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|Do you see wit in anything Captain W says?
Written by Margaret C
(7/1/2013 3:06 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, brilliant wit, penned by Nikki N
Apart from "a momentary expression in Captain Wentworth's face"(Ch.8) that hints at the lowest form of wit, and "no one seemed in higher spirits than Captain Wentworth"(Ch.8) as he flirted with Henrietta and Lousia, surreptitiously tracing Anne's abject features, there is barely a trace of mirth, let alone clever word play.
There is another "artificial assenting smile, followed by a contemptuous glance"(Ch.10) before his deliberately laboured hazelnut metaphor (which might be wit, but on his part, not very brilliant wit. On the part of his author, who picked the season and the circumstance as well as the symbol, it is a brilliant choice, though, so I can only assume she did not wish him to appear too brilliant when he addresses Lousia.)
The next time his sarcastic smirk makes an appearance is when he is invited to Elizabeth's card party, and Mary emphasises the honour: "Anne caught his eye, saw his cheeks glow, and his mouth form itself into a momentary expression of contempt, and turned away, that she might neither see nor hear more to vex her."(Ch.22) Maybe he mutters something witty, then - but a contemptuous glance accompanied by inaudible witticisms rarely earns its possessor a reputation for brilliance.
Charles Musgrove makes a better show of wit in the same instance- the best outside of Anne's internal musings:"I am not one of those who neglect the reigning power to bow to the rising sun."
In short, Captain Wentworth seems remarkably grave and plain-speaking, and apart from his sardonic smirk (which is not exactly endearing) I see very little of the brilliant wit that attracted Anne to him, rather more of the resentment he carried through the eight and a half years since.
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