E. V. Belikova
Dostoevsky Omsk State University, Omsk, Russian Federation
“Only an Englishwoman…”: representation of the English national character in “Villette” by Charlotte Brontё
Abstract. The article deals with the problem of reflecting the English national character in the “Villette” novel by
Charlotte Brontë. The writer had an opportunity to show her English heroine in a world of a different cultural, religious
and linguistic mentality moving her from England to Labassecour (modelled on Belgium). The leading lady of the novel
encounters with another world and it allows the author to compare different national characters and cultural models. The
article uses both traditional cultural-historical methods and modern imagological approach. The results of the study consist
in considering various (cultural, ethical, religious, everyday) aspects of “Englishness”. The English national character is
determined through its correlation with such firm concepts as “Gentleman”, “Home”, “Independence”, “Protestantism”.
The concept of “Englishness” in the “Villette” novel is formed on the basis of entirely positive, even ideal qualities such
as moral rectitude, decency, the sense of duty, the cult of home and patriotism. These character feachures are contrasted
with the continental French-speaking culture, the writer perceives it mainly in a negative light. However, the love that
united an Englishwoman and a Labassecourian gives us a lesson of overcoming national and cultural differences.
Keywords: Charlotte Brontё, “Villette”, “Englishness”, national character, imagology.
Paper submitted: July 20, 2021.
For citation: Belikova E. V. (2021) “Only an Englishwoman…”: representation of the English national character in
“Villette” by Charlotte Brontё. The Science of Person: Humanitarian Researches, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 38–46. DOI: 10.17238/