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|The behaving badly thing...
Written by Moni
(10/16/2008 4:17 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Cruel, penned by Rae
All that is apparent is that he is singling Anne out in a relentless fashion, as he does it over and over again, as if he is trying to get some point across. However, it is largely lost on her if this is an expression of great love, as it is not being shown in that way.
He seems to be very bitter and angry with her, and has not forgiven her, so how can she approach him with loving feelings of her own experience when he is persisting in this one track kind of manner?
What he doesn't realise is that his display of achievements isn't hitting the right mark. Sure he has been successful and is enjoying his new found power, who can blame him, but he is also showing many other kinder attentions to everyone, while reserving his bitterness for Anne.
Because Anne is already feeling dreadfully alone and low, his behaviour only misfires. She feels guilty and wretched, because he has not forgiven her. In many ways, Anne punishes herself because she feels he is right, that she has caused his coldness to her. She endures it at great pain and cost, though he doesn't realise his cold or witty comments are hitting the mark, and she does feel all the pain of his disappointment. She is not immune from the effects of his comments. We know from her reactions she hears them and feels the effects of them.
In many ways society has put her in the place of early spinster, by her manners and what people think, and she goes into that place because that is the accepted preserve of women such as she. He does not understand her grief at this, and just sees the doting aunt, etc.
During this whole series of chapters his behaviour has been consistently the same, he is angry emotionally with Anne and shows this through coldness. He has not forgiven Anne. And she feels all the indignity of it and endures it because she thinks she deserves it, as she muses in earlier chapters.
Anne alone is reserved for the Captain's bitter feelings. It does not seem his main character trait, because we know he is capable of great gallantry by what others say of him, and by his behaviour socially. What is intriguing is that Anne is singled out, and it's fascinating to study the reasons why this is. He is not wounded or damaged by his experiences at war, he is not melancholy, or grieving. He declares robustly he is looking for a wife! Anne reflects on his countenance when she sees him on his return, noting he looked unchanged, and possibly even better by his experiences, while she had completely lost her bloom.
So we know he is well enough, but he has still not forgiven Anne! So what did Anne do to be treated in such a fashion? We know she had to let him go because she was persuaded to. This does not sit happily with her, as we all know.
She wants to protect the Captain from seeing Lady Russell again, so she has feelings on his account, and indeed, takes his own feelings into account.
Does she needle him on his return, berate him for not coming sooner, present herself keenly as married to someone else (say Charles as an example) with a brood of children, does she flirt with anyone there on any occasion, or talk of lost loves or past romances to bait him? I haven't noted any evidence of this.
In short, there is nothing Anne can do but present as herself, a spinster aunt who gives her time to the children, goes on walks, shares in social activities and has given up dancing and other pleasures, to fit into this role. I just can't overlook these parts in my study of Anne.
I absolutely know the Captain has good in him, but he also has an unforgiving streak, as part of his character, that is all too apparent. It is in his character to be relentless in the pursuit of his aims, because he is so fearless and exacting in his ways, and has become so successful!! In some ways I would call him a perfectionist/ideallist, with high expectations of himself and others.
These posts are fascinating to read, Rae, thanks for putting these thoughts down, as it helps to find out what is going on! LOL.
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