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Written by BarbaraB
(9/23/2006 12:24 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Buther children weren't all that small, penned by Therése
...to agree with you. On the one hand I find the fact that Lady Middleton enjoys her children to be a positive thing. I tend to forget that about her after a period of time has gone by since I have read the book and each time it's a nice rediscovery.
On the other hand I feel she overindulges her children. While I think the stringent a-child-should-be-seen-and-not-heard philosophy of the day was too confining, I don't get the feeling the Middletons are at the very least teaching them how to behave in the presence of company. Pulling their mother about and tearing at her clothes is in my opinion, inappropriate while entertaining guests. Lady Middleton had the advantage of being able to spoil her children all the year round. I am reminded of other JA characters whose children's spoiled, uncensored behavior led to trouble in later years. I think JA really liked kids but did not approve of parents who did not teach their children to behave properly when they had guests in their home or were guests in other people's homes. I, also, do not think Elinor and Marianne were too far off the mark in their obervation of Mrs. Middleton. If she had the energy to allow her children to pull her about and deal with their noisy self-demanding behavior, then it seems to me that before they came in, she could at the very least have had the ability to rouse herself to be hospitable enough to make her guests feel welcome. To me, the fact that she didn't means that she either has a generally insipid personality or she didn't much care for the Dashwoods or both. As ever, just my humble opinion. :)
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