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|An intriguing inversion
Written by Barbara
(10/11/2005 1:02 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr Elliot's story, penned by Cheryl
Now back in Ch. 1, we read that
Not much of a rejection, Mr. Elliot!
In an earlier thread, I had posted some thoughts about how Jane Austen cleverly allows fools to speak the truth, or in other words she buries or hides truth in the statements of people we have already been taught to discount, dislike or ignore, sometimes with the purpose of throwing us off of what is actually going on. In this case, we already have reason think that Sir Walter and Elizabeth tend to be self-involved and self-aggrandizing to the point of delusion.
Even in this same Ch. 15, Anne herself thinks that "allowances, large allowances... must be made for the ideas of those who spoke." That it is "all under embellishment. All that sounded extravagant or irrational in the progress of the reconciliation might have no origin but in the language of the relators."
Anne's own thoughts hint to the reader that we should think that her father and Elizabeth are making this all sound a lot better than it really was. And yet, we already know from Ch. 1 how things had seemed to them while all their original acquaintance with Mr. Elliot took place, years ago.
So, we have potentially three versions of what happened, and what are we to think? Either it all happened as Sir Walter and Elizabeth really felt it did, or it all happened the way Mr. Elliot has 'explained it away' or it the truth lies somewhere in between. I think because we have been taught to discredit Sir Walter and Elizabeth, there is a temptation to think it might be the middle ground, but maybe their original version of it is completely accurate.
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