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|Caricatures and characters
Written by Delories
(10/11/2008 8:36 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Humourous characters focus, week 1, penned by Tom P2
Without straying into Austenuations territory, imo the line between one and another is more clearly demarcated in _Persuasion_. In this novel, even someone I would consider more a "caricature", such as Mary or Mr & Mrs Musgrove, still has some subtlety and depth, even as we laugh at their foibles. Especially in the case of Mr & Mrs Musgrove, it's hard to tell when the ON is being ironic and when she's being sincere. (Contrast the ON's initial description of the Musgroves as "a very good sort of people; friendly and hospitable...not at all elegant" with the later "poor Dick" episodes.)
I also enjoy how the humour is used to advance to depiction of character, indirectly. For example, we can see in the childless Admiral Croft's treatment of the little Musgroves how he must miss having children of his own, taking advantage of social calls to play and joke with them. It makes us like him even more, which is presumably what JA intended :-)
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