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Written by Barb JA
(10/10/2010 10:53 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mary's attitude to Religion., penned by Rachel G
As to ridicule and contempt, I was trying to say that I thought contempt was mixed up in her ridicule, but then I didn't give considered thought to all you said about contempt. Sorry about that. I've thought about it more now.
While I think Mary knows when she means to ridicule, such as her wish to ridicule Sir Thomas' cause, I agree that most of the time she just spills stuff out there without considering it. But when she is realizing her that she spoke contemptuously at the ball, that she now feels she's gone too far. She wished she had not spoken so warmly...it should not have been. As you alluded, I think it was revealing her true feelings. She regrets it because of Edmund's strong reaction.
I always thought it a bit harsh when Edmund said in ch. 27. "She does not think evil, but she speaks it, speaks it in playfulness; and though I know it to be playfulness, it grieves me to the soul." I was thinking the word evil always carries a religious connotation of wickedness, but as I look at the definitions, I think maybe it doesn't have to. It could just mean bad. I would be interested in others' thoughts about the Edmund quote.
I think the worst we learn of Mary is in what she reveals to Fanny,(which I would have thought Edmund wasn't aware of) such as the Agatha and Frederick incident, and the necklace, her words to Mrs. Grant about Maria and Julia. If she was saying things that strongly in front of Edmund, and maybe she was, then he was more blind or deaf than I previously thought.
As Mary continues to harp over Edmund's choice of profession, it seems less and less rational as time goes on. Her dislike of the profession seems too strong to be explained away as its lack of fashion and excitement.
It seems a bit harsh to say she hates religion or is not a moral person, but as each chapter goes on, its harder and harder to see any chance of happiness between Edmund and Mary. And yet, does Austen think she couldn't change?
ch. 37 Experience might have hoped more for any young people so circumstanced, and impartiality would not have denied to Miss Crawford’s nature that participation of the general nature of women which would lead her to adopt the opinions of the man she loved and respected as her own.
Ch. 36 revealed a lot more bad in Mary with His sturdy spirit to bend as it did! Oh! it was sweet beyond expression.
She reveals that she couldn't care less about her supposed friends. She doesn't believe anyone's feelings of affection last. Hers don't last even for her own friends.
"...very few young ladies have any affections worth caring for."
If any man ever loved a woman for ever, I think Henry will do as much for you.”
Despite her moments of kindness to Fanny, she seems to be generally not a very kind person in her heart, evidenced by her lack of caring for the feelings of others. It seems very un-Christian to me.
I vacillate and wonder if I'm too harsh on her, but I can't help think that she would cease to love Edmund pretty quickly when he inevitably disagreed with her after marriage, whether on religion or otherwise.
I appreciate your long thought out posts Rachel, and only wish mine were as lucid. So thank you. :)
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