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|Independence & Reason Wanted
Written by Robbin
(11/2/2008 1:29 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, A few points, penned by Deborah Y
Thanks for your passionate response Deborah Y. You are right that JA does not tell us the exact words Anne said in their final parting but she does say Anne tried to explain herself, “The belief of being prudent, and self-denying principally for his advantage” but he was “totally unconvinced and unbending…feeling himself ill-used by so forced a relinquishment” I think it is clear Anne’s prudence and sacrifice for his good is all about the lack of competence between them rather than any change of heart so had Frederick been willing to listen he would have understood she was not throwing him off because she did not care for him. She wanted him to understand what her reasons were and what they were not.
I truly cannot imagine Anne standing on ceremony of etiquette or form while ending their engagement. Her conservation with Captain Harville in Ch. 23 on constancy is rather intimate and she is barely acquainted with him. With Frederick, I imagine at such a time her heart would have been completely open and compassionate as well as made desperate since he would not understand her. They have shared, although it was short, a period of “exquisite felicity” which I think implies an intimacy of mind in which they shared their honest feelings, opinions and ideas. I don’t claim to know convention, this is just my opinion based on Anne’s character and proven compassion towards others.
Retaining a relationship by letter or otherwise with each other was not necessary for him to propose again. Anne and Frederick did not corresponded or espouse love for each other between the year 06 and the year 08 yet per Ch. 23 he considered writing (proposing) to Anne in the year 08 when he had earned (Ch. 7) the “independence which alone had been wanting.” It was his pride and the fact he quit believing in Anne that prevents him from doing so. If he had listened with an ear to hear in 06 he would not have been in doubt of her response.
The bad behavior I was referring to was his unwillingness to understand Anne, his unbending and unjust opinions put forth when Anne ended the engagement. In Ch. 23 he tells Anne, “I did not understand you. I shut my eyes, and would not understand you, or do you justice.” IMHO it is never good behavior to be unjust, unreasonable and unthinking—especially with someone you love. As I said before his hurt and his passions make his reaction understandable as in I understand why he feels the way he does but it does not justify his behavior or make it a mature, intelligent response. Unfortunately it is a response which causes them both addition pain and misery. Anne caused Frederick pain by ending the engagement; but he increased their misery because he loss faith in her which is the direct result of his choice to disbelieve the principals under which she ended their engagement. It is ironic that for eight years he faults Anne for not believing in him when in fact he is the one who did not believe in her. (;D)
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