Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|I see ...
Written by gianni
(10/24/2011 10:45 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lady Russell: From Anne's Point of View (Sorry, long), penned by BarbaraB
... that you have a lot of support -- indeed, even those start to disagree with you seem to agree more than disagree.
So, let me be disruptive again. :-)
My issues with her are her disconnect with Anne’s feelings...
I agree wholeheartedly that Lady R is not very perceptive. She doesn't see through to Anne's deeply buried misery, even though she does see her physical decline. She doesn't see through William Elliot's charm and consequence to the suspect character underneath. She doesn't see through Frederick Wentworth's wit and reckless behavior to the sound foundation underneath.
I, however, see this as a weakness to be pitied rather than as an evil to be despised.
...and her prejudice.
We're told that she has a higher regard for rank and consequence (ch. 2), but alongside her being blinded by this to William Elliot's nature, we see her taking Anne in her own carriage most days to visit Mrs. Smith in a less reputable part of Bath; there's not the least indication of her looking down on Mrs. Smith's condition, or on Wentworth's lack of rank.
It seems that Lady Russell’s affection is not enough for her to tap into Anne’s feelings regarding her music.
And how many tone-deaf people appreciate music? How many not interested themselves can immerse themselves in something that doesn't interest them? Sure, Lady R doesn't recognize Anne's pleasure in her music; but she doesn't have our view into Anne's deep feelings. I think the problem here is, again, Lady R's lack of perception, not her lack of concern for Anne.
And taking her to Bath of all places is what I mean---it shows a complete disconnect with Anne’s feelings.
You seem to see this as Lady R having turned her back on Anne; I see it as Anne's having refused to go with Lady R after the first time. Anne hasn't breathed a word of her feelings after the broken engagement; not only does no one but the four of them even know of it, the three have, after so many years, forgotten about it! Only Anne is silently enduring the misery of the lost love, and I think she's shielding the others from that misery. Lady R might well have invited her to other places than Bath and been refused as well; we're told repeatedly that Anne loves the country and that she leaves it this time only because she feels forced to. We're also told that Lady R feels Anne should be exposed more so she can attract suitors, and that she feels that Anne's spirits could be lifted by getting out; I can't see this as having arisen suddenly out of nowhere. I think it's been a constant matter of concern and discussion between them.
Again, lack of perception, not lack of concern.
Lady Russell feels Anne would be happy as the wife of Mr. Elliot. She is not interested in considering Anne’s skepticism or feelings on the matter.
Of course she feels that way. She can't see any fault in Elliot; the only negative thing I recall her having heard from Anne is "we wouldn't suit". And this is mixed in with positive praise, as another member has pointed out. It's not that she's not interested in Anne's skepticism about Elliot; she doesn't see that it exists.
When Anne informs Lady Russell of her thoughts of the attachment of Captain Wentworth and Louisa, Lady Russell had only to listen composedly, and wish them happy, but internally her heart revelled in angry pleasure, in pleased contempt, that the man who at twenty-three had seemed to understand somewhat of the value of an Anne Elliot, should, eight years afterwards, be charmed by a Louisa Musgrove. (13) I find this a bit perverse.
And I can't see the perversity. She didn't recognize him on the street -- that's how important he has become to her -- and when she's told about his apparent attachment to Louisa, she quite rightly feels contempt for a man who makes such a silly choice, and pleasure that she has been vindicated about him. And as far as can be seen to this point, she was fully vindicated.
All the textual arguments against her supposed misbehavior or lack of love and concern for Anne are equally valid for her well-meant misunderstanding.
In my opinion.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.