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|I read this chapter and cringe
Written by KatharineW
(10/13/2010 3:27 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Chap. 39- Packs a punch!, penned by Ramya
First, it must smell awful, Between poorly washed bodies, bed linens, and other fabrics, plus the aroma of stale tobacco and booze, combined with the pungent essence of stale food---I think I would rather sleep in the streets.
Then we get to the noise pollution: people yelling to make themselves heard over the racket caused by the playful antics of ill-disciplined children, added to the ambient street symphony---wares being hawked, drunken citizens conversing at the tops of their lungs. Can I have a pair of Bose earmufflers, please?
Poor Fanny. I understand what she is feeling. She has left Mansfield, where she believes she has fallen out of favour with her aunts and uncle. During the journey, she is no doubt imagining the warm and loving welcome she will receive from her "real" family. She probably allows her hopes to become certainties.
Then she arrives and is nearly overwhelmed by reality. Her mother's affection can best be described as indifferent. Her father's greeting borders on indecent. To all but Susan and William, Fanny is invisible.
I once travelled some distance to visit my father's mother for the Thanksgiving holiday. During the long ride, I imagined all sorts of Norman Rockwellian goings on. The reality was an elderly woman and her second husband, living on a fixed income in a row house that reeked of propane gas, not to mention all sorts of creepy crawlies, and a pervasive aroma of old damp upholstery.
Indeed, Jane Austen has written an exquisitely painful account of a reunion that exposes (as no other Austen novel does) unremitting poverty of goods, morals, and spirit. Had she lived longer, Ms. Austen could have given Charles Dickens a run for his money.
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