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|"Appropriate" reactions (ch.21+24) and a question
Written by Line
(5/11/2005 4:45 p.m.)
Olvia's story reminds me very much of Lydia's in P&P, but I guess the respectable young woman seduced into running away with a deceiving cad was a standard and very popular plotline! One thing that struck me in ch.21 was that Olivia's, not Lydia's, was the expected reaction at the time: "The rest of my wretched life must be infamy abroad and shame at home", etc., etc. Compare that to Lydia, who comes home unrepentant and pretty much the same as ever (though of course, Lydia never had time to be abandoned). I know I should read VoW on its own merits, but I keep mentally comparing it to JA's writing, which just makes me appreciate JA's subtlety and realism all the more. BTW, isn't the rhyme at the beginning of ch.24 referred to in one of JA's novels, as well? It made me think of Marianne Dashwood, who really *should* have died of a broken heart, but who had the temerity to recover and be happy with someone else!
In ch.21, when Olivia talks about the "popish priest" who married her and Mr. Thornhill, is she saying that the marriage can't be valid because the so-called priest admitted to performing more than one marriage ceremony for the same man, or that she should have known there was something wrong because he looked like he might be Catholic (and was this just anti-Catholic prejudice talking, or were Catholic marriage ceremonies somehow less legal than Anglican ones at the time)?
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