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Written by gianni
(4/19/2010 8:01 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Elizabeth "shooting from the hip" over Charlotte.., penned by jeffrey
...Austen was living through the rise of the Romantic period in the arts, and she was very distrustful, even disdainful, of much of the excess that characterized that period. I think that even in this, her first work (though not the first published), she was already reacting.
Consider that Charlotte is 7 years older than Lizzy; she's plain; she's already considered destined to be an old maid; she's likely to be as poor as Lizzy will be as soon as Mr. Bennet dies; there are few or no eligible bachelors in the neighborhood for either of them; her father is just as irresponsible as Mr. Bennet in refusing to travel to a place where they might find husbands; Charlotte's brother(s?) are much younger, and already chafing at the prospect of having to support her.
Charlotte, like Collins, has been unbelievably lucky! Of course she did the right thing.
I have to confess that here I'm much more severe upon Lizzy than most, and I really believe Austen was, too.
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