Posted by Kathy F. on July 23, 1997 at 23:45:35:
In reply to Re: Harriet and Anne, have they something in common? posted by Jen K on July 23, 1997 at 12:50:42
] ] ] It is true that Harriet isn't a complete simpleton, but she is very easy to persuade like Anne Elliot.
] ] No, she isn't a complete simpleton, but she is far and away more easy to persuade than Anne. Anne was persuaded by Lady Russell, who was practically her mother. Harriet was persuaded by Emma, who was a few years older than her, and whom she had known for only a few months--if that!
] In defense of the girls, I want to credit them both for their sense of duty. Anne's refusal of Cpt. Wentworth was based, I'm sure (was this in the book?) on a sense of family duty. She's obviously very useful and perhaps with no mother she felt that leaving her family to their own devices would go against what her mother would've wished. Harriet Smith, though silly, was also told at least once or twice how valuable she was at Hartfield and how she would be missed (ah, yes, an interesting threat) if she married RM. Surely it was mentioned to Harriet often by Mr. W et al. that she was Emma's only same-age companion.
] How clever of our dear Jane to remove this scruple in each case by proving the subjects unworthy of their loyalty after all!
I think that AE's only sense of duty was to Lady Russell. I'm not quite sure about that, though. Perhaps LR pushed the duty thing on her--AE had a duty to marry well, to bring credit to her family. I don't think AE felt any other duty towards her unfeeling family.