|GR - aspiring to uselessness?
Written by Zoe
(10/20/2003 8:58 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Intro--devotion to idle graces, penned by Barbara
One Austen example that popped into my head was Mrs. Bennett. I can't remember exactly where in the novel, but at some point she proudly says that her girls have been brought up to not work, whearas the Lucases have taught their daughters housekeeping. It seems as though Mrs. Bennett is aspiring to an idea of indolent genitility -- and since it is given to Mrs. Bennett, we see that this idea is a foolish one.
This seems to be another example of Vickery's thesis, that the average well-bred genteel woman actually still had a lot to do as far as managing a household, etc. But perhaps it was "the quality" who were the indolent ornaments? And this is what Mrs. Bennett wishes for her daughters -- to marry the quality and spend their days in uselessness?
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