Thursday, March 17, 2011
Lucy's relationship with Monsieur Paul becomes something of a roller coaster ride in these latest chapters. In one moment he is berating her and the next he is asking her to call him friend. Yet I think she actually thinks of their "friendship" as something of a game and delights in teasing M. Paul. But she also appreciates that he sees in her something that her long-time friends do not see. John speaks of her as "quiet Lucy" and says that she is over-grave in tastes and manners. But she writes of M. Paul "there starts up a little man, differing diametrically from all these, roundly charging you with being too airy and cheerful--too volatile and versatile--too flowery and coloury."
You may remember that last week, I was longing for Lucy to come out of her shell a bit, maybe even get angry. And what do you know? In these chapters, she finally does begin to show some spirit. After the party in which John did appear to choose Pauline over Ginevra, Lucy had to ride home with the latter. Of course, Ginevra was having a little spoiled fit and Lucy finally let her have it. And as M. Paul's attacks continue, Lucy finally has the courage to respond. At one point I was reminded of the movie "You've Got Mail." Meg Ryan's character at one point is bemoaning her inability to conjure up just the right response when she finds herself under attack. Later she ends up apologizing for finally finding herself able to do just that. Lucy makes no such apology; she feels, rightly so, entirely justified.
The emphasis at this point in the book seems to be on the relationship between Lucy and M. Paul but I really can't imagine, yet, what she might ever see in this man that she frequently refers to as "despotic." But while we are watching Lucy grow and change, maybe we'll get to see some changes in M. Paul as well that might make him more likable. One can only hope.