wishes she could break with Victorian conventions and this desire appears in subtle ways - friendship with Miss Lavish and letting Lucy wait in the room with Mr. Emerson.
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