• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

The Real Charlotte - review

Extracts from this document...


The Real Charlotte After a close analysis of 'The Real Charlotte', I have come to the conclusion that Edith Somerville and Martin Ross maintained a real dislike for their creation, Charlotte Mullan, an attitude they portrayed successfully throughout the novel through their characterisation. Somerville and Ross's portrayal of the real charlotte uses a number of methods to convey the highly repellent nature of the novel's protagonist. This hatred for Charlotte may have been due to the fact that she is based on a cousin of Edith Somerville, named Emily Herbert, who, by cheating Edith out of an inheritance, gave her the incentive to make a career for herself as a writer. Several letters have stated that Emily was found in her home, The Point House, lying dead in her bed surrounded by her thirteen cats. Throughout the novel Charlotte's love for cats is shown, they are described as her, 'heart's love'. A similar connection may be seen in the unrequited love of both women: Edith was in love with a married attorney, Charlotte with Roddy Lambert. It is highly likely therefore that Edith took her revenge on Emily by creating Charlotte Mullan, whom most critics view as a truly grotesque fictitious embodiment of the despised relative. Asking any reader to feel sorry for such a character when being fully aware of her scheming ability, her falseness, her ugliness, and her patronizing attitude to her inferiors is difficult, however, in spite of her numerous failings, it is impossible not to respond to her with some degree of sympathy due to her love for Roddy Lambert, an estate agent for the Bruff estate. As a result of this unrequited love, the reader is forced to feel for Charlotte, recognising that she is capable of expressing some feelings other than evil. The heroine of the novel is Charlotte's much younger cousin, Francie Fitzpatrick, but it is Charlotte with whom the novel is predominantly concerned. ...read more.


Her motive is made evident to us by Norry the Boat, when she tells Julia that, 'I'll tell you what she's after it for, it's to go live in, and let on she's as grand as the other ladies in the country'. Lucy Lambert's death is deliberate, as Charlotte does not assist her. When Roddy begins to sort out his wife's belongings, the authors describe 'her [Charlottes] voice treading eagerly upon the heels of his: 'it is that you want me to help you with'. Charlotte sees this as an opportunity to enlarge her wardrobe with Lucy's clothes. Charlotte's revenge on Roddy is also seen as a success when Francie is killed. Charlotte's role-playing succeeds in fooling the high-ranking individuals of Lismoyle society, with Christopher as an exception. Charlotte's father was employed by Sir Benjamin Dysart as landlord of sub-letted land which means that she already has a connection with the Dysarts. Charlotte uses this association to form a friendship, but the authorial comments are a constant reminder to the reader of Charlotte's origins in the native Irish. This distinction between the two classes is made through the language used by the authors. The dialogue used is reproduced phonetically. The range of speaking voices used by Charlotte shows the diversity of society and the boundaries between classes. Charlotte's role-playing is shown at its best at Lady Dysart's lawn tennis party where Charlotte begins by, 'wearing her company smile'. It becomes quite obvious to us that she desperately wants to be associated with the Dysarts, as John Cronin states: "We watch Charlotte as she laboriously claws her way up the social ladder by every means at her disposal". In order to do this, she suits every situation with a different face. At this party she speaks, 'with marked politeness, as all trade of combat had left her manner, and the smile with which she greeted him, (Christopher) ...read more.


At this point the fact that neither Charlotte or Roddy are aware that Francie is dead makes this scene all the more dramatic, as we later find out that Charlotte has an opportunity to marry Roddy, and nether are aware that Roddy has been pardoned by Christopher. In actual fact, Roddy has no reason to be at Guthlamuckla at all. Although Charlotte is certain in her ways about achieving revenge, when Roddy arrives at the farm, we realise that Charlotte still has a certain degree of feeling for him as 'she unpinned her skirt and fastened up the end of a plait that had escaped from the massive coils at the back of her head'. These feelings, however, do not deter her from taking revenge. At the climax of the novel, Charlotte is finally unmasked as the person who caused Roddy's downfall. Therefore the destruction of Charlotte's fa�ade at this point is extremely ironic. Hilary Robinson says of this, that, 'There is no need for narrative comment, the sharp irony says it all, and lifts the novel above the pathos of Francie's death'. In view of all the events of the novel, pity is certainly not the first emotion that comes to mind when the character of Charlotte Mullan is presented to us. Yet Charlotte is, in my opinion, deserving of our pity. She did not ask to fall in love with Roddy, hence the pain and suffering which she endures on this account do remind us of her human qualities and we do feel sympathy towards her. Somerville and Ross remind us that faults in Charlotte's character have come about through her repulsiveness and the fact that this is a constant reminder to her everyday life, with the failure of her as a women being shown in her masculine traits. Overall, although her deeds are despicable, I feel that there are aspects of the novel where Charlotte is indeed deserving of our pity. ?? ?? ?? ?? Candidate number - 9306 Page 1 of 12 Ciara Mc Shane L6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Charlotte Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. How has the character changed throughout the novel?

    of the flesh, to teach them to clothe themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel; and each of the young persons before us has a string on hair twisted in plaits which vanity itself might have woven: these, I repeat, must be cut off -".

  2. How Charlotte Bronte makes the reader sympathy towards Jane Eyre in the opening chapters

    a chair, but Abbot once again meanly replies- "I've told Missis often my opinion of the child, and Misses agreed with me. She's an underhand little thing; iv never seen a girl with so much cover." This is irony as it is not Jane who is deceitful but it is Mrs Reed, who is poisoning everyone against her.

  1. Attitudes assignment- a class divided. Social Experiment in a primary school class to ...

    was angry, I wanted to speak up and yet I--at times I knew if I spoke up, I'd be back in a powerless situation, I'd be attacked, a sense of hopelessness. Depression. Jane Elliott: Had you experienced that before? Roger: I realized this morning that there were very few times in my life that I've ever been discriminated against.

  2. Discuss the treatment of women in society with reference to Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' ...

    worth and possession of enough emotional strength to remove herself from a demoralising situation: "That man nearly made me his mistress, I must be ice and rock to him." Offred's situation is tougher and she cannot stop meeting the commander for fear of punishment: "But to refuse him could be worse.

  1. How does Charlotte Bronte create sympathy for Jane in the first two chapters of ...

    One of the main factors that Bronte uses to create sympathy for Jane is the severe bullying she suffers from John Reed. This is stressed at the beginning of the novel. Before the event Bronte makes Jane seem as innocent as possible as she sets the seen with Jane been sent away leaving her all alone.

  2. To what extent is Jane presented as a victim during her time at Gateshead ...

    This desire tempers her equally intense need for autonomy and freedom. In the opening chapter we see a description of the weather, the purpose of this is to set the ground and scene for the many elements in the story to make their introduction, the first image that is presented

  1. How Are Charlotte Bront(TM)s Attitudes towards Education Presented?

    The reader feels as if they would not like to be in Jane's shoes. The pupils at Lowood are presented as one big unit much like an army regiment run by Mr Brocklehurst, as they are very uniform and regimented in what they do rather like it has been beaten into them from the moment they got there.

  2. How does Charlotte Bronte Use setting to convey the experiences of her characters?

    Foreshadowing is another technique that Bronte uses to express the experiences of the characters, an example of this is when Jane is sat in the window, reading her book, Bronte relates the book that Jane is reading to the future.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work