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Written by Robbin
(9/19/2010 5:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, My thoughts exactly, penned by Tarn
I feel Mary is portrayed in a harsher light than Lizzy Bennet because neither Lizzy’s opinions nor her remarks infer she lacks principal or has poor values while some of Mary’s certainly do. (:D) I think Mary is subject to more scrutiny and thus criticism than Maria because she cannot be written-off as a baddy as easily as Miss Bertram. Maria’s poor values and opinions are confirmed by her choices and behavior. The narrator says she has “brilliant acquirements a manner naturally easy, and carefully formed to general civility and obligingness” (4) but it has only been reported not seen. Maria’s bad parts are obvious and seem fixed. On the other hand Mary is intriguing—she is not so easily understood. She has displayed her acquirements and a manner not only easy, agreeable and obliging but possessing a great deal of playful wit and charm. It does something to counteract the poor values illustrated in her thoughts and opinions. It begs the question; could a young woman so adept in the art of open pleasantry be truly bad? Along with Edmund the reader can doubt and feel Mary’s faults are simply the result of poor example and thus she can be set right by the good example of her sister:
“That is a fair remark. Yes, we must suppose the faults of the niece to have been those of the aunt; and it makes one more sensible of the disadvantages she has been under. But I think her present home must do her good. Mrs. Grant’s manners are just what they ought to be. She speaks of her brother with a very pleasing affection.” (7)
Whether Mary can be fixed by example I do not know but it will be interesting to find out. (:D)
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