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|Agree re. "snobbery"
Written by Rachel G
(10/9/2008 3:26 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Elizabeth's companion..., penned by Mandy N
In the second paragraph of Ch.2 we are told of Lady R's "prejudices on the side of ancestry" and her"value for rank and consequence". She is "solicitous for the credit of the family" and "aristocratic in her ideas of what was due to them".
I agree with you that these prejudices are the main reason why Lady R objects so much to Mrs Clay as Elizabeth's companion and hopes that Elizabeth will find "more suitable intimates" in Bath. (As a "rational" woman Lady R must surely, after so many years, be giving up hope that E will start to prefer Anne as her intimate companion.)
However, the final paragraph of Ch.2 begins -
"From situation, Mrs. Clay was, in Lady Russell's estimate, a very unequal, and in her character she believed a very dangerous companion..."
The "danger" of Mrs Clay as a companion is clearly attributed to her "character" rather than to her unequal social rank. This might just mean that Mrs Clay's manners reveal her relatively low social status, and that Lady R fears that Elizabeth's public credit may be tainted by the association. However I think there is just a hint in this sentence that there may be something else about Mrs' Clay's character that is not quite nice or not quite right. Perhaps Lady R cannot identify it precisely - it could be just an uneasy feeling that she has. But perhaps I am reading way too much into a slightly ambiguous phrase.
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