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|Her character is better than E, her appearance worse
Written by Tracy W
(9/28/2005 5:43 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Sister Mary, penned by teri-mc
I'm reading Persuasion this time with an eye as to how the different characters are, and can be, persuaded. There's a difference between Elizabeth and Mary. Elizabeth and Sir Walter just reject rational arguments, Mary doesn't apologise or otherwise acknowledge herself to have been wrong, but she listens to them.
It's hard to see Elizabeth, even if well and happy and properly attended to, having great good humour and excellent spirits. But Mary, after Anne arrives, shortly finds herself improving in health, being busy about the room, dashing off to the neighbours and inviting the Miss Musgroves on a walk.
Google defines endowed as "provided or supplied or equipped with (especially as by inheritance or nature)", which fits in with the sense here. (Ref http://www.answers.com/endowed&r=67)
The English language operates by metaphors a lot, often hidden metaphors. For example if I say "I spent some time at the art gallery", I'm using a metaphor in which time can be spent like money, but it's so hidden that very few people listening to me would notice that I was using a metaphor. Similarly, an author can take the word "endowed" in the sense of being endowed with physical property and use it in the sense of being endowed with mental abilities. JA, writing very sophisticatedly, and two centuries earlier to us, certainly pushes us to make full use of our knowledge of language.
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