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|Looks can be Deceiving
Written by Robbin
(9/29/2010 9:02 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Parents' responsibility., penned by Rachel G
I can see how a reserved countenance such as Sir Thomas’ may appear unaffectionate, daunting and discouraging to children but is there evidence any of his children feel unloved for who they are or are not encouraged to do well in their accomplishments, profession or responsibilities? His reproofs to Tom for frivolous spending was rather a sign of love than not. One reason which ‘reconciled Sir Thomas to the effort of quitting the rest of his family’ to travel to Antigua was ‘the hope of its utility to his [eldest] son’ (3). When Sir Thomas returns he finds that his children behaved very improperly yet there is no indication he stops loving them. I don’t see any text suggesting Sir Thomas only loves his children when they conform to strict parental requirements.
What reason is there to think Sir Thomas is an enemy to fun and merriment? He ‘never seemed the friend of their pleasures’ is only his daughters’ perception. The text does not bear them out. When Fanny arrives at MP Edmund is sixteen and Tom seventeen with ‘the sort of merriment… a young man… will always think fair with a child of ten’ (2). They ride and hunt and I recall read aloud to Sir Thomas, they ‘to be’d and not to be’d… for his amusement’ (13). I don’t think there is a reason to assume they did not play as boys. The Miss Bertrams, twelve and thirteen, pursue music (duets) and art (crayons and water-colors), making artificial flowers (2) and transparencies (16). The fact they were apt to waste gold paper (2) suggests their amusements were indulged rather than curtailed. They were the authors of their pleasures and schemes and Edmund advised Fanny as to playing with them and ‘being as merry as possible’ (2). They delight in riding (7) and in the school-room with Fanny had ‘read and written, and talked and laughed’ (16). Sir Thomas’ children were not strangers to fun or merriment. (:D)
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