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|Passion, Resentment & Disappointment
Written by Robbin
(10/12/2011 5:02 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Feebleness of character?, penned by Rachel G
Frederick is wrong and Anne did not deserve such criticism. She is not weak and timid with an unendurable feebleness of character rather she is able to see past her own desires and consider advice. Not only that but sacrifice her wants and needs for the good others—his good specifically by ending the engagement.
However Frederick would not accept Anne’s reasons and instead chose to believe she was defective, it seems to me, against he own reason and even against his judgment. (;D) After all if she was so weak and timid why did he not see it before? I think Frederick is a passionate man and his opinion of Anne then and eight years later comes from resentment and disappointment.
Anne does not “blame herself for having been guided” (4) by Lady Russell at nineteen although at twenty-seven she would not make the same decision. Anne felt a duty to Lady Russell as she possessed “almost a mother's love, and mother's rights” (4) and in the end could not ignore her advice. They were legitimate concerns, it was imprudent and if she continued the engagement she would also be making her only friend unhappy much as Lizzy worried in P&P:
She did not fear her father's opposition, but he was going to be made unhappy, and that it should be through her means, that she, his favourite child, should be distressing him by her choice, should be filling him with fears and regrets in disposing of her, was a wretched reflection, and she sat in misery till Mr. Darcy appeared again, when, looking at him, she was a little relieved by his smile. (P&P, 59)
I think Anne made the prudent choice for all concerned by ending the engagement but it was the wrong choice for her heart. Anne has suffered over the preceding eight years and it seems so has our captain. I don’t think it had to be. If Frederick had been a little less unbending in his opinions he might have renewed his suit after he gained his independence. I can’t imagine Anne refuted her love for him when she broke the engagement:
Had he wished ever to see her again, he need not have waited till this time; he would have done what she could not but believe that in his place she should have done long ago, when events had been early giving him the independence which alone had been wanting. (7)
This passage suggests Anne actively hoped he would seek her out again. Unfortunately considering Frederick’s opinion of her character it would have been a hope without a cause. (:D)
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