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|I don't think it's Anne's POV
Written by Deborah Y
(10/13/2008 10:48 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Do Defend!, penned by LeeAnne
We conclude Anne's reflections with the previous paragraph, which is all about how it's good for her (!) to know that the love of her life now thinks she's a faded wreck. This clearly isn't the narrator, since the view expressed here is so patently unreliable -- we readers are bound to wonder whether any real person could feel "composed" and "happier" in these circumstances. This reads like Anne's effort to talk herself out of hoping that her relationship with FW can be resuscitated.
Then we have the lines I quoted, which I believe are in the narrator's voice. Two tipoffs to this: "had used such words, *or something like them*" -- since Anne wasn't there, she can't know that maybe he wasn't being quoted verbatim, but the narrator does know that. And second -- since Anne is trying to talk herself out of hope, she's actually less likely than the narrator is to put this whole incident in a more favorable light (i.e., in a light that suggests FW wasn't going out of his way to be mean). She's trying to give herself the harshest get-over-him medicine possible.
And then we get one of JA's subtle shifts, mid-paragraph, from the omniscient narrator POV to a character's POV. The lines in the narrator voice transition us from Anne's reaction to FW's words into FW's POV -- we're in his head, neither Anne's nor the narrator's, when we hear that Anne had "used him ill," that he couldn't forgive her, that he'd never seen a woman to equal her, but that he was now eager to get married. Then we get an illustration of his attitude in the conversation with his sister about how anyone can have him if she gives a few compliments to the Navy. Anne can't know any of this.
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