Posted by Constanza on February 26, 1998 at 16:42:14:
In response to I can't get that gushy., written by Kay on February 25, 1998 at 14:48:42
I think all characters in this book fall into 2 categories: those that are true to their belief (whether right or wrong, new or old) and those that aren't.
Among the first: Mr. Beebe, the Misses Alans (ok, they are all-fashioned, early victorians and so on, but they "believe" in what they do or say, theirs are no empty conventions and they are able to see the kindness beneath the surface), Mrs. Honeychurch (same as the Misses Alans), Freddy and of course, the Emersons.
Among the second: Cecil, Mr. Eager, Charlotte, Mrs. Vyse, Miss Lavish (ok, she pretends to be a modern woman, she even smokes, but she is all shell and no substance).
Lucy is in the middle and is alternatively driven towards one side or the other. And Charlotte is her main enemy.
Of course, it is easy to blame Charlotte's behaviour on her victorian upbringing; but then you have Mrs. Honeychurch who came up entirely different. Or you could blame it on her spinterhood, but then you have the Miss Alans. So you see, I think Charlotte's belonging to the "army of the benighted" - to use Forster words- was a matter of choice; just as Lucy did for a while, she renounced Eros and Palas Atenea (sorry but I cannot remember the English version of the Greek names right now). And not only did she chose for herself but she did drag Lucy with her as well.
Her last muddle makes a little atonement for her past behaviour but it didn't make her less guilty. I have little patience with the Charlottes of this world and little sympathy (sp?) for them. They have all made their own bed, and what is worse, they usually enjoy them.
If I can forgive Charlotte is for a different reason; namely, I don't know what my decision would have been if I had been in her shoes.
I've tried to made my point but I doubt if I did it; actually today´s has been such a hard day that I wonder I can think at all.
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