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|Poking fun at the dead and "persons of size" in Ch 8
Written by jeffrey
(10/10/2011 5:08 p.m.)
One of my favorite things to highlight in a group-read is JA's humor. Miss Austen strikes again with her velvet-covered bludgeon:
"...... They were actually on the same sofa, for Mrs. Musgrove had most readily made room for him: they were divided only by Mrs. Musgrove. It was no insignificant barrier, indeed. Mrs. Musgrove was of a comfortable, substantial size, infinitely more fitted by nature to express good cheer and good humour, than tenderness and sentiment; and while the agitations of Anne's slender form, and pensive face, may be considered as very completely screened, Captain Wentworth should be allowed some credit for the self-command with which he attended to her large fat sighings over the destiny of a son, whom alive nobody had cared for....."
(one can vividly visualize poor diminutive Anne being blotted out by Mrs. Musgrove's bulk)
In the preceding paragraph, there is also this little, possibly revealing ditty:
".....but it was too transient an indulgence of self-amusement to be detected by any who understood him less than herself..."
Perhaps this says something about the strength of the relationship that Anne and Frederick formerly shared. I get the impression the Captain is having a hard time trying to keep his proper composure listening to Mrs. Musgrove's comic/pathetic laments, but Anne, I think perfectly comprehends his thoughts merely by his facial expressions. I think they are STILL kindred spirits with their active like-mindedness.
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