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Written by BarbaraB
(5/7/2008 12:07 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Your assertion was Mr. Knightley is a snob, penned by Robbin
I agree with this and the fact that Mr. Knightley sees this in Harriet. Indeed, the reader is encouraged to see Harriet as ignorant in the sense that it means 'displaying a lack of knowledge or education.' We are given examples of it from watching Harriet dither around over the simple task of deciding where to send some thread to to working out a charade. JA also characterizes Harriet, as she does Lucy Steele, with bad grammar, generally a sign of a lack of education (despite Harriet's time at Mrs. Goddard's).
On the issue of illigitimacy that Mr. K brings up, I think it is not so much the lack of marriage between her parents that is the issue as much as a reference to the fact that she 'lacks a name'. Name and connections were an important factor in gentry England as we know. According to JANE AUSTEN IN CONTEXT, "Where 'class' would be measured in terms above all of productivity and income, locating individuals in socio-economic positions attained through material success, 'rank' placed primary emphasis on lineage, implying that social status was more or less inalienably conferred by birth and descent."
I have more I wanted to say on the subject but it is late and I have to go. If I get a chance, I will post further. Alas, the GR is fast running out of time.
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