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|Doesn't deserve such praise...
Written by Barbara
(4/16/2010 2:09 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Thanks, Barbara!, penned by Line
...or such censure! Lizzy's use of the word censure, for me, is the clue that she took it as a put-down. She's being censured not only for liking reading, but for not taking pleasure in anything else, such as a game of cards.
It's interesting that some of JA's other heroines dislike playing cards as well:
In Persuasion, near the end we read:
"It was but a card-party, it was but a mixture of those who had never met before, and those who met too often: a commonplace business, too numerous for intimacy, too small for variety; but Anne had never found an evening shorter."--Anne normally would not enjoy an evening of playing cards, but having reached an understanding with Captain W. only that afternoon, finds everyone and everything to her liking.
"Lady Middleton proposed a rubber of casino to the others. No one made any objection but Marianne, who, with her usual inattention to the forms of general civility, exclaimed, 'Your ladyship will have the goodness to excuse me -- you know I detest cards.'"
Elinor plays out of politeness, but manages to get out of the game as soon as she can.
Emma gets people together to play cards with her father, but seems to avoid playing herself, most of the time, if not always.
Does there almost seem to be a suggestion that those who are fond of playing cards are not equipped for or up to any kind of deep and meaningful conversation, and that those who would spend an evening playing cards in preference to music or real conversation might be lacking in intellectual resources? Some people do play cards out of politeness, like Elinor, but they are not usually the ones who are eager to play.
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