Putting 'em in their places...
Posted by Stolzi on November 05, 1997 at 10:33:44:
In response to The place of ... (rather long), written by Tilde on November 05, 1997 at 04:06:42
] ] Maria is "naturally bad", or to quote her own father, (chp. 48) "Something must have been wanting within.." and further "To be distinguished for elegance and accomplishments ... could have ... no moral effect on the mind." and that is the reason she can be depraved by city-values.
Not so much naturally bad, as badly educated: her own father realizes this in the passage you quote. It is interesting how JA respects Sir Thomas, but still sees that he is a bit too stuffy to be lovable, and too distant in his relationship to the children, dearly though he loves them. The picture of his growing attachment to Fanny is one of the pleasant things about the book, to me.
The biggest problem I have with MP is the Fanny/Henry relationship. That he could flirt with her for his own amusement is easy to believe. That he could fall sincerely in love with her and wish to marry her, I don't think JA makes convincing.
] ] I think JA cuts down Mary throughout the course of the novel in various subtle ways and intends Fanny for Edmund from the very start....
] ] Actually, I don't think she [Mary] changes all that much, not in fundamentals. She begins with a fashionable & conventional, rather than, um, altruistic, morality & she ends with one.
CS Lewis points to the "ghastly" nature of Mary's last smile at Edmund. She is so blind, finally. She still thinks she can win him that way. "A mind in darkness, fancying itself light."
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