Religion in Villette

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Religion in Villette by Mind Map: Religion in Villette

1. The Protestant vs Catholic Question

1.1. P 394 – “Mon père, je suis Protestante” but later calls it a “Babylonish furnace”

1.2. “the more I saw of popery the closer I clung to Protestantism” (654)

2. Religion as a refuge

2.1. Distrust a strange man? Lucy would almost “as soon thought of distrusting the Bible”

2.2. “Long are the times of heaven…to how many maimed and mourning millions is the first and sole angel visitant!”

2.3. the letter from J.G.B. reaction “it was what the old dying patriarch demanded of his son esau…inwardly thanked the God”

3. Christian and the "Other"

3.1. Why so many references to Babylon? e.g. Compares the Doctor to “Nebuchadnezzar” – King of Babylon (p 333) + Allusions to Jael and sisera – p343

3.2. Lucy snowe identifies religious boundaries – she “Went wandering far along chaussees, through fields, beyond cemeteries Catholic and Protestant”

3.3. I knew now she had certainly seen Dr. John in the garden; I knew what her thoughts were. The spectacle of a suspicious nature so far misled by its own inventions, tickled me much. Yet as the laugh died, a kind of wrath smote me, and then bitterness followed: it was the rock struck, and Meribah's waters gushing out.

3.4. The spectre

4. Religion and travesty

4.1. For example Ginevra Fanshawe’s frivolous comments on religion – she says she doesn’t “well know the difference between Romanism and Protestantism” and that she was “a Lutheran once” in Bonn

4.2. Sort of travesty – says “Mrs. Sweeny” the alcoholic governess has a “fine essence and spiritual fragrance of alcohol in the kid’s room

4.3. “Catholic fete days” celebrated at Madame Beck’s P 319 – “The poor girls were tutored to report in Catholic ears whatever the Protestant teacher said” – one of the girls tells her “vous brulerez tout de suite dans l’Enfer” because she is “Protestant’

4.4. P 363 – 3 mortal hours devoted to finding “a white muslin dress” and a “blue sash” (The Virgin’s colours)

5. Christian heroism (and villainy)

5.1. Sheltered by Graham after fainting after confession episode- significant?

5.2. treats john as a sort of divine figure, “a draught which hebe might fill”

5.3. P 490 – awed by “Vashti” – “she remembers the heaven where she rebelled” – “place now the cleopatra, or any other slug, before her as an obstacle, and see her cut through the pulpy mass as the scimitar of Saladin clove the down cushion”

5.4. Paulina’s thimble a “darting yellow serpent” (P 525)

5.5. “to study the human heart thus, is to banquet secretly and sacrilegiously on eve’s apples”

5.6. Père Silas and Modeste Maria Beck “opened up the adytum of his heart…born so strong and perfect that it had laughed at Death himself…clung to immortal spirit” …”He had become my Christian hero” (p 629)

6. Secularism

6.1. “How seem in the eyes of God – how seem the differences of man? (P 655)

6.2. He said “Remain a Protestant. My little English Puritan…”. (p 724)

7. "My visits to her resembled the sojourn of Christian and Hopeful beside a certain pleasant stream, with "green trees on each bank, and meadows beautified with lilies all the year round." (Ch 1)

8. Religion emphasises innocence vs experience

9. Polly’s first private encounter with Lucy Snowe is seen when she is “praying” at night

10. Polly cries out “Papa!” in a “low and long” manner; “a sort of Why hast thou forsaken me” (parody of Crucifixion)

11. Lucy Snowe finds herself in “a Babylon and a wilderness” in Europe – wet February night in London

12. Religion pervading nature's cycles / dialogues of the self with religion

12.1. P 498 – talks of those who “live in retirement” – the “hermit” – one day his “snow – sepulcher will open…call him to kindly resurrection”

12.2. P 506 : “when the world was younger and haler than now, moral trials were a deeper mystery still – but one saul, but one David to soothe”

12.3. “Oh Holy One, call back your child, for I have known earthly happiness, I have lived and loved”