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|Mrs. Smith's vulnerable position
Written by Jenny Allan
(10/20/2005 11:48 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Ch 17, "She had called on her former governess...", penned by Joan Ellen
I don't think Mrs. Smith really wanted to seek out an old school friend at that point. She was happy to receive Anne, after she knew she was interested, but she really might have felt awkward and embarassed, making the first move.
The first ten minutes had its awkwardness and its emotion. Twelve years were gone since they had parted, and each presented a somewhat different person from what the other had imagined. Twelve years had changed Anne from the blooming, silent, unformed girl of fifteen, to the elegant little woman of seven-and-twenty, with every beauty excepting bloom, and with manners as consciously right as they were invariably gentle; and twelve years had transformed the fine-looking, well-grown Miss Hamilton, in all the glow of health and confidence of superiority, into a poor, infirm, helpless widow, receiving the visit of her former protégée as a favour;
Mrs. Smith was not in the position to ask as the narrator points out it is a favor. There needed to be a third party, closer in status to Mrs. Smith, to act as intermediary. The governess, is just one of those throwaway characters, off-stage who facilitate something more important in the plot.
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