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|Wentworth's Bad Behavior
Written by BarbaraB
(11/1/2008 11:51 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, That bad behaviour, penned by Rae
Earlier in the group read, someone (I think it was Julie) pointed out that Wentworth's reaction in certain events (consoling Mrs. Musgrove/etc.) is evidence of Wentworh's basic good character. He is personable, has firm friendships and shows compassion for others. These are the signs of a man who understands the feelings of others. I believe him to be good man, I like him and did not like the way Lady Russell looked down on him, but he is not a perfect man and his treatment of Anne when he returns to Kellynch, is not becoming of a gentleman.
1. His announcement that he is stopping by the cottage when he and Anne first meet is not for Anne's benefit. He is sending word ahead out of respect for Mary, the misstress of the home, and her sick child. "...and Captain Wentworth proposing also to wait on her (Mary) for a few minutes if not inconvenient; and though Charles had answered for the child's being in no such state as could make it inconvenient, Captain Wentworth would not be satisfied without his running on to give notice." Anne is the lucky beneficiary of the announcement. It gives her a few minutes to prepare.
2. "...the year of their engagement could not but be named by him, in the little narratives or descriptions which conversation called forth." Wentworth's constant references to the year six is not necessary. The things he is saying do not need this little tag as he completes his reference to certain events. It is obvious he is using this as a method of 'talking' to Anne without speaking to her.
3. Anne has spent years of isolation/exclusion within her own home since the loss of her mother. During the time Wentworth was courting her, he could not have failed to notice this. When she goes to Uppercross, she is finally in a place where she is respected and admired and recognized to be capable. Wentworth reasserts this exclusion back into her life. He comes into her established place within a circle and basically 'kicks her out' of it. It is like a 'payback-rejection'. He has witnessed her shocking decline in appearance and personality. He knows her well enough to know she is a woman with a 'sweetness of mind', a gentle soul. How could he not think this would be painful for her? He is the center of attention, the one in command of these social gatherings. When people purposefully exclude others, whether out of dislike, jealousy, anger, revenge, etc., it is a form of manipulation; and more so because she has no recourse and he knows it.
The Musgroves and Mrs. Croft are unaware of Anne and Wentworth's former relationship so they are unaware of the what is going on behind the scenes, if you will. If they knew, I venture to say they would be appalled.
4. "It was now his object to marry. ... He had a heart for either of the Miss Musgroves, if they could catch it;"
I do not expect you to change your mind; I simply wanted to share my perspective/opinions. By the way, your posts on the navy have been awesome. Thanks. :)
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