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Written by Line
(5/20/2007 11:00 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Judging Elizabeth by your standards?, penned by Tracy W
On a general note, it's fairly obvious that Western society has come to agree with Elizabeth's POV. I doubt that anyone here, seeing a friend (even in financially difficult circumstances) getting ready to marry a man strictly (or mainly) for his money would think she was doing the morally right thing! However, the more pertinent question for this GR is what did JA herself think about the matter. Besides the evidence in her other novels (one in particular, which I won't go into here), it seems fairly obvious to me that JA was definitely on Elizabeth's side in this argument. We have some evidence in ch.26 (this is the Omniscient Narrator, AKA the author, speaking):
The sudden acquisition of ten thousand pounds was the most remarkable charm of the young lady to whom [Wickham] was now rendering himself agreeable; but Elizabeth, less clear-sighted perhaps in his case than in Charlotte's, did not quarrel with him for his wish of independence.
Why would JA call Elizabeth less clear-sighted about Wickham than about Charlotte if she didn't basically agree with her position?
There is also the evidence of Mr. Bennet's opinion in ch.23. Mr. Bennet is not the most sensitive person around, but he *is* supposed to be an intelligent man: [on hearing the news of Charlotte's engagement] "it gratified him, he said, to discover that Charlotte Lucas, whom he had been used to think tolerably sensible, was as foolish as his wife, and more foolish than his daughter [Elizabeth]!".
I think the "moral" JA expected us to draw from this situation is that in essence, Elizabeth is absolutely right, but that she needs to learn a *little* tolerance and understanding for other people's circumstances.
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