Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
Written by Cheryl
(10/17/2005 12:00 a.m.)
We meet Mrs Smith in this week's chapters, and based on what we know now, I am inclined to think favorably of her. She was very kind to Anne after the death of her mother, and "had shewn her kindness in one of those periods of her life when it had been most valuable." (ch 17) She is poor, widowed, and an invalid - three circumstances designed to make us sympathetic toward her, but she remains cheerful and useful with her knitting.
I also found interesting the discussion on human nature in the sickroom. Anne supposes scenes of "heroism, fortitude, patience, resignation" but Mrs Smith knows better. It is more often "selfishness and impatience rather than generosity and fortitude..."
I couldn't help but wonder if JA was speaking from personal experience with her illness and her mother's - which were closer to Mary's than Mrs Smith's.
But I must confess that one of the reasons I wish to like her is that Sir Walter is so harsh, so condemning in his opinion of her. He is at his nastiest here:
"A Mrs Smith. A widow Mrs Smith; and who was her husband? One of five thousand Mr Smiths whose names are to be met with everywhere. And what is her attraction? That she is old and sickly ... A widow Mrs Smith lodging in Westgate Buildings! A poor widow barely able to live, between thirty and forty; a mere Mrs Smith, an every-day Mrs Smith, of all people and all names in the world … Mrs Smith! Such a name!" (ch 17)
Ooh! Someone needs a SUTH!
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.