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|Glad you brought it up
Written by BarbaraB
(2/7/2011 2:09 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The Riddle, penned by SusanH
"Equally puzzling,...is Mr. Woodhouse's favorite, 'Kitty, a fair but frozen maid'. Although this is identified by Emma as the work of David Garrick and has long been decoded to refer to the word 'chimney-sweeper', it is nevertheless perplexing, since the original poem plays on sexual innuendo and thus seems a surprising choice for Mr. Woodhouse. Since he has himself forgotten the rest of the verse, the apparent inappropriateness of the riddle may seem a joke at his expense; but it is equally possible to see it as contributing an extra dimension to Mr. Woodhouse's otherwise somewhat caricatured personality, especially as it is associated in his mind with the memory of his dead wife."
I haven't been able to decide on the meaning of Mr. Woodhouse's association with this riddle. The first reason given would mean that JA, at least to some degree, means to poke a bit of fun at Mr. Woodhouse. If you go with the second one, then one must admit that there is more to our curmudgeonly gentleman than meets the eye. Perhaps it's a bit of each or maybe some reason that I have not thought of...
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