This theme is large so we decided to focus on the theme of family throughout the novel, and especially Hortense's family. This character is a complex one and the reader doesn't always support her as she is often showing contempt to Queenie or Gilbert, her husband. In addition, she is sometimes self-centered and strongly attached to good manners which makes her annoying. At the beginning of the novel, she is always berating Gilbert as she is disappointed by where he lives in. Before she ever comes to England, the reader is surprised by the easiness with which she betrays her friend Celia and marries Gilbert instead of her. We chose this character because she experienced a painful childhood, which explains many of her reactions as an adult.
[...] During her whole life, her relationships with others were relationships based on mutual interests but at the end, she succeeds in forming a family, and this time, a family based on love. [...]
[...] And most of all, she accepts to raise Queenie's child even though she first refused. The reason for this refusal is quite obvious: she knows how hard it is to be raised by another family as she experienced it herself. Thus it shows that she is capable of empathy and carry. But, unlike most characters, she has the braveness to overcome her past. We can assume that she wants the baby to be much more loved than she was. So she managed to move away from her own past to embrace the future. [...]
[...] When Michael leaves to the boarding school, she doesn't want to cry ahead them. This shows that they don't accept her and her feelings, like if she has to be unfeeling not to upset her family. In this family, she is lonely and she has nobody to be in compliance with Then the relation with her cousin Michael is very ambiguous. They are cousins but with time, Hortense will fall in love of him. But in this passage, we learn that he doesn't feel anything for her. [...]
[...] Our analysis of this passage will answer the question: Which elements of Hortense's childhood can explain her behaviour as an adult? In the first part, we will focus on the rigor and the discipline which are pervasive elements in this passage. Then we will show that the lack of love and tenderness is representative of Hortense's childhood. I. This passage displays the rigor and the discipline Hortense was used to as a child living in a wealthy and bigot family First it is undeniable that religion plays a key role. [...]
[...] But she was also raised in a formal environment where there was no place for love and tenderness. Her upbringing can explain a lot about her behaviour as an adult. Indeed she becomes a stiff person with good manners and propriety who is sometimes condescending. As a child, she learnt to hide her emotions because she did not feel secure with her surrogate family. This can explain why she is so cold with Gilbert. We must also keep in mind that this little girl was somehow abandoned by her parents. [...]
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