Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Harsh words for Elinor?
Written by Robbin
(10/9/2006 4:18 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Hard Cheese, Eleanor, penned by James S.
IMO JA’s novels are primarily about finding an equal partner for marriage, one that you can respect and esteem. I think Elinor’s question on Edward’s happiness with Lucy is a valid one for he and Lucy will not be equal partners or good companions since he is not illiterate and I do not believe he will be able to respect Lucy for being artful and selfish. I do not think Lucy respects or loves Edward at all or she would not wish to hang on to him when she fears he may prefer someone else. Someone who is illiterate can be good but unfortunately Lucy is not one of the good so I am unsure of what you are getting at with regards to Lucy. Elinor treats her neighbors, with respect and attention; she understands their good qualities and is grateful for their attentions and encourages Marianne to treat them better although the narrator says there is nothing to “recommend them as companions to the Dashwoods”—Chapter 7. Elinor and Edward seem to be equally matched intellectually which makes them good companions to each other and I do not think it is snobbish to enjoy it, or desire it in your life partner. I am unsure why you censure Elinor for desiring a partner who is her intellectual equal.
IMO Elinor’s thought that improving her mind would have given an interesting character to her beauty is not Elinor dwelling on Lucy’s beauty for the sake of her beauty but saying Lucy could have been a more accomplished woman rather than just a pretty one. I see no reason to think poor (financially) Lucy spends a lot of time in society on level with Barton Park and two reasons to think she is normally of lower company. First, their engagement in “Exeter instantly gave way before such an invitation”—Chapter 21 shows that the invitation to Barton Park is a better one. Second, I do not think there is any reason to question that Edward means Lucy and Longstaple as the low company in which he feels comfortable in Chapter 17, “I have frequently thought that I must have been intended by nature to be fond of low company, I am so little at my ease among strangers of gentility!” I do not think Elinor’s opinion that Lucy spends time in low society is meant to be particularly elitist, I think it is probably just meant to be descriptive of her normal level of society—unfortunately there were levels of society, that is how JA knew the world she wrote about so there is no escaping it.
Elinor whimpering—could you site examples of this? Lucy is the one who cries Poor Me, over and over again—all below is only from one paragraph in Chapter 22.
I am so unfortunate, that I have not a creature whose advice I can ask.
I am sure I was in the greatest fright in the world t'other day, when Edward's name was mentioned by Sir John, lest she should out with it all.
You can't think how much I go through in my mind from it altogether.
I only wonder that I am alive after what I have suffered for Edward's sake these last four years.
Everything in such suspense and uncertainty, and seeing him so seldom -- we can hardly meet above twice a-year. I am sure I wonder my heart is not quite broke."
I am not sure what you mean by Elinor coldly judging everyone who comes to Barton Park since you do not site any instances except for Lucy, which of course I have noted my disagreement already. ;D
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.