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What actions in the novel show Lucy's dependence?

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need-help | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 1, 2009 at 5:04 AM via web

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What actions in the novel show Lucy's dependence?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 1, 2009 at 6:24 AM (Answer #1)

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Hello, need-help. I hope this is of some use:

Lucy, being a late Victorian/Edwardian upper class woman raised in the country side has to deal with three separate situations: Growing up, evolving as a person, and making choices. Unfortunately for her, she had very little to choose from, and this is where her problem begins.

First of all, the intrusion and imposition of Charlotte as her chaperone and companion to the Italy trip serves as a marker for the need of company and protection, and the cluelesness that Lucy was experiencing at that time in her life.

Second, she was surprised at her own view of the pensioners: What others considered to be proper and accepted in terms of social behavior she found fastidious, and what others viewed as inadequate she found quite interesting, for example, the manner in which the Emmersons expressed themselves in public.

Third, her refusal to accept George at first shows that she was still attached to the expectations of females back in Victorian times, and also to the expectations of upper class women. Hoever, when she accepted the proposal by Cecil, who was also upper class but also a snobbish city man, she was again asked to uproot herself on behalf of what was considered "proper", and to a city man the country side is less than fashionable.

The secrets of George's kisses, the struggle with accepting her love for him, the realization of not being part of "the norm" and the want of discovery and self-assertion without the ability to do so is what reflects Lucy's lack of independence. Happily, however, this changes in the end and both Lucy and George live happily ever after.

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