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Written by Lia
(9/26/2005 12:32 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lady Russell: Ch 5, penned by Cheryl
Mary does tend to exaggerate a bit, so I am not sure I take the "three times" as gospel. I agree it wouldn't have killed LR to have dropped in herself for 15 minutes, but perhaps she has a long way to travel. Mary does live in the neighborhood, so it is not so great an oversight as if she had traveled a long way en route, then failed to stop in. I suspect JA writes it thus to give Mary an early opportunity for whinging.
One characteristic which separates the "good" or sympathetic characters from the "bad" or unsympathetic is their treatment of others; whether they show genuine concern for others, vs. feigned or superficial concern, vs. none at all. Although many posters seem not to like LR very much, there is no doubt that her concern is genuine, or that Anne recognizes this.
LR does adjust her plans because she doesn't want to be around when the Crofts arrive, she doesn't want to be in the neighborhood if Anne, at least, is not there. Compare that to Mary's ridiculous comment in Chapter 6, where she doesn't even take note of the day the Crofts arrive until the evening, and then (in typical Mary fashion) claims to be depressed over it.
Also in Chapter 6, Anne notes the extraordinary blessing of having one truly sympathizing friend as Lady Russell.
How many truly sympathizing friends do any of us have? Hopefully more than one, but not scores.
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