Posted by kathleen (elder) on May 08, 1997 at 21:15:57:
In reply to Why is Mrs. Norris so mean? posted by Barbara on May 08, 1997 at 18:11:31
] Why is this woman so mean to Fanny? Obviously she is not a nice person at all, but she is far nicer to Maria and Julia Bertram than to Fanny. The unmotivated hatred is a little hard for me to swallow. Perhaps she doesn't like Fanny's quiet ways, or is it because Fanny is the only one at Mansfield lower on the totem pole, so to speak, than Auntie herself?
] I would be interested to hear what some of you think are the reasons for Aunt Norris to abuse and mistreat Fanny.
I happen to think Mrs Norris was probably always a bit nasty. Then, she didn't get the "best" husband, even though she was the eldest daughter (and possibly the most intelligent).
She seems to be trying to ingratiate herself with her nieces, even though they seem indifferent towards her. But I think you may have got it right about her attitude to Fanny -- Fanny is the only person lower than Aunt Norris is.
The fact that Fanny doesn't fight back makes it easier for Auntie dearest to continue mistreating her, and Fanny's behavior may also make her mad. (Passive people sometimes have that effect on aggressive people, I have noticed; it's like trying to have an argument with someone who won't say anything for you to disagree with -- very frustrating.)
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