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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Lucy and the Nun

Lucy frequently encounters a nun throughout the novel.  What is the role of the nun in Lucy's thinking?  In the novel?
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dulcinea3
Posts: 4,372
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Lucy and the Nun

[ Edited ]
This topic has interested me very much, but I have had to think a lot about it, and I'm not sure I can give a very good answer.
 
At first, we just hear about the legends of the nun and her appearances.  Lucy seems sceptical about the alleged haunting, as befits her character.  But then she actually sees the nun!  And not once, but several times.  It must have been very unsettling for her; I think she must be very grounded in reality, so it must have been quite a shock to see an apparently unreal apparition.  It introduces a sense of mystery, something that she cannot understand.  Later, she finds that M. Paul has also seen it, and then they actually see it together.  It seemed to be a great relief to her when M. Paul started questioning her about it and she was able to share her experiences.  She must have been keeping it in before that, thinking that people would think she was crazy (although I imagine many of them actually believed in the legends).  Maybe this was one catalyst in her developing regard for M. Paul.
 
Later, she sees the portrait of M. Paul's lost love Justine Marie, who was a nun.  At that point, she seems to connect the ghost with this woman.  By this time, she has started to have feelings for M. Paul, and I think she becomes jealous of the nun.
 
Finally, it turns out that it wasn't a ghost after all, but simply Ginevra's boyfriend, dressing up in order to sneak into the school.  It seems that he even deliberately came towards Lucy in order to scare her.  Lucy gets quite a shock when she finds what appears to be the nun in her bed!  But, sensible as she is, she quickly calms down, and I don't think she is particularly shocked to find that the nun was flesh-and-blood.
 
BTW, if de Hamal was coming into the school that early on, then it would appear that he and Ginevra were already quite serious while she was still leading Dr. John on and apparently favoring him.
 
Another function of the nun within the novel may have been to add an element of Gothic mystery to the plot.  Bronte seems to like a Gothic touch here and there!


Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 05-01-2008 05:25 PM
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