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|Actually, John is not drawn into the debate
Written by Kathleen Glancy
(2/4/2011 1:16 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Having Much His Way, penned by Jane Marie
(assuming you mean the South End versus Cromer one) between Mr Woodhouse and Isabella until he is provoked by what Mr Woodhouse claims Perry said (though we learn Mr Woodhouse is in fact, though not consciously, putting his own feelings into Mr Perry's mouth) into making some harsh comments about Perry. Even Emma considers this reaction understandable, and indeed if any one of us was informed by a relation that the local pharmacist had been discussing our recent holday with said relation and was of the opinion that our choice of holiday destination was unwise, we might well react by suggesting in no uncertain terms that the pharmacist should mind his own business. Mr Woodhouse is too agitated to reply, however, and Mr Knightley hastily intervenes and changes the subject, which John Knightley, having got control of his momentary loss of temper, lets him do. The argument is over.
We are however told by the ON in Chapter 11 that John Knightley is sometimes drawn into making "a rational remonstance" to his father-in-law, so your points remain valid. We have already seen Emma and Mr Knightley try gentle rational arguments on Mr Woodhouse, with all the effect of water on a duck's back, so you would think John would have recognised by now how pointless it was trying to reason with his father-in-law.
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