Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Mrs. Weston, ownership, and (in)dependence
Written by Laraine
(4/3/2008 2:06 p.m.)
I noticed that a few times in the first few chapters, Miss Taylor seen as having definitely changed her life as much because she can now be considered to have a part in "owning" Randalls, whereas she was only a dependent at Hartfield:
In chapter 1, Emma and her father have this exchange:
"...you would not have had Miss Taylor live with us for ever and bear all my odd humours, when she might have a house of her own?"
"A house of her own! -- but where is the advantage of a house of her own? This is three times as large."
I think that Mr. Woodhouse here is supposed to be exhibiting his gentle selfishness rather than being the voice of a person who makes good choices.
Mr. Knightley, later in that same chapter, says to Mr. Woodhouse about the change in Miss Taylor's life: "I have a great regard for you and Emma; but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence!" and later, he says, "But [Emma] knows how much the marriage is to Miss Taylor's advantage; she knows how very acceptable it must be at Miss Taylor's time of life to be settled in a home of her own, and how important to her to be secure of a comfortable provision,"
And yet in chapter 2, the narrator tells us of Mr. Weston, "It was now some time since Miss Taylor had begun to influence his schemes; but as it was not the tyrannic influence of youth on youth, it had not shaken his determination of never settling till he could purchase Randalls, and the sale of Randalls was long looked forward to: but he had gone steadily on, with these objects in view, till they were accomplished. He had made his fortune, bought his house, and obtained his wife; and was beginning a new period of existence with every probability of greater happiness than in any yet passed through."
Notice the word "obtained" in there? Somehow, the narrator seems to have shifted to believing that Mr. Weston has "obtained" Mrs. Weston as a commodity rather than seeing her as a someone with whom he shares his home and independence.
Mrs. Weston is universally considered to have been the gainer in changing her fortunes--but, at least in some instances, she still hasn't exactly become independent, yet, is she?
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.