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|Respect & Betrayal
Written by Robbin
(10/5/2010 7:15 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Sir Thomas goes to the East Room (ch 32), penned by BarbaraB
I mostly agree. I agree Sir Thomas deserves respect and Tom, Maria and Julia may only respect him out of fear. I don’t think that is Edmund’s view—I think he respects him for all the right reasons as you have laid them out. I also see your point about the lack of emotional connection although again I feel Edmund is the exception among Sir Thomas’ children.
I cannot say anything to truly gentle Sir Thomas’ rant on Fanny’s conduct in refusing the offer. It is ugly. I can’t feel he is wrong to speak to Fanny about her conduct and I don’t think he meant to hurt her but further than that I can’t go on his behalf. He should have considered it was not right for him to behave in such a manner, it was not appropriate to the situation or the best way to deal with Fanny who is timid and obviously wretched.
It seems to me he looses control and I wonder if its origin is partly in a feeling of betrayal. He is disappointed and told Fanny ‘you have disappointed every expectation… proved yourself of a character the very reverse of what I had supposed’ (32). Of course he is wrong. Also Fanny was the only young person in his care who did not forget him when the acting bug took over his home and I think that made a great impression. Although Sir Thomas says Fanny does not owe him the same duty as his daughters I think he was pained that she did not come to him for guidance when Henry proposed:
“And I should have been very much surprised had either of my daughters, on receiving a proposal of marriage at any time which might carry with it only half the eligibility of this, immediately and peremptorily, and without paying my opinion or my regard the compliment of any consultation, put a decided negative on it. I should have been much surprised and much hurt by such a proceeding. I should have thought it a gross violation of duty and respect. (32)
Now that I think about it Sir Thomas’ rant is a kind of betrayal of Fanny. Although his severity and insensitivity has hurt her in the past I don’t think he has ever done something like this before. It is especially hurtful to Fanny in his misconceptions of her feelings and reasoning but also that their relationship has been so much easier since his return from Antigua. Dear Fanny! I feel so much for her. (:D)
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