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|Pity and Disdain
Written by Robbin
(10/22/2005 1:54 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, But did she see him?, penned by Cheryl
I realize that Anne is all eyes for FW but I feel her observation of LR in this case can still be trusted and the curtain excuse is ridiculous—has LR paid the slightest attention to handsome window hangings or even fashion in general, ever? The best I can imagine is that LR politely agreed with Elizabeth about the house and furniture upon visiting Camden Place the first time. If LR had really been looking at curtains in windows in different houses would she not have to move her head and eyes a little to study all the windows in all the houses? She does not move them; her eyes are turned in one direction, the direction of him.
“Anne sighed, and blushed, and smiled, in pity and disdain, either at her friend or herself. The part which provoked her most, was that in all this waste of foresight and caution, she should have lost the right moment for seeing whether he saw them.” (Chapter 19)
Although I would like to say Anne is feeling pity and disdain for Lady Russell for being a coward, I cannot, because I do not think she would be so hard on her. I actually think it is directed inwards towards herself, for she did not see if he saw them and she has been worrying about a meeting between LR and FW ever since Chapter 4. I do not think there would be all the build up of this worry on Anne’s part if Lady Russell was not going to see him. It is an anticlimax and Anne learns from it. (1) I think it helps Anne break out of the cycle of worrying about what LR will think or say about FW. (2) At the end of Chapter 19, Anne thinks about how those close to her have treated FW, I do not think Anne would fault with her friend if she had any doubt as to her seeing him. It gives her more reason to show attention to FW.
“Elizabeth had turned from him, Lady Russell overlooked him: her nerves were strengthened by these circumstances; she felt that she owed him attention.” (Chapter 19)
References where Anne worries about LR and FW meeting:
“With these supports, she hoped that the acquaintance between herself and the Crofts, which, with Lady Russell, still resident in Kellynch, and Mary fixed only three miles off, must be anticipated, need not involve any particular awkwardness.” (Chapter4)
“but she was yet more anxious for the possibility of Lady Russell and Captain Wentworth never meeting any where. They did not like each other, and no renewal of acquaintance now could do any good; and were Lady Russell to see them together, she might think that he had too much self-possession, and she too little.” (Chapter 11)
“So ended all danger to Anne of meeting Captain Wentworth at Kellynch Hall, or of seeing him in company with her friend. Every thing was safe enough, and she smiled over the many anxious feelings she had wasted on the subject.” (Chapter 13)
“The following morning Anne was out with her friend, and for the first hour, in an incessant and fearful sort of watch for him in vain;” (Chapter 19)
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