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|Jane Fairfax quarrels with her aunt
Written by Ramya
(4/21/2008 8:32 p.m.)
I found this interesting bit in one of Miss Bates' monologues. She is explaining how Mr.Knightley sent them a fresh batch of apples specially for Jane. And when he was gone, she (Jane Fairfax) almost quarrelled with me -- No, I should not say quarrelled, for we never had a quarrel in our lives; but she was quite distressed that I had owned the apples were so nearly gone; she wished I had made him believe we had a great many left. Chap 27
I found this a really neat picture of human nature. I can imagine that Miss Bates is by now used, though still very grateful, to the generosity of her neighbours, without which it would really be very difficult for her and her mother. However, Jane appears to be reluctant to accepting generosity or even encourage too much intimacy from the people of Highbury.
It is very likely really difficult for her to adjust to being the "second set" in Highbury-hierarchy, when with the Campbells she mixes on an equal footing with the society they are used to. What makes it stranger is that even with the Campbells, she is at the recieving end of obligation. Must be a difficult position for any one to be in!
However, another possibility also occured to me: is she aware of any rumours going around Highbury about the special attentions paid to her by Mr.Knightley? According to Mr.Knightley, Mr.Cole, at least, thought a match between them likely. "Oh! are you there? But you are miserably behindhand. Mr. Cole gave me a hint of it six weeks ago." Chap 33
Perhaps she is trying to show her lack of interest in Mr.Knightley by being unwilling to accept any special favours, and by being as reserved with him as well. Mr.Knightley thinks she lacks openness (Emma would agree with that!). "Her sensibilities, I suspect, are strong, and her temper excellent in its power of forbearance, patience, self-control; but it wants openness. She is reserved, more reserved, I think, than she used to be" Chap 33
If she really prefers being a governess to marrying Mr.Knightley, she is a greater simpleton than I ever believed her! ;)
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