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|Reader’s knowledge vs. Lizzy’s: Wickham
Written by amytat
(4/14/2013 8:48 p.m.)
I’m going to try tackling these by character (within the chapters for the week) instead of by chapter. I think it might be more interesting and easier to see patterns. I’m taking it a bit out of order and doing Wickham first because this is somewhat related to discussion on Wickham happening below (and because I just want to :o) .
Information the reader has about Wickham that Lizzy doesn’t: None!
So far we aren’t given any background on Wickham that isn’t told directly to Lizzy, we don’t see him having any conversations she isn’t present for and we don’t get any insights into his thoughts. (Unless you count “Mr. Wickham was the happy man…” but that seems to me like it might just be an expression.)
Normally I wouldn’t give this much thought but since I’ve been focusing on information we have that Lizzy doesn’t I’ve been finding a lot more material than I ever expected. So it struck me to suddenly not get any. There could be a number of reasons for this. The narrative may be shifting at this point more toward Lizzy’s perspective. It could be that Wickham only exists to tell Lizzy this story and it’s not important for us to know any more about him. But then information like Mr. Hurst thinking about his breakfast doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on the story (at least so far) and we know about that.
My theory is that JA wants us to form our own opinion of Lizzy’s judgment in this case. She’s given us enough insight to see that, IMO, Lizzy is generally has good instincts about people but she’s not infallible. Certain prejudices can lead her astray. So now we can observe what Wickham is telling her and decide for ourselves weather she’s right to trust him or not (as people here are doing.) I’ll be interested to see as I read the upcoming chapters how what I decide here will affect my perspective on what happens next.
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