Posted by Cassia on May 19, 1997 at 15:33:42:
In reply to Aunt Norris: what's with this woman, anyhow? posted by Barbara on April 28, 1997 at 00:54:16
] I'm just barely into this novel, and already I would have to say I hate Aunt Norris more than any of the other women we love to hate including Caroline Bingley, Fanny Dashwood, Lucy Steele, Mrs. Elton, Mary or Elizabeth Elliot, etc...
] It seems to me that there is more true evil being done by her than by any of the others--I'll decide whether I keep that opinion as we read along.
] What could make someone be that horrible. Most of the others I mentioned above are motivated by either greed or snobbishness or both, but I don't think we could attribute either of these qualities to Aunt Norris.
] My theory at present is that she is jealous of her sister Maria for snagging the wealthy baronet and of both her sisters for being able to have children when she has not. Her scheming and moralizing works against both her sisters in a way. And yet, I wonder if Aunt Norris even realizes what a viper she really is. The scariest thing about her is that deep down, maybe she does think she is helping and doing the right thing!
I don't think Aunt Norris is evil. she is underemployed. As Jane says herself, (I parapharase) if the world were a just place, Aunt Norris would be much more able to survive with a large family on a small income than Mrs. Price. She doesn't like weakness and Fanny, by beinmg such a skulking, simpering little fool, invites Aunt Norris' abuse. Fanny cannot engender her aunt's respect unless she (Fanny) stands up to to her like her cousins do.
Fanny is, in many ways, a contradictory character much in the same way as Melanie in Gone with the Wind. A sickly, simperer with a will of iron that no one else seems to notice.
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