Let's not forget the time period
Posted by Mark on November 21, 1997 at 16:56:43:
In response to Feeble excuse, written by Constanza on November 21, 1997 at 15:47:36
] I don't mean to criticize Jane Austen, but I think that Jane's cold is a feeble "literary excuse" for throwing Darcy and Elizabeth together, that Darcy may begin to fall in love with her.
] What I mean is that the situation somewhat doesn't seem credible!
P&P takes place in the days when modern medicine was still very much in its infancy. Jane Austen wrote before antihistamines, antibiotics, even codiene. If I am not mistaken, even asperin hadn't been perfected yet. They still bled patients.
Just this century many people died in the great Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. That was less than eighty years ago.
All but one of my children suffered from severe ear infections. One still has scarring on his eardrum.
I think it was very appropiate for Elizabeth to go visit Jane. If you recall, she only meant to visit her, but Jane begged her so hard to stay that Caroline Bingley was forced to issue an invitation to stay.
When the clock struck three, Elizabeth felt that she must go; and very unwillingly said so. Miss Bingley offered her the carriage, and she only wanted a little pressing to accept it, when Jane testified such concern in parting with her that Miss Bingley was obliged to convert the offer of the chaise into an invitation to remain at Netherfield for the present. Elizabeth most thankfully consented...
Also remember that Elizabeth is twenty years old. She's a big girl now and can take care of herself, and her sister. Barely six months later she's going toe-to-toe with Lady Catherine on Lady C's own turf. If she thinks it is best for Jane that she stay, she will stay.
Don't forget that Jane and Cassandra Austen were extremely close sisters. I can easily see them doing the same sort of thing for each other, and more than one critic has pointed out the parallels between their relationship and Jane and Elizabeth's.
Please excuse me for rambling a bit. This is an interesting question that I've never heard before.
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