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Written by Lisa G
(10/25/2008 7:05 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Anne after Lyme, penned by Deborah Y
The Lyme chapters are all about friendship and cooperation -- very different from "the usual style of give-and-take" which Anne witnessed in her own surroundings so far. Here Anne finds herself in the company of reliable and intelligent adults, and there is a feeling that for the first time she is an equal among equals.
In the beginning of the novel, Frederick Wentworth is thought of as a man without connections. In the Lyme chapters, his connections are fully disclosed, so to speak. The Crofts, to whom Anne and the readers are introduced earlier, and now the Harvilles and Benwick -- these are the connections worth having.
I think that even if Anne did not meet Mr Elliot in Lyme and even without a prospect of Capt. Benwick as a potential suitor the tenor of the Lyme chapters would remain the same and their importance would not diminish. By the way, when Lady Russell wants to get Anne to Bath to be "more known", she is primarily concerned with marriage prospects. Anne does not go to Lyme to look for a husband. She does find there a new world which she admires and wants to be part of.
And there is a seachange in many of Anne's attitudes. Towards Kellynch: from "A beloved home made over to others; all the precious rooms and furniture, groves, and prospects, beginning to own other eyes and other limbs!" upon the Crofts moving in (Ch. 6) to "they were gone who deserved not to stay, and that Kellynch Hall had passed into better hands than its owners" and "In such moments Anne had no power of saying to herself, "These rooms ought to belong only to us. Oh, how fallen in their destination! how unworthily occupied! An ancient family to be so driven away! Strangers filling their place!" (Ch. 13). Toward Lady Russell's worldview, which seems more remote from her own in the Bath chapters. And when Anne sees the Musgroves off to Lyme, she seems to be in a different frame of mind than, for example, when seeing Charles and Mary go to meet Wentworth while being left to look after their child.
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