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|Wentworth and Walter: Polar Opposites?
Written by JanELT
(10/30/2008 1:50 p.m.)
Sir Skin Deep had weighed Wentworth entirely on visual cues. Vanity, appearance, rank, well-sounding name. And JA's sense of humor is not lost when she said that Sir Walter saw CW "repeatedly by daylight" since one can see much better during the day and can thus make a better assessment of whether or not CW is worthy to be penned into his volume of honor LOL.
Ch 24: "Sir Walter, indeed, though he had no affection for Anne, and no vanity flattered, to make him really happy on the occasion, was very far from thinking it a bad match for her. On the contrary, when he saw more of Captain Wentworth, saw him repeatedly by daylight, and eyed him well, he was very much struck by his personal claims, and felt that his superiority of appearance might be not unfairly balanced against her superiority of rank; and all this, assisted by his well-sounding name, enabled Sir Walter, at last, to prepare his pen, with a very good grace, for the insertion of the marriage in the volume of honour."
In contrast, CW was more introspective, and felt much more deeply, as evidenced by not only his "I'm all undone" letter to Anne, and their subsequent conversations. Soul, agony, hope, penetrating and overpowering feelings, long waits, all those are words for the inner man.
Ch 23: "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope....could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me...."
Ch 23: "But to be waiting so long in inaction, and waiting only for evil, had been dreadful."
And after the dip into despair, his spirits soared. I don't think Sir Walter ever experienced such a range of emotions. Determinations, spirits rallying, hopes revived... All those are things that Sir Walter had poor taste for (unless they were for his keeping up appearances).
Ch 23: "I was determined to see you again. My spirits rallied with the morning, and I felt that I had still a motive for remaining here."
Having lived with Sir Walter all her life, Anne was undoubtedly refreshed to see more realism outside the walls of Kellynch. I think too that although Kellynch was her ancestral home, Anne felt more freedom away from it than in it.
I think the turning point in Anne's life did not come in 1806 when she met CW, but rather it happened when she went to stay at Uppercross which was where she started to see things differently (Musgroves, Crofts, later on Harvilles, Benwick, etc).
The choice of the place name Uppercross interested me as well. It was as if Anne got up and crossed over to a new perspective in her life. Sort of her Part II, if you will.
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