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|Fair Game for Sport
Written by Robbin
(10/24/2010 7:56 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mary cruel, penned by Bridget D
I did not intend to suggest Mary’s primary characteristic is cruelty rather only that the two instances I focused on are cruel. I feel there is cruelty in knowing someone is to suffer pain, having the means to prevent it but still doing nothing to stop it. This is the situation Mary is in with Fanny and Henry’s plan to put a hole in her heart and she leaves Fanny to an unhappy fate. How is it if Mary thinks Fanny will only suffer a little it is not cruel to leave her to Henry’s idle attentions?
How is arranging for Maria to publicly meet with Henry simply to force a distressed reaction from her not deliberately setting out to hurt Maria? I do not understand the distinction you are making. Mary’s actions were deliberate, done simply for her entertainment in spite of the fact she has every reason to believe Maria will be distressed and pained by the meeting.
How does Maria’s poor character make Mary’s manipulation of the situation not that bad? I agree the act is not anywhere near as bad as an axe murder but not because of Maria’s poor character. Are you suggesting Maria can’t be a victim because she is not good person? That does seem to be part of Henry’s philosophy from this exchange with Mary:
“Your wicked project upon her peace turns out a clever thought indeed. You will both find your good in it.”
“It was bad, very bad in me against such a creature; but I did not know her then; and she shall have no reason to lament the hour that first put it into my head.” (30)
I think Henry’s plan against Fanny was wrong and cruel whether she is like her cousins or not and it is the same for Mary’s plan against Maria. Her attack on Maria’s tranquility is cruel whether she is a good or bad person. I don’t feel the quality of the victim’s character can gentle the cruelty of an action. Mary ought to treat Maria with respect and kindness whether she believes her worthy or not—she does claim her as a friend after all. (;D) I think what Fanny told Mary before they left MP applies:
Fanny shook her head. “I cannot think well of a man [or woman] who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander–by can judge of.” (36)
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