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|Threats & Consequences
Written by Robbin
(10/3/2010 6:58 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Sir thomas and intentions, penned by Bridget D
Sir Thomas was aware of Tomís liberal dispositions Ďabout the time of her [Fannyís] entering the familyí (2). His thoughts were ĎHis eldest son was careless and extravagant, and had already given him much uneasinessí (2). One way to deal with Tomís financial irresponsibility would have been threats. Threaten to leave him in the lurch for depts., threaten his income and threaten some occupation to occupy his time. For threats to be effective at all Sir Thomas would have to be able to act on them. I do not know Sir Thomas has control of Tomís income and even has the ability to threaten it. I also do not know how easy it would have been to force Tom into a profession. Tomís situation is not any more amendable to changing his career plan so late in life than is Edmundís giving up the clergy.
Sir Thomas could have warned and then when the time came refused to pay off Tomís debts. His finding a way to pay the debts and trying to show (teach) and appeal to Tomís conscious suggests he did not consider abandoning his son to possible legal retribution a viable option. It seems Sir Thomasí wants to teach Tom to do right because it is right rather than threaten him into doing right. After all who would be able to threaten Tom into doing right when he is Sir Thomas? Although selling the Mansfield living deprives Edmund in the near future it will be his eventually so I think it makes far more sense to sell the living than to sell off a piece of property and reduce the wealth of the estate forever. (:D)
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