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|Manipulation- or advice
Written by Ramya
(10/18/2011 10:01 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Yes. Manipulative., penned by Rachel G
Thank you for the response- you certainly don't have to answer ASAP! ;-)
I think the main difference in the way I see this is in intention and execution. This is not a situation resembling Emma and Harriet's, where a cleverer Emma, who is the stronger personality of the two, manipulates Harriet against her intentions without the latter being the least aware of it. Anne is not decieved by Lady Russell's prejudices, nor is she directed by them.
You mention that it was all about LR's personal dislike of CW. I disagree with you there. Granted, her prejudices did cause her to dislike and distrust the impetous, seemingly reckless Frederick. But her advice for all that is sound. In my reading of the text, I don't see where it says LR convinced Anne that it would be for his good to break off the engagement- I always thought it was Anne's own self-justification for her act. I could be wrong, however. Had she not imagined herself consulting his good, even more than her own, she could hardly have given him up. The belief of being prudent, and self-denying principally for his advantage, was her chief consolation... Ch. 4
I see this situation comparable to Mrs. Gardiner warning Elizabeth Bennet against marrying the impecunious Mr. Wickham- the older one is in the position of a mentor/mother-figure, and both protegees listen to the advice given, however unpalatable it may have been. If Anne and Frederick had waited until they could be married, they would have to suffer through a long engagement, which F might end up regretting, as he would not be free to marry a woman of fortune. After all, Edward Ferrars in S&S ended up regretting his long engagement to an unsuitable woman. FW may take more risks than normal just to make a fortune, and thus injure himself, or worse, die. If they had eloped, they would have risked even more by alienating family and connections who could come to their support.
I once read a fan-fiction (it's probably still here at Pemberley)- that compared Anne's situation to Mrs. Price in Mansfield Park, who ends up with a drunk jerk of a husband who sustained an injury and had no connections to make him rise in the ranks. So, while I don't appreciate LR's peculiar regard for rank and consequence, I simply don't think she manipulated Anne into something for her own selfish reasons.
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