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|Choices & Self-esteem
Written by Robbin
(10/15/2011 1:25 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Anne's fault, penned by Frances G
I confess to never thinking Anne suffers from low self-esteem or believing she is unworthy of attention or affection. I cannot fault Anne for avoiding and trying to keep her distance from Frederick because his manners towards her are not inviting. This is the reason Anne holds back from Frederick. From his arrival to the long walk Frederick’s manners make it clear he does not desire Anne’s company. As Henry Tilney said of marriage and a country-dance; “in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal” (NA, 10).
I think Anne declined the Croft’s offer of a ride because “Admiral Croft's gig” (10) is a two-seat vehicle (Jane Info Pages) and she did not want to crowd them. Mrs. Croft’s assurance there “is excellent room for three” is a bit of an exaggeration for she and the admiral had to “squash-up” (P2?) to make room. They “compressed themselves into the smallest possible space to leave her [Anne] a corner” (10). Anne’s decline illustrates a pleasing consideration for others but in my opinion nothing about her self-esteem.
I cannot see an upside for Anne if she chose to dance instead of playing in Ch. 8. The decision to dance after so long might be noted and commented on by others and thought due to Frederick’s participation. There is not much dignity for Anne in the picture she dances for his approbation alone—especially as his interest is obviously elsewhere. There is also nothing in Frederick’s manner to suggest if she made herself available to dance that he would act on it. He has “a heart…for any pleasing young woman…excepting Anne Elliot” (7). I think it more probable Anne would suffer the pain of his soliciting every lady but her or the dubious satisfaction of etiquette forcing him to ask if there are equal or more dances than available partners. Of course Frederick always had the power to give Anne another duty by simply asking her to dance. (:D)
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