Villette begins in that ideal interior, those "large" and "wellproportioned" 1 rooms, which in Pride and Prejudice and in much fiction by women functions as an emblem of the heroine's reward at the end of the novel-the life of comfort, quiet, and order conventionally supposed to define the experience of a genteel married woman. Like many heroines before her, Lucy Snowe appears well pleased at first with the emotional tenor of this life, a tenor suggested by the calm interior of the Bretton house, by "the large, peaceful rooms, the well-arranged furniture, the clear, wide windows," and by the housewife herself, a figure most pointedly represented by Polly Home. 2 Poll~ of course, is only a child of seven, but she is a child who is learning how to be a woman, and in great measure she already behaves like an upper-middleclass housewife-stirring cream and sugar into papa's tea and meeting Graham at the end of a hard day with a warning to wipe his shoes properly upon the mat. Scolding, comforting, attending, Polly is intensely familiar, a doll-sized version of the genteel married woman and a figure in whom all the daily business and daily relations of a dependent female appear officially charming.