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|Dick, Wentworth, and the Musgroves
Written by gianni
(10/10/2011 11:02 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Well, really, ..., penned by gianni
My point is that Austen simply used Dick's short history to illustrate, first, the weak-minded sentimentality of Mrs. Musgrove, who remembers only her own motherly feelings for Dick, without considering at all Dick himself; second, Wentworth's heroic efforts to make something of Dick while he was tasked with handling him as a ship's commander.
We see Mrs. Musgrove having loved him, of course; we see her also remembering very selectively his life, and imposing her own unrealistic reflections upon those around her.
We see Wentworth not only having taken it upon himself to try making something of Dick, but also refraining from correcting his mother's utterly unrealistic reminiscences, and enduring them without comment.
And we don't have to endure a lot of tiresome detail of Dick's life. That's the point. Austen is not so much judging Dick, who appears so far to be an utterly insignificant foil, as using him to fill out other characters.
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