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Written by Lia
(10/3/2005 1:52 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The first two weeks from FW's POV, penned by Jenny Allan
I think you raise an excellent point about FW at Kellynch, I had never thought of that. Especially in the company of the happy Crofts, and I think the Crofts do represent a comparison/representation of what AE and FW could have been and still might someday be.
I do think FW's pursuit of the Miss Musgroves is more than just escaping the past, however. He has already shown an inclination for romance and marriage with AE in '06, those aspirations are now 8 years delayed, and I do believe him (at least a little bit) when he tells his sister he is looking about, ready to make a match. I think he is casting a wide net, and Louisa and Hen are caught in it, (but turns out they're small fry, not really keepers!)
What interests me in terms of novel construction, is that these chapters show a progression of FW's feeling /action towards Anne.
At the Musgroves' in chapter 8, he essentially ignores her throughout the party, until at last his curiosity and concern get the better of him. Does Miss Elliot never dance? This is inquiry only, not action. He doesn't ask her (we don't know for sure if he even wants to). (I think a lot of his bravura at that party is flirtatious, a front for the ladies, but I digress.)
In chapter 9 we see him act out of concern for Anne; he releases her from little Walter. This is a situation which was not initiated by FW, but which is overt and demands action.
In chapter 10, his action is wholly voluntary. Anne did not request assistance. Her need for relief is not openly stated as it is in chapter 9; in fact the Crofts offer of a ride is "generally declined," which means AE also declined. FW now obviously has to be observing her to be aware of her fatigue, and he takes action to assist her. But there is still no clear indication that his concern is anything but "an act of friendship." (Sure, we know he's still in love, but his actions could be interpreted as residual concern alone.)
In chapter 12 there is a shift: we see his active interest when he looks at her after Mr. Elliot has passed: "...even I, at this moment, see something like Anne Elliot again." He is reminded of this when they all go to look at Mr. Elliot's departing curricle, and he casts "half a glance at Anne."
And at the scene of the accident, his respect for her, previously lost (or submerged) in his supposition of her weakness, is now rekindled, and he relies on her judgment here and upon their return to Uppercross.
It builds one step at a time --that's what makes it realistic.
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