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|Narcissus, Vanity and Mirrors...
Written by Moni
(10/30/2008 4:31 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Against Sir Walter..., penned by JanELT
Good points, JanELT. It might be all those things!! I just finished the novel and left the preface/introduction till last to avoid spoilers. Gillian Beer, the editor of the Penguin Edition, describes Sir Walter as "narcissistic".
This made me think of Sir Walter and all his mirrors, as opposed to Admiral Croft who gets rid of them all bar one, and I looked up information on Narcissus from mythology. There is a good image of the eternal youth gazing at his own reflection in the mirror/pool, on the link below. Have pasted it in case it doesn't take.
An interesting picture evolves, a bit fitting to Sir Walter, loving only youth and his own reflection, hence the mirrors, and his ever present vanity! Admiral Croft, we could say, is not in the slightest narcissistic, as a comparison. Interesting to think about. Sir Walter says at the beginning he is aware that Lady Russell has developed the "crow foot", and the others are showing signs of ageing.
Interesting too is Cooley's comment: "Vanity well fed is benevolent". This is true, as Anne says in the later chapters that she was unable to flatter her father, and suffered for it. Those who did flatter him, such as Mrs Clay, seemed to gain his favours.
So is he just a comical figure, I wondered, or does he have something important, and perhaps more serious to tell the reader? Any thoughts?
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Vanity - Vanity and Image of Narcissus
|Vanity and Narcissus|
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