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Written by Susan L
(5/18/2007 12:02 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I see..., penned by Maria Liourdi
I think it's difficult today to understand the notion of spinsterhood; of the future Charlotte must have seen for herself as a woman with little more than pin money dependent on her family until death.
If spinsterhood were like a short visit with enjoyable relatives then that life wouldn't be so bad. But I identify this life in adulthood to be difficult, especially in a world which IMHO saw marriage at the heights to which women should aspire.
Being a spinster is a failure of this, and I wonder at the lack of control each adult spinster must have endured especially as many (or even most) were spinsters as a result of lack of fortune. And this would be Charlotte's fate.
Charlotte would have spend her adult life as a dependant, without control over her life. Even if her life is pleasant and she is respected, she has no home of her own to manage, the food, the servants, the furnishings etc are things others direct. Of course Charlotte might be asked to manage the home, to contribute to discussions, to express opinions and participate, but someone else will always have ultimate control .. not Charlotte.
Imagining myself living through years is unbearable, and no matter how accommodating or pleasant my circumstances the fact would remain that I had no husband and children in a world that IMHO considered being a wife as the height to which a woman could aspire.
For Charlotte, who wanted to be married, the knowledge of this was clearly not one she looked forward to judging by how quickly she secured a proposal from Mr Collins. IMHO she was fearful this would be her lot.
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