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|Chapter 20 The Captain Values Anne...
Written by Moni
(10/28/2008 9:38 a.m.)
Whoa! This is good stuff. The Captain returns, a different man, approachable and approaching. Gone are the stilted, emotionally charged ways of the past. It appears the Captain's experiences and thoughts have changed him, and he is now more open, ready to converse with Anne again, and he values her openly:
CH. 20 -
"While they were speaking, a whispering between her father and Elizabeth caught her ear. She could not distinguish, but she must guess the subject; and on Captain Wentworth's making a distant bow, she comprehended that her father had judged so well as to give him that simple acknowledgment of acquaintance, and she was just in time by a side-glance to see a slight curtsey from Elizabeth herself. This, though late, and reluctant, and ungracious, was yet better than nothing, and her spirits improved.
(It's interesting that Anne holds no grudge here, for any reason, and does not judge him in any way, regarding his prior coldness. She holds up her moral standing here, compelled to pay respect to him as a representative of her family, and she notices he is at last acknowledged by her family, though in slight terms.)
"After talking, however, of the weather, and Bath, and the concert, their conversation began to flag, and so little was said at last, that she was expecting him to go every moment, but he did not: he seemed in no hurry to leave her; and presently with renewed spirit, with a little smile, a little glow, he said --
(I think this is the first time he has smiled directly at Anne the whole novel long. It is so well written, here, so much that we also expect him to leave her side, and return to his cold, closed up self, but to her surprise he stays.)
"I have hardly seen you since our day at Lyme. I am afraid you must have suffered from the shock, and the more from its not overpowering you at the time."
(It is here where he shows the value he feels for her, in so many words telling her he wondered how she was after that dreadful day, attempting to understand her feelings. It also shows he has thought about things, as this is exactly what happens with shocks of that kind.)
"She assured him that she had not.
(Kindly she reassures him, to save him worry. This is nice, real together conversation, there is such a shift in the way he talks to her, and she responds perfectly!)
"It was a frightful hour," said he; "a frightful day!" and he passed his hand across his eyes, as if the remembrance were still too painful, but in a moment, half smiling again, added, "The day has produced some effects, however; has had some consequences which must be considered as the very reverse of frightful. When you had the presence of mind to suggest that Benwick would be the properest person to fetch a surgeon, you could have little idea of his being eventually one of those most concerned in her recovery."
Wow. Big changes. He values her and can say it aloud. It's been a long wait for Anne. We know they have bridged the gap at this point. Will it work out? Thoughts, anyone?
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