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Written by Lucy K
(8/25/2003 8:53 p.m.)
Mrs. Dashwood, who is loving, kind, affectionate and yet flawed in that she is quite as emotional and over-sensitive as her daughter Marianne.
Fanny Dashwood -- the elegant, "society" mom whose prime purpose is in ensuring that little Henry Dashwood not be cheated out of a penny of his inheritance.
Mrs. Ferrars -- the stereotypical "matriarch" who governs over her family and is very concerned about maintaining her family's "status".
Mrs. Jennings -- friendly, jovial, affectionate and yet very practical in how she arranged to have her daughters "well-married".
Lady Middleton who spoils and indulges her "brood" and has no real identity of her own. She exists to please her children.
Interestingly, very few fathers are portrayed as involved in their children's well-being. In fact, fathers are quite lacking in the book.
The mother-daughter relationships are also interesting.
In the Dashwood family, Elinor and Marianne are devoted to their mother. And yet Elinor often takes on the "mother" role when Mrs. Dashwood cannot handle decisions. She also takes on this role with Marianne in London.
Mrs. Jennings is everyone's "mother". She is quite attached to Charlotte and always spending time with Lady Middleton. Her view appears to be that as a mother her role is matchmaker to not only her own daughters but everyone else!
Mrs. Ferrars and Fanny are like a confederacy. Fanny is just as concerned as her mother about their position and standing. She is as protective of her brothers and family reputation as her mother. (She's sort of a "mini-me".)
It would be interesting to see how all these mothers develop throughout the novel.
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