Basis for argument..?
Written by Leif G-n
(3/12/2003 5:04 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Is It, Then?, penned by Jack Cerf
] Some of us would be more comfortable with Austen if her social and political values were more like our own, but I think that's a temptation to be resisted. She's a critic, to be sure, but not a Dickensian critic. The objects of her scorn are people who abuse their positions in the hierarchy and fail to live up to their traditional responsibilities -- not the hierarchy itself.
The basis for our argument is a bit thin.
I just find it hard to believe that she should have been so "blind" to the overall picture, so "narrowsighted".
Can we take her novels and the remaining letters and biographical notes as a proof of that? I'm not so sure. Did she never even for a moment question the values of her own class ? If I may quote what another author(Jane Aiken Hodge) says about her: "Jane Austen did her best to conform to the conventions of her day,and after her death the family touched up the picture.She was 'dear aunt Jane'. She played ,supremely well, the part that was expected of her."
But what did she really think? We are all guessing aren't we.