Posted by Stolzi on January 01, 1998 at 12:42:14:
In response to theatricals, written by Valerie on December 31, 1997 at 23:52:03
] I dunno - I think that acting itself was immoral for a lady, and would have required an entirely different character.
This can't be quite right, for Austen and her family engaged in amateur theatricals. If it was totally improper, would Mrs. Grant, a clergyman's wife, consent to participate? You find in the book different objections: the play chosen, the fact that outsiders are involved, the fact that Sir Thomas may be in danger at this time -- and that he can be expected to disapprove.
Fanny's refusal to participate also reflects her caution and the stubbornness that saves her from Crawford. She wasn't a wimp - just shy.
Yes, I said that if she had participated, she too would have been at fault. I just thought it would have made her a more interesting character.
A good discussion would be why Anne Elliot in Persuasion is also very much of a passive observer, yet we love and sympathize with her as few readers do with Fanny. CS Lewis attributes it to the facts that 1) her love is deeper and more complex and 2) her lover is a more attractive man.
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