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|Edmund, in a Good Light
Written by Robbin
(9/21/2010 1:39 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I agree, but, penned by Ramya
Perhaps a revealing phrase in Edmund’s explanation is “before he has quite made up his own mind” (12) which suggests to me he believes a man might “distinguish the sister or intimate friend” (12) of a lady with the purpose of leaning more about her in order to decide if he wishes to seriously make her his object. This makes sense as long as no particularity is seen in distinguishing the sister or friend because as you correctly pointed out in post 47109 the man could raise expectations where he does not intend.
Consider also that Edmund generously assumes others act with well intentioned motives and he could not know of, or perhaps even imagine, Henry’s wicked design to sport with his sisters’ affections. He said Crawford has “too much sense to stay here if he found himself in any danger from Maria” (12) and I dare say what Edmund has seen of Henry’s attentions raise no suspicions because they are not remarkable in themselves. At Sotherton he took care that neither Maria’s fiancé nor brother observed his caddish overtures.
Edmund describes Henry’s “manners to women are such as must please” (12) so he seems to feel while dear unworldly Fanny may see Henry’s manners to Maria as too particular and therefore cause for concern he sees them only as the evanescent manners of a fashionable man who understands how to make himself agreeable to ladies. It could be that what he sees as Henry’s lack of seriousness may have some part of Edmund judgment he “has no faults but what a serious attachment would remove” (12).
I see sense and logic in Edmund’s assessment of Henry’s manner to Maria but he is again quite wrong. In addition to the specifics above I think his judgment is being hampered by his regard for Mary in two ways. He is biased to see all connected to her in a good light and he is too distracted by her presence and his feelings to be particularly observant of others. Also I feel he is less acquainted with the ways of the world than he believes and he is too good natured, sensible and kind to see evil without a great deal of evidence.
One additional thing, has Edmund ever distinguish Mrs. Grant? I cannot recall that he does. (:D)
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