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|Is Elinor a bit of a snob?
Written by Rachel G
(9/27/2009 5:34 p.m.)
"And what," said Mrs. Dashwood, "is my dear prudent Elinor going to suggest? What formidable obstacle is she now to bring forward? Do not let me hear a word about the expense of it."
In general I'm a great fan of Elinor but this line seems like a very snobbish thing to say, and I don't like to think of her as a snob - it seems to align her with Fanny Dashwood and Lady Middleton.
I can allow her to be rather an intellectual snob, since it seems natural to find more interest in the company of people who's mental furniture is broadly comparable to ones own, but here Elinor appears to be objecting to Mrs Jenning's vulgarity and relative lack of "class".
I appreciate that the Regency period was a time when nuances of social background were of greater significance than in our own more egalitarian times. So, is Elinor's objection perfectly valid and reasonable, given the society in which she lived?
Is her attitude a reflection of the fact that the Dashwood ladies have come down in the world since the death of their father, and Elinor doesn't want their social status to slip
We know that Elinor does not want to go to London because she wants to avoid the company of Edward and Lucy, so is she just deploying the argument which she thinks may best influence her mother to decide against the London trip?
Does she also want to avoid going to London because it could look as if Marianne is chasing after Willoughby, which would not be a well-bred way for a woman to behave?
Or is dear Elinor indeed a bit of a snob?
What do others think?
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