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|John is worse than Fanny IMHO
Written by Anselm
(9/7/2009 9:51 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Exaggerations & contradictions, penned by kathleen (elder)
That last sentence is surely a huge subject on its own! All I can say is that John D obviously thought it wouldn't: ...he finally resolved, that it would be...highly indecorous for him to do more than he wound up doing.
Wouldn't it be interesting to follow through the rest of the book to see if John makes good, even once, on the pathetic final version of his "promise"? I'm opening the betting at 73:4 against. It only makes it worse that, within an hour of Sir John Middleton leaving his Dashwoods tenants at Barton cottage, he's sent them a present of fruit and vegetables, shortly followed by another one of game (Ch.6). Kinda makes your heart bleed for John D's "conscientious vexation" at being robbed of the chance of doing even one thing for his stepfamily, doesn't it?
I think John is actually worse than Fanny. From her first appearance in the novel (and for goodness knows how long before that) she's a slimeball, with no pretensions to being anything else. It seems to be part of her nature, although that's another topic. John, however, makes a sincere determination to do the right thing in Ch.1, but for whatever reason winds up doing the wrong thing, his actions thereby resulting in an outright lie to his dying father - all of which he justifies with an insufferable sanctimoniousness. Doesn't the person who pretends to be good while being bad add hypocrisy to all their other sins?
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