Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|The more I think about it
Written by Rae
(4/22/2003 6:00 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, But what is he being ironic about?, penned by Linden
the more uncertain I become!!! I am now getting rather enamoured of the idea that he is being quite subtly political here, except that it is in a way that I would understand to be directly opposite to JA's position. I have gone back and read the bit about politics, on the walk at Beechen Cliff - is he getting het up about enclosure there? If only he had not taken that 'short step to silence' and we had some idea of his politics.
I think that he is saying 'use your reason', but adding to that, by the use of ironic hyperbole, the idea that life is not always straightforward and rational - but in different ways to the ones she has been imagining. I agree 'we are English...we are Christians' is a better contrast with France than other countries - ie 'we are not like those mad french atheists, chopping people's heads off' but I hear that in a tone of irony.
The rest of the speech I read as his saying, again through irony, that England is not as free and liberal as it likes to think - what else is all that about the roads and the newspapers about? The very specific point about the 'network of voluntary spies' I still think refers to the way one is observed and commented on in a small society (though I am intrigued by and think I could be persuaded by your original suggestion!).
So my overall reading is his saying, 'wise up girl, do not waste time on these fanciful imaginings you are getting from your novels - there are enough real dangers in life without them'.
Or I could just be letting my imagination run away with me. I just cannot believe it is meant to be taken straight, however!
Northanger Abbey is maintained by Cheryl and Linda with WebBBS 3.21.