Posted by Tilde on November 11, 1997 at 03:52:10:
In response to The Fanny Dispathing Essay, written by Cassia on November 06, 1997 at 14:12:00
I'll post this, in spite of my message further up on the board.
Perhaps the gulf between Fanny-bashers and Fanny-lovers is, that Fanny-bashers read JA as contemporary novels, whereas Fanny-lovers read them more like historical documents ?
The only result you would get from sending ms. Price to summer-camp or the like, Cassia, is to see her mending all the torn clothes and soothing the wounds of the rest of the people there, as well as baking those special cookies that cook doesn't find any time to do.
The kind of life led by Fanny in MP is a life few of the western world experience today. The net-result of her upbringing is perhaps not very appealing today ... and it might not even have been appealing in JA-times, but women like her existed, and they exist still.
Fanny is "perfect" and, to quote a conductor I once sang under, "Perfection is boring". But still. In the middle of the boredom and the perfection and the too-good-to-be-true and butter-wouldnt-melt-in-her mouth, I still see a person working furiously at creating her own room, mentally and physically, and in this respect she is very like other JA characters.
Besides, the life of the unmarried "good daughter" (which is the position she fills and is inteded to fill in MP, even thought it is called "resident niece") was never an easy one, as JA herself found out late in her life.
So, no Cassia. I am not going to contribute to your scheme of transforming 19th c. Fanny into 20th c. ms Price, perfection is still perfection, and transforming her so that she migth meet 20th c. ideals will not make her more loveable or disagreeable, quite the contrary in fact.
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