Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
Written by BarbaraB
(10/1/2005 8:50 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mary's constant illness, penned by Pennie
Throughout the group read it has been pointed out that maybe Mary is the way she is because, as the youngest, she has been neglected. This got me wondering how it worked out this way as it is "somewhat a standard" that the youngest in general receives the most attention and the middle child has to fight the hardest to get it. In fact, when someone has a baby (especially a new one), if there are siblings around, I always engage them/chat with/admire them before I oooooh and aaaaaah over the baby so that they will not feel slighted. Lady Elliot along with advice from Lady R seems to have been a really good mother so I'd imagine they were all decent girls, all fairly likeable somewhat equally. Mary as the youngest probably received a fair amount of the attention from her mother at the very least.
Once Lady Elliot died, it's easy to see how Elizabeth became so vain moving into the position with the rights and consequence of her mother as well as having always been her father's favorite. Lady Elliot had a great deal of influence in her home and I think that even with Elizabeth being her father's favorite, she would have kept her daughter's vainity pretty much in check. Once she was gone Elizabeth had all the space and approval to be as vain as she wanted. So that leaves Anne and Mary. Mary as the youngest would seem the most likely to receive the most attention from Lady R so what happened? Why Anne? "To Lady Russell, indeed, she (Anne) was a most dear and highly valued goddaughter, favourite and friend. Lady Russell loved them all; but it was only in Anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again." So there you have it. Other than the fact that Anne was her goddaughter, Lady R saw something in Anne, so like her dear friend Lady E. whom Anne could recapture in her person and in the management of Kellynch, return it to what it was in Lady R's eyes. In my opinion, this had to have a great influence with her opinions of CW, lack of wealth aside. I don't think he fit her idea of the the type of personality (which she didn't care for to begin with), who together with Anne, could restore Kellynch to its former stature.
So, with Elizabeth as her father's favorite and Anne as Lady R's, Mary esentially had no one to dote on her. Then with Anne sent away to school and Mary not a part of Mutual Admiration Society, no doubt she discovered on being ill that she received some attention. This was just a step away to realizing she could vie for attention by being 'sick'. Eventually, I would imagine it would become a way of life. Just a thought. :-)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.