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|Two very interesting posts
Written by Joan Ellen
(4/7/2008 8:40 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, A very different reading, penned by Tracy W
On the point of Emma saying Miss Bates is too good-natured, it seems as if there is something else at work beyond Miss Bates's uniform niceness being boring, because her own sister seems similar to Miss Bates in personality though not in situation:
Miss Bates was a happy woman, and a woman whom no one named without good-will. It was her own universal good-will and contented temper which worked such wonders. She loved every body, was interested in every body's happiness, quick-sighted to every body's merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother and so many good neighbours and friends, and a home that wanted for nothing. The simplicity and cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a recommendation to every body and a mine of felicity to herself.
Mrs. John Knightley had gentle, quiet manners, and a disposition remarkably amiable and affectionate... so tenderly attached to her father and sister that, but for these higher ties, a warmer love might have seemed impossible. She could never see a fault in any of them. She was not a woman of strong understanding or any quickness...[but had] a general benevolence of temper, and a strong habit of regard for every old acquaintance.
I suspect there is, underlying Emma's remark, a feeling that Miss Bates ought to be more dissatisfied than she is with her poverty -- perhaps from a semi-suppressed guilty awareness that she (Emma) would not be able to adapt herself to such a situation so uncomplainingly as Miss Bates does.
On the other hand, maybe it's just that Miss Bates never stops talking. About anything. ;-)
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