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|As Dr Ian Littlewood framed it
Written by Nina RG
(9/24/2010 3:50 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Sotherton: The Serious Side, penned by BarbaraB
"There is no better example than the Sotherton outing of the way Jane Austen can charge the trivialities of commonplace social events with a weight of significance that turns them into moral drama (...) [B]y the end of the visit Sotherton has become a moral map on which we can chart (...) the course of the various characters as they take a serpentine path through the woods, or edge round a locked gate into the park, or allow themselves to be tempted by an unfastened side-gate into the wilderness. Actions that seem the merest small change of social life resonate with moral implications."
Dr Ian Littlewood in his Introduction to MP, Wordsworth Classics, 2000
With some of the double meanings and symbols in mind, the conversations between Maria and Henry become even more wrong, e.g. this from Henry in Ch. 10:
I had never thought about how the characters were divided into groups of three, but when you mentioned it my first thought was, "Three is a very significant number in fairy tales!" But so far there is not much fairy tale about MP..
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