Who's meaner now?
Posted by nancymc on September 27, 1997 at 18:37:49:
In response to Not even Aunt Norris is a Mr. B., written by margie on September 27, 1997 at 17:17:25
] Oh sorry. I was exercising my silly streak (not that it needs much exercise) and trying to design some treatment for Mr. B. wherein he would truly look at himself. I wasn't thinking in terms of whether he would be an appropriate character in a JA novel. Now that I am thinking in those terms, I agree with you. It's difficult to imagine even Aunt Norris, whom I think is mean and hypocritical, allowing children to go hungry day after day after day.
] There is one act of meanness in S&S that always stuns me, and that is Lucy Steele managing to send the message, by remote control, to Elinor that she (Lucy) is now Mrs. Ferrars, and concealing that she is Mrs. Robert Ferrars. It's the one act of meanness in JA's novels that is mean simply for meanness' sake. Absolutely the only gain that Lucy gets from it is the gratification of knowing that she will make Elinor suffer. You can't even say it's for revenge, because Elinor always behaved totally honorably after she knew Edward was engaged -- Elinor never injured Lucy or tried to weaken Edward's regard for her.
] Still even that act of meanness pales in the face of the conditions that Mr. B. maintained at Lowood. "Mean" doesn't seem to cover it. "Evil" fits better.
] Got to run off and buy a gift for my own aunt, who is not mean at all. She does however maintain, that, since I still use my maiden name, I am not truly married to my sweet husband of 24 years. Oh, these aunts.
I thought Lucy's final stroke of sadism was because of her anger about the fact that Edward loved Elinor. She knew it and was a quiet jealous monster because of it.
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