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|Mary has Foot-in-Mouth Disease. (:-D)
Written by Rachel G
(9/19/2010 11:26 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, My take on this scene, penned by Angela L
Poor Mary - she just makes one gaffe after another in ch.6. I'm sure you are right that we are being alerted to just how unsuitable a match she would be for Edmund; their values and assumptions are so wildly at odds.
I find myself very torn about Mary. On the one hand I like her outspokenness - you know where you are with people like that - and I do like her wit and humour. Her line about offending all the hay in the parish makes me smile every time.
I often have sympathy with her point of view. I don't think there was any question of her actually doing any gardening; she just wants the rustic seats and dry paths paths to walk on and I can certainly sympathise with that. Having lately had extensive improvements done on my own plot I can attest to the wearisome inconvenience of mud and dirt everywhere, and the relief of at last being able to access the garden without recourse to Wellington boots!
And why would an urban gal like Mary be expected to understand rural life? The fact that getting in the harvest as soon as it is ready and the weather is right is a matter of real urgency just wouldn't be obvious to someone unfamiliar with the rhythms of farming.
I don't think Mary sets out to offend people. She just seems oblivious to the fact that there are other viewpoints beside her own, and she does seem to have been rather high handed in her efforts to hire a wagon. I dislike her snobbery and also her insensitivity. Probably the thing which irks me most about her in ch.6 is at the start of the paragraph with the pun, when she speaks "with an air of grandeur" about how she doesn't associate with "inferior ranks". This disparaging of anyone not of high status and the implied insult to Fanny and her lowly connections I find really quite unpleasant.
At the very least I think Mary needs to learn to engage her brain before opening her mouth. She and Edmund begin to look like a horrible mismatch - for different reasons I want to give them both a good shaking.
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