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|Another Mrs Clay sympathizer here
Written by Joan Ellen
(9/21/2005 2:52 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Meritocrat, penned by JoAnn Elizabeth
I have always felt that there was nothing so terrible about Mrs. Clay, who has two children to support and doesn't appear to have a mother out arranging matches for her (though considering Mrs Bennet this might be viewed as a plus!) I don't consider her a complete toady, as she is willing to contradict Sir W about the sailors - though she does wrap it up quite nicely with a little stroke to Sir W's ego.
]Mrs. Clay, who apparently has no true feeling for Sir Walter, she lacks this virtue which would have made us all more sympathetic.
Well, I'll have to address one part of the above comment when we get closer to the end of the book, but I don't see any reason to assume that she doesn't genuinely like Sir W & Eliz (other than the difficulty believing ANYONE could genuinely like them, that is) - since they treat her much more pleasantly than they do Anne. After all, Sir W is in debt, so if money was her sole object, I would think she might have found someone who, if not richer than Sir W, at least manages his money more prudently.
IMO, what she does is no worse than what Charlotte Lucas does (we are told Charlotte has been 'tolerably encouraging' to Mr Collins) - and Charlotte not only has no children to consider, as Mrs Clay does, but she also has many siblings who probably would support her after her parents' demise, which doesn't appear to be the case for Mrs. Clay, though we don't know for sure. I think we like Charlotte better mostly because we know her better.
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