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|Anne the younger (long)
Written by MaryAnn K.
(9/23/2005 1:42 p.m.)
My focus has been on Anne's character. As much as I would have liked to see Anne as a more decided person at a young age, I now see her more clearly. This is what I have come up with.
She lost her mother at the age of 14, most likely the time when she began to fade in beauty. She was sent to Bath for school sometime between 14 and 19 and we are given the idea that she was depressed. LR seems to think this is why Anne does not like Bath. Who would not be depressed, losing a mother at so young an age, being left to a self-consumed father and sisters, and being sent away from her family after such a loss?
At age 19, she is still beautiful, as described in chp 4 -"and Anne, an extremely pretty girl, with gentleness, modesty, taste, and feeling." Obviously able to cope with life without her mother, having healed and found a god-mother to confide in and trust, finds herself in love with Frederick. Frederick, a "remarkably fine young man, with a great deal of intelligence, spirit and brilliancy" sounds like quite a catch. She would be rather flattered that such a man would love her, and he would be flattered that a woman of her connection would be attracted to him, amidst the obvious fact that they were in love. Upon ending the engagement, she could have resisted her father, although he disapproved, "Sir Walter, on being applied to, without actually withholding his consent, or saying that it would never be, gave it all the negative of great astonishment, great coldness, great silence, and a professed resolution of doing nothing for his daughter." But she was unable to marry FW as her god-mother did not approve. "Such opposition, as these feelings produced, was more than Anne could combat. Young and gentle as she was, it might yet have been possible to withstand her father's ill-will..." "but Lady Russell, whom she had always loved and relied on, could not, with such steadiness of opinion, and such tenderness of manner, be continually advising her in vain." So Anne, who may have been able to withstand her father's disapproval and marry FW, is persuaded not to on the advice of LR, and because she had "'imagined' herself consulting his good, even more than her own, she could hardly have given him up. The belief of being prudent, and self-denying principally for his advantage, was her chief consolation, under the misery of a parting, a final parting...". Here, she convinces herself that it is to his benefit to end the engagement.
Afterwards Anne quickly looses her bloom. She does not go out much, whether by choice or neglect we don't know (could be both, there is more evidence of the latter), she is too little seen, and her spirits are not high.
There is a spark of her strong spirit, but she is still young, gentle and might I add naiive(not in the bad sense, but in the lack of practice) and does not feel mature enough to trust her heart in regards to love. As of yet, I find no fault in her decisions, except for one thing. I would not have cut him off completely. I would have loved to see if she communicated to FW that she would be willing to wait for him to make his fortune, or to see indeed if his "sanguine expectations... had been justified." Do you think he was too proud to do this? Was it improper to do such a thing at this time? I would think that he should have thought about what she was used to having been provided for before he asked to take her away from all of her luxeries. Stay tuned for part two, Anne at present.
What do you think? Would you agree?
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