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|I love how JA talks about wives...
Written by Sarah Hannah
(9/19/2005 4:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Marriages: Sir Walter & Miss Stevenson, penned by KateL
as having the ability to influence their husbands' characters. Lady Elliot has the wherewithal to cover up, take with a grain of salt, and improve Sir Walter's ridiculous foibles, and I think this really demonstrates a kind of power that married women could wield. This is a very common thread throughout her works, both positively and negatively. To give some quick examples from other novels, Charlotte keeps Mr. Collins under control, Fanny Dashwood makes John Dashwood more selfish, and Mrs. Elton brings out her husband's nastiness.
The death of Lady Elliot gives Sir Walter free rein to act out extravagantly, both in his person and in expenses, and he probably sees himself as coming back into his true worth.
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