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|Commodity has other meanings
Written by Laraine
(4/4/2008 8:32 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, How are you defining commodity?, penned by Tracy W
The meaning that I used, and Ivonne agreed with, is as economic goods, especially those that are transported for shipment. While mass-produced, unspecialized products is a common meaning of the word, it is not the only valid one. The verb commodify encompasses both--something of intrinsic value is being traded as if it did not have intrinsic value.
I believe that Austen makes this point often -- that woman unfortunately slipped into the position of being traded like goods, either by their own choice or by their parents (especially mothers), because of their tenuous financial positions in the world. She uses financially language and images often, especially with regard to women without enough money. If you like, try searching the online novels for words like "credit" and "value" to see how often they are used with reference to women of less "value" being linked with men of greater "value" -- I think she has a something definite to say about this topic.
I think that Austen wanted to use the word obtained, so I wouldn't want to chose another for her.
If she didn't want to make this point, she might have sad something like, "He had made his fortune, bought his house, and proposed marriage to his wife" -- but then she wouldn't have made this point.
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