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|Anne's devotion to duty
Written by Kim in AK
(9/27/2005 10:31 p.m.)
Something that really stands out concerning Anne's character is her devotion to duty. In chapter 2 she is horrified by her father's failure to do his duty to clear away the claims on his finances. In chapter 5, she is disappointed that she can be of "no use" to her family in selecting their lodging in Bath, and is "glad to be thought of some use, glad to have anything marked out as a duty" when she is summoned to Mary's home. She enjoys caring for her nephews, and seems particularly well suited to nurse young Charles. Anne is motivated by the desire to be of use to someone, and she so frequently feels that she is of no use to anyone.
Go back 7 years now...she is so happy to be loved and to have someone to love. Now place yourself in her shoes and feel what she must feel when those around her pressure her "to believe the engagement a wrong thing -- indiscreet, improper, hardly capable of success, and not deserving it... The belief of being prudent, and self-denying principally for his advantage, was her chief consolation"
She becomes convinced that she will be a burden to the man she loves--not "of use" to him, but a hindrance. One can imagine the great tug of war in her heart between her perceived duty and her perceived selfish desires.
I will be also looking at this theme of duty as we proceed through the read.
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