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|Any Elizabeth Supporters?
Written by Aramathea
(9/21/2005 9:19 p.m.)
Here is what we know of Elizabeth Elliot. After her mother's death, when she is but sixteen and probably just come out in society, she finds herself suddenly the mistress of Kellynch Hall with all the responsibilities that entails. Was it not the woman's duty to oversee the entire household? Surely we cannot imagine her silly father taking it in hand. Here is a hadnsome, independent and strong young woman, "presiding and directing with a self-possession and decision" beyond her years.
Despite being her father's favorite, Elizabeth is not happy. Yes, she gets to go to London, but these few weeks in the entire year are all she sees of society outside of Kellynch. From what we see she has no older female friends to whisk her off to Bath for a little escape. Furthermore, the one friendship she forms with Mrs. Clay is destined for interruption! And what would happen to her father and the household if she did go?
As regards marriage, we know that Elizabeth wants to be settled down. In early childhood she formed the fantasy that she would marry Mr. Walter Elliot and live forever in the halls of Kellynch, and her father supported her in this assumption. What reason had she to think this was not set in stone? It must have been quite a shock to find that Mr. Elliot had no interest in her, and in fact looked down upon her and her family.
It seems to me that Elizabeth has pressures in abundance and I for one would hate to wrongly place blame on her for being jaded. I think the following paragraph says so much:
"Such were Elizabeth Elliot's sentiments and sensations; such the cares to alloy, the agitations to vary, the sameness and the elegance, the prosperity and the nothingness of her scene of life; such the feelings to give interest to a long, uneventful residence in one country circle, to fill the vacancies which there were no habits of utility abroad, no talents or accomplishments for home, to occupy."
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