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Written by TimLee
(2/2/2011 1:00 p.m.)
John Knightley is one of the most true to life, multi-dimensional of all JA's secondary characters. I like the description of him in chapter 11, and the interaction between him and his brother in chapter 12.
Ch 11: "Mr. John Knightley was a ... very clever man; rising in his profession, domestic, and respectable in his private character; but with reserved manners which prevented his being generally pleasing; and capable of being sometimes out of humour. He was not an ill-tempered man, not so often unreasonably cross as to deserve such a reproach; but his temper was not his great perfection ... ."
Ch 12: "The brothers talked of their own concerns and pursuits, but principally of those of the elder, whose temper was by much the most communicative, and who was always the greater talker."
Then at the end of ch 12 we see that John has a little burst of temper at Mr. W's incessant harping on John and Isabella's parenting, and how he is brought back to proper courtesy through the intervention of his older brother - John's "better recollections" help to prevent such a breach from recurring.
John Knightley is an interesting addition to the mix of characters, and through him we learn more about the others we have been observing for several chapters by now. Can you imagine how he would be with Mr. Elton, who is already coming across to me as a self-satisfied suck-up of sorts? I'd love to hear John's commentary on the local clergy.
P.S. I've mentioned before that of all JA's characters, John Knightley is the one I resemble most. From what you can see above, he has his good and bad points. As noted in ch 11, he is "sometimes out of humor" but "not an ill-tempered man." From ch 12 we see that he is devoted to his family as well. I see much of myself in him.
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