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|John and Isabella
Written by Nikki N
(1/31/2011 11:58 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr Woodhouse -- I would run screaming from the room!, penned by AnnetteJ
John was a "very clever man; rising in his profession, domestic and respectable in his private character; but with reserved manners ... his temper was not his great perfection", while Isabella was "a pretty elegant little woman of gentle, quiet manners", but "not a woman of strong understanding" (chap 11).
They seem quite a contrast to each other, but we're told in the first chapter that "it had been entirely a match of affection". Perhaps they complement each other -- his cleverness and her good temper? They had been neighbours and friends since childhood, so John must have known that Isabella was not a quick, clever girl -- did he love her and married her because he wanted a gentle, affectionate woman who would tend to agree with him in everything, instead of a clever woman who might provoke him? I can't help wondering what the marriage might have been like if John were to marry Emma instead of Isabella, or if Isabella was more like Emma!
John liked spending time with his wife and children at home instead of going out in society -- at the end of chap 11, he appeared to crticize Mr Weston as "an easy, cheerful tempered man, ... depending, I suspect, much more upon what is called society for his comforts, that is, upon the power of eating and drinking, and playing whist with his neighbours five times a-week, than upon family affection, or any thing that home affords."
Emma did not like his reflection on Mr. Weston, but "there was something honourable and valuable in the strong domestic habits, the all-sufficiency of home to himself, whence resulted her brother's disposition to look down on the common rate of social intercourse, and those to whom it was important. It had a high claim to forbearance."
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