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|Villains of L&F
Written by Robbin
(6/22/2006 1:45 p.m.)
In JA’s novels the villains are never wholly evil IMO, hence the arguments about some, their better or sometimes “just” seeming good qualities. To me they are rather mundane everyday villains—womanizers mostly, some gold-diggers, immoral in some way, dishonest, selfish, mean, and greedy and often callous and sometimes malicious people whom I think most readers can relate to. Her descriptions of people, even those obviously satirized like Mr. Collins of P&P, Sir Walter of Persuasion, and Mrs. Bennet of P&P are still within the realm of everyday believability to me; but no axe murderers; it is one of the things that make JA so appealing to me. In L&F there are again no axe murders, but no true villains except the over-the-top heroine and her friends who cause all their own misfortunes. :D
Although all sensible people are accused of being villainous, it is Laura, Sofia, Edward and Augustus (Philander and Gustavus too) who embody many of the attributes of JA villains—such as selfishness, callousness, narrow mindedness, greed, dishonesty, immorality, and even maliciousness such as when Laura and Sophia retaliate against Macdonald for throwing them out after catching Sophia stealing. It is malicious of them to relate Janetta’s elopement and their happiness in their part of seeing a young girl married to a fortune hunter. It is amusing and typical of Laura and Sophia to be ungrateful and ignore the practical in that Macdonald does not call for their arrest or at least some investigation. JA does such a wonderful job of taking people wholly in the wrong and giving them the voice of the moral high-ground. :D
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