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Written by Barbara
(9/19/2009 6:08 p.m.)
I've always thought that Lucy Steele was very manipulative and that her behaviour towards Elinor was very calculated, on many levels. It really struck me this time, though, that she is also telling lies.
This was obviously a lie:
"Ferrars!" repeated Miss Steele; "Mr. Ferrars is the happy man, is he? What! your sister-in-law's brother, Miss Dashwood? a very agreeable young man to be sure; I know him very well."
It's cleverly worded, because Lucy actually doesn't say that she doesn't know him very well, but that is how it comes off.
This also has to be a lie:
How could Sir John have 'admired' Norland? Has he ever been there? It seemed clear, early in the story, that he had been to see the Dashwood family at Stanhill before they moved to Norland, but no mention was made of him ever having been to Norland itself.
Elinor later realizes there was something amiss with that in Ch. 23: --"the intimate knowledge of the Miss Steeles as to Norland ... which had often surprised her."
Because of this, I was struck by how many times Elinor was actually thinking 'Liar!' as Lucy talked to her:
--though her complexion varied, she stood firm in incredulity
--after a moment's reflection, she added with revived security of Edward's honour and love, and her companion's falsehood -- "Engaged to Mr. Edward Ferrars! -- I confess myself so totally surprised at what you tell me, that really -- I beg your pardon; but surely there must be some mistake of person or name.
--she looked earnestly at Lucy, hoping to discover something in her countenance, -- perhaps the falsehood of the greatest part of what she had been saying;
--However small Elinor's general dependance on Lucy's veracity might be...
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