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|Disruptive?? LOL Not at all.
Written by BarbaraB
(10/26/2011 4:38 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I see ..., penned by gianni
Jane Austen makes it obvious that Lady Russell cares for, loves and has affection for Anne but there is something lacking in the relationship, a want of connection to who Anne is, what she feels and needs particularly after the breakup as it relates to Anneís suffering in which she, Lady Russell, played a large part. Having worked with kids all my adult life, I have seen this kind of thing, parents who I feel sure care about their kids but have a disconnect. They sign them up for Little League, drop them off but rarely stay to see them play, send them to school clean and cared for but donít come to Open House or parent/teacher conferences, take them to amusement parks and then have no money for school supplies, kids who often have no one in the audience to see them play their instrument in the auditorium or on the football field. Theyíve bought/rented the instrument, seen to it that theyíve got the lessons but... Obviously most parents who do the things listed above do follow through but not all do and yet they do love their kids---still something is missing.
]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;
Mrs. Smith is the parallel to Miss and Mrs. Bates... ladies once successfully living as part of the gentry but now barely making it from day to day financially. Part of the duty of those with means was to continue to take notice and make duty calls on those such a Miss and Mrs. Bates and Mrs. Smith who had once been full-fledged members of their circle, so to speak. When she is home Mrs. Russellís carriage, I am sure, takes her to the cottages/shanties for duty calls as we see Emma doing in Highbury, though she walks. The snobby, prejudiced gentry did it as well as the those who werenít such as Mr. Knightley. I donít see that dropping Anne off at her friendís necessarily lets Lady Russell off the hook where prejudice is concerned. She once said that, ďAny acquaintance of Anneís will be always be welcome to me.Ē (14) I donít think she meant Mrs. Smith. Nor did she mean the Captain.
]How many not interested themselves can immerse themselves in something that doesn't interest them?
In my opinion any close relationship (parent/offspring, sibling, close friend, etc.) comes with the desire to show appreciation for the otherís interests and gifts. Itís irrelevant whether you care for it yourself or not. I have never had the urge to watch a baseball game nor do I expect I ever will, but I watched my kids play in Little and Lassie League games and when my son decided to take a keyboard class in high school, I bought him a keyboard and he would bring it into our bedroom and sit on bottom of the bed and play what he was learning and had taught himself. I listened and encouraged, a pretty easy task actually. A wonderful thing happened. I came to appreciate classical music in a way I would have never imagined. Besides, if Mrs. Russell can go appreciate a concert in Bath, I donít see why she canít do the same for someone so dear to her.
]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.
If Lady Russell, seeing the low spirits of Anne all these eight years, has forgotten the part she played in the matter and no longer remembers what an awful event it was for Anne, then her disconnect is greater than I imagined. I see her father and sister as having forgotten because they donít really care a hoot about Anne and they had no participation in the broken engagement but not Lady Russell. Yes, Anne does suffer in silence. She does not want Lady Russell to feel any blame or to be responsible for making her feel guilty. This is due to the merit of Anne, not Lady Russell. I feel that when Lady Russell argues for Anne to go to Bath, it would be too important a point to not mention that Lady Russell undertook to get Anne away herself. Even if this was stated, then we would have to believe that Anne refused and if JA was thinking along those lines I think she would see it as too big a stretch to believe that someone with the capability to persuade a person to give up a beloved fiancee, could not get them into a carriage for a trip here and there. Relative to the times, Lyme is not far away and I feel that Anne would have been as pleased to go somewhere like this with Lady Russell as she was with the Musgroves.
]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.
Anne found Charles Musgrove agreeable too as well as loving his family but she didnít want to marry him either. I feel that an intelligent 27 year old woman is able to determine what she thinks will work for her. This is the third time now that a man has wanted to marry Anne in which Lady Russell has been privy to the situation if not as involved as with Wentworth. If she was resigned to considering Anneís feelings more than her own, she would have figured out by now that, having once loved truly and deeply, that Anne is not going to settle for just any man who wants to marry her; I donít see it happening unless there is some feeling for him on her side. ďWe wouldn't suit,Ē says it all in my opinion: we wonít make a good match, he is not for me, not interested. What more does Lady Russell need? Any persuasion on her side to push Anne into a marriage that she is not comfortable with will only be sentencing her to the same fate as Anneís mother--an unhappy life. If Anne ever decided that she wanted to marry Mr. Elliot, then fine, let her, at least, come to that conclusion on her own based on her personal feelings for him.
]...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.
Though Lady Russell says she would not go back and change things, there must have been some moments when looking at Anneís sadness that she felt some guilt, at least I hope she was moved to do so. I can see her wanting to justify her actions. But what gets me is the reveling in her heart which, I feel, goes beyond the need for any of us to feel justified in something that did not work out well. I would hope that in such a situation I would find it one of those times to feel that being right was unfortunate. I think that JA holds up Anneís response in a parallel situation as the proper response---a response based in compassion for others.
]So, let me be disruptive again.:-)
As I said, not at all. I appreciate the opportunity to solidify my thoughts and opinions one way or the other. I have been known to do a One-Eighty on several occasions here at Pemberley. As far as Lady Russell goes, I have come some distance from where I began when I first read Persuasion. However, I find myself so entrenched on the side of Anne that itís not likely thereís anything in the text to budge me further along. Thanks for your perspective, gianni. :)
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