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|GR: Odd happenings in Conduit Street
Written by Art
(8/31/2003 2:48 a.m.)
1) Lady Middleton does not call on Mrs. Jennings because of a "violent cold" -- yet she's hosting a ball? Granted, it was Sir John's idea, not hers -- "This was an affair ... of which Lady Middleton did not approve". Still, I'm wondering whether Lady Middleton was concocting an excuse to avoid having to call on her mother.
As an aside, this event would appear to contradict Mrs. Jennings assertion earlier in the chapter that "Mary always has her own way."
2) I cannot understand Mr. Palmer's brief conversation with Elinor:
"I thought you were both in Devonshire," said he.
"Did you?" replied Elinor.
"When do you go back again?"
"I do not know." And thus ended their discourse.
This seems to be a rather pointless and uninformative conversation. Yet JA does not usually waste words. Just what was she trying to convey here?
I note that this is unusual behavior for Mr. Palmer, if his behavior at Barton is to be considered "normal". Instead of criticizing or ignoring the people around him, he actually seeks out Elinor's company. Maybe Mrs. Palmer was onto something when she told the Miss Dashwoods in the previous chapter, "Mr. Palmer will be so happy to see you."
So is this the reason for inserting the conversation -- to hint at a new dimension of Mr. Palmer's character? What do other people think is going on here?
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