AN#3: Lucy’s background and her audience

In the book, Lucy appears to be a friendless orphan. Actually we don’t know anything about her background, or precious little. She’s educated middle-class but poor, and has two uncles called Charles and Wilmot.

Due to Lucy’s reserve I can’t imagine her blogging intimately about her life, so I looked at The Life of Charlotte Bronte for inspiration. Charlotte’s best friend was Ellen Nussey, whom she wrote to freely. This did not prevent her from being lonely in Belgium, so I figured out that Lucy Goh (our Malaysianised Lucy Snowe) would start a blog so her best friend could keep up with her life.  Anglicised names not being the norm (though increasingly popular) in Malaysian society, Ellen Nussey’s modern counterpart is Ee Lin Neo.

This works in our favour, even though you protest that Lucy wouldn’t tell her best friend everything, because in the book she hides things from the reader, and so presumably, Ee Lin, who suspects that something is up.  Her blog posts are meant only to be read by Ee Lin. The other characters are not aware that she has a blog. Ee Lin may dole out advice from time to time, but has little influence on Lucy’s life thousands of miles away.

Since in Villette, Belgium is Labassecoeur, and Brussels Villette, I was thinking of calling London Albertopolis, to keep up with her love of concealing real names of places.  Luckily London is abound with art galleries, so the art gallery scene can be included in the blog.

As for her socioeconomic status, I presume she’s middle-class, neither rich nor poor.  She has enough to live on, but she’s not very well off. I don’t know whether to make her an orphan or not. (It sounds too dramatic).  Since the original is not explicit on the matter, perhaps we can just ignore this part.


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