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|she could see it and write of it LONG
Written by Stephanie
(5/11/2010 11:03 p.m.)
First, anyone ever notice this sentence?
With a triumphant smile, they were told that it was ten miles round. (Ch. 43)
Ooo! Would my sainted mother (a better grammar teacher than any I ever had who were paid by the school system!) have shuddered had I left THAT in any writing of mine! I think it sticks out more than it should, because Jane Austen does not usually flub this way.
And then this little truism into nature and habit:
Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity -- to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment.
I SO love the way Jane Austen expresses herself, making insights so cleverly worded and still allowing us to recognize them in ourselves. She spreads them out liberally through her work, and she makes it look easy as she does it, but somehow few authors have that talent...
And then, Author Austen likes to dance in convoluted speech, no doubt usual in her day, which she does so naturally that I sometimes do not blink and say, 'Hey!' until many repeated readings. How do you all like:
He readily assured her of his secrecy, again expressed his sorrow for her distress, wished it a happier conclusion than there was at present reason to hope, and leaving his compliments for her relations, with only one serious, parting look, went away.
Oh, with only one serious, parting look? Only one? After one, two, three, four! attempts to say something comforting or purposeful? And then went away? Author Austen almost makes it sound abrupt at the end, like we have not just had a LONG sentence showing that he was delayed by being verbose sympathetic, and civilly dignified...
Does anyone else think that any acquaintance of Elizabeth's can draw a pretty accurate sketch of Miss Bingley's features by listening to her ill-considered tirade against Elizabeth's?
"...Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome. Her nose wants character -- there is nothing marked in its lines. Her teeth are tolerable, but not out of the common way; and as for her eyes, which have sometimes been called so fine, I never could perceive anything extraordinary in them. They have a sharp, shrewish look, which I do not like at all; and in her air altogether there is a self-sufficiency without fashion, which is intolerable."
So, Caroline's face is broader, and her skin more oily, with completely different features from Elizabeth. Caroline's nose is bigger and bumpier. Her teeth are similar to Elizabeth's, certainly not better than! and she is exceptionally proud of her eyes, which are larger than Elizabeth's. And an air of decided fashion. There! tell me her hair style, and I might be able to sketch that portrait myself!
I would have truly liked Author Austen to have glanced at Miss Darcy during Miss Bingley's commentary and Mr. Darcy's final response. Georgianna would not join in the criticisms, then they are repeated for her brother's benefit. She must have seen him getting angrier, and been shocked at Miss Bingley's insulting, ill-bred, behavior. What was her reaction to Darcy's final telling remark? Nervousness at being near such a scene? Pride in her brother for putting Caroline in her place? Wonder that Elizabeth (whom she already admires and likes) had already worked her way so deeply into Fitzwilliam's affections that he would snap at a guest?
I would like to know HOW Georgianna first heard of Elizabeth, too, in order to particularly want to meet her. I suppose we will never know. *sighs*
I pointed out earlier how similar Mr. Collins' and Mr. Darcy's proposal insults were: now you can see some major differences in the two men when this crisis breaks. Darcy acts: Mr. Collins preaches (and badly). Mr. Collins spreads the gossip: Mr. Darcy keeps his own counsel. In striving to help, Mr. Darcy adds more ties to Elizabeth's family, and even more dealings with the despised Wickham, while Mr. Collins is thankful for his distance, and advises that the Bennetts increase their distance by any means available.
And then, Elizabeth's chat with her new brother-in-law, after just discovering exactly what forces had been brought to bear on him to force him to act honourably. I so admire her here! She has newly churning ideas and feelings, and she still manages the social smoothness that will keep outward appearances pleasant. But she drops hints (by no means hints of his worst transgressions!), and thus warns him off of trying her patience again. He is allowed to save face, and he retreats. Brava, Elizabeth! I wish I had at least a part of your class!
By the way, I like the added pain she introduces for a half second in P&P2 with the line:
"Perhaps preparing for the wedding" pause while Wickham glances at her tensely "with Miss de Bourgh." Wickham relaxes, momentarily secure that she did not mean - of course not, how could she? *phew!*
This is not an interpretation allowed in the novel, where the quote is 'preparing for HIS wedding'. It is an added deft feint on Elizabeth's part, but totally in keeping with her conversational skills as we know them.
Thanks for reading, and I hope others comment on the Austen style-isms that strike them on perusal!
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